This was a products liability case wherein at the time of the injury plaintiff was transporting a large tempered plate glass window pane in a dolly for installation in a store front. All witnesses testified that while in careful transport, the pane, without warning, provocation or impact with any object, the glass simply exploded, causing plaintiff’s severe lacerations. Both plaintiff and defendant expert witnesses testified this phenomenon of tempered glass exploding suddenly and without warning is termed, “spontaneous breakage.” Both experts testified unequivocally that anytime a tempered glass window pane spontaneously breaks, it is without exception in and of itself a defect as tempered glass is not designed to spontaneously break. Plaintiff’s expert opines the specific cause of the defect is either an inclusion in the glass, a crack in the edge of the glass or a mistempering. Defendant’s expert testified the defect is caused by either an inclusion in the glass or a crack in the edge of the glass.
Plaintiff’s lawyers were successful in showing in the litigation that it is of no legal consequence that without examining the actual glass fragments, the specific cause of the defect can not be pinpointed because New Jersey products liability imposes no such requirement. Since both experts agree that spontaneous breakage is without exception a defect, and there is no question of fact the glass spontaneously broke, plaintiff is entitled to partial summary judgment on liability.
For more information or to speak with an experienced New Jersey defective product liability lawyer, contact Keefe Law Firm.