New York Product Liability Team Obtains Summary Judgment of Product Liability Claims on Behalf of Power Strip Manufacturer and Retailer

November 2023

The Gordon Rees Scully Mansukhani New York Product Liability team, including Senior Counsel Robert W. F. Beckmann, successfully obtained summary judgment of a product liability lawsuit in the Circuit Court of the Fifteenth Judicial Circuit in and for Palm Beach County, Florida on behalf of a power strip manufacturer and retailer.

The 15-year-old plaintiff sustained severe electrical burns when a metallic necklace he was wearing made contact with the exposed prongs of an iPhone charger that was partially plugged into a power strip. He sustained second and third-degree burns on his neck, left hand, and chest requiring hospitalization and physical therapy. The plaintiff asserted strict product liability claims against the power strip manufacturer and retailer, alleging that its design was defective because it lacked short circuit protection, which purportedly would have prevented the plaintiff’s injuries from occurring. He demanded one million dollars to settle. 

GRSM successfully moved to exclude the opinions of two separate electrical engineering experts relating to the lack of short circuit protection by demonstrating that the opinions were not supported by industry standards, scientific data, or sufficiently reliable methodology. GRSM then successfully moved for summary judgment based on the plaintiff’s failure to meet his burden of proving a product defect and by demonstrating that the plaintiff could not prove causation because the electrical outlet into which the power strip was plugged had short circuit protection and did not prevent the plaintiff’s injuries. As a result, there was no basis to conclude that if the power strip was designed with short circuit protection, it would have prevented the plaintiff’s injuries.

This successful outcome was the product of hard work through extensive, contentious litigation and a team effort with support from team leader, Partner Gregg Minkin.

A copy of the court's decision can be found here.