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Can I pursue a Product Liability claim from Florida against a past employer in Virginia ?

Apopka, FL |

I was injured at work by a machine that malfunctioned thus resulting in permanent joint damage of my right hand. I made a worker's comp claim immediatly after the injury, and was denied. My attorney decided not to appeal. Can i make a Product Liability claim? The injury is to my prominate hand diagnosed as C.R.P.S by UVA doctors. I vave statements from multiple doctors stating the injury occured due to the crush injury

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Attorney answers 5


Yes. Consult a Products Liability attorney with all the facts to advise you. Not prevailing in a Wirk Comp claim doesn't preclude you from making a personal injury claim.


I'm trying to figure out what direction you're going here. From your description I understand that you had a workers compensation claim denied in Virginia, and now want to pursue a products liability claim based on the Virginia injury. Everything occurred in Virginia from what I read here, but you have moved to Florida since all of that occurred.

Under your facts, even if you pursue a products liability claim in Florida because you live here now, Virginia products liability law and Virginia's statute of limitations would typically apply to the claim. This is called "choice of law," and Florida courts (state and Federal) would generally apply the law where the incident occurred, i.e. Virginia, to the claim (unless the claim fit into an exception, and those are rare).

Consult a local product defect attorney for a free consult. Good luck

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I practice in neither VA nor FL, but your question seems pretty generic. WC is your
Exclusive Remedy to recover against your employer. There are a few exceptions, and most likely you do not qualify for any of them. However, if your Company manufactures the machine that injured you, and places it into the "stream of commerce" (sells it to consumers or other companies), then you may have a right to sue them under a Product Liability cause of action. It probably does not apply to you, but I think that issue was on my Bar Exam 23 years ago. Like my first marriage, that experience will be etched in my soul forever.

We offer general concepts, but you should give ALL your facts to a licensed Attorney in your state before you RELY upon any legal advice.


Yes. You would likely have a claim against the manufacturer. I don't know what kind of machine, but I've handled punch press injuries to hands, and the manufacturer has always paid out.

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Under Chapter 440 of the Florida Statutes (Workers Compensation Laws) a Workers Compensation Claim would be your exclusive remedy. However, a products liability suit would constitute an exception to this exclusivity. Your claim would be grounded in both Virginia Workers' Compensation and Products Liability/Personal Injury law. You would be best served contacting an attorney in Virginia.

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