Category: Crimes & Claims

Product Defects

Product Defects

When a consumer purchases a product, it is done with the reasonable expectation that the product is safe. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. If you or a family member was injured while using a product, we encourage you to contact our firm to discuss the situation.

If you have suffered a product defect injury, the lawyers at Fratus Brady, LLC, will work quickly to notify the manufacturer, preserve the evidence and contact the right experts to assist in the investigation and documentation of your injuries. There is a certain set of experiences and skills needed in order to establish that a product was defective. Not every product is defective simply because it caused an injury.

Injuries caused by product defects can typically be traced to one of three areas:

    • Design defects: Most products go through a detailed design phase, where most errors, defects and potential hazards are corrected. Unfortunately, not all of the errors are caught before the product begins its manufacturing phase.
    • Manufacturing defects: Often, products will go through an intricate, multi-stage manufacturing process that varies greatly from product to product — the more complex the item, the more complex the process. It is not uncommon for products to move through with production errors or defects. Many times screws, staples or nails are left exposed and rough or sharp edges are not fixed before being packaged and shipped.

Product Defects

  • Documentation and packaging errors: Many times, product specifications are changed and the instructions or manual is not changed to reflect these alterations. Also, faulty or hazardous packaging can cause an injury as the consumer attempts to open the product.

Ultimately, it is not easy to prove that a product was defective and that a defect caused an injury. Our firm has developed a network of experts who can examine the product and compare its defects to your injuries. These relationships were largely built during our time handling product liability defense cases for manufacturers. This knowledge and experience puts us in a unique position to see your case objectively from both sides, and to develop a strategy for successfully resolving your case that is efficient and effective and that takes into account the strategy used by manufacturers to defend against defect claims.

White Collar Crimes

White Collar Crimes

Typically, white collar crimes occur in a business or financial setting and are centered around economic or property gain. These crimes are viewed as non-violent, but this does not decrease the severity of the charge or the penalty.

The Annapolis white collar crime attorneys at Fratus Brady, LLC, have more than 30 combined years of trial experience available to assist clients facing serious criminal charges. We pride ourselves on thoroughly investigating the facts and circumstances that led to the filing of a criminal charge against our client. We will consult with experts as necessary to understand the nature and scope of the government’s allegations and to identify weaknesses in the prosecution’s case. Our goal is to provide our clients with an effective and aggressive defense minimizing exposure to what can be substantial and often staggering penalties.

The main aspects of white collar crimes are business fraud and embezzlement. Those two areas can be broken down into several other categories, including:

  • Mail fraud
  • Wire fraud
  • Credit card fraud
  • Computer and Internet fraud
  • Forgery
  • Identity theft
  • Embezzlement

In recent years, federal, state and local law enforcement agencies have started to aggressively pursue white collar crimes. Investigations are well-funded, can last months or years and often involve multiple people. As soon as you are concerned you might be under investigation, contact our office immediately. Do not talk to law enforcement without a lawyer. You run the risk of hurting your case, even if you think you are trying to help investigators or explain the situation. Hiring experienced and knowledgeable advocates is the best way to ensure your rights are protected.

The legal implications of bad food at a restaurant

legal implications of bad food at a restaurant

Everyone has had at least one bad experience in a restaurant where the service or quality of food did not meet your standards. Over time we have come to expect and tolerate lower standards in the food service industry. Rarely does one walk out of restaurant with a feeling of satisfaction let alone that it was the perfect dining experience. While it is not possible to sue for bad service, the courts provide guidance on cases involving injuries due to bad food. One of the seminal cases relating to injuries caused by food in restaurants is Child’s Dining Hall Co. v. Swingler, 173 Md. 490, 197 A. 105, Md. 1938 in which a person was injured by a piece of tin stuck in a crab cake sandwich. The court discussed the different theories to impose liability on a restaurant.

The court explained why choosing the appropriate cause of action is so important by stating, “the question now presented is whether the restaurant keeper, in the serving of food, gives an implied warranty to the customer that its food is wholesome, free from injurious substances, of merchantable quality, and fit for human consumption. This question is so close and so greatly controverted that cases only similar in character are not helpful as precedents. To illustrate, a sharp distinction is made between the supplying of food in a restaurant, to be immediately consumed on the premises (together with those accompanying services afforded by the proprietor), and with those cases where food is sold in containers, or otherwise, to be taken away and consumed at some other time and place, or with suits against manufacturers, each class of such cases are the subject of much litigation and difference of opinion. There are numerous cases and diversity of opinion as to foreign substances or poisonous conditions of food contained in sealed cans, as well as upon the question here presented.” Id. at 492. In other words, the facts of the case will determine whether there is support for a breach of implied warranty or negligence action.

legal implications of bad food at a restaurant

The court held that typically a restaurant is liable under a theory of negligence and the case throughout the country “show the decided tendency in our state in dealing with cases of this character, not under the theory of contract, implied warranty and insurer, but under the theory of the want of due care and negligence. We hold that an action in tort in such cases as this affords to the injured person a convenient and adequate remedy, and disposes of the contention that the adoption of the negligence theory, rather than that of an implied warranty, would amount to a practical denial to those injured in cases from food adulteration, foreign substances, unmerchantable quality and injurious in their consumption. The theory of implied warranty, as previously pointed out, denies to the restaurant keeper an adequate defense; for, where it can be shown that he has served unwholesome food upon his premises, the obligations of an insurer is imposed upon him regardless of the care and prudence he may have exercised.” Id. at 503.

Even though most people simply refuse to return to a restaurant because of a bad meal the courts clearly recognize a cause of action if the restaurant fails to exercise the reasonable care in furnishing and serving food. Unfortunately this will not eliminate the wobbly tables, lack of ice in a glass of ice tea, or the server who would rather be somewhere else but it is a start.