Mason Jar Inexplicably Shatters Prompting Product Liability Lawsuit


Product Design ExpertThis product liability case involves a man who sliced his right hand while opening up a glass mason jar. He had purchased a set of 6 mason jars at a local wholesale retailer. The jars came with the metal lids and plastic seals already on. The plaintiff had previously opened 2 of the jars in the set without issue. On the day of the incident, the plaintiff was pulling the seal off the top of the jar when the glass shattered in his hand. An expert in consumer products safety was sought to inspect the remaining mason jars and provide an opinion as to whether or not they were structurally sufficient for their purpose.

Question(s) For Expert Witness

  • 1. Please describe your experience designing and/or evaluating the designs of consumer glass products.
  • 2. How would you form an opinion as to whether or not the vials were structurally sufficient for their purpose?

Expert Witness Response E-036980

I have 40+ years of experience in specialty glass manufacturing, which includes process equipment design, build, operation, and maintenance for products including consumer dishware, bakeware, and associated covers and glass accessories. I served as an expert witness in another case that involved a consumer bottle and cap root cause evaluation of an eye injury. In that case, I tested a sample set of the bottles and produced a formal root cause analysis report. I have also advised law firms on several sheet glass failure cases including door safety glass breakage, custom coated glass etching flaws, and curved glass breakage at a fun house. I would examine the existing jars for symptoms of the most probable failure modes and consider any damage in handling, manufacturing defects, and design defects. Manufacturing defects can be determined through analysis of records and returns and recall from users and/or retailers and inspection of the jars for melting and forming defects. Design defects can also be further determined, if required, by requesting the product and mold design drawings and analyzing adequacy.

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