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Category Archives: Product Liability

IL defective product lawyerIt is the responsibility of companies to maintain a standard of safety in the products for consumers. However, sometimes products make it to the market that are unsafe. While there are bad products that may not work or live up to expectations, but when it comes to a product liability lawsuit, it must be proven that a product caused harm in order to have a case.

What Is Product Liability?

Derived from Tort Law, as a product or material gets created and put on shelves for consumers, there is a chain of liability. If the negligence of a company leads to the harm of another person, then that manufacturer may be held responsible. There are three basic claims a person can make with a harmful defective product, design defect, manufacturing defect, or inadequate warnings.

Defective Design: When the design of a product is defective, then the whole consumer good is dangerous. This happens when designed products are not adequately tested for safety. While the product may serve the purpose it was created for, it is too dangerous to continue using. From 2006 to 2008, the magnetic toy sets from Mega Brands were recalled because of small pieces which were easily consumed by children. On top of a choking hazard, the magnets were also strong enough that if consumed, the magnets of the opposite charge would attract and cause further internal injuries. One child died, and 27 were injured due to the defective design of the toys.

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IL injury lawyerSustenance is essential to our survival, and when we purchase food from a grocery store or a meal from a restaurant we want to believe it is safe to consume. A faulty good from a department store may cause external physical harm, but negligence in food production can lead to severe illness and death.

Liability when it comes to food safety can take many forms. If a company has poor safety practices, then contamination can affect customers. Bacteria, like salmonella, can make people sick when incorporated into the food supply, or a foreign object can make its way to the final product. Companies in the past have also been held liable for not listing a warning on their products.

One of the most famous cases of the latter is Liebeck v. McDonald’s Restaurants from 1994. Stella Liebeck was served a hot cup of coffee in a McDonald’s Restaurant drive through that resulted in third-degree burns to her lower body. The temperature of the cup of coffee was up to 40 degrees higher than other restaurants that serve coffee, or the average temperature of a cup of coffee from an at home coffee maker. Because of the high temperature, 700 others were also burned by hot beverages at McDonald’s. Although the cup did warn that the contents are hot, there was no warning about third-degree burns. Liebeck was awarded $2.7 Million in punitive damages and $160,000 for medical expenses.

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IL injury attorneyNo consumer purchases a product and expects it to cause harm. That is why consumers are protected by product liability laws, which gives resources in the event a product caused injury or death. This makes manufacturers and companies liable for any misfortune that their products have caused. There is a responsibility that companies have when providing safe products, or doing their due diligence in providing warnings in other circumstances.

Over 200,000 injuries of children reported in hospitals were caused by toys in 2016. While children may be easier victims of product liability, here are some of the biggest cases in the United States.

General Motors - This American car company, based out of Detroit, is behind reputable car brands such as GMC, Chevrolet, Buick, and Cadillac. However, in 2014 many models of cars were found to have an ignition switch fault that could cause the engine to shut off at any time while in use. This fault caused at least 31 accidents that resulted in the deaths of 13 General Motors customers. Over 26 million cars were recalled, and a fund was created for victims of the faulty ignition switch.

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Illinois child injury attorneysNo parent ever expects that a product or toy they purchase could injure or kill the child for which it is intended. Yet, every year, there are between 400 and 450 recalls of products in the interest of safety. In 2017, there were 251,700 injuries related to toys alone, as reported by emergency rooms to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. Kids getting minor injuries related to playtime is unavoidable, but the negligence of a company and serious injury or death can be avoided.

How Do Recalls Work?

When a faulty product is discovered, it is the company’s job to report the defect to the government. You may recall seeing flyers around your regular retailer's about recalls. When a product is recalled, it is completely up to the consumer to follow through with reaching out to the company. Recalls are also listed on the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission website, where company contact information and remedies to the defect are also available. If a consumer ignores or is unaware of a recall, he or she is potentially putting themselves or loved ones in danger.

A recall can happen to may different kinds of products, but here are a couple of popular recalls regarding products for children:

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Aurora child injury lawyersAfter bringing a child into the world, you do your best to provide a safe environment for them to grow up in. You may put locks on cupboards, and a gate in front of the basement stairs, but what happens when a product you purchase puts your infant in harm's way? Poor design or a manufacturing flaw in a product can result in injury or death to your child. Common injuries involved in a products liability suit may include:

  • Choking,
  • Burns,
  • Amputation,
  • Lacerations, and
  • Strangulation.

Defective Baby Products Can Cause Death or Injury to an Infant

Something seemingly safe for your child may result in death or injury. Here are some examples of products for infants that are seen as hazards, or have been recalled due to bodily harm to a child.

Baby Slings - A benefit of baby slings are that they create a close bond between the wearer and child. It acts as a pouch and allows the wearer to carry the baby, hands-free. Yet, after an estimated 14 deaths occurred because of suffocation, the Consumer Product Safety Commission issued a warning in 2010 that baby slings should not be used with newborns and infants under four months old. In the scenario that the sling covers the nose and mouth of a child, infants this young do not have the neck muscle development to move away.

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