Articles Posted in Products Liability

When an item malfunctions, doesn’t function as intended, or has defective parts, there are multiple types of product liability claims that injured parties can pursue. The three overarching types of product liability claims are 1) manufacturing defects, 2) design defects, and 3) failure to warn, also known as marketing defects. In most places, these three types of claims are not sufficient to stand as legal claims on their own. Instead, they are pleaded as part of a larger case. For example, those injured by an item that is poorly manufactured and subsequently has a faulty internal system may be able to plead manufacturing defects and negligence on the part of the manufacturer or the designer.

What Are the Most Common Types of Product Liability Cases?

To understand each type of liability, it is important to have a working definition. Manufacturing defects are often those that take place during the manufacturing process itself. These issues are typically the result of poor workmanship or the use of cheap or low-quality building materials. Design defects are usually the result of an inherently poor or defective design of a product. In practice, this means that regardless of how well assembled and sourced the product is, the defective design means that the item will fail to meet basic safety standards and expectations. Failure-to-warn defects exist in items that pose dangers to people that are not obvious when those dangers could be mitigated by public warnings. It is important to note with this type of liability that the danger is inherent to the item and is not the result of a defect or poor design. An example would be an item like a chainsaw, an item with a legitimate use, that is still dangerous when made properly.

A recent local news article discusses the recall of a defective item. In a recent news article, the recall of nearly 500,000 juicers is detailed at length. The recall was prompted by reports from customers that hundreds of the units malfunctioned, resulting in injuries that required emergency treatment according to federal officials. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced that Empower Brands is recalling approximately 469,000 Power XL Self-Cleaning Juicers due to laceration and ingestion hazards experienced by customers. According to the CPSC, the juicers have a tendency to rupture during use, striking customers and posing a laceration hazard to people in the vicinity. Additional malfunctions have revealed that the juicers have been known to leave small particle shavings in the juice, posing an additional concern for consumers.

Manufacturers are entrusted to provide not only high-quality products for purchase but also safe products for consumer use. It is not uncommon for there to be various recalls at a time on various items, impacting consumers who have purchased these items and in some cases, may not even be aware of the hazards or defects. Consumers must navigate staying up-to-date on consumer recalls in order to remain safe and healthy, and manufacturers must ensure that they alert consumers properly to any of these hazards. The United States Consumer Product Safety Commission may have multiple recall lawsuits occurring in response to safety recalls on products. In addition to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, there is also the Food and Drug Administration, the Food Safety and Inspection Services, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the Coast Guard, and the Environmental Protection Agency – all agencies that may require a recall of certain products. Manufacturers should always be aware of potential defects in a product line, ensuring that any design defects are immediately responded to in order to prevent injury.

Why Are LG TVs Being Recalled?

According to a recent report, the LG 86-inch smart televisions and stands have been recalled due to tip-over and entrapment hazards. The TV can become unstable while on the stand, which can lead to injuries or deaths of children or others. LG Electronics has received 22 reports of instability, which resulted in 12 reports of tip-overs. For consumers who are using the TV’s supporting stand legs, the recall directs these users to immediately detach it and place the television in a safe location away from children. Additionally, consumers should contact LG for instructions on how to inspect the unit and obtain replacement screws and stand parts. This may also include help from a technician for a free repair.

Class action lawsuits may occur after a recall and/or injuries of multiple individuals. Class action lawsuits involve a group of individuals joining together to file a claim against a common defendant due to suffering similiar injuries.In some instances, a manufacturer may fail to issue a recall or provide adequate notice to consumers regarding design defects. In those instances, the manufacturers may face significant economic losses after lawsuits, in addition to reputational harm, amongst other types of losses. If you have suffered serious injuries due to a design defect of a product, you may be interested in consulting with an experienced attorney regarding possible claims to talk through your options.

Electric bikes and scooters have become increasingly popular over the years, as a convenient, yet fun way to commute. E-bikes and scooters are lightweight and can get you to where you need to go in a quicker and easier manner, which is part of the appeal. Although these electric vehicles are popular, there have been reports across the county of numerous fires in recent months that have raised some concerns. Reports of electric bikes and scooter fires have increased as lithium-ion batteries are common given the fact that these types of batteries hold lots of energy compared to normal batteries. Fire departments have warned against the potential dangers of lithium-ion batteries.

According to a recent news report, a tragic incident occurred when a lithium-ion battery from an electric bike or scooter sparked a fire in a Harlem apartment. The fire resulted in the death of a 5-year-old girl and a 36-year-old woman and left the child’s father in critical condition. Firefighters responded after 2:30 a.m. to the blaze in the sixth-floor apartment and found the bike inside the front door of the apartment, blocking the exit. The fire did not spread to other apartments and was under control in about an hour. In addition to the individuals mentioned, a firefighter and at least one other person also sustained minor injuries.

According to some experts, the lithium-ion battery can lead to a possible fire if it is damaged or overheated. In addition, as is the case for any product that consumers purchase, there’s the possibility of manufacturing defects or design flaws that could lead to personal injury. While fires from electrical bikes and scooters are a more recent phenomenon, the attorneys at Lebowitz & Mzhen have years of experience handling some of the most complex personal injury cases and are ready to use their expertise to help you in your case.

The United States federal agency known as the Consumer Product Safety Commission studies the safety of products that are marketed for use in the U.S. According to the agency, property damage, injuries, and deaths related to hazardous or defective consumer products cost Americans hundreds of billions of dollars each year. When a product is reported to be potentially hazardous, the CPSC will perform an investigation to determine if the product should be removed from the market by a recall. Although the CPSC has the power to enact mandatory recalls by seeking an order in federal court, the vast majority of product recalls are made voluntarily by the manufacturer. The CPSC website discusses a recently enacted voluntary recall of a childrens’ bicycle for brake-related issues.

According to the CPSC website, federal regulations require childrens’ bicycles with seat heights below 25 inches to have foot brakes on the pedals to allow children to operate the bicycle and stop safely. The recalled bicycles, manufactured by the Commencal company, only have hand brakes and are therefore not marketable in the U.S. The Commencal Ramones brand bicycles at issue were manufactured in the European country of Andorra between 2015 and 2021 and were marketed worldwide. Although the braking configurations may be acceptable in other countries, the bicycles can no longer be marketed and sold in the U.S. without modifications. According to the recall notice from the CPSC website, consumers who have purchased one of the recalled bicycles should contact the manufacturer for a free repair kit that will get the recalled bicycles into compliance with U.S. regulations once installed.

Do Companies Have a Duty to Create Safe Products?

Yes, companies that market consumer products for use in the U.S. have a duty to ensure that the product is safe for American consumers. Companies are responsible for adequately warning consumers of certain risks and dangers to their products. Some dangers or risks are too serious for a product to be marketed, and companies must work to remove or repair such products to ensure consumer safety. If a company knows of a certain hazard but fails to adequately warn consumers of the hazard and offers to repair, replace, or refund the purchase cost, the company may be liable for any harm caused by the product. Consumers who have been injured or killed by a dangerous or defective product are entitled to seek damages through a product liability lawsuit.

In February of this year, the medical device and consumer product manufacturing company Abbot Laboratories issued a voluntary recall after the FDA advised parents to stop feeding their young children certain brands of the company’s powdered baby formulas. According to a recent report by CNN, the affected brands initially included Similac, Alimentum, and EleCare. However, a few weeks later, the company then added Similac 60/40 to the list of recalled baby formulas.

The reason why the FDA issued the warning to parents earlier this year stems from several reports that young infants who consumed these products got very sick. In fact, there are at least two cases where babies died after consuming Abbott Labs baby formulas. Both of the babies died after developing an unusual infection resulting from exposure to the Cronobacter sakazakii bacteria.

What Is Cronobacter sakazakii?

Cronobacter sakazakii is a dangerous bacteria that can cause healthy adults to suffer from excruciating stomach pains and diarrhea. However, when a young infant is exposed to Cronobacter sakazakii, it can be fatal or lead to long-term health risks.

Battery explosions and subsequent fires can occur because of a variety of reasons. Those who suffer injuries because of a defective or dangerous product should consult an experienced Washington D.C. personal injury lawyer. Lithium-ion batteries present specific and serious hazard potentials. These batteries possess high voltage and stored energy in addition to a reaction component. Some lithium-ion battery companies implemented an additive membrane to reduce the dangers of these batteries; however, there remains a risk of explosion.

Are lithium-ion batteries dangerous?

Yes, while lithium-ion batteries have some features to protect from overheating during use, there are specific reasons why a defective battery can cause an explosion and fire. These batteries have unique safety issues because their materials are flammable and unstable when they reach an elevated temperature. As such, lithium-ion batteries possess all the elements to self-sustain a fire.

This holiday season, families who celebrate or observe Christmas, many families get their children to participate in holiday activities or traditions such as writing letters to Santa about their holiday wish lists. What happens, however, when a cute idea or activity turns into a dangerous hazard?

According to a recent report from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), a “letters to Santa” mailbox sold at Target was recently recalled. On December 10, 2021, the CPSC recalled the Bullseye Playground brand letters to Santa mailbox, citing that the mail slot on the box could be sharp and pose a laceration hazard. According to the agency, roughly 174,300 were sold in stores and consumers can seek refunds directly from the store. Across the country, Target received nine reports of sharp mail slot openings and seven incidents of lacerations. Of these seven incidents, three lacerations required medical attention.

Unfortunately, because these mailboxes were sold nationwide, Washington, D.C. residents should remain vigilant if you or your loved ones or friends purchased these items. Because many items in addition to these mailboxes often also have faulty designs or manufacturing defects that could cause injury to consumers, it is important to know what your options are if you are ever injured by a product you purchase.

The U.S Food and Drug Administration (FDA) works to protect public health and promote public safety by ensuring the efficacy and safety of human and veterinary products and medical devices. The FDA approves drugs after determining that the benefits outweigh the risks; however, in some cases, the full extent of the risks does not become apparent until after many years of consumer use. While warnings may limit the amount of liability, a manufacturer has, those who have suffered injuries because of an unsafe product should contact a Washington D.C. product liability attorney.

The FDA must provide pre-clinical data to establish that the products have been tested on laboratory animals before moving on to the new drug approval process. Drug companies must report any adverse side effects, especially those that can cause life-threatening injuries such as hospitalization or congenital disabilities. Further, the FDA provides varying information and warnings to consumers ranging from medication guides, consumer medication information, nonprescription drug facts, and boxed warnings. Boxed warnings tend to follow post-market surveillance, which includes evaluating FDA’s computerized database and MedWatch. In some cases, the FDA may recall or withdrawal a medication or device.

For instance, the FDA recently told manufacturers that they must warn patients of the risk of breast implants. According to a national news outlet, regulators placed the black box warnings and told companies that they could only sell the products to medical providers who review the risks with patients before surgery. In addition to the warnings, providers must allow patients to review a new checklist that advises patients of the various risks. The checklist identifies certain types of patients who are at an increased risk for illness after implant surgery. These patients include those who have autoimmune conditions or have undergone chemotherapy or radiation treatments.

Throughout recent years baby and infant product manufacturers have recalled many of their products. Many of these recalls have come in response to a series of injuries and deaths related to their products. While no amount of money can repay families for their immense loss, Washington D.C. product liability claims may provide families with a way to address the financial cost of these injuries and losses.

Consumers who purchase products, especially products for their infants and children, rightfully assume that product manufacturers went through the appropriate safeguards to ensure that their products are appropriate for the public. However, in some cases, products bypass these safety checks and enter the consumer stream. These unsafe products may be defective or dangerous because of their design, manufacturing, or warnings.

In recent history, many prominent infant and children product manufacturers have recalled their products. For example, Boppy Co., a leading manufacturer of infant carriers and nursing pillows recalls over 3 million newborn loungers. The U.S. Consumer Product and Safety Commission (CPSC) recalled various infant loungers after the products were linked to eight deaths between 2015 and 2020. According to reports, the infants suffocated after being placed on their stomachs, sides, or back. While the company expressed its remorse for the deaths, they asserted that the products were not advertised as sleeping products, and they have a clear warning against using the product unsupervised. The CPSC stated that consumers should cease using the product and contact the company for a refund.

Washington D.C product liability claims generally arise after a person suffers injuries or dies because of a design defect, manufacturing defect, or inadequate warning. Product liability generally applies to the legal responsibility that a product’s designer, manufacturer, distributor, or retailer has towards consumers. The premise of the theory is that consumers have a right to safe and effective products.

Failure to warn claims involve situations where a consumer suffers injuries or dies because of an inadequate or missing warning. The claims can survive despite the product’s appropriate design and manufacture. Manufacturers must clearly warn consumers of any known or potential hazards associated with the product. Further, manufacturers must include instructions on how to use the product appropriately.

How Can Injury Victims Prove a Product Liability Claim?

Injury victims or their families must establish that the product contains a defect that makes it unreasonably dangerous, the defect was present when the product left the manufacturer, and the defect caused the victim’s injuries and damages. Companies must clearly convey the warning to customers. Courts will generally look to the totality of the circumstances when determining whether a warning was sufficient. However, it is essential to note that manufacturers do not need to warn consumers of apparent dangers. For example, a switchblade company does not need to warn customers that the blade is dangerous. However, a pharmaceutical company should warn consumers that taking a particular medication may impair their driving.

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