Product liability or product defect claims arise when someone is seriously injured or killed by a dangerous product. Such claims are asserted against the business entities responsible for delivering the
defective product into the stream of commerce such as the product’s manufacturer, designer, marketer, distributor, wholesaler, or retailer. Product defects generally include design defects, inadequate safety
testing, manufacturing defects, misleading advertising, and inadequate instructions or warnings for the safe use of the product. Liability can attach to virtually any type of harmful product though these cases most often involve retail consumer products and industrial products.
Retail consumer products are the most common product defect cases because they involve mass marketed consumer goods bought and sold in high volume with the capacity to injure large numbers of
consumers and users. The Consumer Product Safety Commission regulates this industry in large part by issuing product recalls and consumer alerts. Examples of defective products include certain models of: (1) sporting goods and recreational equipment like trampolines, scuba gear, above-ground swimming
pools, in-line skates, bicycles, climbing walls, safety helmets, firearms, life jackets and life preservers, and various other safety equipment; (2) infant care products like cribs, changing tables, baby swings, flammable clothing, cold medicine, baby formula, plastic bottles with bPA, and safety gates; (3) household appliances like conventional ovens, toaster ovens, gas grills, microwave ovens, hot
water heaters, furnaces, space heaters, fans, power cords and power strips, electrical outlets, junction boxes and circuit breakers, HVAC pipes, and plumbing and gas fixtures; (4) home safety devices like
smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, fire alarms and security systems; (5) tainted food products that contain foreign objects, unsafe chemicals or deadly micro-organisms; (6) outdoor power equipment like chainsaws, lawn mowers, power tools, power saws, weed-wackers and ladders; (7) children toys and equipment like jungle gyms, bicycles, roller blades, roller skates, wheelies, scooters and BB guns and other projectile shooting toys; (8) cigarettes; and (9) toxic cleaning agents and products.
Industrial product liability claims include specialized products used in factories and construction projects such as machine parts, tools, dyes and chemicals, elevators, escalators, hoists, forklifts, climbing
scaffolding and toxic materials like asbestos. This category of hazardous products also includes environmental contamination claims that cause illness or death as a result of pollution from the escape of toxic chemicals.
Defective product claims require skilled legal counsel, able to maneuver through complicated federal and state product liability and consumer protection laws. Counsel must also understand detailed engineering principles and be familiar with the various industry standards like those promulgated by ANSI and ASME. It is also important to be familiar with the inner workings of the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
Boston, Massachusetts and Rhode Island injury lawyer Jonathan D. Sweet, Esq., a seasoned trial attorney, has obtained successful results in many product liability based personal injury cases despite their very challenging nature and complexity. For more information about your potential personal injury case, contact Attorney Sweet anytime, day or night, seven days a week. There is never a charge for an initial consultation.