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Articles Posted in Product Liability

Tragic Incident Leads to Death of Young Girl

A horrible window blind cords death in 2016 in which a 3-year-old girl became tangled in cords and died due to strangulation has resulted in a recent award by a jury in Utah of $25 million to the young child’s family. The lawsuit — brought against manufacturers based in Utah and in California — and its recent conclusion highlight the dangers of window blind cords death for infants and toddlers. This danger is more common and serious than many people are aware.

Nationwide Litigation Process for Paraquat Herbicide Poisoning Cases

A consolidated group of personal injury lawsuits related to the effects of the herbicide Paraquat are moving forward in a multi-district litigation process based in the federal district court for the Southern District of Illinois. This is a major step toward the resolution of claims related to Paraquat and its toxicity that have been linked to the development of Parkinson’s disease in numerous people nationwide. This Paraquat litigation seeks to establish legally the personal injury connection between Paraquat exposure and the development of debilitating Parkinson’s symptoms.

Is There Amazon Product Liability for Sales Through Third-Party Fulfillment Programs?

Several different parties may bear liability when a defective product results in personal injuries. These will typically involve the designer and manufacturer of the product, wholesale distributors, as well as retailers who directly sell the product. With “brick and mortar” retailers, it’s clear who is selling the product — we’ve actually walked through the doors of their local store, picked the product off a shelf, paid for the purchase, and taken the product home to use. However, with online market sites — especially the biggest online seller, Amazon — it can be much less obvious who the “seller” is from a legal perspective. That often results in the question, “Is there Amazon product liability for a defective product that was purchased through – but not necessarily ‘sold by’ — Amazon?” This question becomes more urgent when considering a recent complaint about flammable children’s pajamas sold through Amazon.

Fisher-Price Hammock Deaths Reviewed by House Committee

In June of 2021, a Congressional committee produced a report describing the results of its investigation over the last two years of the Rock ‘n Play Hammock produced and sold by Fisher-Price and Mattel, two giant corporations in the children’s and infant’s toy and products market. This device was a sleeping hammock designed for infants that held the baby at a 30-degree angle of inclination for nighttime sleeping. The extensive investigation included documents from the design, production, and sales of the sleeper by Fisher-Price, as well as interviews and testimony from company employees and investigators from the Consumer Product Safety Commission, which had earlier conducted its own investigation into the Fisher-Price hammock deaths.

Recall Targets Defective Home Smoke Alarms

Many different types of consumer products may end up being subject to recall for defects in design and/or manufacture. While some of those defects may result in products that simply don’t work as intended for the person who purchased them, other defects may place the user in actual physical danger. And when the product being recalled is one that is specifically intended to keep us safe from other sources of significant danger, the potential for injury or death is even greater. This is the situation involved in a major Kidde smoke alarm recall just recently announced.

Dangerous Home Exercise Equipment

Many of us have pieces of home exercise equipment that may get used regularly or get stuck in a closet. During the last year of Covid-19 lockdown, many home exercise units have gotten much more attention than they ever did before. One byproduct of this extra attention is increased awareness that some of these units may be dangerous to their adult users and more likely dangerous to young children and pets. An example is a May 5, 2021 Peloton treadmill recall that follows the death of one young child and at least 39 other injuries.

Issues with Takata Airbags

Defects in the design or manufacturing of consumer products are found all the time. Diligent manufacturers will discover them through testing and further refine their products before selling them to the public. However, far too often, defects are not corrected until after injuries or deaths to users of the products force recalls, replacements, re-designs, and other corrective actions. Usually, the corrective action involves actually changing the product to something safer. Sometimes, though, manufacturers choose to rely upon “Band-Aid” solutions that merely hide or postpone the problem — this type of behavior may make Takata airbags a repeating problem.

Electronic Vehicle Battery Concerns

Hybrid electric vehicles have been on the market in the United States since 1999, with some 5.4 million having sold through 2020. However, the sales of hybrids peaked in 2013 as more and more plug-in electric vehicles have been sold — about 1.5 million from 2010 to 2020. As sales of electric vehicles of all types continue to increase, a connected concern also increases whether all these electric vehicle batteries pose a threat.

JUUL  and Vaping Lawsuits 

Vaping and e-cigarettes burst upon the scene several years ago with too little research and consideration of the potential dangers of using these devices. Some proved defective in their construction, with battery fires resulting. Other dangers are posed by the very chemicals that the devices are intended to deliver to their users. As a result, lawsuits against JUUL are moving forward and against other makers of these devices. JUUL, however, is the largest producer of these devices, and therefore the primary target of litigation. Some of the litigation is targeted at defects in products that do not function as intended. Other litigation focuses on products that function exactly as intended – addicting adults and children to nicotine.

Dozens of Products Liability Cases Filed Against Amazon

Many people do not realize that when they purchase products on Amazon, there may have been little or no assurance the products have been reviewed for safety and often no recourse against Amazon for products liability claims due to injuries or even deaths resulting from unsafe products.

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