Articles Posted in Defective Household Products

Courts are increasingly siding with victims when it comes to long-delayed diagnosis of serious or fatal injury resulting from the use of dangerous or defective products.

A lawsuit filed by former NFL football players against helmet maker Riddell has been revived after players took their case to an Appellate Court in the wake of a lower court’s dismissal of the claim as untimely. The players are contending that multiple concussions while wearing the helmets have left them with varying symptoms, including headaches, memory loss, mood swings and blurred vision. The players also allege an increased risk of developing long-term, life-threatening brain injuries, including Alzheimer’s and dementia.helmetinjury-300x222

Riddell argued similar allegations made in a lawsuit against the National Football League in 2012 means the players had knowledge of the alleged damages and associated liability for years, and so failed to make a claim in a timely manner. The lower court agreed. However, the iconic helmet maker is facing a slew of other liability lawsuits, which have made it difficult for the company to find a buyer, the New York Post reported. 

Meanwhile, Reuters News Service reports a New York Appeals Court has voted to revive a lawsuit against a coke oven manufacturer, which alleges Honeywell’s industrial steel ovens contributed to cancer diagnoses among steel workers.

Such cases are becoming more common as consumers gain better understanding of the fact that focus on profits and a lax regulatory environment have allowed some of the nation’s largest companies to make billions of dollars at the long-term cost of the health and welfare of employees and the public. Recent high-profile examples include lawsuits against Purdue Pharma over the opioid epidemic and lawsuits against Johnson & Johnson, alleging the company has long known its iconic baby powder is tainted with asbestos.

Cancers and many other health conditions are, in fact, caused by environmental factors, including workplace exposure to dangerous or harmful chemicals or the use of dangerous consumer products.

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The increasing number of dangerous, defective and deadly products being marketed to the American consumer continues to have a significant impact on our health and welfare.

Boston Products Liability

Property casualty insurance advisors continue to add exclusions even as they push corporations to increase coverage for product liability, noting adequate product liability insurance is not just for manufacturers. Under the law, any entity involved in the supply chain of a defective product, including suppliers, retailers and distributors, can be held liable for injury.

All makers and sellers of products sold to U.S. consumers, whether they be artificial hips or baby cribs, have an obligation under the law to ensure their products are safe when used as intended and are recalled in a timely fashion if they prove dangerous or defective. Common assertions in a Massachusetts product liability claim include dangerous design or poor manufacturing, lack of proper warnings, and breach of expressed or implied warranty.

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A products liability lawsuit involves an injury caused by a dangerous or defective product. This can involve dangerous drugs like Xarelto, or defective artificial hips like the Pinnacle ASR metal-on-metal hip manufactured by DePuy, or it can involve seemingly harmless household products that possess hidden dangers. There are various factors that will determine if a company is liable for a product that caused an injury including the following:

  • Whether the product was defective.
  • Whether the product works for the purpose for which it was designed without causing personal injury.
  • Whether the company knew or should have known of a hidden or less-than-obvious danger.
  • Whether the manufacturer adequately warned potential plaintiffs of potential dangers.
  • Whether the type good is covered the under Uniform Commercial Code (U.C.C) as adopted by Massachusetts.
  • Various other reasons not included in this list. Products Liability

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Food service businesses and food product manufacturers both have a responsibility to ensure the the items they serve and sell are reasonably safe for public consumption. Plaintiffs in these cases must show the manufacturer or food provider was not reasonably careful in distributing the product, and that the illness or injury suffered was causally connected to that breached duty of care.

If a person goes to a restaurant, consumes food that was negligently handled and becomes sick with food poisoning, that generally falls under the auspices of general negligence. On the other hand, if you purchase a prepackaged food item and become sick due a manufacturing or production defect, we are likely dealing with a products liability matter. That difference is important because pursuant to the Massachusetts version of the Uniform Commercial Code (U.C.C.), this transaction falls under what is known as the sale of goods, and special rules apply.  The U.C.C. was adopted by our state is found in Chapter 106 of the Massachusetts General Laws (M.G.L.).

According to Reuters, a French manufacturer of baby formula has just issued a full-scale international recall of baby food products. This is a major recall because the French company is one of the world’s larges makers of baby formula. The reason for the recall is because of alleged salmonella poisoning.  It has been reported that 26 babies have already been sickened as a result of consuming formula that was tainted with salmonella. tainted food lawyer Continue reading

Dangerous around the household that can cause injury to small children can include things like household chemicals such as liquid drain cleaner, cleaning products, sharp edges, electrical outlets, the strings used to raise vertical blinds and similar items. However, furniture can also pose a serious risk to small children when it is defectively designed, lacking features to ensure it is properly secured. If a product is defectively designed, or a hidden hazard is not conveyed to the consumer before an injury occurs, it can be grounds for a product liability lawsuit.

Boston products liability lawyer According to a recent news article from CNN, an eight child has died from as a result of a toppled dresser from IKEA.  These dressers are the very popular MALM style units that come in a variety of sizes ranging from three to six drawers. These dressers were recalled in 2016, but injuries and deaths are still occurring.

It’s important to point out that a recall does not insulate a manufacturer from liability. However, the recall also can’t be used as proof positive the product was defective, as lawmakers and courts did not want to dissuade product makers from warning the public about potential dangers. That said, details that emerge following a product recall can be useful in a product liability lawsuit.  Continue reading

When you buy a product, you expect that it will work for the purpose in which it was intended. In some cases you end up  with a defective product and are annoyed and have to try get your money back.  When the product is not only defective but also dangerous, this can lead to serious personal injury and the need to file a Boston products liability lawsuit.
Boston Products Liability According to a recent news article from Fox News, Kidde, one of world’s largest manufacturers or fire smoke alarms and fire safety equipment has issued a recall on over 38 million fire extinguishers. The two models of handheld fire extinguishers are among the most popular models and the recall states that these products may fail to work as designed during a fire emergency.

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Some products are dangerous because they are defective.

archery-2-1554374On the other hand, some products are dangerous because they are intentionally designed that way.

In one such case analyzed recently by the United States Consumer Products Safety Commission, the makers of a crossbow have agreed to recall their device to prevent accidental injury.
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According to a recent news story from the Morning Call, Samsung has just issued a major recall on 34 models of their top-selling washing machines.  The reason for the recall is that a defect in these 3 million units sold (all top-loading washers) can cause the drum to lose balance.  The drum is the large spinning basket that holds the clothing in the washing machine.

inside-washing-machine-2-1468042When the drums become unbalanced, it can cause the washing machines to start to vibrate excessively.  While this just seems like it would be annoying and not dangerous, the vibration becomes so excessive that the top of the washing machine can actually separate from the bottom and come flying off.  There have already been more than 730 injuries reported, including shoulder injuries and at least one broken jaw. Continue reading

We are constantly reminded that we should make sure there are working smoke alarms in our home and to test them and change the batteries on a regular basis.  In some towns, members of the local fire department will even go door-to-door to provide this warning and to offer to come and test any smoke detectors.   They will typically use a can of spray that is designed to set off a smoke alarm if it is working properly, since the machines are designed to detect the particulate matter in the smoke.

smoke alarmIn addition to the smoke alarms, we are also warned that it is a good idea to also have a carbon monoxide detector in our homes, though often you can buy one detector that detects both smoke and elevated levels of carbon monoxide.  These devices can save the life of you and your family if they are working properly, and that is why it is so important to not only have them, but to test them. Continue reading

By now, most people have heard that Samsung’s release of the Galaxy Note 7 smartphone did not exactly go as planned.  Problems started when users were reporting their phones were spontaneously bursting into flames or completely exploding.  As if this was not bad enough, there were reports of them exploding on airplanes, which caused even more concern. The company has claimed there was a problem with the batteries that were made by a third party and has agreed to recall all of the phones sold to consumers to replace them with a device that features a safe battery.

mobile-phone-4-1490452According to a recent news article from NPR, there are now more questions being raised about not only the safety of these products, but also in the transparency of the recall process – or more accurately, the lack of transparency.  The problem is the company claimed the issue was not the device itself, which Samsung manufactured, but rather with the batteries, made by a third party.  However, that seems to not be the case, considering Samsung has switched battery suppliers and the combustion continues. Continue reading