On nearly a daily basis, the American public is made aware of defective products cases tried in the country’s courtrooms.
The problem is pervasive indeed. A brief excerpt of a 2012 U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission report tracking a year’s worth of injuries caused by consumer goods shows a disturbing trend:
102,922 injuries were caused by child nursery equipment
253,112 were caused by toys
43,846 were caused by amusement park attractions
73,317 were caused by television sets and stands
326,898 were caused by clothing
22,674 were caused by elevators
Altogether, nearly 50,000 product liability lawsuits were filed in U.S. District Courts in 2012.
WHAT TYPES OF ITEMS FORM THE BASIS OF DEFECTIVE PRODUCTS CASES?
Litigation can involve any item designed for the use or consumption by consumers, including medications and medical devices, vehicles and vehicle parts, appliances, electronics, toys, and more.
Malfunctioning or improperly designed medical devices, in particular, have a propensity to cause significant problems for the patients affected. Items like the Calaxo Bone Screw, cold therapy devices, denture creams, DePuy or Stryker artificial hip replacement devices, and Mirena IUDs have been linked to serious health problems, and in some instances, even death.
People whose health has been affected by deficient medical devices often seek out the services of a product liability attorney. They seek the assistance to help in the recovery of compensation for pain and suffering, medical expenses, time lost at work, and loss of quality of life.
ARE THERE DIFFERENT KINDS OF DEFECTIVE PRODUCTS CASES?
Some cases are based on design flaws. In January 2014, for example, Walmart recalled 70,000 card tables due to the risk of amputation, even if the table is assembled and used as intended. Prior to the recall, the retail giant had received nearly a dozen injury reports from consumers.
Other lawsuits come about as a result of manufacturing defects. For example, in 2013 the FDA issued a warning about a certain brand of automated external defibrillators that could cause great damage if malfunction occurs during an emergency.
Others still are initiated when improper labeling or insufficient instructions cause injury or death. Only recently, Kraft Foods recalled 96,000 pounds of hot dogs after a consumer discovered that milk, a known allergen, was not listed on the label, as it should have been.
DOCUMENTATION NEEDED FOR DEFECTIVE PRODUCTS CASES
Ideally, the injured party will be able to provide the attorney with ample documentation about the flawed item in question, as well as evidence of the injury and adverse effects thereof on work and family. Important items include: if available, the item itself, along with a receipt, user manuals, labeling and original packaging; where the item was purchased; photos of the item and the injury; copies of medical records; and proof of time missed at work due to the injury.
It is also helpful to document any communication the consumer initiated with the manufacturer or retailer of the item, as well as responses received.
Americans pay good money for the items they purchase on a daily basis, and they should be able to expect a safe consumer experience. When injuries occur, an attorney specializing in defective product cases can help the victim seek financial relief.