Posts tagged with "product liability cases"

Product Liability: Product Labels Can Be Deceptive

Product Liability: Product Labels Can Be Deceptive

When you think of deceptive product labels, you probably think about food labels in general. There certainly have been plenty of media stories on the news and on reliable internet sources detailing how certain labels attempt to mislead you with words like “all-natural,” “sugar-free” and other claims. In fact, the glut labels that are purposely deceptive have caused a large increase in false advertising claims and litigation regarding label accuracy over the years.

But deceptive product labels aren’t just restricted to food labels. Products of all types may have deceptive or misleading information printed on their labels, and as such, product liability cases, in general, have also increased over the years.

What Is Product Liability?

Product liability refers to an incident in which an individual has suffered some form of harm, been injured or been killed by a product that is unsafe or defective. Typically, a personal injury case of this type in which product liability is called into question bases the case on a manufacturing or design defect. However, a product label containing misleading information (or a lack of important information as well) can be the basis of a product liability claim as well.

As a matter of fact, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) states that consumer products claims involving property damage, injury or death cost over $700 billion each year.

This number is staggering when you consider that when you purchase a food or consumer product, you are relying on the information detailed on the food packaging and labels to be true. Several deceptive label laws were enacted to try to stem deceptive labeling, including The Fair Packaging and Labeling Act (FPLA).

Manufacturer Responsibility

The manufacturer of any product, whether it is a food product or consumer product, has a legal responsibility to properly provide details of the product and warn of any safety hazards a product might pose. This is why you see warning labels on products that are flammable and labels not to use electrical devices such as hair dryers while in the shower.

Although you might think many of the warning labels on various consumer products are common sense, there is always a chance that a label that is lacking sufficient warning information or missing entirely can lead to accidents and personal injury claims. A good example of this is the warning label often found on ladders stating that you shouldn’t step on the very top step of the ladder, as it isn’t safe to do so.

Improper use of a ladder is one of the top causes of ladder accidents. In fact, a study by the Bureau of Labor Statistics found that of those injured in ladder accidents, 73 percent stated that they had not seen or received documentation with safe ladder use instructions. So you can see why product labeling is important and how deceptive labels or product labels lacking important information can be of vital importance to proving a personal injury claim.

False Advertising Claims

Although the bulk of the responsibility lies with the manufacturer to ensure products are labeled honestly and properly, false advertising can also play a role in causing personal injury. Any parties involved in marketing and advertising of a product can be held liable for false claims. This includes marketing and advertising agencies, producers, endorsers of claims on the product label or in advertising materials, and even retailers who make false, deceptive or misleading claims in order to sell a product.

Some of the most misleading claims include those made by food products such as Kashi and Kellogg’s cereals, as well as “healthy” products such as Emergen-C, which all claimed to be healthier than they actually were and used deceptive labeling to fool consumers. While those types of claims may not actually result in any type of personal injury for many, consider those with food allergies who suffered medical injury or death as a result of food products not being labeled properly.

Food companies in particular also have a “duty-to-warn” consumers if chemicals, carcinogens or toxins are present in food items, especially bottled drinking water. Companies who do not sufficiently warn consumers could be facing a liability lawsuit.

Consumer products that also contain harsh chemicals, such as laundry detergents and cleaning products, have a legal responsibility to label the products properly. Failure to do so can lead to injury as a result of exposure to chemicals and toxins. An example is The Honest Company, which failed to disclose on product labels that several of its products contained harsh chemicals that irritated the skin.

We Can Help

We will give your case the personal attention you deserve and strive to obtain the best verdict possible in your product liability case. If you or a loved one has experienced an injury, pain, and suffering, or other undue experience as a result of deceptive product labeling, you may have a case of product liability. Contact the experienced professionals at Colucci Law and request a free consultation. Our attorneys have a great deal of experience handling complex product liability and product labeling cases and can help you receive funds for medical expenses, as well as any other compensation you need and deserve, such as lost wages and future care needs.

Product Liability Problems: When Healing Becomes Hurting

We’re in the middle of a cold New England winter and for many of us, that means we’re suffering the ubiquitous head cold. Not surprisingly, young children are particularly susceptible as their attendance in school subjects them to throngs of other children, many of whom are infected with a virus.

As parents, we seek to do all that we can to alleviate the unpleasantness experienced by our children when they are ill. Care must be taken, however, to ensure that our well-meaning efforts don’t create a bigger problem. Unfortunately, some of the products we buy are not designed with safety in mind and the devices we use to help our children can end up harming them.

For example, we recently represented a two-year-old girl who had previously developed symptoms of ordinary congestion. Her primary care doctor recommended she use a warm steam vaporizer. The girl’s parents purchased the defendant’s vaporizer, which contained warnings to keep the apparatus away from children. Even still, the parents placed the vaporizer on the child’s floor at bedtime.

The unit was equipped with a glowing orange night light that, the manufacturer advertised, promoted “safety.” The child unexpectedly woke in the middle of the night to notice a strange, glowing orange orb on her floor. When she approached closely to investigate, a burst of steam emanated from the vaporizer and scalded her face. She was left with a visible and permanent scar under her eye.

What Made This a Product Liability Case?

We hired an MIT engineer who tested the unit and opined that it emitted an exceedingly hot plume of steam which can disfigure upon only “momentary contact.” The expert also noted that the steam exhausted by the vaporizer should not have exceeded 160 degrees Fahrenheit, and should also have been equipped with a guard that would have diffused the scalding steam.

This device was not designed with personal safety in mind, and as a result, an innocent child was hurt. That’s the most heartbreaking aspect of product liability cases – the harm could easily be prevented if the company that made the device had just taken simple steps to ensure safety.

During several years of litigation, the manufacturer denied any responsibility only to ultimately settle the case with us for nearly $2 million.

The moral of the story is that sometimes products that we routinely purchase are not what they appear. Care must be taken to ensure that any such product can be used safely. This is particularly true if the product is being used around small children.

Protecting Your Family

If you or someone you know has been hurt because of a flawed product, give us a call at 1 (888) 330-6657 or contact us and we can talk to you about your options.

Vertical roasters recalled after reports of shattering

The truth is that most companies are very aware of the potential dangers with their products, and they do all that they can to minimize or eliminate those dangers. Companies are aware that when a dangerous product is released onto the market, and someone is injured or killed as a result, not only will the company be forced to recall the product and likely payout a settlement to the victim, the public’s perception will shift against the company. Because a defective product can be so damaging to a company, both financially and publically, they often issue recalls as soon as they are aware of potential dangers. Vertical roasters recalledTCC Cooking Company recently recalled a line of vertical roasters after receiving more than two dozen reports of breaking or shattering. Though no injuries were reported, such breaking can easily cause lacerations or burns to consumers. The company has recalled nearly 4,000 units in an effort to prevent such injuries, offering full refunds to customers who purchased the defective product.

It is always refreshing to see a company recall a product when it is made aware of potential safety hazards, before any serious injuries occur. Unfortunately, not all companies issue such recalls, and sometimes the company simply does not know about the danger until it is too late. In such cases, victims of injury by defective product may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit, Boston MA to be compensated for their injuries.

Like nearly every injury, if another party’s negligence is responsible, then that party will likely have to pay for medical expenses and other damages. When companies release dangerous or defective products, they can often be considered negligent in their business practices. If you have been injured by a defective product in Massachusetts, consider meeting with an attorney to help you learn more about how you can prove that a defective product caused your injury.

Source: cps.gov, “TCC Cooking Company Recalls CHEFS Vertical Roasters Due to Burn and Laceration Hazards,” Oct. 14, 2015