Posts tagged with "products liability"

Have you been injured by a defective product?

The amount of products we use throughout our daily lives truly is astounding. From the refrigerators we use to preserve our food to the cars we use to get to work to the computers and phones we use to check our emails and communicate, hundreds of products exist to make our lives easier. Unfortunately not all products are created equal, and any one of these products being used with a defect could cause serious unexpected injury to the consumer.

A defective refrigerator that does not properly keep food cold could lead to the consumption of spoiled food and thus food poisoning or some other sickness. In Massachusetts, where snow often creates dangerous driving conditions, a car with defective tires may not slow down the way it is supposed to, which could lead to a car accident. Defective phones that overheat could cause burn injuries as we hold them up to our ears. The list goes on and on for every product that you use.

Before you become alarmed, remember that most products are tested and retested to ensure that they are safe for use. Even if a defect is discovered, most companies immediately initiate a product recall to prevent unexpected injuries or damages. However, some defective products slip through the cracks, and those injuries could mean lost wages, hospital bills or even death.

Fortunately for victims of defective products, they can defend themselves with a product liability case. A product liability case allows victims to be compensated for any injuries caused by defective products, as long as the victim can prove that the product was defective and the manufacturer or distributor is thus liable for the injuries.

For more information about product liability and how you could set up a free consultation to discuss the aspects of your case, you may further review here.

Defective Smoke Detectors: After the fire Claims for Injuries Caused by Defective Smoke Detectors

Defective Smoke Detectors

Fire is an ancient danger. According to Greek myth, fire had to be stolen from the gods, and it remains devastating, dangerous and unpredictable. Over 3,000 people are killed every year in residential fires in the U.S as smoke, flames and deadly gases race through their homes.

These deaths are tragic because a very simple modern technology – properly designed, tested, and installed smoke alarms – should be able to keep the ancient danger of fire at bay. The tragedy of a fatality is compounded immeasurably when a smoke detector is installed, but it fails to work. If that happens in your family, you may have a wrongful death claim against the manufacturer of the defective smoke alarm.

Why Smoke Detectors are Vital

Smoke alarms are vital in houses because fires can break out for so many different reasons. The cause could be spontaneous combustion of old building materials left behind by a contractor. It could be a clogged chimney, a candle or a short in electrical wiring somewhere in the house. And of course it could be a kitchen fire, the result of a burner inadvertently left on.

Smoke detectors are supposed to warn of fires caused by these things. This is especially important because, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, most fatal fires happen at night, when people are asleep.

We are all at our most vulnerable when sleeping. That’s why it’s terrible when a defective smoke alarm not only fails to provide protection, but also lulls us into a false sense of security.

Types of Smoke Alarms

Smoke alarms come in two main types. Ionization detectors sense smoke particles and use an electronic current. Photoelectric detectors sense beams of light, which diminish when smoke is present. Some commercial smoke alarms contain a combination of the two types; these are called dual sensor smoke alarms.

A stable power source is needed for the smoke alarm to be effective. Alarms can be directly connected to a home’s electrical wiring or run on batteries. They can also be wired into the house with a battery backup.

The batteries can be replaceable, or they can be sealed-long life batteries. Not surprisingly, in the digital age, smoke alarms based on wireless technology are now found in many homes.

After a Smoke Alarm Failure

It doesn’t matter which type of smoke alarm or power source is chosen. The bottom line is that if a smoke alarm fails and an injury or death results, you may have a cause of action for personal injury or wrongful death. There are several possible legal grounds to consider, starting with a products liability claim against the manufacturer. Talk with an experienced products liability attorney in your area to learn more about your rights and legal options.

What are product liability cases?

Any product that fails can give rise to a product liability case. If a nail gun misfires, if a ladder breaks under a 190 pound worker and it’s rated for 250 pounds, if a tire comes flying off your car while you’re driving, causing your car to fall, you could have good grounds for a product liability case.

Let’s walk through that last example in more detail to show you how our firm would handle the case. Say your tire came off on the highway, putting you at great risk. Our approach is to look at every aspect of the issue. Was the car serviced recently, and if so what was done to it. Had the tires been rotated? Where? Perhaps they could have put the lugnuts back on improperly?

But what if the lugnuts are sheared off and broken. A metallurgist hired by our firm may see that the design was flawed, and the metal used was fatigued and broke apart when it shouldn’t have, or the manufacturer used an improper component that couldn’t be relied on to withstand that particular purpose.

That’s a products case. The fault was with the company that made the device, not the operator or people who serviced the device.

Here’s a case our firm had: A patient with a pacemaker needed to have it adjusted and went under the knife. The surgeon couldn’t get the screw out that allowed adjustments. Every time he tugged on it, it caused damage to the patient. The surgical team basically had to do open heart surgery to cut the pacemaker out.

The question was, was that medical negligence, or did the product itself fail?

The only way to find out was to get the medical records and try to do all possible investigations. The doctor said the screw was supposed to pop out when turned counterclockwise, and that he was doing it correctly with the tool provided by the company, but it never popped out.

Fortunately, the surgical team held onto the pacemaker. It was given to an expert who examined it and said the threading didn’t work correctly. He was able to explain from an engineering standpoint why the design was faulty.

That placed it as a product liability case, not a medical malpractice case.

In Massachusetts, workplace injuries are often ineligible for lawsuits, lawmakers having instead decided to have workers receive workers compensation instead to pay the medical bills and the lost wages. However, some workplace injuries may turn out to be product liability cases. Some heavy machinery pieces have rear-facing cameras to prevent injuring people when backing up. If that camera was to fail and a worker was injured as a result, that would be a product liability case.

Personal injury claims for shopping-related injuries

Shopping is an extremely popular hobby for many people. Whether their interests are in new shoes, shiny electronics, home improvement or books, thousands of Americans go shopping every single day. However, while shopping may seem like a safe, harmless pastime, there is always the chance that you could suffer an injury in a store while shopping. This is particularly true on high-volume shopping days when many people are looking for great bargains, such as on Black Friday or near Christmas time.

Like many other types of premises liability issues, you could always slip and strike your head when you are out and about shopping. This is especially relevant for grocery stores or places that sell ice or produce that must be watered, as pools can collect on the floor and cause you to lose your footing. But there is more to worry about in a store than just slipping and falling. Shopping centers can often bring many of their own issues to be concerned about.

Shopping carts are not a strange concept to most shoppers, but not all shopping carts are equal. Some shopping carts have seen a bit too much use, and their wheels sometimes get stuck, or the wheels are too loose. Such an issue with the wheels of a shopping cart could cause you to trip or lose balance. Alternatively, someone else with a defective cart may accidentally run into you because the cart is defective.

These are just some of the shopping-related injuries that an individual could suffer. The important thing to remember is that the same rules apply to shopping centers and malls as any other piece of property. If you can prove that you were injured because of a dangerous property condition that the store owner knew about or should have known about, you could be entitled to compensation. If you have been injured in a shopping center in Massachusetts, consider meeting with an attorney to learn more about your rights.

Some blood clot filters are associated with injury and death

To date, 27 deaths have been associated with a medical device designed to trap blood clots in a large blood vessel before they get to the narrow vessels in the heart or lungs. The metal spider-like device is called an inferior vena cava filter or IVC filter.

Unfortunately, the design of the device is flawed and people have been injured in various ways. Some of those injuries include a wire-like piece breaking off and piercing the patients heart or blood vessels or the entire device becoming dislodged and harming the patient.

There is a growing concern over the safety of this product. If you or a loved one had an IVC filter installed then there may be a risk of complication. We strongly urge you to speak to your doctor for an opinion and to contact us at 617-698-6000 to discuss your rights and options.

Multiple products recalled for potential hazards

Tens of thousands of toys and other products have recently been recalled, as a list of potentially dangerous products has been made available for consumers, complete with product information, reasoning for recall and the incidents that may or may not have necessitated the recall. Among the recalled products are toy fishing games, LED lights, crib mattresses, metal cutter saws, and more. Not all of these products have incidents associated with them, but that is not an indication that the recall should be ignored.

Perhaps the largest of these recalls is that of the toy fishing games, in which a plastic worm has been known to separate from a line, releasing small parts that could be a choking hazard for small children playing with the toy. More than 400 incidents of the worm separating have been reported, and four cases of children swallowing small parts have also been reported. Fortunately, there have been no recorded injuries, but more than 14,000 of the toys have been recalled.

Thanks to various federal regulations, companies are getting better and faster about issuing product recalls for potentially hazardous or defective products. Unfortunately, these recalls are only effective if the consumers purchasing the products are aware of them. Furthermore, some hazards are not detected until an injury has already occurred, at which point the recall is pointless for the injured individuals.

If you suffer an injury because of a defective product, you could be entitled to compensation. Even if a product recall has been issued regarding the product, that does not eliminate the company’s liability for releasing such a dangerous product to the market. Massachusetts residents are encouraged to meet with an attorney if they have been injured by these defective products or any defective products to learn more about their rights and chances for compensation.

A more simple approach to product liability

If you are injured by a defective product, you likely have many questions about your rights and what you can expect from a product liability lawsuit. Many people will meet with an attorney in order to discuss their case because attorneys can provide legal expertise and also help you hold the right party responsible for your injuries to get the compensation you deserve. But like many lawsuits, product liability cases are complex.

While consulting with an attorney can help you move forward with a product liability claim, attorneys can only make use of the facts and information they are aware of. Depending on the severity of your injury and the other circumstances surrounding it, you may have a hard time providing or remembering all of the necessary information. You may wish to fill out a product injury questionnaire that can help jog your memory.

Filling out this questionnaire is not only an excellent way to help you record important information regarding you case, but also a useful document to have on hand when meeting with an attorney. Simply handing such a questionnaire to your attorney can help jump-start your case and help your legal team have a better understanding of what your case entails.

As useful as this questionnaire can be, there is more to a product liability case than filling out a document. For example, each state has different laws regarding personal injuries such as product liability cases, which is another reason that consulting with an attorney is in your best interests. If you live in Massachusetts and you have been injured by a defective product, it is highly recommended that you seek out an attorney who is familiar with Massachusetts law.

Legal defense for all types of defective products

Many people know that they can be compensated for injuries that they suffer due to another’s negligence, and that this compensation can include dangerous or defective products. However, when most people think of defective products that may cause injury, they think of defective hip replacements or machines and appliances that they use throughout their homes. Obviously these certainly qualify and can easily be responsible for injuries, there are other products that consumers may not think of.

One such product that is capable of causing serious damage with very little warning is medication. Dangerous or defective drugs are obviously concerning because they are being ingested directly into the body, and thus are capable of causing serious health issues. Additionally, they can affect many individuals all across the country, including in Massachusetts. Defects in these drugs are often difficult to detect because once the medicine is mixed in a pill, it will likely look just like any other drug.

Consumers are encouraged to closely monitor their health and remain in contact with their health care providers whenever they begin taking new medication. If a pharmaceutical company does not become aware of a defect in its medication, consumers may continue to take the dangerous drugs without knowing that they are being harmed. In many instances, it is only through continuous reports of adverse health effects that the dangers of a drug become known.

If you believe you have been injured by a defective or dangerous product, we would be happy to discuss your rights with you. The legal assistance we provide can help you prove that you were injured by a defective drug, which may lead to compensation recovered from a successful products liability claim.

My hip replacement injured me. What are my rights?

Medical science has made incredible strides when it comes to helping people live the lives they want even in their older age. Failing or broken bones can now be replaced by sturdier products in order to keep people moving when they would otherwise have limited mobility. Among the most common example of these products are hip replacements. Many people use hip replacements in order to continue walking and running if they suffer an injury to their hips.

Metal hip replacements in particularly became very popular due to their increased durability, but many recipients of metal hip replacements noticed other health issues that were linked to the metal hip replacements. If you were injured by a metal hip replacement, or any type of hip replacement, you could be entitled to compensation. It is important to investigate the true nature of your injury, however, so that you understand who is liable for your injury.

If the hip replacement itself caused your injury (such as a failed device that caused you to fall and injury yourself or even require a second surgery), then you could file a product liability lawsuit against the manufacturer of the hip replacement. However, if the injury occurred as a result of negligence on the part of the health care provider who installed your hip replacement, you could also file a medical malpractice lawsuit.

Massachusetts residents who have been injured by a hip replacement are encouraged to speak with an attorney. Consulting with a legal professional can give you crucial insight and help you investigate the circumstances of your injury so that you can maximize your compensation from all sources.

The danger in a defective tire

Tires are the sole point of contact between the road and the vessel carrying you and your loved ones at extremely high speeds. With the slight effort of your hands they turn and maneuver you through traffic and hazards on a daily basis. Most tires are designed and priced to last much longer than other parts of your car that are your responsibility to see changed.

For instance, you know to change your oil every few months. However with tires, you know to replace them when they look old and worn or on new cars, you are usually alerted to tires that are consistently low on air pressure. However, where oil protects your car, changing tires can protect your life. Yet, it is not financially feasible to change tires out with the same regularity.

Therefore tires are made durable and to last longer. But that is taking into consideration that the tires are good, reliable and free of defects. It is not hard to understand how defective tires are potentially life-threatening tires.

Imagine your compact car is traveling upward of 70 miles per hour on the expressway navigating through the early stages of rush hour traffic and you suddenly realize someone has lost a box on the road. You swerve to miss it. Just as you do you hear a loud noise and feel your steering wheel jerk from your grasp and, terrified, you realize you’ve lost control of your car.

New cars are equipped with a tire pressure monitoring sensor that indicates air pressure in tires. It is likely this built-in gauge reduces the human error causing incorrectly inflated tires. Therefore, if you experience a blowout and had no warning your tires were under or over inflated, there is a reasonable chance that your tire was defective.

If you or someone you know could have been a victim of a defective tire, your suspicion alone warrants further investigation. It may prove to be very beneficial to seek legal counsel in the matter as soon as possible.