JD Supra Law News
by Bret Schnitzer
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Product Liability Claims
by Bret Schnitzer
Handling product liability claims is a specialized area of personal injury that we have been doing for over 25 years. We have handled many product liability claims from Industrial press injuries resulting in crush injuries and amputations to defective car seats resulting in serious injuries and fatalities. We have brought actions against well know corporations like General Electric for design defects in washing machine safety switches resulting in severe injuries to children. We have sued industrial band saw manufacturers for improper guarding. We have sued Ford and General Motors and other automobile manufacturers for defective design and roll over cases involving serious injuries or death. We have sued Great Dane Trailer manufacturer and Mack Truck Manufacturer for design defects in their truck and trailer access systems.We have sued numerous Press manufacturers and industrial machinery companies for design defect. We have significant experience in Product liability litigation in Michigan. Our offices continue to get substantial recoveries and verdicts in Product liability where other firms have given up. If you have a possible product liability case which has resulted in a serious injury we would like to speak to you. Call us for a free consultation at (313) 389-2234. We can help and you will be glad you did.
Industrial Machinery And Injuries At Work.
Poorly designed industrial machinery and defective machines can lead to severe injuries to workers who do not fully appreciate their potential dangers. The pinch points of industrial machines are supposed to be properly guarded. There are ANSI standards that require specific guarding. Even, so there are cases where the manufacturer failed to meet ANSI standards even today. Without warning a worker can , lose a limb or suffer fatal injuries. Most Michigan workers have recourse through the employer’s worker compensation program. However, if an injury is caused by a defective machine, then a potential product liability case may exist against the manufacturer and seller of the equipment. Since Michigan Workman Compensation only pays 70% of the wages and medical, it is important to look to third party manufacturers to get proper compensation for your work related injuries.
When designing machinery, industry engineers who are concerned about safety generally implement a basic “design guard, warn” hierarchy. If the hazard can be removed through an improved design, that is likely the best solution. If the hazard can not be corrected through design, then guards should be put in place to protect the worker. If that is not possible, then proper warnings should be placed in the proper locations warning the user of potential hazards.
Here are some of the most common workplace hazards:
Explosions/Fires – There can be many causes, including a defective circuit breaker or machine that overheats that leads to a fire or explosion. In such case a fire cause and origin expert should be contacted immediately.
Pinch Points – Where the wheels or conveyors intersect can grab a workers arm, hair or loose clothing into moving machinery causing serious if not fatal injuries.
Crush Areas – Areas where two parts of machinery collide, i.e. an industrial press.
Defective Hospital Equipment
Examples of defective medical equipment include: prosthetic implants that fail, ventilators that fail to properly breathe, defective anesthesia equipment, faulty vital sign monitors. There are also numerous accounts of defective medical devices including pace makers, artificial hips. artificial knees and others.
Child Injuries-defective toys
According to the Center For Child Injuries 156,400 children, under the age of 14, were treated in the emergency room for toy-related injuries in 2009. Of those injuries, 6,354 required hospitalization. Defective and poorly manufactured toys are entering the marketplace and can cause serious injuries to small children that play with them. With this in mind, it is essential that the toys our children play are safe. If the price is too good to believe that may be a marker that the product was made cheaply and using unsafely.
Here are some common toy hazards to consider:
lead based paint, can lead to lead poisoning
small pieces, can pose a choking hazard
long strings or rope, may pose a strangulation hazard
Defective Consumer Products
Most people fail to consider the safety of everyday consumer goods, from appliances to toys, tools and other common household products. But, design defects and manufacturing defects can make even ordinary everyday items dangerous and sometimes deadly. We recently represented and settled cases for victims of the Wego Kite Tube which was recalled by the Consumer Product Safety Commission after numerous fatalities and severe injuries occurred. We have sued for defective designs in appliance such as washing machines and dryer causing child injuries. While manufacturers are required to meet safety guidelines outlined by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), thousands of products are recalled each year due to faulty parts and safety concerns.