While kids and adults alike enjoy warmer weather and try to beat the heat, there are some general safety tips everyone should follow to avoid injury from defective products this summer. Consumer products, such as toys and swimming pools, may be defective. A product is defective when it is not reasonably fit for the ordinary purpose the product was intended for or may reasonable expected to be used. In other words, products may be considered defective if something went wrong while the product was being used in an ordinary way. Defects may be in the product’s manufacturing, supply, design, or in the product’s warnings. Defects in products pose a serious risk of injury or even death to consumers of all ages, which may lead to a civil lawsuit. It is important that people understand the products liability risks and laws, as well as their legal rights should an injury occur.
It cannot be assumed that all products are safe. Products are commonly recalled when they pose an unreasonable risk to consumers. However, recalls can take a long time to occur. Manufacturers frequently fight against product defect claims, so it can take years for a defective product to actually be removed from store shelves. If you or someone you love is injured by a defective product, it is important to report the defect and resulting injury to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission at saferproducts.gov. The CPSC maintains a list of defective products. Anyone can check the list to ensure the consumer products purchased, especially children’s products, are not defective.
Children may be at a greater risk during the summer when they are home and playing during the day. It is difficult for any caretaker to keep constant watch over a child, and children’s toys pose an inherit risk of injury to children, so parents should take care to minimize the risk of product defect injuries whenever possible. Parents and caretakers should look for products that have been approved by the American Society for Testing and Materials. Caretakers should also keep in mind that older toys may not meet current safety standards, so extra care should be taken when children are playing with older toys unsupervised. Toys that have batteries also pose a risk of choking and significant internal injury, so caretakers should make sure that battery enclosures are secure, and children are supervised with battery-operated toys.
If you or your child has been injured by a defective product, you may be able to file a civil lawsuit against both the product manufacturer and seller. You do not have to have purchased the product to file suit. Oklahoma allows products liability lawsuits to be brought by a bystander who is physically injured by the incident or by a family member of the injured party who viewed the incident. Plaintiffs in a successful products liability lawsuit may be able to recover monetary damages to pay for medical bills, lost income, or pain and suffering, as well as punitive damages to punish the manufacturer or seller who recklessly disregarded the public safety.
For a free consultation on your products liability claim, contact Koller Trial Law.