St. Louis Defective Device Attorneys
Helping Victims of Faulty & Dangerous Devices
Modern life requires a person to trust thousands of products every day. We need to know that the products we use—from our cell phones to our cars to our medications—will work correctly and cause us no harm. The law has sought to protect us as consumers by making companies that sell products liable for damages caused by their defective devices. Unfortunately, defective and dangerous products make it past safety testing and into the hands of consumers all the time.
Defective device cases fall under product liability, an area of law that The Dixon Injury Firm regularly handles for clients throughout Missouri. Continue reading to learn more about defective products and some of the types of defective device cases we handle, or contact us directly to request a free initial consultation with one of our St. Louis defective device lawyers.
Device Manufacturer & Distributor Responsibilities
The most common types of defective products are children’s toys and products and motor vehicles. In 2017 alone, the total amount of settlements for product liability claims in the U.S. was approximately $2,689,115. While accidents happen, when a manufacturer or seller chooses to distribute a product, they must be sure that the product is safe for consumers to use.
According to American National Standards Institute (ANSI), for a product to be certified, manufacturers/distributors must meet the following requirements:
- Inform the consumer of hazards
- Provide the consumer with information on the severity of the hazards present
- Inform the consumer of how the hazard could affect them or other people that come into contact with the hazardous product
- Inform consumers of how to avoid the hazard
If a product is defective and causes the untimely death of a consumer, the manufacturer, retailer, or wholesaler of the product is required to compensate the victim’s family for wrongful death damages. Generally, if the surviving family members of a defective product wrongful death victim choose to file a wrongful death claim, they are entitled to the damages that the victim could have recovered with a personal injury claim, but it must be filed in accordance with the state’s product liability and wrongful death statutes.
Remember hoverboards? These two-wheeled devices (that did not actually hover) were a huge hit a couple years ago. Unfortunately, these futuristic contraptions had a lot of problems. For one, they were difficult to control, especially for first-time users. YouTube is full of videos showing the boards flying out from under their riders, leaving a rider suddenly airborne and often leading to a very painful impact with the ground or nearby objects. Riders suffered from countless wrist and head injuries, including broken skulls, serious cuts, and internal bleeding.
Falls were just the tip of the iceberg, though. The boards were almost all manufactured in Shenzhen, China without the backing of any major company that might, say, test the products for safety. Instead, over a thousand small factories started pumping out their own version of the hoverboard. Many were of very low quality, and fires soon became an issue. In 2017, a hoverboard that was recharging in a home in Pennsylvania caught fire and burned the house down, killing a three-year-old girl.
Now, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has announced the recall of over half a million hoverboards made by several manufacturers. The recall was primarily to address the fire and explosion risk from the lithium-ion batteries in many boards. The Commission says there have been at least 99 reported incidents of hoverboards overheating or catching fire.
Reach out to our firm today at (314) 208-2808 to learn more during a free case evaluation.
Defective Children’s Toys & Products
Children’s products, ranging from highchairs and bunk beds to playpens and safety gates, earn consumers’ trust by being safe. When something goes wrong, however, these incidents (while tragic) can lead to future safety designs that may save lives. For example, product liability cases that involve defective car seats often lead to recalls or warnings.
The defective children’s product lawyers at The Dixon Injury Firm help families navigate the legal proceedings involved in these types of product liability cases. You can contact us for additional info and a free consultation.
There are a lot of different ways children’s products can fail. In terms of defective children’s furniture, this may include flammable materials, faulty wiring, loose objects and small parts, top-heavy furniture, toxic materials, and hazardous designs.
Our firm has handled defective children’s product cases involving:
- Bottle warmers
- Carriages and strollers
- Car seats
One of the challenges of winning a defective children’s product case is proving that the product/toy performed in a way outside of its scope of design and use.
Defective toy injuries are a serious issue. Most of these accidents can be avoided with proper labeling and keeping small parts out of the equation altogether.
Here are a few of the most common injuries related to dangerous toy lawsuits:
- Choking on small parts
- Bike crashes with defective safety equipment
- Puncture wounds due to sharp objects
- Lead poisoning
- Electrical shock
Our firm can help you with your defective children’s product or toy case. Get in touch with us directly to learn more during a free and confidential consultation.
Famous Defective Products Cases
Defective products can cause enormous damages to innocent people that are just trying to go about their everyday lives.
Here are a few of the most egregious defective product cases:
- Ford Pinto: The Ford Pinto was a small car that was designed with a fuel system that was very likely to explode in a crash. When designing the car, Ford considered making a change to the design that would have made the fuel system much safer. The change would have cost $11 per car, though, and Ford decided that would be too expensive. Sure enough, the Pintos started exploding and the family of a 13-year old boy that was severely burned in a crash was eventually awarded over $125 million in damages. That was reduced to about $5 million later, but this case led to much safer car designs.
- Exploding Coke: One of the most important product liability cases in the country involved a waitress in a restaurant who was holding a coke bottle while cleaning up one day and it spontaneously exploded in her hand. She suffered a deep, five-inch-long cut in the palm of her hand that severed blood vessels, nerves, and muscles. The court decided that because nothing else had damaged the bottle, it was fair for the jury to decide that only the Coca-Cola Bottling Company could be liable for the damage.
- Sta-Rite Defective Pool Drain Cover: In 1993, future politician John Edwards was a personal injury attorney who represented the family of a young girl who was horribly injured by a faulty pool drain. She sat on a pool drain and was then “disemboweled,” meaning most of her intestines were sucked out into the drain. A jury awarded the family $25 million and helped launch Mr. Edwards towards a career in the U.S. Senate.
What to Do If You Are Injured by a Defective Device
Without question, the first and most important thing to do is to get medical attention for any injuries you have sustained. This is important for your health, and it also helps to document any injuries so that damages can be proven later. Next, it is important to document what happened and investigate the accident. For example, in the Coke bottle case, the workers cleaned up the broken glass bottle and that made it harder to prove what happened. If possible, it is best to keep defective products and photograph anything that needs to be cleaned up.
Also, an injured person should never accept money or sign anything before talking to their own lawyer. Insurance companies will often show up and try to settle a case quickly. They may make a quick offer that seems like a lot of money, but once medical bills start rolling in, the settlement offer may seem woefully inadequate. Injured parties are also under no obligation to make a statement for an insurance company. Injury victims are often pressured to talk despite not having full information or even while partially incapacitated. Resist making a statement if at all possible. Remaining silent until you hire a lawyer will not hurt your personal injury case.
How Much Will a It Cost to Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer?
This is both a difficult and easy question to answer. On the one hand, cases may often be lengthy and expensive. The Dixon Injury Firm, however, does not charge clients a dime. Instead, our contingency system charges based on a percentage won in a trial.
How Much Is My Case Worth?
This is another tough question to answer because of how different each case is. There may be a quick settlement, extended legislation, or other things that come up. We can give you a better idea of what to expect after we learn more about your case.
Fatalities Caused by Defective Products
Product manufacturers must ensure the safety of their products before marketing them to the public, much like restaurant owners and retailers are required to provide a safe and clean environment to patrons. If your immediate family member has been killed because of a defective product, the St. Louis defective device lawyers at The Dixon Injury Firm are ready to help you and your family in any way we can.
No one should have to lose a family member because of a negligent product manufacturer or seller, but when it does happen, it’s crucial to have an experienced lawyer by your side. If you are ready to get justice for your family member’s wrongful death, The Dixon Injury Firm can fight for the highest possible settlement or, if necessary, take your case to trial.
Lawsuits May Be the Only Way to Help Consumers
It is nice to see the Consumer Product Safety Commission step in to help address safety concerns, but they can really only help prevent future injuries. For many people that have already been injured, their only hope for being compensated for their injuries is to seek a payout from the companies that made or sold the defective devices.
Companies that sell goods in the United States can be held strictly liable for any damages caused by their defective devices. The law recognizes three main types of defects. The first is a design defect. A design defect would occur, for example, when a manufacturer trying to copy a hoverboard design made a mistake in their copied design that could cause fires. The second type of defect in products is a manufacturing defect. This would happen when a company makes a sloppy hoverboard knockoff. Finally, if companies sell products that can be dangerous without warning consumers about the risks, they can be liable for a failure to warn. This could happen when a company failed to tell consumers how easily they could be injured on a hoverboard.
Trust Your Recovery to The Dixon Injury Firm
Whether you or a family member has been harmed by a defective device, our St. Louis defective device attorneys have the experience and resources needed to fight for a fair settlement. The first step is to find a professional attorney to help you through the process. Our product liability lawyers are ready and willing to get you through the process. Keep in mind how important it is to get legal assistance as quickly as possible to help make sure you receive maximum (and timely) compensation.
If you have suffered an injury from a defective device, contact us for a free consultation. We can review your situation and see if you should be seeking compensation for your injuries.