Product Liability | Georgia Personal Injury Blog - Part 3
Under Georgia law, you cannot sue your employer for pain and suffering following a workplace accident. Instead, employees must pursue compensation for their medical bills and lost wages through workers’ compensation insurance. In such cases, the victim will not have to prove that negligence or wrongdoing were contributing factors in the accident. Victims will simply have to show that their injuries resulted from work-related activities.
Unfortunately, workers’ compensation benefits do not always adequately cover losses suffered in serious injury cases. There are opportunities, however, for additional support if the incident involved a defective product. For example, a construction worker who suffers an injury because of a defective power tool can pursue support through workers’ compensation benefits as well as through a third-party claim against the manufacturer of the tool.
Three reports of children suffering amputation of their fingertips after their fingers were caught in a pinch point on a Kolcraft Contours Options stroller have prompted Kolcraft Enterprises, Inc., Health Canada, and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to recall approximately 36,000 strollers.
The recall covers three- and four-wheeled models of the Kolcraft Contours Options stroller with model numbers ZL002, ZL005, ZL008, ZL015, and ZL018. The handlebar adjustment mechanism can create a gap when it is being locked or unlocked. An adult or child can be injured if his or her fingers become lodged or trapped in the gap. The reports of injury the CPSC has received so far include reports of amputations and of crush injuries suffered when fingers got stuck in the gap.
Infants and toddlers are at a high risk of injury because they lack the kind of balance and body control needed to move through the world safely, and they also don’t understand that many common household situations can cause harm. Infants can also be harmed if equipment intended to protect their safety, like car seats and straps on high chairs, is not used properly. Approximately 1.3 million infants are injured each year by defective or improperly-used infant equipment, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
To reduce the risk of child injury, always follow the instructions on all infant gear and equipment, says the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). Be especially careful when using infant seats in vehicles. Rear-facing infant seats placed in the backseat are safest for small babies, but they must be securely and properly strapped to the backseat and the infant must be securely and properly strapped into the seat for maximum protection in a crash.
The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recently announced two recalls that may affect hundreds of drivers in Georgia and across the United States. Both tire manufacturer Toyo and car seat manufacturer Britax have coordinated with the NHTSA to alert consumers about possible car product defects.
Toyo sold its Extensa A/S series tires between September 2009 and November 2010, but is now recalling them because a manufacturing defect in the tire can cause it to go flat. A sudden flat while driving may cause the vehicle to swerve out of control, especially in a high-speed environment like a freeway. Toyo offers information on how to get these tires replaced free of charge through its toll-free number, 1(800) 442-8696. NHTSA also offers the information on its website, www.safercar.gov.
Steelcase, Inc. and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recently announced a product recall of about 11,000 Steelcase office chairs. The pivot pins inside the chair’s control mechanism can fall out easily, which can lead to a nasty fall if someone is sitting in the chair. So far, neither Steelcase nor the CPSC has heard of any cases in which a person was actually hurt, however.
The recall applies to the model 482 Series Steelcase Amia desk chair, sold between March and June 2011 by various Steelcase retailers for $350 to $700 each. The chairs came in a variety of fabric or leather covering options. Information about the model of each chair and its manufacturing dates appears on a sticker on the underside of each chair. Only this particular series of chairs is affected by the recall.
Bugaboo Americas, the makers of Bugaboo baby and child strollers, have recently recalled their Bugaboo Bee stroller because of the risk that children might fall out of it, according to a report from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and Health Canada.
The stroller’s front wheels can lock while the stroller is in motion, making it much easier to tip the stroller over. So far, the company has received four reports of babies and toddlers who were in a Bugaboo Bee stroller when its front wheels locked and it tipped. The young children suffered minor injuries from the falls.
Bella Bliss, in cooperation with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), is recalling an estimated 2,300 children’s Henley pima cotton pajamas, which violate federal children’s sleepwear flammability standards. As a result, these pajamas present an increased risk of fire-related child injuries.
The recalled pajamas were sold as a two-piece set in sizes 2 through 12, and are pink, blue, white, or red. The “Bella Bliss” brand name may be found on the neck tag. They were sold for between $48 and $58 at specialty clothing retailers and online retailers, as well as the Bella Bliss online store and catalog, from January 2008 to June 2011. Children should stop wearing the pajamas immediately, and they should be returned to the retailer from where the pajamas were purchased for an exchange, store credit, or refund. Consumers may call Bella Bliss at (866) 846-5295 for more information.
Part of the fun during the holidays is decorating the house and, of course, the Christmas tree. But decorations and decorating are not without their risks. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) receives hundreds of reports of injury and/or property damage every year during November and December as the result of Christmas tree and candle fires, broken ornaments, and other dangerous situations. In order to help families and their homes stay safe and avoid personal injury this decorating season, the CPSC and Underwriting Laboratories (UL) offer the following decorating tips:
- If you are buying a live Christmas tree, check for freshness. A dry tree is a fire hazard.
- Set up your tree away from heat sources, such as radiators, fireplaces, and vents.
- If you are going the artificial route for a tree, make sure it is labeled as “Fire Resistant.” Remember that this does not mean “fire proof,” however.
At first glance, a recliner chair seems to be among the least dangerous pieces of household furniture. However, with manufacturing flaws or oversights, moving parts or gaps in the product become potential hazards to children and adults. Such was the case with a huge Big Lots recall of approximately 375,000 micro fiber and leather glider recliner chairs and ottomans by the Columbus, Ohio company.
According to a release by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), young children (infants and toddlers) can potentially crawl into an open space that separates functioning parts of the seat and become trapped. Additionally, other functioning devices of the recliner and ottoman may pinch or crush older user’s fingers, hands, or other extremities. The agency reported two accounts of kids under two years old who became stuck at the neck in between parts of the recliner. The CPSC said the two children did not suffer any lasting injuries as a result of the incidents.
Henry Gordy is set to pay a civil fine of $1,100,000 to resolve accusations that the firm knew about dangerous defects in its toy gun kit “Auto Fire Target Set” but failed to report them to the public, according to a release by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). The toy in question was allegedly involved in the fatalities of four children, said the CPSC.
The commission claimed that representatives from the company were aware of at least one fatality tied to the toy gun set around May of 2006. After that first reported accident, the company changed the product’s design that summer and included a new cautionary statement on the toy that read: “parental supervision suggested,” according to a listing in the U.S. Federal Register. However, an official recall wasn’t issued until approximately four years later in May of 2010 when around 1.8 million product units were recalled by the CPSC due to a lack of compliance by the company. By the time of the recall, there had been three deaths associated with the product. The CPSC claims the small, malleable plastic darts in the “Auto Fire Target” pose a serious choking hazard to children when chewed or inhaled.
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