According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), one child is killed every two weeks as a result of being crushed by a falling television set, the item involved in more tipping accidents than any other. Even when a child survives a television tipping accident, the child may suffer serious brain damage as a result of his or her injuries. These accidents are often caused when a young child tries to climb onto a dresser or table on which a TV has been placed or when a television has been put on an unstable TV stand. Most of these incidents involve children five years of age and younger, and many occur even when an adult is present.
TV manufacturers often recall TVs after receiving reports that the TVs are prone to tipping over. On August 6, 2014, for example, the CPSC announced the recall by Vizio, Inc., of 245,000 of its VIZIO E-Series 39-inch and 42-inch Full-Array LED flat panel televisions after the receipt of 51 tipping-over incident reports. The TVs subject to the recall were sold at retailers including Best Buy, Walmart, Target, Meijer, Amazon.com , Costco.com, and Sams.com between December 2013 and June 2014 and contain stand assemblies that can fail and cause the televisions to fall over without any warning to the consumer. The CPSC has instructed consumers to immediately detach their TVs from the stands, place the TVs in safe locations, and contact the manufacturer for replacement stand assemblies.
The recall of defective or dangerous products should be taken very seriously, as these products can cause serious injury or death. Nationally recognized child injury attorney Jeffrey Killino has extensive experience with cases involving injuries or death to children caused by defective products, including those intended for child or adult use. If your child has been injured or killed as a result of a defective product or someone’s negligence, attorney Killino and his team of child accident and defective products lawyers will fight for the compensation to which you are entitled from those responsible for your child’s injury or death.
Legal Liability for Injuries or Death to Children Caused by Defective Products
Who is responsible if your child is injured or killed by a product that has been recalled for a defect or danger to the consumer? Who may be liable if a product has not been recalled but has nevertheless caused a child’s injury or death? The answers to these questions may depend on the product liability and wrongful death law of the jurisdiction in which a legal action seeking damages for a child’s injury or death is filed.
Product Liability Actions
When a child has been injured by a defective product, the injured plaintiff may seek damages from those responsible through a product liability action brought by a personal injury or child injury attorney. If the defective product caused the child’s death, a wrongful death attorney may file a wrongful death suit on behalf of the victim’s survivors. In most states, those allowed to file such an action include the victim’s immediate family members, such as the spouse, parents, or children of the deceased victim. The same defendants may be found liable in either the personal injury or wrongful death action.
Though product liability law may vary from one state to another, most states have enacted some form of the Model Uniform Product Liability Act (MUPLA), and, thus, have similar laws. Under most states’ product liability laws, actions may be brought as breach of warranty, negligence, or strict liability claims. When damages are sought for personal injury or death, however, the strict liability form of product liability action is generally employed.
Strict liability actions provide the plaintiff with the advantage of being able to hold strict-liability defendants responsible for an accident victim’s injury or death that was caused by a product defect without the necessity of proving negligence or fault on the part of the defendants. The defendants may be held legally responsible for such injuries or deaths even if they had no knowledge of the product defect at the time the victim’s accident occurred—and whether or not the product has been recalled. The plaintiff need only establish that the product contained a defect at the time of the accident, that the defect was a cause of the victim’s injury or death, and that the victim’s injury or death resulted in legally compensable damages to the plaintiff.
Under most states’ product liability laws, the manufacturer, designer, supplier, assembler, and, in most cases, retailer of a defective product may be found liable for injuries or deaths caused by a product defect. The defect may occur at the design or manufacturing stage or as a result of the failure to warn of certain dangers associated with the product’s use. Regardless of which type of defect the product contained, each one of these defendants may be held liable for a victim’s injuries or death that resulted from the product defect.
Negligence of Caregiver
In some cases, the negligence of someone entrusted to care for a child in the parents’ absence combines with a defective product to cause a child’s injury or death. If, for example, a babysitter or nanny negligently allowed a child to play near a TV that the caregiver knew or should have known to be unstable, the caregiver may be found liable for the child’s injury or death caused by the fall of the unstable TV. If the caregiver is employed by an agency, the agency may be held indirectly liable for the injury or death caused by its employee’s negligence or directly liable for any contributing negligence on the part of the employer (such as negligence in screening or hiring the employee).
Obtain Expert Assistance from Child-injury Attorney Jeffrey Killino
Child-injury attorney Jeffrey Killino is dedicated to holding manufacturers responsible for the injuries and deaths caused to children by defective products. If your child has been injured or killed as a result of someone’s negligence or a defective product, attorney Jeffrey Killino and his team of child injury and wrongful death attorneys will fight for the justice you and your child deserve.