Brita recalled approximately 242,500 children’s water filter bottles on August 19, 2014, for a laceration hazard, according to an announcement by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). The water filter bottles are made of hard plastic in four colors with four different cartoon character images on the exterior (Dora the Explorer, Hello Kitty, SpongeBob Square Pants, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles). The laceration hazard is caused by the white screw-off lids, which have fold-up straws and filters, and which can break apart or crack and cut a child’s mouth. The CPSC and Brita have instructed consumers to immediately stop using the bottles and to return them to Brita for a full refund. In addition, if you see one of these bottles for sale, do not purchase it. The CPSC warns that it is illegal to sell or attempt to resell any recalled consumer product.
Defective products cause injuries and sometimes death to adults and children. Defective children’s products are particularly dangerous to children, who may not realize that something is wrong with a product until it is too late. Nationally recognized child injury attorney Jeffrey Killino has extensive experience with cases involving injuries or death to children caused by defective products. If your child has been injured or killed through the use of a defective product, including one intended for use by children, attorney Killino and his team of child accident and defective children’s product lawyers will fight for the justice to which you and your child are entitled from those responsible for your child’s injury or death.
Legal Liability for Children’s Injuries or Deaths Caused by Defective Products
Who is legally responsible if your child is injured or killed when using a defective product, including one intended for children’s use? Does it matter if the product that injures your child is intended for adult rather than children’s use? The answers to these questions will depend upon the product liability law of the jurisdiction in which a legal action is filed.
When a person is injured or killed through use of a defective product, personal injury lawyers generally seek compensation for the plaintiff through the institution of product liability actions. In some cases, negligence actions may be filed, as well, if someone’s negligence combined with a defective product to cause a victim’s injury or death.
Product liability law may vary from one state to another, even though most states have enacted some form of the Model Uniform Product Liability Act (MUPLA). Though product liability actions may be brought, in most jurisdictions, as breach of warranty, negligence, or strict liability actions, injury lawyers generally file the strict liability form of product liability action when seeking recovery for personal injury or death caused by a defective product. These actions are brought against the designers, manufacturers, assemblers, suppliers, retailers, and others in the chain of a product’s distribution. The defendants may also include the designers and manufacturers of component parts of a product, if they are different than the designers and manufacturers of the product as a whole.
A strict liability action provides the plaintiff with the advantage of not having to prove negligence or fault on the part of any of the defendants. In strict liability actions, in order to hold the defendants liable for injuries or deaths caused by a defective product, the plaintiff need only establish that the product contained a defect, that the defect was a cause of the victim’s injury or death, and that the injury or death resulted in the plaintiff’s legally compensable damages.
Under most states’ product liability laws, a manufacturer and others in the chain of distribution of a defective children’s product may be held strictly liable for a child’s injuries or deaths caused by the product’s defect. What if the product was not intended for a child’s use, but a child gained access to the product and was killed or injured as a result of a defect in that product? Depending upon the product liability law of the jurisdiction in which a product liability action is filed, the manufacturer and others in the chain of a product’s distribution may be found strictly liable for injuries or deaths caused to children by a defect in the product, even if the product was intended for use by adults rather than children. In many such cases, a product intended for adult use may be found defective due to the manufacturer’s failure to warn of certain dangers associated with the product, including dangers to children who may gain access to the product. If, for example, a product intended for adult use but to which a child might easily gain access did not contain a warning to keep the product out of the reach of children due to a choking or suffocation hazard, the manufacturer and others in the chain of that product’s distribution may be held liable, under some jurisdictions’ product liability laws, for a child’s choking or suffocation injury or death caused by the manufacturer’s failure to warn of these dangers.
Negligence of Caregivers
In some cases, the negligence of a person entrusted with the care of a child in the parents’ absence may contribute to a child’s injury or death that is caused by a defective product. If, for example, a babysitter or nanny knew of the dangers of a defective product and nevertheless allowed a child access to that product, the caregiver may be found liable in a negligence action for the child’s resultant injury or death.
Obtain Expert Assistance from Child-injury Attorney Jeffrey Killino
Child-injury attorney Jeffrey Killino has dedicated his practice to protecting children from injury or death from defective products or someone’s negligence. If your child has been injured or killed as a result of the negligence of someone entrusted with your child’s care or through the use of a defective children’s or other product, attorney Killino and his team of children’s injury and wrongful death attorneys will fight for the compensation you and your child deserve.