Many product liability cases have had a positive impact on public health and safety, and we have witnessed improved lives and future injuries prevented as companies are forced to remove products and change designs and warnings as a result of litigation.
Two pressure cooker recalls in 2017 highlighted the potential dangers of defective kitchen appliances for consumers. In August, 2017, Aldi stores in Australia initiated a recall of the Crofton Chef’s Collection 6L Pressure Cooker by H&H Asia after reports of six people sustaining serious injuries after the pressure cookers exploded. The defective cookers sprayed boiling liquids and allegedly burning victims’ faces, eyes, upper bodies, arms and torsos. In June, 2017, Target stores issued a product recall for their Bellini Pressure Cookers, sold between October, 2015 and June, 2017, after an alleged defect with the lid was discovered. A defective lid may cause it to come loose under pressure and scalding contents may be released, potential for serious burns and other injuries.
All six people injured by the recalled Aldi pressure cooker mentioned above allegedly suffered either second-degree burns or third-degree burns that covered up to a third of their bodies. Second-degree burns typically result in swelling, blisters, leaking fluid, and possible skin loss and swelling. Third-degree burns are more serious, penetrate the entire thickness of the skin, and damage nerve endings. Pressure cookers cook foods at temperatures higher than 250 degrees Fahrenheit. When contents spill or the appliance explodes, the dangers are obvious. In this example with the Aldi cookers, the locking mechanism allegedly failed, hot pressure steam released from the product, and in two reports, the lid of the cooker detached from the device, causing face and eye injuries.
Whether an accident involves defective pressure cookers, crock pots, gas stoves, microwaves, blenders of other appliances, the injuries are typically burn injuries and lacerations. Severe scalding and third degree burns are often serious injuries.
The following factors are considered under Ohio law when determining the risks associated with the design of a product: (1) the magnitude of the risk of injury; (2) ordinary consumer awareness of the risk for injury; (3) the likelihood of causing injury; (4) the violation of a private or public standard; and (5) the consumer’s expectation of the performance of the product and level of danger. Ohio Revised Code 2307.5 (B) Product Defective in Design or Formulation.
The following factors are considered under Ohio law when determining the benefits associated with product design: (1) the utility of the product; (2) availability of an alternative design; (3) the magnitude of risks associated with an alternative design. Ohio Revised Code 2307.5 (c)
Defenses for Defective Design: (1) a pharmaceutical drug or medical device is not defective by design if it contains an adequate warning of an unavoidably unsafe aspect of the pharmaceutical or medical device; (2) the dangerous aspect is inherent to the product, recognizable, and cannot be eliminated without compromising the product’s usefulness; (3) a lack of a feasible alternative design. 2307.75 (d)(e)(f).
A manufacturing defect is based on a defect that occurred during the manufacturing process. Most manufacturing defect cases are based on a products deviation from the intended specification, formula, performance standards, or design model. In such cases, it may be easy to determine the product did not comply with the intended design.
The product may be recalled as a specific lot is identified as being non-compliant and defective. A product may be defective in manufacture or construction, materials and assembly, and a manufacturer or distributor may be subject to strict liability, even though it exercised all possible care. Ohio Revised Code 2307.74.
In determining whether a product is defective due to inadequate warning or instruction, evidence must be presented to prove:
Defenses to Failure to Warn Claims: (1) the risk was open and obvious or a matter of common knowledge; and (2) in cases of a pharmaceutical drug or medical device, the warning was provided to the prescribing physician (“Learned Intermediary Doctrine”).
Many pharmaceutical companies have been targeted in failure to warn lawsuits for either failing to place warnings on medication guides and packaging or failing to properly test their product before putting it to market.
If the lock, vent, seal, or gasket is defective on your pressure cooker model, the appliance may be very dangerous and pose a burn injury risk.
Due to pressure cooker explosion reports, about 100,000 Instant Pot Cookers were recalled in 2018. Since then, several other models have caused injury to consumers.
Defective products on the market present safety and health hazards for adults and children. Cheap and defective products may pose fire and burn risks; electrocution, strangulation and choking risks; and severe health risks. The manufacturers of consumer products have a duty to foresee potential injury and properly design and test products before they are released.
Companies must also properly warn consumers of any risks associated with their products. Any failure to protect consumers that results in accidents and injury can lead to lawsuits filed by plaintiffs and their Cincinnati product liability lawyer
The Lyon Firm aggressively, professionally, and passionately advocates for injured individuals and families against companies due to a defective product or recalled product to obtain just compensation under the law.
(Pikeville, Kentucky): Confidential settlement for Plaintiff who suffered spinal cord injury resulting in paraplegia due to defectively designed seat belt. Four passengers with three-point (lap/shoulder) belts walked away from the accident, and the only passenger wearing a two-point belt (lap only) suffered a debilitating spinal cord injury. The settlement assisted with home improvements to assist in daily living. GM entered federal bankruptcy during the process and no longer manufactures two-point lap belts for vehicles.
(Hillsboro, Ohio): Confidential Settlement for the family of elderly man who was catastrophically burned while operating a propane wall heater. The burns resulted in his unfortunate death. The heater, manufactured and sourced from China, was alleged to allow the flame to reach outside the grid area in violation of ANSI standards. The Defendant resolved the case following discovery and mediation. The recovered funds were paid to the victim’s surviving spouse and children. The company no longer manufactures this type of heater.