Accidental deaths are always tragic, but the tragedy is compounded when the death is caused by a defective product. In almost every case, the manufacturer cut corners to save a few pennies on each item it made, knowing those pinched pennies would add up to millions of dollars in extra profits while placing lives at risk.
We understand the pain that surviving family members feel whenever a loved one dies. We understand the outrage that compounds that pain when family members learn that the death could have been prevented by manufacturers that market unsafe products and by importers and retailers that ignore defects in products made in China and other countries that fail to regulate product safety.
Wrongful death defective product lawyers are dedicated to helping surviving family members recover compensation for preventable deaths caused by defective or unsafe products. That dedication is motivated in part by our compassion for the surviving family members and in part by our sense of justice. We know that every time we force a product manufacturer or seller to pay compensation, we are sending a message about the consequences of marketing unsafe or defective products.
Deadly Products in Southern California
It is impossible to list or anticipate all of the ways in which consumer products become deadly products. Some products are safe if used correctly but the manufacturer fails to provide a conspicuous warning that alerts consumers to unsafe uses. Other products are marketed with hidden defects that create potential hazards for unwary consumers. Defective products can be found in products we use everyday. Some products can include motorcycles, automobiles, medical devices to home appliances and furniture.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) reports that thousands of defective products have the potential to kill unsuspecting consumers. The CPSC has recently warned consumers about:
- Airbags. The recent airbag recall by Takata is only one example of airbag defects that have killed vehicle occupants in this decade.
- All-Terrain Vehicles (ATVs) and Recreational Off-Highway Vehicles (ROHVs). Although the problem had been known for many years, manufacturers continue to make ATVs and ROHVs that are prone to tipping over. California leads the nation in ATV and ROHV deaths.
- Appliances and furniture. Large items like refrigerators and top-heavy dressers can fall over when children climb on them. Manufacturers should provide anti-tip devices if tipping is a hazard but many fail to do so.
- Baby products. Cribs have become safer over the last decade, but baby monitor cords have caused strangulation deaths while sleep positioners create a risk of suffocation.
- Carbon monoxide poisoning. Generators, charcoal grills, heating systems, water heaters, and wood stoves all produce carbon monoxide. In some cases, unsafe product design contributes to consumer deaths. In other cases, manufacturers fail to provide a conspicuous warning about the need for adequate ventilation.
- Chemical hazards. A surprising number of chemical products create the risk of death from poisoning or inhalation of deadly fumes. Inadequate warnings and the failure to design product containers that children cannot open too often lead to consumer deaths.
- Drugs and medications. Pharmaceutical companies have a long history of marketing drugs before completing adequate studies to assure their safety. Many patients never receive a fair warning of the potentially deadly side effects that may result from taking a medication.
- Electrocution hazards. Almost anything that comes with a power cord creates a risk of electrocution if the product is not designed safely. Consumer products most likely to cause electrocution are small appliances, large appliances, power tools, and lighting equipment.
- Fire hazards. Cooking equipment and space heaters account for most fires started by defective products. Products such as mattresses and pajamas that are not manufactured to flame-resistant standards can cause deaths when they are inadvertently ignited by a match or candle.
- Falling hazards. Defective ladders, ranging in size from extension ladders to stepladders, lead the category of unsafe products that can cause consumers to fall.
- Infant choking hazards. Thousands of toys are made in ways that allow small parts to detach, creating a risk of choking deaths when those parts are swallowed by infants.
- Pill bottles. While federal standards require bottles containing vitamins, medicines, and other pills to use child-resistant caps, many manufacturers fail to adhere to those standards, leading to poisoning deaths of children who associate the contents with candy.
- Passenger vehicles. In addition to the Takata airbag fiasco, passenger vehicles are recalled every year due to dangerous defects. Those include unsafe tires and brakes, structural problems that affect crashworthiness, steering components that are susceptible to breaking, fuel system components that cause fuel leaks and vehicle fires after a minor crash, seats and seatbacks that fail while the car is being driven, accelerator pedals that stick, and wheels that suddenly detach from the vehicle. It is best for victims of defective automobiles to contact an experienced wrongful death car accident attorney.
- Power tools. The manufacturer's failure to provide adequate shielding is often a contributing cause of deadly accidents that occur while using table saws. More recent concerns have been raised about safety hazards associated with nail guns.
Helping families recover the compensation they deserve
When a defective or unsafe product kills a consumer, the consumer's grieving family members are victims of the manufacturer or seller that marketed the product. They lose the love, companionship, and emotional support of the family member, but they also lose the financial support and services that the family member would have provided.
Those losses are unfair. A spouse should not face foreclosure of the family home because the family breadwinner was killed by an unsafe product. A child should not be deprived of an education because contributions will no longer be made to that child's college fund. Family members should not need to pay a handyman to do the home repairs that were the responsibility of a lost loved one.
We help family members receive fair compensation for unfair deaths. Compensation helps family members move on with their lives as they cope with a loved one's death. It also prevents other families from enduring similar tragedies by motivating manufacturers and sellers to remove unsafe products from the market.
Strict time limits apply to wrongful death claims from unsafe products. You need to act promptly if your family has been devastated by a wrongful death. To talk to a defective product wrongful death lawyer about your entitlement to compensation, call Timothy J. Ryan & Associates at (800) 838-6644.