A product that exposes a consumer to the risk of injury or death is considered a defective product. When a defective product results in death, the family of the deceased consumer may file a wrongful death lawsuit against the product manufacturer.
A wrongful death lawsuit is a way to ensure compensation for both emotional and financial damages, which can include lost income, medical and funeral expenses, and more.
When a defective product only injures the person using it, the injured party may pursue a defective product liability lawsuit, which falls under the category of personal injury law.
Defective Automobiles and Automotive Parts
While driving always includes the risk of injury or death to the person driving, this risk is usually related to the driver of the vehicle and any mistakes they might make. The risks of an automobile accident can increase dramatically, however, if a car was manufactured or maintained with a defective part.
General Motors recently came under fire when it was revealed that the ignition switch in the Chevrolet Cobalt was defective, which resulted in the deaths of dozens of people.
If the key in the vehicle’s ignition was weighed down by a heavy keychain or was accidentally bumped, the vehicle’s ignition could be disengaged. When this would occur, steering, braking, and airbag deployment would become inoperable.
The defective ignition was switched out, but the part number remained the same. Additionally, consumers were not warned, and no recall was issued until approximately a decade after the fact.
Other defective automotive designs and parts that have resulted in wrongful death include:
- Fuel tanks located behind rear axles
- Malfunctioning brakes
- Faulty tires
- Faulty airbags
Defective Home Appliances
Home appliances are used every day by most people without causing harm, so many consumers forget the potential risks of products in their home.
Here are some of the most common home appliances that have resulted in wrongful death:
- Space heaters
- Extension cords
- Gas ranges
- Toaster ovens
- Stand-alone freezers
Whether an electrical product has faulty wiring or a gas range experiences a leak, the product manufacturer may not have done sufficient quality assurance testing to ensure consumer safety.
Faulty home appliances, which are defective products, may result not only in wrongful death but the destruction of property.
Defective Toys and Childcare Products
The threat that defective products pose to children is often greater than the threat posed to adults. This is because children are usually unaware of injury risks and unable to mitigate them when they are aware.
Toys for children under 12 are required to undergo third party safety testing, and of course, toys typically come with appropriate age guidelines. However, defective toys can present the following risks, which may lead to wrongful death:
- Choking hazards
- Exposure to lead paint
- Exposure to other chemicals
In addition to toys, many products related to childcare can lead to wrongful death if not properly manufactured. These include:
- Car seats without proper instructions
- Cribs with bars set too far apart
- Highchairs, which may collapse
Contact Kaplan & Lukowski Today
If you’ve been injured or know someone who has died as a result of a defective product, contact the attorneys at Kaplan & Lukowski to schedule a free initial consultation.