Defectively Designed Products
Accidents involving the use of a product which results in severe injury or death are part of the area of law known as “products liability.” People can be hurt every day at home, at a friend's home, in the back yard and at work while using seemingly simple things like a baby bed, lamp, car tire, fire alarm, electric blanket to complicated tools and machinery.
Products liability lawsuits require the use of highly credentialed experts and tenacious legal representation. We have retained diverse experts such as engineers, forensic examiners and developers of products in the products cases that we have handled. For example we have used tire experts in an automobile tire and heavy equipment tire case, a boat safety expert in a boat design case, and an electrical engineer in a lamp and electrical design case. We look for the best and brightest people in this country who have the experience, training, education and real life knowledge of how products are made and can be made safe, and who are able to make the independent analysis to determine if a product was made defectively or is an unreasonable unsafe condition. Often this also involves determining if the product had been altered or abused by persons who were using it who were not the manufacturer.
Today many products are made in foreign countries, under conditions or to the standards that are not as “safety minded” or as rigorous as in America. Some products may be made with hidden defects that should or could easily be removed, or could have been engineered out, or that could be guarded against, or made better and safer by a safer design. Unfortunately it seems a product is made cheaper by some manufacturers, or in a manner, or with a design that could easily have been made safer. Often it is discovered that safer products may cost a few pennies or dollars extra for the manufacturer.
We have the concern, passion, knowledge, tenacity and ability to handle complicated product cases.
- Tire assembly worker killed when new tire exploded because of defective tire bead. Our client, who worked in a tire assembly plant, had the job of putting air into the tire after it had been assembled (after the tire was sealed or attached to the metal rim). He died when the tire exploded and the explosion threw his 200lb body up 20 feet into the air causing him to bounce off the ceiling beam above him. He was dead before he hit the ground. All he did was put air into the tire and attempt to put the cap back on the tire. This tire was made by a manufacture that used steal wires (beads) were buried inside the rubber. The ends of the beaded wires overlapped each other by a few inches. The design was defective because it was unreasonably dangerous and there were alternative safer designs that were commonly used by manufactures. While not all tires with this particular design of beaded wires would explode, this type of design beads were more likely to explode than any other designs if the tire got hung-up in the assembly process. But the “hang-up” problem was not visible. If the tire got “hang-up” during assembly which snag in the process occurred preciously at the point where the interior beaded wires overlapped each other, then normal air pressure could cause the tire to explode. This was a known hidden defect that the manufacture could have, but did, not remove. It was the one design of the beads that had the most likely rate of explosion experiences. There were alternative, safer, practical designs for the manufacturer of the tire bead to use, but it chose not to do so.
The choice to not make a simple fix or alter the bead design to one that other manufacturers were actually using caused our client his life and his children to lose their dad. The failure of the assembler company to not use the cages that would have protected the worker resulted in it being fined by OSHA. But a simple change in the design of the bead, as other had made, would have saved our clients life.