A Dangerous Product in Your Home That May Seem Harmless

clothes dryer fireIt is found in almost every home—yet few people think of it as dangerous.

It causes more than 15,000 fires a year in homes and millions in property damage.  Approximately 15 people die every year as a result of these home fires and more than 300 are injured.

What is this potentially dangerous device?  Your clothes dryer.

If a clothes dryer is defectively designed or manufactured, it can quickly become a deadly appliance and the possible subject of a product liability lawsuit.

A wrongful death product liability lawsuit where two Pennsylvania children lost their lives because of the defective design of the family’s clothes dryer is one example of how tragic a manufacturer or design error can become.

Plaintiffs may not have won that case without the diligent work of experts who built a mock-up of the laundry area in the children’s home.  Cameras mounted inside the test dryers effectively refuted manufacturer claims that it was impossible for lint (not able to be seen by the consumer) to accumulate inside the dryer and ignite when the lint contacted heating coils behind the dryer drum.

Claims that the dryer door would not open and would keep any fire safely contained were also disclaimed by plaintiff experts’ test videos which showed the dryer’s plastic door latch melting from the heat of a fire inside the dryer and the dryer door swinging open.

According to the National Fire Prevention Association, more than two thirds of dryer fires begin with the ignition of “soft goods” such as dust, fibers, lint or clothing inside the machine.

The Ohio Product Liability Act (Ohio Revised Code (ORC) 2307.71—2307.80) governs those instances when despite high industry and government standards a consumer’s reasonable expectation that a product will perform its intended function is not met and someone is injured in the process.

A product liability claim is a civil action and seeks to recover compensatory damages from a manufacturer or supplier for a manufacturing defect or design defect that leads to death, physical injury, emotional distress, or physical damage to property arising from the design, formulation, production, construction, creation, assembly, rebuilding, testing or marketing of a product.

A product can also be defective due to inadequate warning or instruction at the time of marketing if, when it left the control of its manufacturer, the manufacturer knew, or  reasonably should have known, about a risk associated with the product that could cause harm AND the manufacturer failed to provide a warning or instruction that reasonably should have been provided concerning that risk of harm.

Additionally, any product is defective, when it leaves the control of its manufacturer, and fails to conform to any relevant representation or warranty by the manufacturer.  The plaintiff must rely on the manufacturer’s representation and that reliance must be the cause of injury.

More simply stated, anything that has movable parts and is designed to be marketed and sold to the public may be considered a “product.”  Manufacturers and vendors owe a duty of care to consumers to warn them of hazards concerning a product and protect them from preventable harm.

Currently in Ohio, there are 14,506 active product liability cases involving medical devices such as oxygen tanks, heart stents, stitches and suture materials; automobile parts including electric seats, brakes, cup holders, airbag injuries and factors involving the “crashworthiness” of a vehicle; and cases concerning household products such as children’s toys, infant car seats, tools, and kitchen appliances and many other types of product liability issues.

Each year thousands sustain serious illness or injury from a dangerous or defective product.  Ohio law makes those individuals and companies who make products for the public responsible for the injuries these products may cause.

If you or someone you know is one of these victims, you may be entitled to receive compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, loss of physical capacity, pain, suffering and mental anguish.

Product liability cases can be very complex cases and at Slater & Zurz LLP, our experience with Ohio product liability law will help you as you seek fair and complete compensation.  Please contact us for a free consultation by calling 1-800-297-9191 or send us a message by completing the FREE CASE REVIEW form located on the right hand side of our website, slaterzurz.com.

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About slaterzurz

Slater & Zurz LLP is an Ohio law firm of highly experienced and respected attorneys. Over the last 40 years, we have developed a reputation for getting positive results for clients. We've been trusted with handling over 20,000 personal injury cases and our clients have received more than $120,000,000.

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