Defective Household Appliances and Products
We use dozens of household appliances daily – microwaves, dishwashers, televisions, space heaters, boilers – without giving much thought to the potential dangers they present. We usually assume that as long as we follow basic safety and operation guidelines, we aren’t at risk of getting hurt. But when appliances are defective, taking normal safety precautions often aren’t good enough.
Every year hundreds of thousands of consumers suffer a range of devastating injuries due to defective household appliances, including burns, broken bones, crushing injuries, amputations, brain damage, and fatal injuries.
In addition, defective appliances can cause massive property damage. According to Consumer Reports, approximately 23% of all house fires can be attributed to household appliances with mechanical, electrical, or design flaws. In the past six years, more than seven million dishwashers and eight million other appliances have been recalled for having defects that increase the risk of fire.
If you have a defective household appliance, you shouldn’t hesitate to find out what duties the manufacturer owes you to fix or replace it, and whether the manufacturer is obligated to compensate you for any injuries the product may have caused.
What is the responsibility of the manufacturer of a product?
Manufacturers of appliances and suppliers of appliance parts have an obligation to put reasonably safe products on the market. If they knew or should have known that their product is dangerous or defective, they may be held responsible for any injuries that result from the product’s use. Manufacturers may also be accountable if they fail to give adequate instructions or warnings related to foreseeable dangers or dangerous uses of their product.
What should I do if I think I have a defective household appliance?
If you believe your appliance is defective, stop using it immediately. Check the manufacturer’s website or the Consumer Product Safety Commission website to see if a recall has been issued your appliance (to be sure, you’ll need to know the appliance’s brand, model and serial number). If a recall has been issued, you may be entitled to receive a new appliance, replacement part, servicing, or refund. If the appliance has not been recalled, you can file a complaint with your local consumer protection agency.
What should I do if I’ve been seriously injured by a defective household appliance?
After you’ve received medical treatment for your injuries, consult a defective appliance lawyer without delay. A lawyer experienced in products liability law will know how to conduct a thorough investigation of the facts and determine whether the product that caused your injuries was defective and foreseeably dangerous. Equally important, your lawyer can also determine the appropriate party or parties against whom to bring a products liability claim or lawsuit.
Peter Ventura is a Massachusetts products liability lawyer dedicated to helping people who have been injured by defective household appliances recover compensation for their injuries. Call for a free consultation today at 508-755-7535.