In 2014, according to statistics gathered and published by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (“the Commission”), there were an estimated 69,300 emergency department-treated injuries associated with nursery products among children under the age of five years.
To be sure, many of these visits were merely cautionary, but many others dealt with serious injury. The Commission notes that more than 100 children under the age of five die each year in events associated with nursery products; 86 percent of the fatalities were associated with cribs/mattresses, bassinets/cradles, playpens, infant carriers, and bath seats. Careful examination of the products often reveals that they are defective.
Manufacturers Have Duty to Produce Products That Are Reasonably Safe
The law is clear: Georgia families have the right to expect that the products they purchase for home use are reasonably safe. If a nursery product has injured your child, the burden is on you, however, to show that the product was defective. Products can be defective in a number of ways.
Several years ago, for example, national news agencies reported defects in the design of Simplicity-manufactured “drop side” cribs. Experts noted that hardware could break or deform, causing the drop side of the crib to detach. This created a space between the drop side and the crib mattress that babies could roll into and become trapped, leading to suffocation. Despite recalls, 11 babies died.
Where the design of the product – for example, the crib or playpen – is appropriate, there can still be defects caused by the manufacturing process. In a competitive market, there is, of course, strong pressure to manufacture a product as inexpensively as possible. Shortcuts often lead to manufacturing problems and defects in the products being produced.
Failure to Provide Adequate Warnings or Instructions
Where the consumer is expected to assemble the product after purchase, the manufacturer has a duty to provide clear instructions as to the assembly process. If special care should be given to the placement of the crib, to the use of special bedding, or to some other aspect required for safe use, the manufacturer must communicate that need clearly. Where a child is injured, due to an inadequate warning or failure to provide appropriate assembly instructions, the manufacturer can be held liable.
Duty to Recall
Where a defect in design or manufacturing has been brought to the attention of the product seller/manufacturer, it has a duty to remedy the problem. Often that can mean communicating a product recall. Once the consumer becomes aware of that recall, he or she faces a duty to follow through in returning the product in the manner indicated in the recall announcement. Failure to do so – if one is aware of the recall – can be fatal to a products liability claim. One difficulty with recalls, however, is that they seem to be so numerous that it is difficult to keep track of them all.
Products Liability Cases Are Complex; Skilled Legal Counsel is a Must
Winning a products liability case takes time and energy. It often requires the use of experts who are knowledgeable in design and manufacturing processes. The seller/manufacturer has an army of attorneys and experts on its side. If the consumer is to prevail, he or she needs skilled, aggressive, and effective counsel as well.
At the Law Offices of B. Clarke Nash, P.C., you will have strong and aggressive counsel. Clarke isn’t a TV face supported by a back office of case managers. He is a fair, strong, aggressive lawyer who has the resources to assist you, if your claim has merit. When you call Clarke’s office to check on your case, you can discuss the situation with Clarke himself. Clarke once worked for the insurance companies, so he knows how they operate and what motivates them. He has office availability throughout the state of Georgia. Contact the Law Offices of B. Clarke Nash, P.C. by telephone at (912) 200-5292 to schedule a consultation today.