In a legal context, a defective product is defined as a commercial good that is:
- Not fit for consumer use;
- Contains inadequate instructions; and/or
- Has a condition that makes it unreasonably dangerous for its intended purposes.
Legal actions that arise after a party is injured by a defective product are known as product liability lawsuits. A person may file a claim for products liability against the manufacturer of a product when a defect in that product causes the person to suffer physical harm.
An example of this would be if you purchased a brand new hair dryer, and after using it only one time, the hair dryer either electrocuted you or overheated and exploded. This causes you to sustain significant injuries. If you can prove that there was an inherent flaw in how the product was designed, or that an error was made during the manufacturing process which caused the product to deviate from its original design, you may be able to recover monetary damages for your injuries.
Generally speaking, there are three main types of product defects that a products liability claim can be categorized as:
- Design Defects: Design defects occur in the original creation of a product. In other words, a product may have been designed in a manner that is inherently flawed, and as such the defect is not from some error or incident that was caused by an external party, such as a manufacturer. An example of this would be if a hair dryer always catches fire after a single use because it is designed to reach a certain degree of heat; this issue may be the result of a design defect;
- Manufacturing Defects: Alternatively, a manufacturing defect has nothing to do with how a product is designed, but rather how it is manufactured. In other words, the design may be perfectly safe, but the way in which a manufacturer assembles the product makes it unsafe. Alternatively, a manufacturing defect can also arise if there was an error in the manufacturing process, and the manufacturer failed to notice or fix the error; and
- Marketing or Warning Defects: Failing to warn consumers about the risks of using a product; not including proper instructions or placing inadequate warning labels on a product; or advertising products in such a way that encourages improper use of a product, are all examples of product defects that could result in legal liability.
Additionally, each one of the above defects has its own procedural requirements and elements of proof. However, it is important to note that these are only the three main labels used to classify products liability claims. There may be other ways in which a product can injure a person, such as if a product contains a hidden defect like a toxic chemical or causes an unknown side-effect.
Regardless of how a defective product may have injured a consumer, that person has the right to file a claim against the entity who may be responsible for their injuries. They also have the right to be reimbursed by them if they can prove their case.
What Are Magnet Toy Injuries?
Magnet toys, or magnetic toys, are toy sets that feature powerful loose magnets that can be arranged for construction, art, and design purposes. Generally, these sets include small magnets of various sizes and shapes, some of which can be especially powerful. Children swallowing magnet pieces has resulted in some of these magnetic toys and magnetic construction sets to produce recalls and other measures.
Once swallowed, the magnet pieces can attract to one another inside of the child’s intestines, and can cause blockages as well as perforations. This can be fatal if not treated immediately, and many more surgeries may be required due to the ingestion of magnet toy pieces. Additionally, there is a risk of death.
Injuries resulting from magnetic toys may require legal action in order to resolve various issues. Such lawsuits are generally based on a type of product liability, in which the manufacturer of the product is held liable for injuries to a consumer or consumers. Liability may be based on various forms of product defects, which were previously discussed.
There are various other parties that may be held liable, depending on the facts of the situation. An example of this would be how a caretaker or other similar person may be held liable if they knew or should have known of the dangers associated with the product, yet still allowed a child to play with the magnetic toy, especially when unattended.
Are There Any Legal Remedies For Magnet Toy Injuries?
Magnetic toy injuries can be especially serious, and in some cases, life-threatening. These cases frequently result in legal action in order to address the different legal issues involved. In most cases, the plaintiff may be issued a monetary damages award, which will compensate them for losses caused by the injury. These can include losses such as:
- Medical costs;
- Hospital bills;
- Medication costs; and/or
- Rehabilitation expenses.
As was previously mentioned, various brands of magnetic toys have already been subject to recall measures. In some instances, class action lawsuits may be filed if many different people have been injured by the same type of toy product.
A class action lawsuit is a lawsuit that is filed by a representative plaintiff, on behalf of a larger group of people, who have the same or very similar legal claims. Class action lawsuits can generally reduce the costs of litigation, as well as increase judicial efficiency. However, the process for initiating and litigating a class action lawsuit is generally complicated.
An example of this would be how all class action matters must first identify a named party to represent the whole class. Next, the class in the lawsuit must be certified in accordance with specific legal standards. Finally, all of the elements and requirements for a particular matter must be satisfied in order to prove the claim and prevail in the lawsuit.
As such, a defective products class action is simply a lawsuit that is based on a claim for a defective product that has harmed multiple people in the same or very similar manner. An example of this would be if a large awards show was being held in a specific city, and throughout the show, thousands of attendees would be served one specific type of alcohol.
If it can be proven that every attendee who drank that specific type of alcohol suffered adverse effects because it contained a poisonous ingredient, then all of those attendees may be able to certify themselves as a class for the purposes of a class action lawsuit. They may bring a defective products class action lawsuit against either the manufacturer or distributor of that alcohol. Additionally, in some states, retailers may also be held liable for such results.
Do I Need A Lawyer For Help With A Magnet Toy Recall?
Magnet toy injuries can be considerably complex. As such, you should hire a class action lawyer in your area if you or a loved one have been affected by a magnet toy product.
Your personal injury attorney can help you understand your legal rights and options according to your state’s specific laws, and will also be able to represent you in court, as needed. An experienced attorney can also make you aware of any existing class action lawsuits that you may be able to join.