U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission Issues Press Release Regarding Potentially Dangerous Winter Products

Last week, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (“USPSC”), issued an advisory to consumers to check their homes for certain cold weather products which were previously recalled due to safety concerns.
According to the press release, consumers should be looking for four specific products which, although recalled over the summer, likely saw little or no use until the cold weather hit. Those products are ECHO Bear Cat log splitters, Big Lots portable ceramic space heaters, Harbor Breeze bath fans, and Snowpulse Avalanche airbags.

Each of these products suffers from a defect which renders it dangerous for use. For example, according to the press release, the ECHO Bear Cat log splitter suffers from a design flaw where the “end cap of the log splitter’s hydraulic cylinder can break away from the body of the log splitter, posing an impact hazard to the user or bystander.” At the time of the original press release in June of 2012, the manufacturer of the log splitter, Crary Industries, had received three reports of the hydraulic cylinder end caps detaching, with one of the instances resulting in an injury from the cylinder striking the user in the head.

Florida law permits individuals who have been injured as a result of a dangerous or defective product to recover damages from the manufacturer, designer, or retailer of the item. A person who has been harmed in such a way would assert what’s known as a product liability against the designer, manufacturer, or retailer, depending on the type of defect that cause the injury.
Three types of defects can result in a product liability claim:
Design Defect. A design defect is caused by a mistake or error in the design of the product. For example, the Big Lots portable ceramic space heaters mentioned above suffer from a design defect which permits them to overheat and melt, posing a fire or electric shock hazard.

Manufacturing Defect. A manufacturing defect is caused by an error in the manufacturing process and may affect only a certain portion of an otherwise normal product. An example of a manufacturing defect would be if a number of the Harbor Breeze bath fans mentioned above were made with blades that were slightly misshapen, causing the fan to rotate improperly and the blades to come off.

Insufficient Warning Defect. A warning defect arises when the manufacturer of a product fails to sufficiently warn consumers regarding the potential hazards associated with the product. For example, it would be a warning defect if the maker of the ECHO Bear Cat log splitter failed to warn users that using it to split logs larger than a certain size could result in the machine experiencing a structural failure.

The Miami, Florida personal attorneys at Gerson & Schwartz, P.A. have extensive experience representing individuals who have been injured by defective products such as automobiles, trucks, tires, medical devices, industrial equipment and cigarettes. If you have been harmed by a defective product, or think you may have a product liability claim contact one of your Miami, Florida personal injury attorneys of Gerson & Schwartz, P.A. today, or visit us online.

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