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Articles Tagged with Product liability

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https://www.texasinjurylawyersblog.com/files/2020/09/Screen-Shot-2020-09-28-at-8.44.28-PM-300x112.pngBecause of social distancing requirements in the wake of COVID-19, people in Texas are taking advantage of shopping from the comfort and safety of their own homes. In addition, the ease and availability of all kinds of products through online retailers has made it possible to purchase everything from your family’s weekly grocery haul to the newest gadget. But when that package arrives on your doorstep, is the item you have received safe? Outside of the convenience factor of the shopping experience, can we trust online retailers and their products? If you are a Texan who has purchased a faulty product from an online retailer that has become a hazard or dangerous, you may be eligible to receive compensation through a product liability claim.

According to a recent article, an investigation has revealed that dozens of AmazonBasics electronics and other products have remained for sale despite consumers reporting that they were potential fire hazards. AmazonBasics is one of the massive retailer’s most popular lines, with a variety of budget-friendly products that range from kitchen and home basics to electronic accessories. The investigation yielded nearly 1,500 reviews on the Amazon website involving more than 70 products described as potentially dangerous. Despite reviews on these items using terms like “hazard” or “fire” or demanding the product to be recalled entirely, many of these items still remain for sale on the retailer’s website.

Following these reports, three lawmakers are demanding the recall of any hazardous products bearing the Amazon brand. Although the retailer did not respond directly to the investigation, electrical engineers told investigators that other factors may be at play when using these products, such as faulty wiring within a home or user error. According to the engineers, electronics sold under the AmazonBasics name should not typically pose a danger to the public when properly made and used according to instructions. Critics disagree.

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pexels-anna-shvets-3987150-200x300Following the initial COVID-19 outbreak in the United States earlier this year, thousands of Americans flooded stores in search of hand sanitizer and other cleaning supplies. Many stores were completely wiped out from the start of the pandemic of such supplies and have taken several months to restock these products because of demand. In preparation for the uncertainty associated with the pandemic, many Texans purchased large quantities of these products. However, recent FDA recalls indicate that some of these sanitizing products may be causing members of our community to become ill. These recalls may be the basis for a Texas product liability claim.

According to a recent article, federal regulators from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have been urging consumers to avoid more than 130 hand sanitizers that were previously available through stores such as Walmart and other national major retailers. The agency has cited that many of these products lack the sufficient level of alcohol necessary to effectively kill germs or that the products contain dangerous and potentially deadly levels of wood alcohol.

With hand sanitizer demand skyrocketing during COVID-19, a new rush of brands manufacturing hand sanitizer has entered the market. However, while many of these products claim to contain ethanol (otherwise known as ethyl alcohol), FDA tests have shown that they actually contain methanol, or wood alcohol. Methanol can potentially be toxic when absorbed through the skin and could even cause blindness or death if consumed. Because many products have been mislabeled, consumers would be unable to tell which items actually contain methanol. The FDA has kept an updated list of recalled products on its website for easy reference.

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food-healthy-dinner-lunch-128401-300x200Recently, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced that La Bodega Meat is recalling over 80,000 pounds of raw beef products. According to the press release, the products did not receive a re-inspection when entering the United States. Individuals can suffer severe injuries if they consume recalled meat in Texas. These individuals should seek medical attention and legal assistance if they experience adverse reactions to defective food products.

The recalled beef products included ribeye rolls, flank steaks, boneless brisket, inside skirt, flap meat, sirloins, peeled knuckle, rounds, and other similar meat pieces. The meat entered the United States in early June and was shipped to distributors in Texas, Missouri, and Arkansas. Although there have not been any confirmed cases of serious adverse reactions, the FSIS believes that some products may still be frozen in distributors’, retailers’, and other customers’ freezers. Distributors, retailers, and consumers are urged not to distribute, sell, or consume these products.

The USDA classifies recalls into three classes, Class I, Class II, and Class III. Class I recalls, such as the one above, are reserved for products that may cause a severe health hazard, and there is a high probability that using the product will result in serious health consequences such as death. Class II recalls occur in situations where the product presents a remote likelihood of an adverse health consequence. Finally, Class III recalls are issued when the product will not cause serious adverse health consequences.

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medical-tools-placed-on-tray-in-modern-clinic-3884085-300x200A recent case provides insight for Texas plaintiffs suing manufacturers for injuries caused by their products. According to the court’s opinion, the plaintiff was injured after her dentist inappropriately used a product to clean her dentures. The plaintiff later suffered significant injuries when the dentures were placed in her mouth. After suing the dentist and the product’s manufacturer, the plaintiff’s claim against the manufacturer was dismissed by the United States 5th Circuit Court of Appeals.

The plaintiff’s claim against the manufacturer was based on a failure to warn. The theory underlying failure to warn claims is that a product’s manufacturer has a responsibility to warn users of harmful effects. As one court explained, “in a failure-to-warn case, the plaintiff must show that the warning was defective and that this…was the producing cause of the plaintiff’s injury.” These cases typically come down to a question of whether the warning was adequate. In other words, a plaintiff will generally be able to recover if the judge or jury believes that the manufacturer’s warning was not sufficient to warn the plaintiff against the type of injury that occurred.

In this case, the plaintiff’s claim was unsuccessful because the product’s label contained language warning against using the product in the manner that caused the plaintiff’s injury. The warning label on the product stated that it was not to be used to disinfect dentures or the surface of any other instrument that would come into contact with mucous membranes. By instructing his assistant to soak the dentures in the product for fifteen minutes before placing the dentures back in the plaintiff’s mouth, the dentist caused the plaintiff’s injury by using the product in the exact manner that the warning label prohibited. When a product’s warning warns against the very activity that causes injury, the warning is deemed adequate as a matter of law, and the plaintiff’s claim automatically fails. For this reason, the plaintiff’s claim was unsuccessful.

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