Articles Tagged with Product liability

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https://www.texasinjurylawyersblog.com/files/2020/04/Screen-Shot-2020-04-22-at-7.17.42-PM-150x150.pngThe Supreme Court of Texas recently issued an opinion in a lawsuit against an insulation products company. According to the court’s opinion, the plaintiffs built a home in Texas and purchased products from a spray foam insulation company. The insulation was designed to make the home quieter and energy efficient by sealing areas where air loss occurs. Shortly after the installation, the family began suffering from various ailments, including coughing spells, burning eyes, allergies, and headaches. The company advised the family that the spray foam smell would dissipate over time. The company then sent an “independent contractor” sales representative to inspect the property; however, the family never received the inspection results.

In response, the family filed a lawsuit against the spray foam company, alleging various claims, including products liability and negligence. They argued that their injuries arose from the sale and installation of the spray foam used in their home. In response, the company contended that because the company never sold or advertised any of the products in Texas, the state did not have jurisdiction over the matter. Further, they argued that they did not have any involvement with the company that inspected the property. The appeals court agreed, finding that the plaintiffs failed to establish that Texas had either general or specific personal jurisdiction over the defendants.

Under Texas law, a court must have subject matter and personal jurisdiction over the parties to issue a judgment. Texas courts can assert personal jurisdiction over a nonresident if the state’s long-arm statute permits exercising jurisdiction and comports with federal due-process guarantees. Specific jurisdiction applies when the defendant’s contact with the state is purposeful, and the cause of action arises from those contacts.

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pexels-moose-photos-1029896-300x200CANCER CAUSING BENZENE FOUND IN SUNSCREENS LINKED TO HIGHER RISK–KILLER TAN CAN BE DEADLY – 40 SUNSCREEN BRANDS RECALLED

July 17, 2021, San Antonio, Texas:  Sunscreen products have been pulled from shelves across the country after they were found to contain significant amounts of benzene, a known carcinogen.  Experts say any benzene exposure poses a health risk. Benzene has been linked to increased cancer risk since and had five times higher than normal risk of leukemia.

“There’s no such thing as a safe level of exposure, and that’s especially true for children,” said Philip Landrigan, director of the Global Public Health Program and Global Pollution Observatory at Boston College.

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https://www.texasinjurylawyersblog.com/files/2021/06/Screen-Shot-2021-06-23-at-4.18.35-PM-251x300.pngVarious state and federal agencies regulate the safety of infant and baby products. While these agencies possess the power to administer and enforce federal safety laws, many dangerous products continue to make their way into the consumer stream. Every year infants and children in Texas experience exposure to dangerous and potentially life-threatening products. When this occurs, family members should consider filing a Texas product liability claim against the defective product’s manufacturer or retailer.

For instance, Fisher-Price is once again recalling one of its most popular infant products. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission received reports citing the Rock n’ Glide Sleeper as the cause of four infants’ deaths. In each of the cases, the infants were placed unrestrained on their backs in the sleeper but were later found unresponsive on their stomachs. The deaths included infants ranging from 11 weeks to 4 months old. The current recall comes after a similar situation in 2019, in which the company agreed to recall its Rock’ n Play sleeper after several babies suffocated after rolling to their stomachs in the device.

Texas product liability lawsuits generally fall under one or more of the three types of defective product claims. The claims generally stem from design defects, failure to warn claims or manufacturing defects. Design defect claims apply when a product’s defective design poses a danger to the user. Claimants in these cases must establish that the company could have used a less dangerous design, the alternative design would not pose an unreasonable financial burden, and the alternative design would have maintained the product’s purpose and use. Failure to warn claims applies when a product poses an unreasonable danger even when used according to its directions. Finally, manufacturing defects claim that the product is defective because of an error that occurred during production.

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activity-board-game-connection-desk-613508-300x200The Supreme Court of Texas issued a decision in Emerson v. Johnson, upholding a multi-million dollar verdict in a Texas product liability lawsuit. The record indicates that the plaintiff, a highly experienced HVAC repairman, suffered severe burns to over 60% of his body while installing an HVAC unit. After an outdated and malfunctioning compressor in the unit exploded, the unit released scalding hot liquid all over the man. Despite the man’s HVAC experience, there was no way he could have known that the new compressor incorporated outdated technology inside the unit.

The man filed a product liability lawsuit against both the product’s manufacturer and an affiliate who designed and made the unit. He argued that the defendants defectively designed and manufactured the terminal and compressor. After a trial, a jury found that the older terminal design was unreasonably dangerous. The defendant asked the court to overturn the verdict based on legal sufficiency grounds or for a retrial because of a jury charge error.

On appeal to the Supreme Court, the defendants’ case largely rested on their contention that the plaintiff failed to present evidence that the terminal was unreasonably dangerous. A defective design inquiry requires the jury to find that the product is unreasonably dangerous as designed. The jury must consider the utility of the product and the risk of its use.

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https://www.texasinjurylawyersblog.com/files/2020/09/Screen-Shot-2020-09-28-at-8.44.28-PM-300x112.pngIn light of COVID-19, everyone seems to be shopping online more frequently. Whether you’re shopping online to adhere to social distancing concerns or simply out of boredom, Amazon has become an important part of regular online shopping trips in many households. When a product purchased from the online retailer, however, injures someone in your family, is Amazon liable in a Texas products liability lawsuit? Or is the entity or individual who sold you the product responsible?

In a recent Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals opinion, the court had to consider a Texas products liability case involving a parent’s worst nightmare. The plaintiff’s husband purchased a remote control from Amazon.com. A year later, the couple’s 19-month-old baby girl swallowed the battery from the remote control. Surgeons had to remove the battery.

The plaintiff claimed that the battery’s fluid from its electrical charge resulted in severe, permanent, and irreversible damage to the child’s esophagus. After the plaintiff notified Amazon of the incident, Amazon notified the seller, who did not respond. The seller’s account was subsequently suspended. The plaintiff sued Amazon and the seller, alleging strict liability and negligence under a variety of product liability theories.

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https://www.texasinjurylawyersblog.com/files/2021/01/Screen-Shot-2021-01-15-at-7.18.55-PM-300x57.pngWhen a consumer purchases a new product, they rightfully trust that the designer, manufacturer, and retailer took measures to ensure the product’s safety and efficacy. However, despite testing standards and federal oversight, some dangerous products make their way into the consumer stream. Products with a design or manufacturing defect or that are inherently dangerous may cause serious injuries and lead to a Texas product liability lawsuit. The United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (USCPSC) requires manufacturers, distributors, and similar entities to report any issues with their products and issue recalls if necessary. However, these parties may still face liability even if they issued a recall.

Texas product liability laws cover claims stemming from design defects, manufacturing defects, and warning defects. The law allows injury victims to recover damages against manufacturers or sellers of a defective product that causes personal injury, death, or property damage. Texas design defect claims are generally the most onerous product liability claim. In these cases, plaintiffs must establish that the victim suffered injuries because the product’s design was inherently dangerous. The law requires plaintiffs to present evidence of a safer and economically feasible alternative design. Manufacturing defects are relevant when the product’s design is appropriate, but something went awry during the manufacturing process that made a specific item dangerous. This type of claim may be appropriate when a manufacturer fails to meet safety or design standards. However, the claims do not apply to those who suffer injuries from a defective product manufactured before updated safety standards. Finally, failure to warn claims are applicable when a manufacturer did not provide appropriate instructions or warnings.

The New York Times recently reported that The Home Depot recalled a popular indoor/outdoor fan, after reports that the fans’ blades were detaching while spinning. The Home Depot issued a voluntary recall after nearly 50 consumer reports of detaching blades. The USCPSC, reported that The Home Depot voluntarily recalled the fans and ceased sales when they discovered the issue. They maintain that the fans are not inherently dangerous, and the hazard resulted from a manufacturing defect.

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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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