Who Is Responsible If My Child Is Injured by a Defective Bunk Bed or Other Children’s Product?

Parents are often at a loss for what to
do when a child is injured by a product that was made specifically
for a child’s use but is made or designed improperly. Is the seller
responsible, or is the manufacturer? The simple answer is that in
many cases, the seller and the manufacturer, as well as others, may
be held liable in a court of law for injuries caused to your child by
a defective children’s product. These same defendants may also be
liable for injuries sustained by children through the use of products
that were not specifically designed for a child’s use but that a
manufacturer could reasonably foresee or expect that a child would
use, such as an item of household furniture.


Many defective children’s products
are recalled when a defect is discovered or when injuries that have
occurred as a result of a defect are reported. Parents should always
take these recalls seriously and refrain from using a product after
learning that it has been recalled. This is true whether the recall
is voluntary or involuntary on the part of the manufacturer, as any
recall is an indication that your child may be at risk from continued
use of the product. In most cases, the Consumer Product Safety
Commission instructs consumers not to use a product that has been
recalled unless and until the defect in the product has been repaired
or remedied.


In June 2014, for example, Lea
Covington and Hannah Collection Bunk Beds manufactured by Lea
Industries were recalled by the Consumer Product Safety Commission
when it was discovered that the beds can create an entrapment hazard
for small children. The beds were sold in both twin and full sizes,
with bookcases attached. The hazard that led to the recall may occur
through the incorrect assembly of the bed. When the beds are
assembled incorrectly, a space may be created that is larger than
those considered to be safe and, therefore, allowed by industry
standards. The larger space is just large enough to pose a risk of
entrapping, strangling, or otherwise injuring a small child.


How
Can I Obtain Compensation for My Child’s Injuries When They Were
Caused by a Defective Product?


If your child’s injuries were caused
by a defect in a product, such as the Lea Industries bunk beds that
were recently recalled, you may be able to recover compensation for
your child’s injuries through the institution of a
product-liability action against the manufacturer, designer,
assembler, and seller of the product, as well as others in the chain
of the product’s distribution. Your ability to bring such an action
does not depend upon whether the product was recalled.


In many instances, manufacturers and
others in the chain of a product’s distribution have been held
liable for injuries caused by a product’s defect even when the
product was never recalled and even if the defect was not known
before the lawsuit was instituted. Though the law of
product-liability varies somewhat from state to state, the
manufacturer of a product as well as others in the chain of the
product’s distribution may be held liable under most states’ laws
for injuries caused by a defect in a product even in the absence of
negligence on the part of any of the named defendants. Such liability
is known as strict liability and requires no showing by the plaintiff
that the defendant or defendants were negligent in designing,
manufacturing, assembling, or selling the defective product in
question. This theory of liability is based upon the law’s
recognition that manufacturers and designers of products intended for
use by the public have a duty to design and manufacture those
products so that they are reasonably safe for use according to
current industry standards.


In most states, product-liability
actions may also be based on a breach of warranty or negligence
theory. When a product-liability action is brought to recover
injuries sustained by a person as a result of a defect in a product,
however, the action is usually brought as a strict liability action.
This type of action does not require the injured person, or
plaintiff, to prove that the manufacturer or designer of the product
was negligent in creating the product’s defect. If evidence of the
manufacturer’s or designer’s negligence can, nevertheless, be
presented, attorneys for injured plaintiffs may attempt to get such
evidence before the jury, because jury members are more likely to
find a defendant manufacturer or designer liable if some evidence of
fault is indicated.


Breach of warranty product-liability
actions are generally brought when a plaintiff is seeking to obtain
compensation for money lost because the plaintiff paid money for a
product, believing that the product would be of a certain kind or
nature, but the product turned out to be something other than
represented. This form of product-liability action is generally used
for cases in which the plaintiff has not been personally injured by a
product defect.

Obtain
Expert Assistance from an Experienced Personal-injury and
Child-injury Attorney

Today’s
writer, Jeffrey
Killino
, is an experienced and highly-respected
child-injury and birth-injury attorney with extensive experience with
all types of accident, personal-injury, and child-injury cases.
Attorney Killino’s knowledge and expertise, particularly with
respect to cases involving injuries to children that were caused by
someone’s negligence or a defective product, have earned him
national recognition through appearances on major television
networks, including CNN, ABC FOX, and the Discovery Channel. Attorney
Killino’s case against Mattel, Inc., for example, received national
media attention when it resulted in an order compelling Mattel to
offer free lead-testing to children who may have been exposed to
lead-containing toys.

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