Technology has come a long way with electronic products. Yet, not all of these products can be perfectly designed and manufactured. There are bound to be disasters that involve fires, explosions, and defective product claims to cover the associated injuries. Today, we’ll look at some of the different product liability claims that we saw near the end of 2016 from a few of our favorite electronic products. We’ll discuss how those issues cam about and how you can go about seeking compensation if you experience an electronics disaster.
If You Can’t Trust Your Microwave, Who Can You Trust?
Between January of 2014 and April of 2016, Whirlpool produced more than 15 thousand hooded combination microwaves, priced between $350 and $500, that created a fire hazard in the homes of those who purchased them. The cause of this fire hazard is an element of the design that includes an defective internal part, made of plastic.
After five reports of fire, smoke, and burning smells, the company recalled the product in August of 2016, and warned owners to watch for an electric arc and be aware of any smoke or smells of burning. They advised to unplug the microwave and call the company to have it replaced. You can find out if your microwave is among them by checking the Whirlpool website (repair.whirlpoolcorp.com) for the model number and serial number on your microwave.
Could Your Cell Phone End Up Burning You?
In September of 2016, Samsung issued a recall on the Galaxy Note 7 because of a defective battery issue. These were lithium ion batteries that turned out to be a fire hazard due to overheating. With people spending so much time on their phones, overheating is a real risk and a high likelihood of causing injury to the user and to others around them.
The product defect was believed to be in somewhere around one million phones, purchased between August and September of 2016. At the time of the recall, 92 phone batteries had already overheated, resulting in 26 serious burns and 55 incidents of property damage. Examples of property damage included full blown car fires and even garages catching on fire.
The company advised those who had purchased these phones to cease using them, turn them off, and contact the company for a refund or replacement. If unsure whether or not your phone is among those recalled, visit the Samsung website (www.samsung.com) with your IMEI number from the back of the phone, or call (844) 365-6197.
Quitting Smoking with E-Cigarettes Could Result in Injuries
Vaping, or using an electronic cigarette device (e-cigarette) has become a popular alternative to tobacco use for those who wish to quit. Yet, it is a mistake to assume that all brands and devices are equally functional and safe to use. These devices vary in size and style, are hand held, and often include various flavors of liquid that are vaporized by the power of a battery. These batteries can explode, and have done so more than 90 times since 2009. More than half of those incidents resulted in serious injury to user.
2009 may seem like a long time ago, but it’s important to note that many of these incidents occurred quite recently, and they have resulted in injuries as serious as third degree burns. Specifically, in November of 2016, a man from New York was injured in this way from the explosion of an e-cigarette that was in his pocket, not even being used at the time. He was treated with a three hour surgery, using skin grafting to repair the burns. He will also likely have permanent scars to his hand and his leg.
The following month saw two more lawsuits against e-cigarette manufacturers when one man experienced burns on his leg while driving, and another experienced the even worse scenario of having an e-cigarette explode in his lips. This individual then endured painful and expensive surgeries and repair to his mouth, his lips, his gums, and his teeth.
Many believe that these explosions are caused by poor ventilation or, as in the case of the Samsung phone fires, the use of defective lithium ion batteries. If you own an e-cigarette, we recommend that you do some research into the manufacturer and whether or not there are any lawsuits or recalls associated with your device. You might also want to consider other methods of smoking cessation that are less likely to cause burn injuries.
Were You Burned By a Defective Electronic Product in Georgia?
If you have experienced burn injuries due to a defective electronic product in Georgia, you likely have a defective product personal injury claim against the manufacturer of that product. Any time you are injured by a product, you should seek medical attention as soon as you can, take photos of the injury and what is left of the product, and keep records of your medical treatment and recovery. You should then contact a Georgia personal injury attorney to discuss your case.
At the Bader Law Firm, we’ll provide a free consultation, investigate your situation, assist you in filing a claim against the appropriate manufacturer, and then set about proving your claim for damages. It is important to be aware of the statute of limitations in Georgia for personal injury claims, including defective product claims. The statute of limitations limits you to a certain period of time in which you are legally allowed to file a claim for damages. In Georgia, that statute of limitations is two years. If your case does not involve an injury, but does involve property damage, then it is a different type of claim and has a four year statute of limitations.
This statute of limitations dictates how much time you have to formally file your personal injury claim in Georgia, though you do not have to have it resolved within this time frame. As long as you file the claim before the statute of limitations is up, you can work towards negotiating a settlement in the time that follows, and you may be able to avoid going to court with a fair settlement from the responsible company.
Contact our skilled Atlanta, GA personal injury lawyer at Bader Law Firm to learn more about how the law applies to your situation and what steps need to be taken next to ensure that you receive fair compensation.