With the Holidays right around the corner, Tobias & Comer Law would like to educate the public about the potential hazards of defective products and what to do if they have been injured by a defective product. Toys, appliances, ATV’s, baby equipment, seat belts, even collision protection systems in new cars can be defective and cause injury. Appliances and equipment that have lithium batteries can be a cause of injury, while other products have faulty designs that cause harm.
In Alabama, there is a special set of rules that apply to product manufacturers known as the “Alabama Extended Manufacturer Liability Doctrine” or “AEMLD” for short. The AEMLD requires manufacturers to produce products that are free from defects in manufacturing, to eliminate dangerous designs, and to properly warn the end users of products of the dangers the company knows or should know.
- A manufacturing defect — Errors in the production process caused the product to leave the factory in a condition that made its use unsafe.
- A design defect — Despite being manufactured correctly, the product was designed in a way that made it unreasonably dangerous even when used as intended.
- A failure to warn — The product did not come with adequate instructions for safe use or warnings about reasonably anticipated dangers from misuse.
What you can do:
- Report a Defective Product: Always report an injury that was caused by a suspected defective product. Contact the manufacturer or seller of the product and report it to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). Individual consumers can reach out to the CPSC on their website https://www.saferproducts.gov or by phone (800-638-2772) to report safety concerns about various products. Additionally, businesses and manufacturers of products are legally required to report any defects that they discover to the CPSC.
- Check for Recalls: Check the Consumer Product Safety Commission website regularly for product recalls and/or sign up for CPSC alert emails. https://www.cpsc.gov/Recalls
- Register your Product: Be sure to register the product with the manufacturer – don’t throw away that “Register Your Product” paperwork. Go online and register your newly purchased product so that you will receive any recall information directly from the manufacturer.
Oftentimes, following and adhering to recall information can remedy a potentially dangerous toy or product injury. Take a moment and sign up for the recall alerts to keep your family safe from an unexpected defective product injury.
For more information on defective products, see our Law 251 Podcast.