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Monday, October 31, 2016

Samsung washing machine exploded at Plano home, residents say

What should you look out for with products liability suits?

Samsung has been having a rough several months.  It started with the incendiary Galaxy Note 7 and is apparently continuing with an explosive washing machine.

Samsung Product Woes

John Stark and Barry Pyle, residents of Plano, were minding their own business this past week when they heard what sounded like a sonic boom from their laundry room.  When they went to investigate, they found that the top had blown off of their washer, which was still filling with water for the wash cycle. The two reported flying debris that had dented other appliances and put a hole in the wall. Thankfully, no one was hurt.

According to Samsung, this is a known issue for top-loading washers from March 2011 to April 2016.  Samsung also suggests that people use the lowest spin cycle when washing bedding and other bulky items.

Products Liability in a Nutshell

Every year, tens of thousands of people are injured in the United States by defective products. State and federal laws protect consumers from products that are defective or otherwise unsafe, and provide for compensation if you are injured.

Products can be defective if they are:

  • Designed unsafely,
  • Manufactured improperly, or
  • Lacking adequate instructions and warnings

Design Defects

Design defects arise in products liability when a user is injured by a product that is made exactly to the design specifications.  There are a few caveats though when it comes to products that are inherently dangerous.  For example, a knife is designed to cut things and can injure a person during ordinary use.  These types of products are not ones that will implicate a manufacturer in a products liability lawsuit.

Under Texas Law, if you are injured by a product that you believe is defectively designed, you must prove that:

  1. A less dangerous design exists;
  2. This safer, alternative design would have been financially and technically reasonable for the manufacturer at the time the product was made;
  3. The alternative design would have reduced the risk of injury while still maintaining its’ utility.

Of course, you must also prove that your injuries resulted directly from the defect in the product.

Manufacturing Defects

Manufacturing defects happen usually by accident or some sort of anomaly in the process of making the product.  Victims of injuries arising from manufacturing defects must prove that the item is defective, which can sometimes be difficult if the product was destroyed or otherwise damaged as a result of the defect.

Failure to Warn

If a manufacturer fails to provide warnings and clear instructions for use, and the product poses some risk when used as intended, then that manufacturer may be held liable for personal injuries arising from use. 

Proving Defects

Determining who is liable for injuries arising from defective products can be complicated. If you or someone you care about has been injured by a product you purchased, call Sawicki Law today at 888-468-8844 for a free consultation.

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