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Dangerous Products to Be Aware of in 2017


Common household items, toys and other products sometimes pose unknown hazards that have the potential to cause property damage and personal injuries to consumers, but unfortunately, many of the dangers that lurk in the homes of unsuspecting Americans are difficult to detect. Sadly, millions of individuals are seriously hurt or killed each year due to inadequate warning labels, defective designs, and other dangerous product issues.

A product liability attorney is always on the lookout for products that could be putting individuals and families at risk for serious injuries or death. Although it isn't possible to identify and eliminate the risks involved with all dangerous products, staying updated on the latest recalls and news about items that can be hazardous can help keep families safe. Some of the most dangerous products identified so far for 2017 include:

  • Batteries: There has been a lot of new coverage recently about the dangers of certain types of batteries used in many electronic devices. The large number of injuries and numerous cases of property damage that have resulted due to faulty or dangerous batteries have caused wide spread concern throughout the United States. Although many types of batteries from a variety of manufacturers have been recalled, it seems that problems continue to arise. Just recently, HP expanded a recall on batteries that are used in notebook computers. Approximately 101,000 batteries are involved and they are suspected to have a fire and burn hazard. HP is providing free replacement batteries to customers who are affected.

Fires and burns aren't the only hazards batteries cause, however. Small, button batteries pose a significant threat to young, curious children. When these batteries are ingested, children are at risk for severe injury or death. While choking is a main concern, internal chemical burns are also common.

  • Trampolines: Trampolines cause nearly 100,000 injuries throughout the nation every year. While safety features and special netting are designed to reduce the risk, head, neck and spinal injuries continue to occur. And when trampolines are defective, the risk for injuries skyrockets. Just a few years ago, defective safety netting was linked to almost 11,000 injuries. Although about 92,000 of the trampolines were recalled, many consumers may still not be aware of the danger that exists, and as a result the remaining units may still be being used or resold.
  • Hoverboards: In July of 2016 the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) issued a recall on more than 500,000 hoverboards nationwide. At that time, there had been 99 reports of these self-balancing scooters overheating, catching fire, and even exploding. Numerous cases of property damage and severe burn injuries were caused. Consumers are directed to be cautious when purchasing used hoverboards and to inspect any hoverboards currently owned to see if they are included in the recall.
  • Bicycles: About 600,000 serious injuries and around 350 deaths involve bicycles each year. While wearing safety helmets, abiding by traffic laws and riding defensively can help reduce the risk for injuries, defective bicycles can cause accidents as well. In January of 2017, Trek Bicycle Corporation recalled about 800 bicycles and around 300 wheel sets due to faulty design that can cause riders to fall. At the time of the recall, ten incidents had been reported where either the front brake caliper came in contact with a wheel spoke or the spokes became broken at the hub. In one case, significent spinal injuries were suffered.
  • Off-Road Vehicles: More than 120,000 serious injuries and about 350 deaths are caused by off-road vehicles each year. While some incidents are attributed to unsafe riding practices or hazardous environments, others are caused by defects in the vehicle's design or faulty parts. In recent months, there have been numerous recalls involving off-road vehicles. In January, Textron Specialized Vehicles recalled about 1,100 Bad Boy Off-Road Utility Vehicles because they lack seat belts which poses a significant risk to operators and passengers in the event of an accident. At the time of the recall, there had been one report of a serious leg injury. A 14 year old passenger has also been killed. Other reasons for recent recalls of off-road vehicles include faulty batteries, fuel leaks, and problems with roll-aways when vehicles are in the park position.
  • Power Tools: Almost 200,000 serious injuries and about 30 deaths involving power tools occur every year. Many of these incidents are a result of inadequate labeling, lack of effective safeguards, and defective parts or designs. In December of 2016, two chainsaw major brands recalled gasoline chainsaws due to fuel leaks that could cause fires. About 8,000 Remington and around 19,500 Craftsman chainsaws were involved in these recalls. Fortunately, the chainsaws were recalled before any serious injuries were reported.

When individuals are injured due to defective products, unsafe product design or inadequate warning labels, manufacturers, distributors and retailers can sometimes be held liable for damages.

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