Window Blind Cords and Product Liability for Personal Injury
Late last year, a 16-month-old infant was tragically killed when he was strangled by the cord on his nursery window blinds. Infants and children have a well-known tendency to injure themselves on household items, such as window blind cords, stoves, or electrical outlets. Most parents go to great lengths to protect their children, but unfortunately, parents are not always able to keep their children from being injured by a defectively designed or manufactured product. Ensuing medical expenses and lost wages can be devastating to the finances and emotional well-being of parents and their children. In these types of cases it is important for negligent companies to be held accountable for their actions, often by means of a personal injury claim.Safety Precautions
Despite the fact that the industry is aware of the inherent dangers of window blind cords, many companies continue to manufacture them in the same way. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has responded to public concern about the danger of the product and is taking steps to ban blinds with accessible cords. The CPSC has published some guidelines to help parents keep their children safe. For instance, the agency suggests that parents:
- Examine window coverings for any exposed cords;
- Use only cordless blinds in homes where young children are present; and
- Order a free retrofit kit that can help eliminate some of the danger.
Assemblywoman Susan Eggman introduced a bill in the California State Assembly last year that would ban blinds with cords in stores and daycare centers, although the bill has undergone major revisions in recent months.Product Liability
Manufacturers have a duty to keep unsafe or defective products off the market, and a failure to uphold this duty can have devastating consequences for the public. To establish that a manufacturer or distributor is responsible for a personal injury caused by a product, an injured party must show that the product was defective or unreasonably dangerous. A dangerous or defective condition can arise from a faulty design, improper manufacturing, or a failure to warn of hazards.
Liable parties may include any designers, producers, or assemblers of a product or its parts. Sellers, including retailers, wholesalers, and distributors, or any person who sells the product, can also be held strictly liable. Products available for resale, for use, or for consumption may all be subject to strict liability.
In some instances, companies may issue a recall of a particular product. Whether the recall was voluntary or mandatory, companies are required to either refund the consumer or replace or repair the product.
If your child has been injured by a window blind cord or any other unreasonably dangerous consumer product, it is important to retain an experienced attorney who can ensure that you receive the compensation that you deserve. Please call a skilled San Jose personal injury attorney at Corsiglia, McMahon & Allard, L.L.P. for a free consultation.Sources