In more bad news for Home Depot, an Illinois man is suing the home improvements retailer for injuries he suffered in a Chicago-area store. On August 21, Calvin Horne filed a complaint in Cook County Circuit Court, alleging that Home Depot and Electric Eel Manufacturing Company Inc. failed to take adequate measures to prevent customers from being seriously injured. Horne claims that he severed a finger in July when an Electric Eel drain cleaning device malfunctioned as he was using it to unclog a drain.
The plaintiff in the above case is suing the defendants, alleging that they failed to provide necessary instructions for use, and to warn consumers of the product’s defect. Horne is seeking reimbursement for court costs, and damages in excess of $50,000.
Defective Products Liability
Generally speaking, a product needs to meet a consumer’s ordinary expectations. If an unexpected defect or dangerous feature results in injury, the product does not meet this legal standard. Every year, thousands of people are injured by defective products in the U.S. But who is responsible when these injuries occur? When determining who is at fault in a product liability case, we must first consider the distribution chain.
Chain of Distribution
The chain of distribution for a particular product can be long, and convoluted. A Boston defective products attorney can help you determine who is at fault if you have been injured by a defective product. The distribution chain may include:
- Product designer
- Product manufacturer
- Parts manufacturer
- Product assembler
In most product liability cases, the responsible party or parties must exist within the product’s regular distribution chain. For example, if you purchase a defective product at a yard sale, you aren’t likely to recover from the home owner if you are injured by the product. However, the original manufacturer, retailer, and any parties in the distribution chain can still be liable, even though the product was purchased at a yard sale.
Types of Defects
When it comes to product liability, there are three types of defects that commonly cause injury. These are:
- Defects in the product’s design: These defects were present even before the product was manufactured. If the design is inherently unsafe, the designer may be liable while the manufacturer is off the hook. However, if it can be shown that the manufacturer knew, or should have known about the defect, the manufacturer may also be liable.
- Defects that occur in the manufacturing process: The product’s design was flawless, but a machine malfunctioned during the manufacturing process, and the finished product is too big, or too small, or too slippery, or too sharp. Whatever the defect – if it causes injury – the manufacturer may be liable.
- Defective marketing: Improper labeling or inadequate instructions are the main culprits of injuries due to defective marketing. For example, we all know that a hair dryer is safe, but not when used in water. That is why all hair dryers come with a large warning label to keep the product away from water. If a product is missing an important warning label, or if you were injured due to misleading marketing, an experienced MA injury attorney can help you recover damages.