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How do I know if I have an Illinois product liability claim?

A product liability claim is a personal injury claim that is filed when a consumer product causes an injury. Most defective products fall into two categories:

  • The product causes an injury because of an improper design or design flaw. In 2009, thousands of umbrella strollers were recalled after 12 children suffered finger amputations when they put their fingers near the hinge. This was considered a design defect because the location of the hinge was part of the design and the strollers were intended to be used by young children.

 

  • The product has a safe design, but causes an injury because of a manufacturing problem. In 2007, Mattel and its Fisher-Price subsidiary recalled numerous popular toys because of high levels of lead in the paint. Lead-based paint is banned for use in children’s toys because it can cause severe neurological and developmental disability. The paint was traced to the Chinese factories that manufactured the toys.

 

There are other ways a product can cause injury. Theraflu and Triaminic were recalled in December 2011. There wasn’t anything wrong with the medication, but the child-proof caps required by law did not work properly. A product may also cause injury because it isn’t properly labeled, it comes with inadequate instructions or warnings, or because it is misrepresented in the company’s advertising.

However, not every consumer product injury is grounds for a product liability claim. Falling is an expected risk while learning to ride a bike. If your son falls off his bike while learning to ride, you can’t blame the manufacturer; most children fall when they learn to ride a two-wheeler. However, you can blame the manufacturer if he is injured because the fork supporting the bike collapses.

Still not sure if you have an Illinois product liability claim? Contact the Bloomington personal injury lawyers at Hupy and Abraham at 866-532-4800. Ask to schedule a free consultation. We’ll tell you if you have a case.

 

Jason F. Abraham
Managing Partner, Hupy and Abraham