Injury by Consumer Products

When someone is injured by a defective product, their trust and safety has been violated.  Injury might also happen because the proper labels or instructions weren’t included with the product. In these situations, the manufacturer, shipper, or retailer of the product may all have failed at or ignored their duty to provide a safe product. These are just some of the consumer products that may cause injury or wrongful death by product liability negligence in Indiana.

Household Appliance Injury Indiana

When a company manufactures a household appliance like a stove or fridge, or even a smaller kitchen gadget like a blender or chopper, they have a duty to do a few things. One is to make sure the product is designed to help protect consumers against risk. For instance a chopper or spiralizer may need guards to protect against the reasonable likelihood someone might cut themselves. Defects of product design may lead users to be injured. Defects of product manufacturing like flimsy bolts or improper wiring can also cause household appliance injury. If you were injured by a household appliance in Indiana, and the product was not altered or damaged after purchase in any way, negligence may have played a role in your injury.

Power Tool Injury Indiana

According to Indiana Code section 34-20-2-1, a tool or product can be found defective when there is a manufacturing flaw, a design flaw, or failure to warn of the dangers of use. For example, the manufacturer of a power drill that comes without instructions can be held accountable if someone injures themselves due to lack of proper instruction.

Although recalls are often announced on the news, because there are so many, it can be hard to know if a product you’d like to use or buy is no longer considered safe. Fortunately, manufacturers have a legal obligation to report products to the CPSA in these situations:

  • If the product poses a risk of injury to the consumer
  • If the product creates an unreasonable risk of serious injury or death
  • If the product fails to comply with CPSA safety guidelines

If you have a question about a tool you’ve purchased this list by the CPSA hosted on We Make it Safer can help you determine which products might be dangerous. Checking this list is especially helpful when purchasing used tools. For example, a Black & Decker portable table saw that was new in 2016 was only recently recalled due to a defect that makes it much easier to cut yourself during use.

Child Injury by Defective Toy or Product

Defective toys and products that injure children are unfortunately some of the most common injuries by a product. Sometimes designers or manufacturers don’t recognize that a design of a toy or other product could hurt a child with sharp edges, toxic paint, or other toy defects. Since children may not recognize these risks, it is essential manufacturers and designers take account of latent defects in toys and other products.

Common Products that Cause Child Injury

Some products that commonly cause injury to children are:

  • High chairs, strollers, and car seats
  • Cribs and baby beds
  • Toys with small parts or toys with toxic materials
  • Flammable toys and clothes
  • Toys with sharp edges
  • Toys that can be mistaken or used as weapons
  • Long strings or ropes attached to products

These products may or may not cause injury due to negligence by the designer or manufacturer. If the product is not altered or damaged in any way after purchase, it’s certainly worth talking with a product liability attorney for children to learn more about how they can help.

Personal Care or Cosmetic Product Causes Injury

When we talk about self-care products, we’re really referring to what the FDA considers “cosmetics.” These products are defined as being intended to change one’s appearance, cleanse the human body, or be used to make oneself more attractive. It’s important to note that these products are regulated and classified based not only how they work, but what claims are made about the product by the manufacturer. If a cosmetic claims to change the way a person’s body works, such as by balancing hormones or producing a chemical reaction within the body, that product would be considered a drug by the FDA. However, if the product’s intended use is only for appearances, the cosmetic label would still apply.

FDA Laws for Cosmetics

According to the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, any self-care products must not be adulterated or misbranded. This means they must be accurately labeled and can’t feature any inaccurate claims. Additionally any color additives used in a cosmetic product must be tested and approved by the FDA.

According to FDA regulation, cosmetic products are not required to be approved before being sold online or in retail. However, they must be safe for customers when applied and used by the product directions on the label. For example, if a skincare product should be left on for 10 minutes or less, this needs to be included in the product description.

How To Tell if A Product is Mislabeled

If you’ve had unforeseen issues with a cosmetic product, the cause may be the manufacturer. Though the contents are not regulated by the FDA, they still have the legal requirement to alert consumers of any and all possible issues that may arise from using it. In the previously mentioned Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, a beauty product is considered mislabeled if:

  • The instructions or labels are false or misleading
  • The labeling fails to include the name and address of the manufacturer, packer, or distributor
  • The labeling doesn’t state the net quantity of contents
  • Any required information is omitted, stated incorrectly, or not featured in plain view, or written in a way that is difficult for consumers to understand

Holiday Decoration Consumer Injury

In November and December of 2014, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) reports 14,500 injuries and 12 fatalities from either the process of holiday decorating or the decorations themselves. That’s an average of 240 injuries a day. Defective holiday products that cause injury might not be recalled until January or February. Everything from artificial trees to ornaments to gift boxes has made it onto the list in seasons past. Cuts were actually the top-reported cause of decorating injuries in 2014. If a product is manufactured without considering the safety of the users, that can constitute negligence. This also applies if your holiday decorations weren’t labeled but did get made with materials that are hazardous.

Have you been injured by a defective product? Christie Farrell Lee & Bell has an experienced team of product liability attorneys who can help you explore your options.