FLAMMABLE CLOTHING


Ohio Product Liability Lawyer reviewing cases and lawsuits for injured clients and plaintiffs nationwide
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It may come as a surprise that children’s clothing manufacturers typically do nothing to make their products flame resistant. Flame-resistant fabrics are rare, and in fact, U.S. regulators do not require them in children’s clothing. As a result, many children, as well as adults, suffer burn injuries, often when clothing is ignited.

It is estimated that around 4,000 people in the U.S. are injured from flammable clothing accidents each year, many of them children. In one burn injury study, more than 50 percent of burn accidents were associated with clothing ignition. Children account for over 40 percent of clothing ignition accidents.

In a related burn injury risk clothing recall, Allura recalled around 64,000 pairs of children’s pajamas over fire and burn risk, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.

The pajamas—Allura’s “Sweet and Sassy” 100 percent polyester fleece pajama pants, and a onesie under the brand name Delia’s Girl—were also sold online at Amazon.com, CookiesKids.com, and CrazyforBargains.com. The CPSC states that the pajamas do not meet flammability standards and pose a risk of burn injury.

Joe Lyon is a highly-rated Cincinnati burn injury attorney and flammable clothing lawyer investigating clothing flammability and injury cases nationwide.


Fire Safety Laws


The 1953 U.S. Flammable Fabrics Act is supposed to protect the consumer from clothing that could easily ignite and cause burn injury. Flammability regulations require clothing to meet certain standards of durability and flame resistance. When clothing is made of inferior materials or produced in a negligent manner, manufacturers may be held liable following injuries.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) requires that clothes sold in the United States pass flammability tests. If you have been injured after your clothing caught fire too easily, you should contact a burn accident experienced in filing flammable clothing lawsuits.

Consumer and product safety experts have warned of negligent clothing manufacturing processes that endanger consumers, and increase the risk of burn injury. To the dismay of most Americans buying clothes, certain textiles and clothing may contain flammable fabrics that may easily catch fire and burn rapidly.

The United States government has tried to protect the consumer since the 1950s when Congress enacted the Flammable Fabrics Act (FFA). The law classifies fabrics into the following categories:

  • Class 1: Normal Flammability
  • Class 2: Intermediate Flammability
  • Class 3: Rapid and Intense Burning

Combustible fabrics in Class 3 are regulated and prohibited from being sold in wearable clothing in the U.S. Laws and regulation regarding the flammability of children’s sleepwear is more stringent.

There are several factors that can contribute the flammability of a fabric, including the raw materials used, the gauge of the knit, the weight of the fabric, any dyes and chemicals used to treating the fabric.


Clothing Burn Accidents & Injury


During flammable fabrics testing, a sample fabric is held to a flame and the time it takes for the flame to cover 5.5 inches is recorded. This kind of testing is not always effective and many fabrics are passed but may still present a serious burn injury risk to consumers. Generally, the flammability of fabrics is assessed by the following:

  • Types of Fiber: fibers like untreated cotton ignite quite easily and burn fast. Wool is more difficult to ignite and burns slowly.
  • Tightness of Weave or Knit: loose fabrics ignite and burn faster.
  • Fabric Density: The denser the fabric, the more resistant it is to flame and burning.
  • Surface Finish: Some treatments can improve a fabric’s resistance to ignition and burning. Conversely, other treatments and finishes can feed flammability.
  • Fit on Body: A tight fitting garment helps to harness the spreading of flame and fire.

Understanding Clothing Flammability


In general, a clothing fire hazard depends on the material, weight and construction of the item. Different clothing fabrics burn in unique ways, and depends largely on the weave, and fit.

For example, cotton and linen burn hot and fast, and synthetic fibers can melt into the skin but generally flame out quickly. Wool and silk clothing burns slowly and are difficult to ignite. The heavier the fabric, the higher its flame resistance, and the slower its burning characteristics. Materials made of cotton and rayon generally have the fastest burning characteristics, and pose the greatest risk.

Another factor is the weave. If the fiber structure of the fibers is loose, the fabric is more likely to ignite. Also, clothes that fit closer to the body are less likely to accidentally come in contact with a flame source.


Victoria’s Secret Lawsuit


Nobody expects their own clothing to contribute to severe burn injury, but that is a reality in a number of flammable clothing lawsuits filed each year against garment manufacturers.

Recently, a high-profile flammable clothing claim was filed against Victoria’s Secret after a 22-year-old woman claimed she suffered painful burns and blisters after her Victoria Secret Demi Bra leaked fluids.

The lady said she bought the bra in December 2015 on the Victoria’s Secret website. She filed an injury claim after she was allegedly left with burns, blisters, scarring and discoloration after the clothing accident. The lawsuit states the bra “leaked and exploded.” She did seek medical treatment after the accident and is seeking damages related to the burn injury.

The Demi bra has been discontinued by Victoria’s Secret but there is no indication of why it is no longer in production. The push-up style bra meant to conform to the wearer’s shape. Attorneys and experts are investigating potential causes of injury.

In 2017, another plaintiffs sued Victoria’s Secret and claimed she suffered third-degree burns after one of its hoodies accidentally touched a gas stove and burst into flames. The sweatshirt was part of the company’s PINK line.

The plaintiffs suffered third-degree burns. Attorneys sought compensation for medical expenses and punitive damages for product liability, gross negligence, negligent design and a failure to warn consumers of the fire risk.

Victoria’s Secret has been sued numerous times by women alleging product liability, claiming they were either burned or suffered other injuries.


Flammable Clothing Lawyer Reviews Risk Factors


Fabric and other manufacturing factors affect burn injury incidence, and companies may be held liable for failing to warn consumers of certain risks of their product. Children’s clothing manufacturers and distributors have a responsibility to protect young kids when possible, and when that duty is not met, it may be prudent to hire a burn injury attorney and take legal action against the negligent company.

Product liability lawsuits can end in large settlements, recovering damages and medical expenses, and also may include punitive damages against a company so they are more likely to provide consumers with a safer product in the future.

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Questions about Product Liability & Case Types

What is a Product Liability Lawsuit?

Product liability lawsuits often contain causes of action for strict liability, negligence, and breach of warranty. Strict liability applies to different factors than negligence-based claims.

In negligence cases, the actions of the defendant are the focus. In strict liability claims, the focus is on the condition of a product at the time it left the manufacturer. If a product is determined to be defective, the company is liable for any foreseeable injuries that are in-part caused by the defective condition of the product.

What are some examples of Product Liability?
How is a Product Defined as Defective?
Ohio Definition of Defective

A product is defective if it is unreasonably dangerous for its intended use. A legal cause of action can be based on several types of product defects. The following are Cincinnati product liability and strict liability claims available in Ohio and in most jurisdictions nationwide:

(1)  Manufacturing/ Construction Defect:

These issues arise where the product is released from the factory in a manner that deviates from the intended design or specifications. The defect can be a result of using the wrong materials, including the wrong or completely foreign materials (e.g., Tylenol contamination, food poisoning, damaged car part from factory installation).

As a result of the deviation, the product enters the market in an unreasonably dangerous condition and the consumer is exposed to or purchases a product that is defective. Any personal injuries or economic loss that arise from the the defect are compensable under Ohio product liability law.

(2) Defective design and/or formulation:

Defective design product liability cases arise not because a mistake was made during the manufacturing process, but rather the original design of the product is unreasonably dangerous. A “risk benefit analysis” is used to determine whether safer/less expensive alternative designs were available to the manufacturer.

Federal regulations set minimum standards for the design of many consumer products, and preemption defenses may preclude liability in some situations if the manufacturer follows and obtains federal approval for a product. Automotive recalls and product liability cases are usually a result of a defective design. Common cases include the Toyota Brake Recall, Chrysler Gen III seat belt buckle, lap belt only cases, Metal on Metal hip implants, transvaginal mesh.)

(3) Failure to warn or inadequate warning or instruction associated with the product:

All consumer products come with necessary and appropriate warnings and instructions for use. If the lack of a warning makes the product and use of the product unsafe, the manufacturer is liable for the failure to place the warning. The most common area of litigation for failure to warn is in pharmaceutical litigation.

Pharmaceutical manufacturers are required to warn of the known or foreseeable side effects and update the warnings in a timely manner. Litigation arises where there is evidence the manufacturer failed to timely update a warning in light of new data or simply ignored the risk and failed to conduct sufficient research to identify and then disclose the risk.

(4) Misrepresentation:

The product fails to conform to a representation or warranty. Warranty claims are more common in commercial and economic loss cases than in personal injury cases. In many States, The Product Liability Act does not apply to cases with only economic loss, because the Commercial Code provides recourse for breach of warranty.

The warranty may be written or implied based upon the products intended purpose and merchantability. An example of a breach of warranty cases are cases involving automotive defects.

How do you prove design defects?

Risks:  The following factors are considered under Ohio law when determining the risks associated with the design of a product:  (1) the magnitude of the risk of injury; (2) ordinary consumer awareness of the risk for injury; (3) the likelihood of causing injury; (4) the violation of a private or public standard; and (5) the consumer’s expectation of the performance of the product and level of danger. Ohio Revised Code 2307.5 (B) Product Defective in Design or Formulation.

BenefitsThe following factors are considered under Ohio law when determining the benefits associated with product design: (1) the utility of the product; (2) availability of an alternative design; (3) the magnitude of risks associated with an alternative design. Ohio Revised Code 2307.5 (c)

Defenses for Defective Design(1) a pharmaceutical drug or medical device is not defective by design if it contains an adequate warning of an unavoidably unsafe aspect of the pharmaceutical or medical device; (2) the dangerous aspect is inherent to the product, recognizable, and cannot be eliminated without compromising the product’s usefulness; (3) a lack of a feasible alternative design. 2307.75 (d)(e)(f).

EXAMPLES:

What is a manufacturing defect?
  • A manufacturing defect is based on a defect that occurred during the manufacturing process. Many auto companies have been involved in this kind of product liability lawsuits in recent years, due to defective airbags, software defects, tire failure, and other dangerous manufacturing errors.

    Most manufacturing defect cases are based on a products deviation from the intended specification, formula, performance standards, or design model. In such cases, it may be easy to determine the product did not comply with the intended design.

    The product may be recalled as a specific lot is identified as being non-compliant and defective. A product may be defective in manufacture or construction, materials and assembly, and a manufacturer or distributor may be subject to strict liability, even though it exercised all possible care.  Ohio Revised Code 2307.74.


    Manufacturing Defect Examples:

What is a failure to warn lawsuit?

In determining whether a product is defective due to inadequate warning or instruction, evidence must be presented to prove:

  • The manufacturer knew, or in the exercise of reasonable care, should have known about a risk
  • A reasonable manufacturer would have provided a warning of the risk
  • The manufacturer failed to provide the warning
  • The person was injured due to a lack of warning. The same elements apply whether the claim is based on a warning present during the marketing or post-sale warnings.

Defenses to Failure to Warn Claims(1) the risk was open and obvious or a matter of common knowledge; and (2) in cases of a pharmaceutical drug or medical device, the warning was provided to the prescribing physician (“Learned Intermediary Doctrine”).

Many pharmaceutical companies have been targeted in failure to warn lawsuits for either failing to place warnings on medication guides and packaging or failing to properly test their product before putting it to market.


 

What are consumer product safety regulations?

Design and manufacturing defects result in thousands of product recalls each year in the United States, initiated by federal safety agencies. Following injury and illness, regardless of recall status, victims and plaintiffs may pursue legal action and contact a product liability lawyer to begin the litigation process. Rightful compensation can be sought and help plaintiffs recover medical costs and other related damages.

Product liability law overlaps with regulatory law, which are the systems of legislative rules and administrative agencies, and part of federal and state governments. These agencies regulate the safety of the products sold to the public. Examples include:

  • The Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
  • The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA;)
  • The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC)

The listed government agencies, however, may initiate recalls of dangerous products but do not provide remedies or compensation for damages where an individual is injured due to the defective product.

Why should I hire The Lyon Firm?

Our Firm will help you find the answers.  The Firm has the experience, resources and dedication to take on difficult and emotional cases and help our clients obtain the justice for the wrong they have suffered. 

 Experience:  Joe Lyon is an experienced Cincinnati Product Liability Lawyer. The Lyon Firm has 17 years of experience and success representing individuals and plaintiffs in all fifty states, and in a variety of complex civil litigation matters.   Product Liability lawsuits can be complex and require industry experts to determine the root cause of an accident or injury.  Mr. Lyon has worked with experts nationwide to assist individuals understand why an injury occurred and what can be done to improve their lives in the future. Some cases may go to a jury trial, though many others can be settled out of court.

Resources/Dedication: Mr. Lyon has worked with experts in the fields of accident reconstruction, biomechanics, epidemiology, metallurgy, pharmacology, toxicology, human factors, workplace safety, life care planning, economics, and virtually every medical discipline in successfully representing Plaintiffs across numerous areas of law. The Lyon Firm is dedicated to building the strongest cases possible for clients and their critical interests.

Results:  Mr. Lyon has obtained numerous seven and six figure results in personal injury,  automotive product liability, medical negligence, construction accidents, and auto dealership negligence casesThe cases have involved successfully litigating against some of  the largest companies in the world 

Your Right to Safety

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Defective products on the market present safety and health hazards for adults and children. Cheap and defective products may pose fire and burn risks; electrocution, strangulation and choking risks; and severe health risks. The manufacturers of consumer products have a duty to foresee potential injury and properly design and test products before they are released.

Companies must also properly warn consumers of any risks associated with their products. Any failure to protect consumers that results in accidents and injury can lead to lawsuits filed by plaintiffs and their Cincinnati product liability lawyer

Our Victories

The Lyon Firm aggressively, professionally, and passionately advocates for injured individuals and families against companies due to a defective product or recalled product to obtain just compensation under the law. 

DEFECTIVE LAP BELT RESTRAINT

SPINAL CORD INJURY

(Pikeville, Kentucky): Confidential settlement for Plaintiff who suffered spinal cord injury resulting in paraplegia due to defectively designed seat belt. Four passengers with three-point (lap/shoulder) belts walked away from the accident, and the only passenger wearing a two-point belt (lap only) suffered a debilitating spinal cord injury. The settlement assisted with home improvements to assist in daily living. GM entered federal bankruptcy during the process and no longer manufactures two-point lap belts for vehicles.

DEFECTIVE PROPANE WALL HEATER

WRONGFUL DEATH 

(Hillsboro, Ohio): Confidential Settlement for the family of elderly man who was catastrophically burned while operating a propane wall heater. The burns resulted in his unfortunate death. The heater, manufactured and sourced from China, was alleged to allow the flame to reach outside the grid area in violation of ANSI standards. The Defendant resolved the case following discovery and mediation. The recovered funds were paid to the victim’s surviving spouse and children. The company no longer manufactures this type of heater.

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