DEFECTIVE OFFICE EQUIPMENT


Ohio Product Liability Lawyer reviewing cases and lawsuits for injured clients and plaintiffs nationwide
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Spread Awareness for Faulty Products

Employees in office settings may not see regular everyday items like chairs, desks and other furniture and equipment as a workplace hazard, but even so, some defective products may cause injuries and make the office more dangerous than previously thought.

Workers may be injured performing normal tasks in an office environment, although the vast majority of reported injuries are preventable.

Office chairs are known to fail and prompt product recalls. According to a study conducted by the Consumer Product Safety Commission, unstable, faulty and defective furniture was the cause of 43,000 emergency room visits between 2008 and 2010. Primary causes included household and office chairs.

In recent years, faulty and defective office furniture, supplies and equipment have been recalled after causing injuries or has not performed as intended, prompting safety experts to warn consumers of the risks. Offices are normally furnished with items like desks and chairs, and every so often, these may be defectively manufactured.

Other office supplies may also cause injury if they are defective, such as staplers, paper cutters and box cutters. If you have been injured by any equipment in your office, you may be entitled to compensation, and should contact an experienced product liability attorney.

Joe Lyon is a highly-rated Cincinnati, Ohio product liability lawyer representing plaintiffs nationwide in a wide variety of consumer product liability and workplace injury cases.


Defective Office Chairs Recalled


American office workers sit in chairs for many hours each day and don’t think they pose a possible risk. However, office chairs, like any other consumer product may fail when defective. If a consumer has taken normal precaution and the chair still causes an injury, they may be entitled to a personal injury claim.

In June, 2017. Staples recalled 124,000 Hazen Mesh Task chairs because the legs on the base of the chair can break, and pose a fall hazard. Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled chairs and contact Staples. Staples has received 20 reports of the legs breaking on the chairs, including three reports of injuries.

In May, 2017, Leggett & Platt recalled 47,000 Office chairs originally sold at Costco, OfficeMax, Office Depot, Staples, and also online at Amazon.com, Costco.com, OfficeDepot.com, Staples.com, and Walmart.com. The company has noted that the hazard is caused by seat slider bolts and push nuts that may disconnect and fall from the office chair, causing the seat to detach from the chair, posing a fall hazard to consumers.

The recall involves all office chairs with a Leggett & Platt LP01 synchro slider mechanism. The slider components were sold on five brands of office chairs: Hon, Hugg, JSI, Sitmatic and Via Seating. Specific recalled models include the following:

  • Proform
  • Brisbane
  • Genie
  • Riva Act II
  • Jaguar
  • Leon
  • Tigre
  • Lido
  • Verona
  • Opus
  • Regis
  • Beta
  • Proxy
  • Protocol
  • Nucleus

According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, Office Depot agreed in 2015 to penalties of $3.4 million in settlement regarding its failure to notify the safety agency of defects and safety risks concerning two types of chairs it sold with defective seatbacks.

The two chair models, the “Gibson” and the “Quantum,” triggered back-related and other injuries among users. The CPSC received 14 notices of injuries resulting from the Quantum chair, and about 25 injury complaints associated with the Gibson chair. Both items were recalled but not before thousands of chairs were put to market.


Defective Office Equipment Recalls


If you have been injured by defective office equipment of any kind you may have a claim against a negligent manufacturer. Office product manufacturers should be held accountable for the injuries that they cause to workers.

If the product that caused your injury was recalled, you should contact the Lyon Firm and we can provide you with the legal assistance necessary to be eligible for compensation.

photo of attorney Joe Lyon
A Voice for Those who have suffered 

Why are these cases important?

Many product liability cases have had a positive impact on public health and safety, and we have witnessed improved lives and future injuries prevented as companies are forced to remove products and change designs and warnings as a result of litigation.

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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 

Discovering a Product Defect:
Initial Steps

 

  1. Secure the product;
  2. Obtain a complete history from the client and any witnesses on the purchase, use and incident with the product
  3. Obtain all incident or accident reports and photographs;
  4. Obtain medical records of admission, EMS and first four days of hospital admission;
  5. Obtain any government agency via FOIA requests;
  6. Research any other similar incidents including lawsuits;
  7. Research any active recalls;
  8. Research any nuanced areas of law that the facts reveal;
  9. Consult with appropriate experts;
  10. Determine whether case merits filing a lawsuit
  11. Perform any product inspection or testing with appropriate protocols in place. 

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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