On October 17, Target recalled about 7,500 leather pouf ottomans after it was discovered by the manufacturer that the ottoman coverings could be easily opened by children, and that the stuffing inside of the ottoman created a choking hazard for children. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission website, “The zippers on the pouf ottomans can be opened by children who can then suffocate or choke on the pouf’s polystyrene beads.”
The recall was conducted voluntarily by Target. The store released a statement stating “Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled pouf ottoman, place it out of reach of children and return it to any Target store for a full refund.” If you have purchased this product, you can contact Target at 800-440-0680 or online here.
PRODUCT LIABILITY AND DESIGN DEFECTS
In Georgia, there are three categories of product defects that can give rise to a product liability claim:
• Manufacturing defects;
• Design defects; and
• Labeling defects/failure to warn.
The pouf ottomans recalled by Target are an example of a design defect. They were produced as intended, but nonetheless posed an unreasonable danger to children. Design defects can be especially dangerous because they are often not discovered until people start getting hurt.
Design defect claims can also be difficult to win. To win a design defect claim, the Georgia Supreme Court has held that a plaintiff must prove that “the risks inherent in a product design” are significant enough that they outweigh “the utility of the product.” This is referred to as a “risk-utility” analysis.
One of the most important factors courts will consider when conducting the risk-utility analysis is whether safer alternative designs were available. If a manufacturer knew or should have known of a safer design and they choose to produce a less-safe product anyway, they can be found liable in a product liability suit on the basis of design defect. Put another way, if a manufacturer has the option of choosing between multiple designs, they have a duty to consumers to choose the safest feasible one. On the other hand, if there were no known alternatives to the design, a plaintiff must prove that the design was inherently so dangerous that it was unreasonable to produce the product at all.
Call Williams Elleby, If You’ve Been Injured by a Defective Product
If you or your child has been injured by a defective product, it is important to be aware of your legal rights and options. Not all product-related injuries create a viable claim, but when manufacturers cut corners or otherwise negligently produce unsafe products, victims deserve compensation. To get compensation, victims often need qualified and experienced legal counsel on their side.
The experienced personal injury attorneys at Williams Elleby, are dedicated to getting justice for victims of defective products in Georgia. Williams Elleby, is located in Kennesaw, Georgia, and serves clients throughout the state. Call 833-LEGALGA today if you would like more information or if you would like to discuss your case.