Car Seat Manufacturer Product Liability
The Facts About Car Seat Safety
Many people are surprised to discover that it was not until 1986 that all states put child restraint laws in place for vehicles. Only in recent years has safety awareness boomed regarding car seats for infants and toddlers, booster seats for older children, and even pregnancy-specific safety devices for vehicles.
This increasing attention to safety, both on the part of individuals and in the laws governing these devices and their use, has undoubtedly saved many lives. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that between 2002 and 2011, vehicle crash deaths decreased by 43 percent among children under 12 years old.
Tragically, though, more than 9,000 children in that age range still died in vehicle crashes during that same period. This equates to approximately 1,000 preventable child deaths each year that are related to automotive collisions and child restraint use. Some of these deaths result from improper use (or non-use) of child restraints; sadly, though, one-third of children who died in crashes were not buckled at all.
A Hidden Cause of Preventable Child Deaths and Injury: Product Defects
Other deaths and severe injuries may result from defective car safety products that are sold on the market. For example, the attorneys at Hossley & Embry recently achieved a landmark $34.4 million court victory against a car seat manufacturer that chose not to update the safety warnings on one of their car seats despite overwhelming evidence that keeping children in a rear-facing car seat until they are at least two years old is much safer than using a forward-facing seat. Because of the manufacturer’s negligence, an innocent toddler became paralyzed and disfigured.
When most people think of defective products, they assume a product must have been built with a flaw of some kind, but product liability may take other forms as well. For example, products like car seats may be defective in any of the following areas:
- Design Defects
Products with design defects are faulty based on some fundamental error in their engineering; if a product would fail even with a perfect manufacturing process, it likely has a design defect of some kind.
- Manufacturing Defects
Car seats and other child restraints or safety devices that were assembled using substandard materials or that fail due to deficient workmanship are said to have a manufacturing defect.
- Marketing or Failure-to-Warn Defects
Products are designed and manufactured for a specific intended purpose; however, those products may have inherent dangers that warrant an explicit warning to prevent harm to consumers. Alternately, products may be advertised in such a way as to promote a use that is inconsistent with their intended purpose or that is unsafe — like the example from Hossley & Embry’s case above.
Hossley & Embry: Protecting Consumers and Helping Victims of Defective Products
The attorneys at Hossley & Embry have handled many different types of product liability claims. From auto parts to medical devices to car seats, the Hossley & Embry team is ready to thoroughly investigate each case and pursue the justice and compensation that victims of defective products deserve.
If you or a loved one has suffered an injury resulting from a defective product, please give Hossley & Embry a call at (866) 522-9265 or fill out our convenient online contact form; we’ll get back to you promptly. We offer free consultations, and we have the resources available (including charter aircraft) to travel throughout Texas and the United States on short notice to investigate your potential claim.
CDC study shows that child passenger deaths have decreased 43 percent from 2002 – 2011. (2014, February 5). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2014/p0204-child-passenger-deaths.html
Yung Bae, J., Anderson, E., Silver, D., & Macinco, J. (2014, January). Child passenger safety laws in the United States, 1978—2010: Policy diffusion in the absence of strong federal intervention. Social Science & Medicine 100, pp. 30-37. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3899584/
The content provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject.