Fires, tip-overs, electric shocks and exploding glass – defective ovens can cause bodily harm and property damage in a variety of ways. If you have been injured due to a defective oven, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries from the oven’s manufacturer, distributor, or retailer.
Defects That Could Make Your Oven Dangerous
Ovens can contain different defects that can cause injuries and property damage:
- Faulty wiring: Defective wiring could ignite a fire.
- Tip-Overs: A stove lacking sufficient stability could topple over, crushing or sending hot pots and pans into the cook or bystander.
- Defective element: An element in the oven could short-circuit, sparking a fire inside the oven.
- Defective glass: Defective glass on the oven door could explode, causing lacerations, burns and serious eye injuries from flying shards of hot glass.
- Defective rack: A poorly designed or manufactured rack could fall and burn your arm as you are removing items from the oven.
Defective Ovens Recalls
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), which regulates ovens and other household appliances, works with appliance-makers to publicize manufacturers’ voluntary recalls, or use its regulatory authority to compel a manufacturer to recall a defective product.
To learn more about oven recalls, go to:
- cpsc.gov: This CPSC website maintains a recall list for consumers to check if there is a recall on an oven. .
- saferproducts.gov: This CPSC website has a key-word searchable database where the public can report problems with ovens, read consumer complaints about ovens, and find recall notices.
Significant oven recalls since 2007 include:
- In July 2015, Whirlpool recalled about 33,000 Jenn-Air wall ovens because the extendable roller rack could disengage when extended, creating a burn risk.
- In November 2008, General Electric recalled about 250,000 GE®, Profile™, Monogram®, and Kenmore® wall ovens because extreme heat can escape during the self-clean cycle, creating burn and fire hazards.
- In December 2007, General Electric recalled over 90,000 microwave combo wall ovens because the door switch in the microwave oven could overheat, igniting plastic parts in the control area.
- In September 2007, Keystone Manufacturing Co. and QVC recalled about 32,000 convection ovens with rotisserie because wires behind the control panel could overheat, posing fire and electric shock dangers.
- In June 2007, BSH Home Appliances Corp. recalled around 42,000 Thermador Brand built-in ovens because of gaps in the insulation, causing a fire risk. The recall was expanded in January 2010 to include 37,000 more units.
Filing a Product Liability Suit Based on a Defective Oven
A product liability lawsuit involving a defective consumer product, such as an oven, may be based on three types of defects:
- A design defect: A defect that is built into the inner workings and functions of the product. This occurs during the engineering and planning phase, long before the product is manufactured.
- A manufacturing defect: A defect that occurred during the production of the component parts or the assembly of the product.
- A marketing defect: A defect related to the manufacturer’s failure to provide adequate instructions on the proper and safe use of a product, adequate warnings against safety hazards of the product, or information about the safety risks associated with its use.
Your lawyer may pursue a defective product claim against a manufacturer, retailer or distributor be based on one of three theories:
- Strict liability: When a product liability case is based on strict liability, you do not have to prove the manufacturer’s negligence. You must only prove the product was defective and that the defect caused your injury.
- Negligence: When a product liability case is based on negligence, you must prove the manufacturer, distributor, or retailer did not exercise the care that would be considered reasonable by other experts – in legal terms, the “standard of care.”
- Breach of warranty: When a product liability case is based on breach of warranty, you must prove that the manufacturer, distributor, or retailer violated an implied warranty — their assurances that a product is safe when it is used as it was intended.
Manufacturers, distributors and retailers may defend against these claims by arguing the following:
- The statute of limitation: Each state limits how long after suffering a product-related injury a consumer may file a product liability suit. These statutes of limitation vary, ranging from one to six years.
- The statute of repose: Each state limits how long after a product has been manufactured or sold that it can be considered defective. In other words, after a certain period, the law presumes the product is too old to be held liable for a defect. The statute of repose is usually a much longer period than the statute of limitations. It also varies by state, ranging from six to 20 years. Many states have a 10- or 12-year statute of repose.
- Misuse of a product: A manufacturer may argue that you did not use the oven in a proper manner.
- Alteration of a product: A manufacturer may argue that you modified the product.
You can recover compensation for your medical expenses, your lost wages, your lost earning capacity, and your pain and suffering. You can also be compensated for any property damage, such as the destruction of your home in a fire. In some cases, you can recover punitive damages, damages intended to punish the manufacturer for its conduct. You can file a wrongful death action if your spouse, child, or other relative is killed due to a defective oven.
If you have been injured by a defective oven, contact a defective oven injury lawyer at Newsome Melton at 888-808-5977 or make an appointment on our website.