The kitchen is one of the most dangerous rooms in your home. From fires to burns to lacerations, there are numerous kitchen products that can cause harm – and defective stoves are one such appliance. Stoves can pose a threat to consumers causing burns, fires, tipping accidents, or severe lacerations. The manufacturer of a defective stove may be responsible if the stove was improperly designed, manufactured, or installed, causing you serious injuries.
Defective Stoves can Cause Tip-Over Injuries
Children are susceptible to tip-over injuries. A small child may grab an oven door or climb on a stove. If the stove is not adequately secured or is made of light materials, it may topple on to the child. Tip-overs can also cause hot liquids or foods to slide off the range top and result in severe burn injuries.
These injuries may be avoidable if the stove if the stove is designed or manufactured to prevent them or it is secured and installed with an anti-tipping device.
Gas Leaks Can Lead to Fires or Explosions
Gas stoves pose additional dangers. Even if the stove knobs are turned to the off position, gas leaks can develop at multiple points, including the internal fuel lines, valves, connectors and seals. An undetected leak can cause gas levels to accumulate to dangerous levels, resulting in an explosion, fire, severe injuries and property damage.
Appliance-makers should design and manufacture stoves with sturdy internal components that can withstand normal use and with safety mechanisms to prevent inadvertent gas releases — ensuring that control knobs turn on and off properly, for example.
Another source of injuries involving gas stoves is related to the poor design and location of the knobs used to control the flow of gas to the burners. Safety bulletins going back to the 1970s have warned about a child’s ability to easily reach and activate gas range controls located on the stove front. Well-designed ranges have knobs that require the user to simultaneously push in the knob in while turning it, to prevent unintended actuation by children or by adults brushing against the knob. Some designs use “lock-out” features that prevent gas flow to the cooktop and the gas oven when activated.
Glass Oven Door Explosion
Defective glass on front oven doors can explode into hot shards that cause burns, lacerations, and severe eye injuries. Glass doors can fail while ovens are heating, pre-heating and in cleaning mode, as well shattering while being opened or standing idle. There are hundreds of consumer complaints reporting such glass failures. Many reports describe the oven door “exploding” violently. These failures can be the result of poor designs and manufacturing that improperly stress the glass.
If any of these calamities occurs, the following parties could be responsible:
- Repair Person
- Maintenance Person
Failure to Warn in Stove Injury Cases
A manufacturer may be held accountable for the failure to adequately warn a consumer and for poor designs and shoddy construction that lead to misuse.
Appliance manufacturers can and do blame consumers for not using the stove properly, and may claim your negligence was the cause of your injuries. However, a manufacturer may still be liable if it did not warn consumers of a known hazard, or if alleged customer misuse was a predictable result of defective design or manufacture. All manufacturers have a duty to warn consumers of any dangers associated with a product, and those warnings must be conspicuous enough to effectively get a consumer’s attention.
Product Liability Lawsuits Are Fact-Dependent
Establishing the specific facts of your case is critical. Our attorneys examine these facts and the extent of your injuries, and our engineering experts can examine an appliance to identify any defects related to the design, manufacturing, installation or service. If the manufacturer failed to make a safe and durable product or a service technician improperly installed or repaired your stove, we can seek compensation to hold them accountable.
After a thorough evaluation, we will decide whether you may have a viable product liability claim.
When you file a product liability lawsuit, you can seek compensation for various types of damages. This includes both out-of-pocket costs and damages for emotional harm.
Your out-of-pocket expenses could include the following:
- Emergency transportation
- Hospital stays
- Medical testing
- Doctor visits
- Prescription drug costs
- Physical therapy
- Equipment (wheelchairs, etc.)
Other economic damages could include:
- Lost wages from time missed at work
- Future lost wages, if you have not yet returned to work
- Loss of earning capacity if you cannot resume your old job
In addition to these costs, you may seek non-economic damages. Non-economic damages vary from case to case. If you have experienced emotional pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment, or loss of convenience, you can make a claim for these damages. Sometimes you can also seek loss of consortium damages for the lost affection and support of a spouse or parent.
What to Expect During a Product Liability Lawsuit
After an initial consultation, your attorney will evaluate and gather additional evidence. If we take your case, we will do so on a contingency basis. That means that we will not charge you out-of-pocket legal fees. Our compensation will be paid from a portion of your settlement or jury award.
During the litigation process, we will request access to more evidence that may be useful in your case.
If we receive a settlement offer, we can accept it, negotiate a counter-offer, or decline. We are always prepared to go to trial when necessary to let a jury decide your case.
You shouldn’t miss your chance to seek compensation because you did not know your legal rights. States impose a statute of limitations, which vary by state, limiting the time you have to file a product liability lawsuit. Don’t hesitate to schedule your stove injury consultation.
Call 888-808-5977 to set up your free case evaluation with a defective stove injury lawyer. Our attorneys can answer your questions and help you understand the litigation process. If we choose to take your case, we will guide you through every stage of your product liability lawsuit.
Newsome Melton represents injured consumers in complex civil litigation cases across the country. We hold manufacturers of defective products accountable, and we hope to help make products safer for everyone.