Kitchen gadgets are growing in popularity. Small, multi-functional appliances help to make food prep and cooking easier, which is great for busy individuals and families. The Magic Bullet is was one of the first small kitchen gadgets to gain widespread popularity in kitchens across America. Millions of people own the small, compact blender and use it daily. Unfortunately, the Magic Bullet may contain a dangerous defect that could be incredibly hazardous to users. At least, that’s what one Los Angeles woman is saying.
Harjit Thandi recently filed a lawsuit against the manufacturer of the Magic Bullet, claiming that she suffered injuries to her hands because of a defect in the product. Thandi explains that she was using the Magic Bullet as directed to make her daily protein shake when the blender cup unexpectedly detached from the blender base. When she attempted to move the base the blades began to spin without warning. As a result, she reportedly suffered several cuts and nerve damage in her hands. If Thandi’s lawsuit is successful the company will be responsible for compensating her for her injuries.
California’s Product Liability Laws
Tens of thousands of products hit the market in California each year. In order to make sure that these products are safe for consumer use, California state law imposes certain duties and responsibilities on the companies that design, manufacture, and sell these products. If a product is defective and/or a company fails to warn about a potential danger, the company can be held strictly liable responsible for injuries and harms that result. This means that a company does not necessarily have to be negligent in their course of action. If they fail to identify, fix, or warn about dangers inherent to their products, they can be held financially responsible.
Companies in California can be held strictly liable for design defects, manufacturing defects, and failure to warn about dangers associated with a product. Each type of defect/danger is based on a different type of issue with a product.
- Design Defect: A design defect exists when a product is inherently unsafe because of its blueprint and design.
- Manufacturing Defect: A manufacturing defect exists when a product is not manufactured according to its design.
- Failure to Warn: A company has an obligation to warn consumers about dangers that may not be noticeable in the ordinary use of a product.
Companies can also be held financially responsible if their negligence causes a consumer to be injured by a product. A victim who alleges that a company is negligent must prove that the company designed, manufactured, supplied, installed, inspected, repaired, and/or rented the product negligently, and that this negligence caused an injury.
Damages for Injuries Sustained Because of a Defective Product
Magic Bullet users would not expect to have their lives dramatically altered while making their daily smoothie or protein shake. However, if a defect in the product causes it to malfunction, the blades and blender mechanisms have the potential to cause serious and life-changing injuries. Fortunately, California law allows victims injured by defective products to recover monetary damages for those injuries. In most cases, victims will be entitled to recover economic and non-economic damages.
Economic damages are awarded to put a victim back in the financial situation they would have been in if the accident and injury had never happened. As a result, economic damages are limited to the financial expenses and out-of-pocket costs a victim incurs. Economic damages can help to compensate a victim for:
- Medical bills
- Medically-necessary devices
- Medically-necessary home alterations
- Rehabilitation, and
- Nursing care.
If an injury forces a victim to miss time at work or reduces their ability to generate an income, economic damages can be awarded to compensate for these serious losses.
Non-economic damages are awarded to help a victim cope with the physical, emotional, and/or psychological harms they suffer because of an accident. These harms are incredibly subjective and the value will vary significantly from victim to victim. Non-economic damages can help to compensate a victim for:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional trauma
- Disfigurement and scarring
- Loss of consortium, and
- Loss of enjoyment of life.
Filing a Claim On Time
When does a victim have to file a claim in order to recover monetary damages? In California, victims who suffer a bodily injury have two years from the date of their injury-causing accident to file a claim. Victims who do not file a claim within this timeframe will generally be prohibited from recovering compensation for their injuries.
However, some injuries may not be diagnosed immediately. If there is a reasonable delay in the discovery of an injury, a victim can file a claim outside of the traditional statute of limitations. These victims will have one year from the date they discover their accident-related injury to file a claim.
Call a Personal Injury Lawyer for Help
If you have been injured because of a defective product in Los Angeles you may be entitled to recover compensation. Your first should be finding a personal injury lawyer. Call the Los Angeles Accident Law Center to request a free consultation and learn about the benefits of taking legal action. Our attorneys will review your case, determine the strength of your potential claim, and explain your rights as a victim. You are more likely to recover the money you need when you hire an attorney to handle your case, so do not hesitate to call us today.