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Heating pad causes fire, prompts products liability lawsuit

Virginia residents are likely aware that the potential for injury exists all around them. Whether it be a traffic accident, a slip and fall, some intentional harmful action by another, or something else altogether, the number of things that can injure or harm is quite large. In addition to the risks described above, there are also many products that cause injury. While some products are more inherently dangerous than others, many very ordinary products can cause harm, as well.

A woman has sued a manufacturer of a heating pad after she was burned by it during use. According to the woman's lawsuit, she had been sleeping on the heating pad. During the night, the heat from the pad caused the sheets and bedding to catch on fire, resulting in first- and second-degree burns on her hands and back. The woman is suing the manufacturer, claiming that the product was defective and negligently manufactured because its automatic shutoff feature failed to function properly that day.

A products liability lawsuit is an important form of legal recourse both for the injured plaintiff, as well as for other consumers. When a defective product causes an injury, it is unlikely that only one single product is defective. In many cases, all or most of the products with the same design and manufacturing process contain the same defect. For this reason, bringing a products liability lawsuit not only provides compensation for the person directly injured but can also prompt changes in design, operating instructions or labeling that can prevent future injury to others.

Products liability lawsuits can be complicated, however, so it is important to have the counsel of an experienced attorney. Each case is very fact specific and a plaintiff must prove specific legal elements. These include that an injury was suffered, that the product was defective, and that the defective product was the specific cause of the injuries. In addition, plaintiffs must establish that they were using the product in its intended manner and according to the instructions at the time the injury occurred.

Source: Pennsylvania Record, "Pa. woman burned by Jarden heating pad files products liability claim against manufacturer," Jon Campisi, Dec. 3, 2013

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