Over the past several years, fried turkey has become one of the most popular Thanksgiving Day dishes. To keep up with demand, product makers have churned out more and more turkey fryers. As production increases, the chances of buying a defective product increase substantially.
Turkey fryer injuries are a serious problem. Since 2002, defective turkey fryers have caused more than $8 million in damages and have seriously injured hundreds of people. These injuries usually trigger significant medical bills and other economic injuries. A personal injury attorney can usually arrange for medical care, even if the victim has no money or insurance. These incidents also cause substantial noneconomic injuries, such as pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment in life, and emotional distress.
What Types of Injuries Do Defective Turkey Fryers Cause?
Typically, these injuries are serious burns that are difficult to treat. The oil in a turkey fryer is usually at least 350 degrees, and it must stay at this temperature for almost an hour. Many metals are simply not strong enough to withstand these temperatures for this amount of time. Moreover, minute flaws in the manufacturing process may cause serious injury to unwary consumers.
350 degrees is more than hot enough to cause third-degree burns. In these injuries, the heat burns away most of the skin, exposing bones and muscles. Doctors can only treat these injuries in expensive burn trauma centers, and they must use painful and expensive skin grafts. Even after third-degree burns heal, they usually leave disfiguring scars behind.
Other injuries are fourth-degree burns. In some cases, temperatures are high enough to actually melt the bone. Fourth-degree burn patients obviously suffer greatly until these burns fully heal, and that process could take many months.
Your Claim for Damages in Rockford
Defective turkey fryers and other products cause sudden and serious injuries. So, product manufacturers are strictly liable for damages. Victim/plaintiffs must only prove cause, which is not always easy to do. However, with something like a turkey fryer, it is fairly easy to establish a connection between the defect and the injury.
This defect is usually a breach of warranty. According to the Uniform Commercial Code, most new products sold in the United States must conform to certain standards. These standards include:
- Fit for ordinary purposes,
- Fair average quality, and
- Conformity with all affirmations on the label.
Some breaches occur during the design process. The defective design carries over into the manufacturing process. Examples include a hinge that does not close properly or a cheap temperature gauge. Other defects occur in the manufacturing process. That could be a screw which does not quite fit the hole. Product manufacturers are responsible for everything that happens before the product reaches the shelf.
The Product Misuse Defense
Victim/plaintiffs need not prove fault in defective product cases. However, the product manufacturer still has some available defenses. One of them is the product misuse defense. For example, a vehicle owner might use an emergency jack to hoist the vehicle for repairs.
Simple failure to follow directions usually does not trigger the defense. Generally, the product misuse defense must involve a gross misuse. That could be something like using a lawn mower to trim ivy on a brick wall. The defendant has the burden of proof in affirmative defenses like this one.
Count on Tenacious Attorneys
Defective products often cause serious injuries. For a free consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer in Rockford, contact Fisk & Monteleone, Ltd. Attorneys can connect victims with doctors, even if they have no money or insurance.