Your Device Just Exploded–Now What?
Lawyers to Handle Injury Claims for Dangerous Products from Amazon
It’s late, you had a long day—as you finally arrive home, you see a familiar brown box waiting outside of your door. It’s the Amazon package you’ve been waiting for; a new phone charger to replace the one you accidently sent through the wash for a third time. You see that it’s from AmazonBasics and was configured for your phone. You sit down, turn on the T.V., and go to plug your phone into the new charger. It sparks the moment you plug it in, and within seconds its ignited into a mini fireball. Frantically you try to put out the fire in your home, but you need to call 911 and have the firefighters come. All that is left of your phone is a charred husk at best, and at worst significant fire damage to your home. One thought comes forward as soon as your world stops spinning—now what?
While the scene described above may sound like a nightmare that only happens to other people, it is the stark reality that is affecting more and more people who buy Amazon products. A recent CNN article has shined a light on this problem, which Amazon seems keenly aware of. Since 2016, at least 1,500 reviews of over 70 products have described them as exploding, catching fire, smoking, melting, causing electrical malfunctions or otherwise posing risks, according to an analysis of AmazonBasics electronics and appliances listed on its website (1). A quick Google search reveals that keywords like “fire,” “recall,” “hazard,” and “dangerous” all have been linked to ever growing complaints about AmazonBasic electronics. This is not the first time that Amazon has had trouble with their products either. Last year it came to light that Amazon was selling thousands of banned, unsafe, and/or mislabeled products (2). Those products led to serious injuries and spawned numerous lawsuits against Amazon (3). So, what can you do if you or a loved one has been injured because of these products?
First, seek immediate medical attention for any burns or other injuries that you may have experienced because of a fire from these devices. It is of the utmost importance that you begin your recovery as soon as possible. Phones, chargers, and homes can be replaced; you cannot. Second, do not throw away the device, but make sure that it is safe. There will be many questions that the charred device can give answers to, so it is important that you keep it in as best condition as possible. If it is an electronic device, keep it unplugged and place it somewhere where it is cool and dry. If it is battery operated, make sure to remove the batteries, but keep in mind that the batteries may also be damaged and could cause serious injuries. You want to minimize the risk of the device having any further malfunction. A device that is plugged in but unused may cause a fire (4). Keeping any information regarding the product, such as a receipt, manuals, or anything else associated with the product can also be helpful to answer other questions which may arise. Third, you will want to contact an attorney as soon as possible to help preserve any claims you may have against the manufactures and/or seller of the device. The personal injury attorneys at the Clark Law Firm work tirelessly to help their clients get justice.
In 1987 New Jersey enacted laws specifically designed to protect consumers, like yourself, from these dangerous products. Under what is commonly knowns as the Product Liability Act or PLA, the manufacturer and/or seller may be held liable for your losses (5). It is important to contact a lawyer if you or a loved one has been injured to ensure that your rights remain protected. If you have not been injured, you should look at some of the reviews posted about the product you bought, to ensure that it is safe.
If you or a family have been injured by a defective or dangerous product from Amazon, contact our experienced product liability attorneys.
(5) Sun Chem Corp. v. Fike Corp., 2020 N.J. LEXIS 880 1, 20-21 (2020) (Specifically, the PLA imposes liability upon the manufacturer or seller for a product’s “manufacturing defects, warning defects, and design defects.”)