Businesses have requirements when it comes to reporting dangerous or defective products. Failing to do so could result in civil penalties; such is the recent case with Kolcraft Enterprises Inc., of Chicago.
The manufacturer paid a $400,000 penalty for knowingly failing to report to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) a defect involving Kolcraft Travelin’ Tot play yards. They were sold nationwide between the years 2000 and 2009.
The problem with the play yards was a faulty latch, which could cause the yard to collapse and present a fall hazard if a child were to push on it. The manufacturer received 350 reports, with 21 children suffering injuries. Most were minor but one child did sustain a concussion.
Despite the company learning of the defect, it failed to immediately report the problem to CPSC. Manufacturers are given 24 hours to file a report once a defect is known or there is evidence to suggest the potential of a defect.
Any business involved in not only manufacturing a product but in:
- importing; or
- distributing is required to report known hazards (or potential hazards) to the CPSC.
This means that when a defect has a significant chance of causing injury or death, CPSC must be notified.
Statute of Limitations in a Defective Product Case
There are time limits in which a defective product claim can be filed. This varies according to the state in which an injured person resides. Because laws are subject to change, it’s usually a good idea to speak with an attorney about the most recent.
In some states injured persons have as little as one year to file a claim (Alabama), while in most states it’s between two and three years. In New York, the statute of limitations is three years.
When someone has sustained serious injuries because of a dangerous or defective product, it could lead to compensation. At Gacovino, Lake & Associates, the attorneys may be able to assist victims of a defective product who are filing a claim.