Flammable or Defective Clothing May Warrant Injury Claims
When seriously injured by defective clothing, the victim can take legal action against the manufacturer and any other party in the supply chain for damage compensation through a defective product civil claim or lawsuit filed by a Cook County product liability lawyer.
Defective clothing or wearing apparel claims and cases can arise from injuries caused by any of the following:
- Improper fire resistance or allegations that the garment was, in fact, highly flammable
- Fabric-induced skin irritations due to the use of caustic chemicals during production
- Improper construction such as hidden or small foreign objects that can injure or choke the wearer
- Poor footwear traction or – in the case of durable work boots – inability to protect the wearer’s foot from heavy objects
The term “wearing apparel” applies to any article of clothing the victim wore.
The most common defective clothing injuries include:
- Fabrics that catch on fire and stick to the skin, causing serious burn injuries
- Strangulation, especially on children’s clothing
- Choking accidents caused by small, loose items that can become stuck in a child’s throat
- Poisoning from clothing made with toxic materials
The Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) oversees clothing and commonly issues recalls when their safety standards are violated. Barely a year passes when the CPSC doesn’t issue a recall of defective children’s or adult clothing due to the design or manufacturing defects or failure to warn the public of these dangerous – and possibly fatal – apparel items.
One prominent rule of the CPSC regulates federal Flammable Fabrics Act, which encompasses apparel worn by children and adults. This law specifically prohibits clothing manufacturers from using highly flammable materials and manufacturing processes to produce any article of clothing. Recalls are issued, and in extreme cases, criminal charges have been brought against the manufacturers and suppliers of highly combustible apparel.
The Foundation for Defective Clothing Civil Actions
Manufacturers are responsible for damages caused by defective products. Sellers of the product, which also include marketers, distributors and retailers – the product’s “supply chain” – may be held liable, even if they may not know of the defect. A defective product lawsuit based on negligence of any kind can allege:
- Defective product design
- Manufacturing flaws or mistakes
- Failure to warn of the dangers posed by the product
- Strict liability – meaning that the product was dangerous to begin with, in which case, negligence need not be proved
When the same defectively mass-produced product injures many victims, numerous claims for damages are usually the result, with many identical claims filed in different states. When this happens, a special judge combines them into one large lawsuit, called a mass tort. But sometimes a law firm will combine these identical cases into a single civil action, called a class action. Both are quite intricate. Your attorney may suggest that you attach your case to one of these actions. So you must weigh the merits of either option compared to your individual damage claims.
If you or some other member of your family has suffered injuries as a result of defective or flammable clothing, you may be able to recover full compensation in a defective product claim for the losses you’ve suffered, which can include:
- All medical bills associated with the injury, including any disability and rehabilitation expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Lost income
- Wrongful death
- Punitive damages if any defendant was excessively (grossly) negligent
If you or a family member has been seriously injured by defective or dangerous clothing, Buttafuoco and Associates’ experienced Cook County product liability lawyer offer a free consultation. Contact us anytime by calling 1-800-NOW-HURT or by using our online contact form. But you must act quickly because there is a time limit in which you can file your claim.