According to a recent news report, the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced that Empower Brands has recalled approximately 469,000 juicers. The CPSC alleges that the company’s Power XL Self-Cleaning Juicers pose laceration and ingestion hazards. To date, there have been over 261 reports of accidents involving the juicers, 47 of which involved “severe cuts requiring emergency treatment” and “ingestion of small particles requiring medical attention.” In particular, the juicers have ruptured and struck consumers during use, potentially leading to lacerations. The juicers have also left small particle shavings in the juice that could pose health issues to consumers. Between September 2020 and August 2022, the recalled juicers appeared in major retailers, including Walmart, CVS, and Target.
What Types of Product Liability Form the Basis for a Lawsuit?
In Maine, a consumer who suffers injuries from a defective product can bring three main types of product liability claims. First, a consumer can bring a manufacturing defect claim. This type of claim alleges that a company made a product improperly, such as using the incorrect materials. Typically, a manufacturing defect occurs when a company produces a “bad batch” of a product rather than affecting every product on the market. For example, a company may have designed a blender to be safe, but due to a manufacturing defect, one blender may have a loose blade that injures a consumer.
Alternatively, a consumer may allege a design defect. These claims allege that, even if the company perfectly manufactured the product, it contained a fundamental design flaw that led to the consumer’s harm. A classic example of a design defect is a poorly designed safety guard on an electric tool that fails to guard against injuries. Unlike a manufacturing defect, a design flaw affects all products before manufacturing even begins.