Illinois products liability law holds manufacturers of products liability for the goods they produce and distribute to the public. Companies are responsible for testing their merchandise prior to putting it the market for public consumption, and ensuring that the goods are safe for consumer use.
Customers have an inherent right to expect that products they buy at retail stores aren’t unreasonably latently hazardous. When dangerous or defective products are sold to consumers and those products cause injury, illness, death, or any other kind of harm to the customer, the producer of the good may be held legally responsible for the injury and may be required to pay for damages caused by the injury. Moreover, in some cases, Illinois personal injury law affords the opportunity for the trier of fact to award punitive damages, or damages that send a message to companies to be more careful when manufacturing their products.
When products are recalled from the market, the intention is to protect customers from potential harm caused by defective or dangerous products. Essentially, the idea is to prevent more harm and suffering on the part of the consumers. Nevertheless, the company may be held responsible, and the situation may give rise to an Illinois personal injury lawsuit.
ABC News recently reported that Hallmark Cards, Inc. is being held to answer for a house fire caused by one of their faulty products.
According to the latest reports, Auto-Owners Insurance has filed a lawsuit against Hallmark Cards for $1.8 million – the amount of money Auto-Owners Insurance paid after a defective Hallmark snow globe caused a fire that destroyed a home and all belongings within.
Hallmark Cards, Inc. is an American corporation that sells gifts, greeting cards, and keepsakes. Hallmark Cards is the largest manufacturer of greeting cards in the United States, and the company markets more than 48,000 products at any given time.
This particular product, a Jumbo Snowman snow globe was recalled from the market, following the house fire. Federal regulators investgaing the fire and the product for possible safety hazards found that, because of “inappropriate materials in the shell and interior fluid” of the globe, the snow globe had the potential to act as a magnifying glass concentrating light from the sun and cause fires. That’s exactly what happened to cause the house fire.
According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, more than 7,000 of these particular snow globes were affected by the recall. They had originally been priced at $100 each, and were sold to consumers across the country.
The lawsuit, filed earlier this month on behalf of Auto-Owners Insurance against Hallmark Cards, accuses both Hallmark Cards and a Taiwanese subsidiary manufacturing company of negligence and product liability.
If a court finds that Hallmark Cards’ product is, in fact, responsible for the house fire, and that Hallmark Cards is liable for manufacturing and distributing a dangerous product, Hallmark could potentially be on the hook for a significant amount of money in damages.
Special laws are in place to protect consumers from injuries caused by unsafe products. If you or a loved one have suffered as a result of a dangerous or faulty product, you may be entitled to compensation under the law.