Those in Hawaii and others who use commercial products are able to reasonably assume that all necessary steps have been taken to ensure their safety. Many defective products have caused injury, illness or even death. In such situations, those who have suffered may seek justice by filing product liability claims in civil court.
A verdict was handed down on a recent Wednesday with regard to one of these tragedies. A man had filed a lawsuit against a particular water heater company, alleging that the company’s manufacturing failure resulted in the death of his infant daughter. The 18-month old suffered second degree burns while being bathed. Sadly, she died several months later as a result of her serious injuries.
The father claimed that the water heater manufacturer failed to include an anti-scalding valve. The claim further asserted that if the product design had included such a valve, the baby’s death might have been prevented. A police investigation after the child’s death determined that the water temperature was approximately 134 to 138 degrees fahrenheit.
It was noted that anti-scalding valves are standard on more expensive models of water heaters. The child’s estate was awarded $10.7 million after a week-long trial. Monetary judgments concerning defective products cases in Hawaii are obviously no replacement for the loss of a loved one’s life; however, many such verdicts provide the means to overcome the financial strains that often follow such tragedies, as well as lead to changes in manufacturing laws and regulations that may help prevent similar tragedies in the future.
Source: chicagolwbulletin.com, “Jury awards $10.7M in scalding death“, Lauraann Wood, Aug. 1, 2016