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Defective Products and Swimming Pool Drownings


A swimming pool’s drain might be the most important component of a backyard or public swimming pool. A well-working drain makes a pool much healthier and safer. The drain helps ensure a continuous flow of clean water. It removes chlorine and other harsh chemicals and also prevents bacteria from growing.

By the same token, a malfunctioning drain is extremely dangerous. If the drain flow is too weak, bacteria and harsh chemicals accumulate in the water. If the flow is too strong, the excessive motion creates a dangerous riptide that quite literally sucks swimmers, even experienced swimmers, under the water. These hazards are invisible and impossible for swimmers to anticipate or avoid.

If a manufacturing defect triggered a malfunction, a Seattle personal injury lawyer can obtain substantial compensation in court. This compensation usually includes money for economic losses, such as medical bills, and noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering. Since manufacturers have such a high duty of care, additional punitive damages are usually available in these claims as well.

Manufacturing Defects

Most pool manufacturers use imported parts and assemble their products in America. Foreign countries often don’t have strict consumer protection laws. Even if they do, imported parts don’t always work together the way they should.

Usually, manufacturers are legally responsible for any product defects that occur between the blueprint design and retail sale. Manufacturers cannot blame other people or entities for defective product-related injuries. Instead, a Seattle personal injury lawyer holds them strictly liable for any injuries such defective products cause.

Defective Takata airbags are an excellent example of a manufacturing defect. After a collision, airbags must fully inflate in the blink of an eye, but not explode. For many years, Takata used a stable, yet expensive, chemical propellant that did the job nicely. Then, in the 1990s, the company switched to ammonium nitrate, mostly for cost reasons.

Ammonium nitrate is a highly unstable chemical that’s basically the same compound Timothy McVeigh used in the Oklahoma City truck bomb.

The story isn’t over. Although the company recalled millions of vehicles with defective airbags, millions more are still on the road. Most of these people never got the recall notice. So, they don’t know their airbags are prone to explosion. That explosion could shower them with shrapnel from a steering wheel or dashboard.

Design Defects

Some swimming pool drains are defective when they’re on the drawing board. Frequently, designers expect a small drain to clean a big pool or believe a big drain won’t create a riptide in a small pool.

Frequently, companies know about such defects, but don’t fix them, once again for cost reasons. Defective Ford Pintos are a good example.

In the 1970s, engineers placed the Pinto’s gas tank behind the rear axle, to save weight. As a result, the unprotected gas tank often ruptured and exploded, even in low-speed rear-end collisions. The company could have fixed the defect. But executives calculated that paying lawsuit settlements was cheaper than fixing the problem.

Count on a Dedicated King County Lawyer

Schools have a legal responsibility to protect students. For a free consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer in Seattle, contact the Emerald Law Group. Virtual, home, and hospital visits are available.

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