Heating Pads Recalled Due To Burn Risk
Federal regulators have announced the recall of 500,000 heating pad units after multiple reports of sparks, burns, and electrical shocks. Some of the reports resulted in serious injuries to customers. At this point, there have been reports of 286 complaints related to the heating pad. At least 31 of those complaints reported injuries including burns and shocks.
Thus far, neither the company nor the government has announced what is wrong with the heating pad. But it is fairly obvious that something is wrong with the electrical circuit causing it to short or overheat.
The FDA is urging consumers not to use the heating pad and follow instructions related to the recall. Consumers are being instructed to unplug the device, cut the cord, and take a picture to upload to the company for reimbursement later.
Those who sustained injuries related to the heating pad need to ensure everything is documented. They should get medical attention immediately. While the injuries may not be severe, documentation will provide evidence to ensure this does not happen again.
What about a lawsuit?
Well, you can’t go into court and tell the jury you sustained an unsightly rash for a week or so and they should compensate you for your pain and suffering. Unfortunately, your injuries have to be relatively severe to warrant filing a personal injury lawsuit. In a case like this, a lawyer may file a class-action on behalf of consumers impacted by the recall, but their settlement figures are likely to not be much more than the cost of the product itself.
In a case like this, a damages award would still be attached to the severity of the injuries. When the injuries aren’t severe, the compensation tends to be low. Every member of the class splits whatever the settlement award money is after the lawyers get their cut. So, in some cases, you may be looking at $10 settlement checks for each member of the class and a team of lawyers who are significantly richer than they were before.
This isn’t to dissuade you from pursuing the lawsuit, but manage your expectations when it comes to a lawsuit that does not involve significant injuries.
Who will win the lawsuit?
The plaintiffs will likely win the lawsuit but will not be compensated much beyond the cost of the product. Thus far, there have been no reports of serious injury. Some have reported electrical shocks, burn injuries or rashes. Scarring would be compensable. Medical expenses would be compensable. If someone’s house burned down, that would be compensable. Thus far, we haven’t seen allegations that bad.
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