Defective Products can Cause Serious Chemical Burns
Recently, a nine-year-old boy living in Hinsdale, New York, suffered severe burns when his Skechers light-up sneakers malfunctioned, according to Metro UK. During a “water day” at his school, his athletic shoes got wet and began leaking battery acid. He suffered second-degree burns and was unable to walk due to his badly burned feet. The young boy will recover, but now understandably fears wearing shoes of any kind.
Some of our readers may be surprised to learn that chemical burns from consumer products happen fairly frequently. Consider these other recent cases:
- In August of 2017, MixBin Electronics sold cases for iPhones that contained glitter in a suspended liquid. Almost 275,000 cases were responsible for skin irritation and burns to consumers, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (USCPSC). At least one person described permanent scarring from the wounds, and others experienced burns, swelling of legs, faces, and swelling in other parts of the body.
- In Denver, parents think a teacher is responsible for chemical burns caused by “magic erasers.” This week, ABC reported that in May, several children suffered from red skin and scabbing while at daycare. Allegedly, after two boys had what the teacher called a “marker fight,” she cleaned their faces with a magic eraser and the boys were chemically burned.
- Last year, a class action lawsuit, alleging that Combe, Inc., makers of Just for Men hair and beard products, targeted African American men for its Jet Black hair dye, was filed in California. Just for Men did not warn African American men that they have a higher risk of harmful reactions to the Jet Black hair dye. The suit asserts that the product contains 17 times more p-Phenylenediamine (PPD) than dyes of a lighter color. According to the lawsuit, an “organic aromatic amine chemical compound” found in the product can be hazardous if used by humans. This compound is used in gasoline and the manufacture of rubber tires. Conditions allegedly caused by PPD include severe dermatitis, convulsions, asthma, and even comas.
In this article, we discuss the issues surrounding chemical burns caused by defective projects, and how the experienced product liability attorneys at Dolman Law Group may be able to help if you suffer a chemical burn.
Chemical Burn Injuries
Chemical burns (caustic burns) are caused by contact with toxic or corrosive chemicals, such as:
- Sulfuric acid
- Lime and silver nitrate
- Hydrochloric acid
- Car battery acid
- Pool chlorination products
- Teeth whitening products
- Concrete mix
- Drain or toilet bowl cleaners
- Metal cleaners
- Denture cleaners
Chemical burn victims who have skin injuries may suffer from:
- Irritation of skin
- Blackened or dead skin
- Loss of vision (if chemical came into contact with eyes)
- Those who swallow a compound can have the following reactions:
- A headache
- Irregular heartbeat
- Low blood pressure
- Cardiac arrest
- Muscle twitches
- Shortness of breath
People at Risk of Chemical Burns
Chemical burns from defective products can happen to anyone, but those who most often suffer injury include:
- The elderly
- Factory workers
- Manufacturing plant employees
- Unsupervised children
- Individuals with disabilities
If you, a co-worker, a member of your family, or a friend has been chemically burned, WebMD advises taking the following steps:
- Rinse the chemical burn under slowly running water for 10 to 20 minutes. (Do not, however, run water over burns caused by dry lime, phenols or elemental metals, as this could make the burn worse)
- Those who are assisting should protect their hands and body.
- If the burn area is small, loosely wrap it in sterile gauze or a clean cloth.
- Unless jewelry or clothing is stuck to the body, remove them.
- Read instructions on the chemical product container and follow them.
- Do not apply antibiotic ointment.
- Do not try neutralizing the burn with alkali or acid.
- Dry lime should be brushed off before rinsing the injury. Once elemental metals are carefully cleaned off the victim’s body, the burn area may be covered with mineral oil or other non-water solution. Phenol should be wiped off with sponges soaked in 50 percent polyethylene glycol.
When in doubt or unsure of how to treat a burn, call 911 or your local poison control center immediately.
Who’s at Fault?
Chemical burn cases relating to consumer products can prove complicated, because demonstrating exactly how the product was defective can get pretty technical. The specific circumstances of a chemical burn case typically determine who might be at fault, but the responsible parties may commonly include the manufacturer of the product, and potentially other parties involved in its sale. If someone uses a product improperly in a manner that causes someone else to suffer a chemical burn, that user of the product might also be at fault.
Damages for Chemical Burns
Victims of defective products that cause chemical burns may recover a range of potential damages. These could include;
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Psychological and emotional trauma
- Additional expenses directly related to addressing the burn
In addition, in certain limited cases, the victim of a defective product may be able to recover substantial “punitive” damages that are meant to punish the responsible parties and ensure others are not burned by the same defective product in the future.
If You Suffered a Chemical Burn in Clearwater, Call Dolman Law Group
At Dolman Law Group, we encourage our clients to seek appropriate medical attention as soon as possible for chemical burns. We also suggest that they consult with our team sooner than later. Our consultations are free, and in appropriate cases we may agree to represent clients on a contingency fee basis, in which the client pays little or none of the costs of pursuing compensation, and we collect our fee only out of any settlement or award.
The lawyers of the Dolman Law Group’s Clearwater office are committed to helping people who have sustained chemical burn injuries from defective products recover what they are due. To schedule an appointment at no cost to you with one of our attorneys, contact us online or call our office today at (727) 451-6900.
Dolman Law Group
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33765