Certain items hold special sentimental value for Philadelphia families and their relatives. Whether they are particular pieces of furniture, antique wedding dresses, items of jewelry or other important things, families can pass certain heirlooms down for many generations. Though the tradition of giving from ancestors to descendants is usually heartfelt, some passed down gifts pose dangerous threats to those who receive them.
For example, many dangerous and defective products have been subjected to manufacturers and government recalls throughout the years. However, not everyone who has ever possessed one of those products has been aware that it should have been repaired or replaced. Recently two young children were killed when they became locked in a large hope chest that did not unlatch from the inside. The 7-year-old victim and his 8-year-old sister suffocated when they could not escape the nearly 75-year-old piece of furniture.
The chest had been recalled in 1996 but it appears that the family of the deceased children was unaware of the critical threat it posed to the young ones. Several other children had died in accidents as a result of becoming trapped in similar chests and the company issued a second product recall in 2000 after another child’s death.
The director of a product safety group called Kids in Danger estimates that only around 30% of recalled products are ever appropriately repaired or replaced, leaving the majority of dangerous products out in the world to cause consumer injuries and deaths. The ongoing deaths from this particular hope chest exemplify the problem of comprehensively fixing a widespread defective product problem.
The tragedies associated with this product break the hearts of people across the country but only those individuals who have been the victims of dangerous products truly understand what it means to suffer a devastating consumer injury. Anyone who has been the victim of a dangerous or defective product has the right to speak with a products liability attorney about possible claims and damages available to the victim.
Source: NBC News, “Child deaths are a tragic reminder that products pose risk long after the recall,” Lisa A. Flam, Jan. 16, 2014