Cheap, Dangerous AmazonBasics Products are Burning Down Houses
A man’s office chair caught on fire while he was sleeping in his bedroom, and the injuries he sustained required emergency medical care. The cause? An AmazonBasic USB cord that he had recently purchased, which shorted out while he was sleeping. According to the fire Marshall who investigated the cause of the fire, “The heat produced by the cord ignited the upholstery for the office chair,” as CNN reports. This, unfortunately, is not an isolated event. From microwaves to entertainment electronics, Amazon’s branded AmazonBasic household items are wreaking havoc across the country. Victims often suffer second and third degree burns, requiring hospitalization, skin grafts, and life-saving transfusions and lengthy hospital stays.
Dozens of AmazonBasic Items Have Caused Bizarre Fires and Explosions
According to CNN, there have been at least 1,500 reviews of more than 70 products since 2016 that describe dangerous fire hazards. Users of these products report their purchased items catching fire, smoking, melting, and exploding, and dozens of these products are still for sale. In a perfect world, only safe, reliable products would be sold to the public. In a less perfect world, dangerous items would at least be recalled by the manufacturer, or recalls would be issued by the Consumer Product Safety Commission. However, Amazon and other online retailers sell so many products that change from month to month that the CPSC, and even Amazon, seem unequipped to step in and put safety first. While some hazardous products, like the AmazonBasics Ceramic Space Heater, have been recalled, according to the CPSC, hundreds more are still out there, just waiting to malfunction and cause burn injuries and house fires.
Common Burn Injuries Caused by Defective Products
There are three degrees of burn injuries:
- First Degree Burns—The outer layer of the skin is burned, resulting in tender, red skin that may eventually peel or blister.
- Second Degree Burns—The intermediate layers of skin are burned, rustling in substantial pain, blistering, and potential permanent scarring or disfigurement. Second degree burns also pose the threat of becoming infected, particularly when large parts of the body suffer burns.
- Third Degree Burns—All of the layers of skin are burned, resulting in charred flesh, damage to muscle and bone and tendon, extreme pain, and life-threatening risk of infection. A third degree burn is often accompanied by shock, and all third degree burns are classified as life threatening, and must be treated by emergency medical professionals. Third degree burns may result in permanent disfigurement or disability, and often require multiple skin graft surgeries to repair.
Other fire injuries can include smoke inhalation, broken bones or other injuries sustained attempting to flee the fire, hearing and eyesight damage due to an explosion, and more.
Other Damages AmazonBasic Burn Victims Can Sue For
In addition to medical expenses and future medical care, AmazonBasics burn victims can file a personal injury claim for the following damages:
- Lost wages due to disability;
- Lost earning ability in the long term;
- Pain and suffering;
- Loss of joy of life;
- Emotional distress;
- Property damage, including damage to the home and other belongings that were burned in the fire;
- Other medical expenses, including prosthetics and medical devices; and
Proving Liability: Using the Product in Certain Ways Can Void the Warranty, and Your Ability to Sue for Compensation
Not all burn injuries resulting from products are the fault of the manufacturer; some burn injuries result from improper or reckless use of the item. As such, you must be able to prove that you were using the product as intended. This is easy in some cases (many AmazonBasic products have been known to turn themselves on and catch fire when not in use) and more difficult in others. However, with the help of an experienced product liability attorney, your chances of receiving a desirable outcome in your case drastically increases. An attorney can ensure that you are compensated fairly, and not just given a refund for the damaged product or a small check for your medical bills.
A Naples Burn Injury Product Liability Attorney is Available to Help Today
Burn injuries are some of the most painful, and difficult to overcome injuries that anyone can sustain. They often require months or years of healing, particularly if multiple surgeries are required, and may drastically reduce the victim’s quality of life. To compensate for these damages, the at-fault manufacturer should be held fully accountable. Here at The Law Offices of Marc L. Shapiro, P.A., our experienced Naples personal injury attorneys can help you get back on your feet financially. Call us today at 239-649-8050 to schedule a free consultation.