Many people find themselves reaching for their ladder more than once over the winter. Outside the house, the Christmas lights may need to be put up. Inside, a ladder can help decorate the top of the tree. Families may need a ladder to reach the holiday decorations in the garage.
As a result of the extra ladder use, falls from ladders become common in the winter. Some ladder falls occur from improper ladder angle or the ladder not sitting on level ground. Unfortunately, some ladder falls occur because of faulty ladder designs, manufacturing, or inaccurate warning labels.
Defective Ladders and Fall Injuries
In 2018, more than 75,000 Werner ladders were recalled because of a risk of the ladders breaking while in use. The Multi-Purpose Telescoping Aluminum Ladders were able to be set up into a number of different positions. After a report of accidents, the ladder manufacturer, based in Pennsylvania with the ladders manufactured in China, were put on a recall for refunds.
If someone suffers an injury while using a defective product, like a defective ladder, the injury victim may have a product defect claim. A product liability lawsuit involves danger caused by a manufacturing defect, design defect, or failure to warn.
A manufacturing defect is a defect that occurs in the production process. For a defective ladder, a manufacturing defect may involve using cheaper materials than were intended for the original design.
A design defect is a problem that makes the product inherently dangerous as designed. For a defective ladder, a latch that does not properly lock or wears out over regular use may be considered a design defect.
Manufacturers may have a duty to warn consumers about hidden dangers or ensure safe usage of the product. In the example of a ladder, if there is a position the multi-purpose ladder could be placed that has a lower strength capacity than the label shows, that may be considered a failure to warn.
Common Injuries Caused by Ladder Falls
Even if someone is only a couple rungs up on the ladder, a fall can cause serious injury. The danger of these kinds of falls has to do with the mechanics of the accident. As a ladder tips, the falling back user loses stability with the ladder rungs, and their legs go out from under them. This may lead to falling on the back or hitting the head or neck on the ground.
A fall from a short height on a hard surface can cause traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, or back injury. In many cases, someone may be using a ladder outside in the snow and be unable to get up after the accident, leaving them exposed to cold and possible hypothermia.
Philadelphia Product Liability Attorneys
Product defects in ladders or other equipment can result in permanent injury or even death. The Gilman & Bedigian team is fully equipped to handle the complex process of bringing a defective product claim against those who were responsible for the injury. To speak with a member of our medical malpractice team, fill out an online case evaluation form or call (800) 529-6162 today.