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    • Scott Pryor
      Scott Pryor

      Attorney at Law - Scott is a member of the State Bar of Georgia and is listed in the top 1% of trial attorneys in the nation by the Litigator Awards. He is also a member of Super Lawyers, National Trial Lawyers, the Georgia Trial Lawyers Association—Champion Level and sits on the Communications Committee of GTLA, and the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum.

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    • James MacLelland
      James MacLelland

      COO - James has 25 years of experience building productive teams, scalable processes, and profitable businesses.  Immediately prior to joining The Scott Pryor Law Group, as COO of a national law firm, James built and operated one of the largest legal intake teams in the country. Guiding a team of 70 individuals running 24/7 and 365 days a year they successfully marketed, retained, and onboarded over 200 new clients to the firm daily, achieving a pace and capacity of over 50,000 new clients annually. 

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    • Philip Lorenz
      Philip Lorenz

      Attorney at Law - Philip W. (“Phil”) Lorenz is a seasoned trial attorney, Phil has tried, mediated, or facilitated settlement of tens of millions of dollars in claims and lawsuits over the course of his career.

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    • Paul Dietrick
      Paul Dietrick

      Attorney at Law - Paul A. Dietrick has practiced civil trial law for over forty years, in State and Federal Courts, and Georgia Appellate Courts. Paul is a zealous guardian of the rights of those injured by the negligence and carelessness of others. Paul’s clients have recovered millions of dollars in settlements and verdicts.

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    • Jocelyn Galloway
      Jocelyn Galloway

      Attorney at Law - Jocelyn Galloway is an attorney with over a decade of experience and a legal process innovator who has dedicated her career to protecting the rights of plaintiffs against large corporations.

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    • Angie Hemmings
      Angie Hemmings

      Client Experience Manager - Angie joined The Scott Pryor Law Group and quickly made her mark on the Firm. Her previous employment on staff at a local church prepared Angie for her current role in client relations and marketing. Meeting prospective clients, checking in regularly with current clients, and staying in touch with former clients are what Angie is passionate about. She wants you to know that you and your family are important to her.

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      Rhonda Anzaldua

      Marketing Manager - Rhonda brings over 20 years of customer service and hospitality experience to the marketing and intake team. She is passionate about providing our clients with an outstanding experience from the very first day, and prides herself in her ability to be straightforward and honest but also able to empathize and offer comfort in the difficult conversations.

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      Steve Ware

      Senior Case Manager

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Can I Sue a Product Manufacturer for a Burn Injury Caused by a Defective Product?

A portable computer begins to smoke, then explodes while it is in use. An air fryer destroys a kitchen. A badly wired toy catches fire as a child plays with it. All of these things have happened more than once in the past decade, and some of these fires have caused injuries or deaths. One OSHA report found 25,000 overheating or fire incidents due to battery-powered products alone.

When people get burned by products that they trusted, the results can be disastrous. Burn injuries can lead to permanent disfigurement, long-term disabilities, infections, and death. And if the fire destroyed property as well, the burn victim and their family have an even harder road to recovery. Fires can result in:

  • Medical expenses
  • Lost wages and/or earning opportunities
  • Catastrophic loss of homes, cars, and personal property
  • Expenses for alternate housing or transportation following those losses

What can a consumer do if they have encountered something that started a fire like this?

Product Liability Law in Georgia

Product liability is the area of law that deals with injuries and property damage caused by defective items. Under Georgia law, a manufacturer will be liable if someone was injured by a product that was defective—”not merchantable and reasonably suited to the use intended”—at the time it was sold. It does not matter if the injured person did not buy the product themselves, as some older laws held. See O.C.G.A. § 51-1-11.

There are three types of defects recognized in Georgia products liability law:

  • Manufacturing defects: failures in construction that render the individual product unsafe
  • Design defects: unsafe designs that could not perform as warranted
  • Warning defects: failures to warn about risk or to instruct on safe usage

If the product was defective when it was sold, the manufacturer will be strictly liable for bodily injuries it caused. That means that it cannot avoid judgment by showing that it was not negligent when it produced the item. If an injured person used a defective product as intended and that product injured them, the manufacturer must pay damages, and in most cases the plaintiff will not need to prove negligence.

However, the manufacturer has several defenses to raise in court. The most obvious is the claim that the product was not in fact defective when it was manufactured. They may assert that the product was damaged between the point of sale and the point of use or that the plaintiff caused the damage themselves. Some plaintiffs have failed to recover because they modified a product for their own usage—as when a heater exploded because its safety valve had been taped open (Argo v. Perfection Products Co., 730 F. Supp. 1109).

A manufacturer is also likely to assert that the plaintiff used their product in a way they never intended. To avoid liability for improper uses or for unintended side effects, manufacturers must place warnings for possible risks on the product. Moreover, manufacturers are not required to ensure that a product cannot be misused in a dangerous way.

Products that carry clear safety risks do not leave manufacturers liable for the accidents users can encounter by taking those risks. For example, Georgia courts have found that motorcycles and deep-fat fryers are both products that are inherently risky to use as intended. This is called the “open and obvious danger” defense.

Like other plaintiffs, the plaintiff must file within the statute of limitations: two years for personal injury or four years for property damage. But they must also file within the statute of repose. A statute of repose is a hard limit to lawsuits over the issue—in this case, ten years after the first sale of the defective item. This is intended to prevent manufacturers from having to guarantee their products indefinitely. Even so, an attorney may be able to show that the time limits were paused or did not apply to the particular case at hand.

The Next Steps After an Injury

A personal injury attorney can help you find out how to recover from a fire that a product started. Bring them evidence of the date of the purchase, together with photos of the fire scene and documentation of the injuries it caused. They can investigate and determine whether you have a case.

Most personal injury cases are settled out of court before going to trial, and corporations often carry insurance for product liability cases. Your attorney will work to recover a settlement that repays your damages. If necessary, they will file suit to defend your rights. However, lawsuits often require expert testimony and a deep understanding of what caused the product’s failure. Choosing an attorney with experience in product liability cases is crucial.

Have you or a loved one encountered a product that caused a burn injury in Georgia? If so, contact a personal injury attorney today. At the Scott Pryor Law Group, you will not have to pay until we reach a settlement or a verdict in your favor. Our attorneys deal with insurance companies and corporate defendants every day, and we will fight to maximize your recovery. Call us at (404) 474-7122 to schedule a consultation in our Gwinnett County office.

6185 Crooked Creek Rd NW
Ste. H
Peachtree Corners, GA 30092
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