A Staple of Autumn Can Cause Serious Injuries
With fall in full swing, the weekly lawn care chores move from mowing the grass to removing the abundance of leaves falling from the trees into your front yard. Many homeowners tackle this daunting chore with the assistance of a leaf blower. These popular lawn care machines work by blowing air out of a nozzle, which moves leaves around at the direction of the operator. They are generally powered by an engine within the machine. While leaf blowers are commonly used, they can prove dangerous and several models are the subject of recent recalls. When leaf blower accidents do occur and cause injuries, an experienced lawyer can help ensure that all responsible parties are held financially accountable.
Leaf Blower Injuries
Earlier this year, more than 150,000 leaf blowers were recalled by two separate manufacturers. The US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced the recalls in response to various reports of malfunctions and injuries. According to news agencies, there were 18 different instances where the impeller, a rotating part within the machine, broke off of the mower. In 12 of those cases, the part propelled and caused users to suffer injuries ranging from lacerations to bruises. Other potential leaf blowing accidents include:
- Fire Hazards – A leaf blower may also become a fire hazard if it malfunctions internally. As with the recalled models, parts may become lodged in the incorrect place or exhaust may become trapped inside the machine. These problems can lead to a possible fire or explosion.
- Debris injuries – The force of a leaf blower is significant. As it blows leaves and trash around, it is possible for these items to strike the operator or bystanders. These incidents can cause cuts or serious injury if they hit someone in the eye.
- Burns – As the leaf blower is used, it can become increasingly heated. Prolonged use may cause the casing to melt and become very hot. If touched, the individual may experience serious skin burns.
When leaf blower injuries occur, the victim can face significant physical and emotional pain. In addition, they are burdened with hospital bills and, in some cases, the ongoing cost of care and rehabilitation. Though some of these injuries may have resulted from the actions of the operators, many of them are caused by problems with the product itself. This is an area of law called product liability and an experienced lawyer is vital to proving liability under this legal theory. To prove liability, the injured party must show a malfunction in the product, stemming from the design, manufacturing or labeling. This task is challenging because it often involves the presentation of very technical information to the court. Additionally, the court must find a causal connection between the leaf blower problems and the resulting injury.
If you or a loved one has been injured by a leaf blower, contact the Miami legal team of Pita Weber & Del Prado for knowledgeable and skillful representation. Call the office today at 305-670-2889 for a free consultation.