Window Blinds Strangulation Lawsuits
Have you ever gotten tangled up in the blinds on your way out the door during a particularly hectic day? Well, it may be annoying for you, but for children, the blinds represent a risk of strangulation. While it may sound like a freak accident, blind strangulation lawsuits occur at a rate of about 1 per month and almost always involve children. However, enacting safety regulations to enforce minimum safety standards has proven challenging for safety advocates. Meanwhile, blind companies continue to produce blinds that present real dangers to children and pets.
In 2009, Roman Shades issued a voluntary recall of a child nearly strangled to death on one of their blinds. The children became ensnared in the blinds while looking out the windows. A two-year-old was found with blinds wrapped around his neck and a four-year-old boy suffered rope burns from becoming ensnared in the blinds.
Safety advocates propose making all blinds cordless but the blind manufacturers complain that this simply is not feasible.
Accidents caused by blinds by the numbers
From 1990 to 2015, there were nearly 17,000 injuries to children caused by blinds. That’s an injury rate of 2.7 per 100,000 children. In nearly half of all cases, a child was “struck by” the blinds. Strangulation and entanglement injuries accounted for around 12% of injuries, the majority of which were to the neck area. These cases do generally result in lawsuits against the blind manufacturers but remain rare enough that the manufacturers can settle the suits without completely redesigning their product.
Allegations in blind injury lawsuits
Essentially, plaintiffs who have children who have been injured by blinds claim that the industry has not listened to consumer safety experts by implementing safety recommendations. Companies that manufacture blinds say these recommendations would essentially make blinds illegal to sell. They need cords. However, there are ways to make the blinds marginally safer, but consumer safety advocates say that they don’t go far enough. Instead, the situation has remained as it is. Blinds companies are accused of making products that present an unreasonable risk of harm to children and failing to implement safety protocols that would reduce or eliminate that risk.
Product liability rules state that manufacturers are strictly liable when their products cause injury after being used in a manner that could be readily anticipated by the company. If someone uses your blinds as a weapon, you cannot sue the blinds company. However, since the product has a foreseeable and uncorrected danger, the manufacturers tend to settle these suits more often than they fight them before juries.
Talk to a Florida Product Liability Lawyer Today
The Florida personal injury attorneys at Halpern, Santos & Pinkert have the resources and experience you need when filing suit against a major corporation. Call today to schedule a free consultation and we can begin preparing your lawsuit immediately.