When you are diving or spend a lot of time around and in water, you want your gear to keep you safe. That did not happen in this reported case.
This case came as a shock to people who relied on buoyancy control devices for their lives. For instance, police divers or commercial divers. This story involves a recall of these devices, because it was discovered that they posed a serious risk for drowning – the exact opposite result of what they were designed and made to do.
This recall, one among hundreds of other recalls for defective products, was launched when it was revealed that the spring in the over pressure valve could corrode and break. This means the device would then not hold air, and has the potential to drown the wearer. This product recall involved the Edge Freedom and Stealth models, as well as the HOG 32 lb Wing model.
Consumers were advised they could return their gear to an Edge dealer and get a free replacement. But honestly, there would be a large number of spooked customers wondering if the replacement gear may not have the same potentially fatal glitch. The other thing is that just because there is a recall on products, does not mean that everyone who actually has this product, or any other recalled item, will even hear about the recall. The fact is that if a product is defective and the maker of that product issues a recall, but someone still gets hurt or killed, the manufacturer is still legally liable for that harm.
Consider the case of a police diver who bought a device like this from a buddy, who said he was getting a new one. The device was sold in good faith that is was OK; used, but still had some life in it. That diver very nearly drowned, when the critical valve failed. But for his quick thinking and reaction, he would have become a victim of the very thing that was supposed to keep him safe.
Wrongful death and defective product lawsuits may be tied together, depending on the circumstances of the case. In both scenarios, the critical element to prove is that the maker of the product was negligent in designing, making and/or distributing the item in question. It is a truly cockeyed world when we have to start questioning whether or not the products we use, and should be able to trust, will harm us. One thing is for sure, they do not make things like they used to make them. Know your legal rights.
Robert W. Lee is an Austin personal injury lawyer for Lee, Gober & Reyna. If you need an Austin TX personal injury lawyer, contact an Austin personal injury attorney from Lee, Gober & Reyna. Visit RWLeelaw.com.