An elderly couple was found dead on their home this past week possibly due to carbon monoxide poisoning. During the recent snowstorm, the couple had been using a generator to keep warm and officials could not rule out that the generator ultimately caused their death.
Useful products like generators can also become dangerous products. With the recent rash of storms along the east coast, many New Jersey residents may purchase generators to ward off the cold and help meet their energy needs. Sadly, consumers that purchase generators do not always understand the dangers presented by use of such a product. As in the above circumstances, they may only be purchasing and using the product to stay warm.
However, despite the utility of these generators, such products can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning if such products turn out to be defective in manufacture or installation. Under such circumstances, the manufacturer or the distributor of the product may be held liable.
Manufacturers and distributors have a duty to consumers that purchase their products. However, such businesses all too often abrogate their responsibility and fail to take into consideration the safety of the consumer. Lawyers, practicing in the area of personal injury and product liability, are aware of the duties of such businesses and can often spot when such a duty has been breached.
It’s been reported that approximately 24,000 New Jersey residents were still out of power as of late last week. Many other individuals are also without power along the east coast due to the blizzard conditions. Hopefully, those consumers, manufacturers and distributors of generators will take all precautions to make sure that the generator operate safely.
Source: The Wall Street Journal, “N.J. Couple Found Dead Two Hours Before Power Restored,” by Heather Haddon, Nov. 4, 2011