Sports Equipment Defect Lawyer
The CDC reports that 2,600,000 children are injured each year in sports and recreation-related activities. Many of these injuries could have been prevented with safer sports equipment. Defective products may be a factor in many injuries to young athletes.
At Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC, our personal injury attorneys are legal advocates for sports enthusiasts injured by defective sports equipment. Our legal team will fight aggressively on your behalf to ensure you receive full financial compensation while seeking justice.
Call a products liability attorney at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone call) or use the contact form today to schedule a free initial consultation. All confidential or sensitive information you share with our personal injury attorneys remains private through an attorney-client relationship.
Millions of people participate in contact sports in the United States each year and accept that participating in physical activities comes with the risk of injury. To mitigate those risks, athletes rely on equipment that is designed to offer protection from injuries.
Recalled and Defective Sports Equipment
According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), many pieces of sporting equipment have been either recalled or identified as having a hazardous defect.
Some defective equipment includes:
- Paintball equipment and guns
- Fishing poles
- Snowboards and skis
- Hunting tree stands
- Ice skates and in-line skates
- Baseball equipment
- Football equipment
- Home gym equipment and workout exercise equipment
Recreational and contact sports equipment is designed to be used by young people who may not have the strength or coordination of an adult.
Unfortunately, some children and teenagers do not use this equipment properly and suffer serious injuries as a result. As a result, it increases the chances that a defective product will cause damage or injury.
Sports Injuries Caused by Defective or Faulty Equipment
Any piece of defective or malfunctioning sports equipment could cause catastrophic injuries and wrongful death.
According to the National Institute of Health, several sports-related injuries have been caused by defective or dangerous equipment that includes:
- Head trauma, including concussion and traumatic brain injury
- Spinal cord damage
- Cuts and lacerations
- Wrongful death
- Broken bones and fractures
- Punctured lungs and organs
Many times, the cause of these injuries is either a design or manufacturing defect. A design flaw refers to something inherently wrong with the way the equipment was designed. The design flaw could pose unnecessary dangers for users unaware of what can happen if they use it incorrectly.
On the other hand, a manufacturing defect refers to a problem connected to how the sports equipment was put together or assembled. In many cases, there could be two or more product defects, flaws, or manufacturing & design defects present in one piece of defective equipment.
Defective Sports Equipment: What to Know
Any unexpected injury caused by defective sports equipment can be a scary experience. Often, the victims of dangerous sports products are young children.
Fortunately, most companies that manufacture sports equipment must meet specific safety guidelines to keep their sport's license with the federal government.
Not all defective sports gear is considered unreasonably dangerous because it poses a significant danger to the user. Some defective equipment doesn't work as advertised like if your golf club breaks during your swing or your gloves cause blisters. The failure to provide adequate instruction on the use of the product may also create an unsafe environment for normal use.
The following examples highlight some of the most common defective sports equipment that exists today:
Tennis Rackets and Balls
The recent increase in concussions among Americans has been attributed to many things, including the growing popularity of hockey, increased access to football equipment for children, and even more significant changes made by the National Football League. However, some say one problem is with tennis rackets and balls.
A 2008 study found that tennis racquets are designed to meet the needs of professional players who hit balls at over 100 miles per hour. However, these "professional" grade rackets are made of high-grade steel fixed into a frame with tightly wound strings.
They are too dangerous for most amateur players who do not hit the ball with such force. The best tennis rackets are also too expensive for children who are just starting competitive sports.
There are three main manufacturers of tennis balls, Penn, Wilson, and Slazenger, which produce most rackets available on store shelves today. These companies have long been aware that their products are dangerous when used by amateur players. However, they have done little to change the design of their tennis rackets or warn consumers about this risk factor.
While helmets are intended to protect athletes from injury, many claim that these sports safety devices put them at greater risk for head trauma. For example, when a football player has their helmet knocked off during a game or practice, usually it's because they collided with another player. It can cause the brain to shake back and forth, leading to serious, permanent injury.
However, when manufacturers add metal facemasks to helmets, this creates a lever effect that increases the risk of concussion. As a result, if an athlete in any sport falls and strikes their head on the ground or another player's knee, their brain will be jolted differently.
These same manufacturers have been aware of this risk factor of providing a player with a defective helmet for nearly 50 years but have done little to improve or warn consumers about its effects.
Defective Home Gym Equipment
Nearly all cases of defective gym equipment used in the home require self-assembly. However, any problem occurring during the assembly process or design/manufacturing defect could result in serious injuries or wrongful death.
When you buy a home gym, it's supposed to provide a convenient and safe way to stay in shape. But, for example, if an exercise bench is not properly assembled or installed and its user falls off while working out, it may put them at risk for a wide range of injuries, including paralysis or even death.
Manufacturers also have a responsibility to label their equipment with any known risks so that consumers can understand and provide adequate warning about the potential dangers before they purchase it.
In many cases when people are hurt using home gym equipment, severe injury or wrongful death when using defective gym equipment includes:
- Exercise bikes the tip over or collapse
- Stairstep is that collapse, overheat, or malfunction
- Equipment with failing pulleys
- Exercise balls that blow out
- Malfunctioning wait locks
- Resistant tube failures
According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, golf balls are one of the most dangerous sports equipment items on the market today because they are often misused by the consumer and lack adequate warning information. As a result, the average golfer can hit their ball at speeds of up to 90 miles per hour which can cause severe injury, even from a great distance.
Many golfers believe that covering their balls with dimpled patterns or adding ridges will make the ball go farther, but these patterns reduce the distance a ball travels by up to 20 percent. Manufacturers typically use this type of patterning because it makes the ball more aerodynamic and reduces drag. Unfortunately for consumers, this means that golf balls are not as accurate as they should be.
Defective Water Sports Gear
Scuba diving equipment with oxygen tanks and other water sports gear sold with the design or manufacturing defect could be a death sentence to the scuba diver. When diving, a scuba diver breathes compressed air from an oxygen tank through a regulator.
If the pressure is too high or the sports equipment malfunctions and allows carbon dioxide to build up within the chamber, it can lead to drowning and traumatic brain injury.
However, many defective scuba regulators and diving masks fail to release oxygen even though they appear to be functioning properly. In some cases, they can allow potentially fatal oxygen levels to build up, which causes the scuba diver to suffocate.
Defective Winter Sports Gear
Any snowboards, skis, helmets, or other Winter gear sold with a design or manufacturing defect could be catastrophic for any Winter sports enthusiast. Many consumers purchase new ski equipment or other winter gear each year because it is believed that using the same gear on consecutive days will lessen its effectiveness.
A consumer can often look at a defective helmet and see nothing wrong with it. However, many defective skiing helmets are designed without sufficient shock absorption material to protect the wearer from head trauma.
According to the CPSC, these helmets "will not adequately protect the wearer's head from impact and could even be more likely to result in a severe head injury."
Defective Children's Sports Clothing and Shoes
Many people believe that purchasing new clothes for their children is an innocent act that can be performed at any time.
However, defective children's clothing and shoes may lead to severe injuries because of poor design or manufacturing defects. For example, a defective toddler shoe with a lace loop that comes unconnected could easily send the wearer falling onto their face or head in an emergency.
Many people also fail to consider how children who cannot verbalize what they feel when wearing certain clothing items may suffer discomfort or even physical injury due to design flaws. For example, a child's winter jacket with too short strings could easily get caught on something and choke the child.
Defective Paintball Equipment, Gear, and Guns
Nearly all paintball-related accidents result from defective equipment, but some companies fail to provide warning labels on their products. As a result, the CPSC has reported that "incidents involving compressed air or CO2 paintball markers, or both, have resulted in eye injuries and permanent vision loss."
Although an owner observes many defective guns before use, it is often impossible to tell if they are defective. The consumer, therefore, must assume the risk of purchasing a defective product if there is no way to know if it has been manufactured properly.
Trampolines are considered one of the safest sports equipment for children in many households across the United States. Unfortunately, however, an estimated 100,000 trampoline-related injuries occur each year. This high number of injuries results from design and manufacturing defects that lead to a failure in basic safety functions.
These popular sports have seen increased head injuries, leading some to question whether the equipment used today is safe enough. Some believe that manufacturers could make equipment safer for consumers by using more durable materials and adding mandatory safety warnings.
However, few have questioned the manufacturers about their personal responsibility to create safe products.
The Hazard of Defective Sports Products
Any sports product that is defective can cause a high number of injuries if used as intended. However, consumers have the right to expect that any products they purchase will not place them or their families at any risk, especially when using these items for individual recreation or enjoyment.
If a defective sports product has injured you or someone you know, don't hesitate to contact a knowledgeable attorney who can help you fight for just compensation.
Product liability law provides immediate legal protection for consumers exposed to dangerous or defective products. In addition, the law provides legal remedies for seeking compensation after an injury when the company failed to do as advertised in designing, manufacturing, distributing, and marketing a product known to cause bodily harm.
In some cases, the injured victim will file a strict liability lawsuit against the manufacturer by proving that the design or manufacturing threatens consumers. Typically, strict liability lawsuits are third-party claims to hold the manufacturer accountable.
This legal action often forces manufacturers to adopt stringent designing, manufacturing, and testing processes before releasing sports equipment to the public for sale and use.
Do I Have a Defective Sports Equipment Lawsuit?
Are you an athlete injured while participating in a sport at the amateur or professional level? First, it is important to determine the exact cause of your injury. Multiple factors contribute to an injury, but the most important question to answer is whether the injury was preventable and, if so, what could have been done to prevent it.
Documenting the circumstances of your injuries and getting photographs of the equipment you used and your injuries will be useful. They will allow a personal injury lawyer to assess your defective sports equipment case with greater ease and offer better advice about your legal options.
An attorney working on your behalf will conduct a thorough investigation to determine if the equipment has a manufacturing or design defect.
If so, you likely have the basis for receiving maximum compensation involving economic and non-economic damages that could include:
- Hospitalization costs
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Future lost earnings
- Funeral & burial costs in wrongful death cases
- Mental anxiety and emotional distress
- Loss of consortium and companionship
Contact our law office at (888) 424-5757 or use the contact form today for a free case evaluation to discuss your sports injury caused by a design or manufacturing process defect.
Liability of Defective Sports Equipment Manufacturers When a Person Is Injured
Protective equipment must serve the purpose for which it is designed. For example, if a helmet fails to prevent a serious injury to the head, neck, or spine, or shoulder or knee pads are determined to have been the actual cause of an injury rather than offering the protection. In this case, the cause of your injuries may be partially or fully due to your equipment's design defect or materials.
Product liability law protects consumers from defective and dangerous products by allowing the injured to seek compensation from companies when their products either fail to do what they are advertised or are directly responsible for bodily harm.
Medical treatment for athletic injuries and your medical bills and pain and suffering entitle you to compensation. In addition, you may be entitled to additional compensation if your injury has prevented you from working or caused you any other form of financial loss.
Athletic injuries to children may result in complications later in life, and the long-term impact of an injury must be considered when seeking damages.
Hire a Defective Sports Equipment Lawyer to Resolve your Compensation Case: Call for a Free Consultation
The Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC not only has success securing compensation for clients with cases similar to your own, but our lawyers can help clients get onto the road to recovery sooner through connections to doctors, physical therapists, and medical experts.
Contact our law firm today for a free initial consultation with an attorney. Let us sit down with you to:
- Answer all of your questions about your legal options
- Discuss how the process of litigation works, the services we offer and resources we have access to and
- Talk about our legal duty and what it is that you can expect from us each step of the way
After performing our thorough investigation into the circumstances of your accident, we will be able to determine whether you have a claim against the manufacturer of your protective gear and how best to begin building your case.
Our legal team accepts all personal injury cases and wrongful death lawsuits on a contingency fee basis. This promise ensures you pay nothing until we have resolved your case through a negotiated settlement or jury award.