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Products liability alert: Faulty fire extinguishers recalled

Many Georgia residents have fire extinguishers in their homes in the event of a fire. These devices provide a certain measure of security since they provide the opportunity to put out a fire before it becomes a blaze that could cause injuries or death. What if the danger actually came from the very thing meant to prevent harm? A recent recall could result in products liability claims for fires that never should have spread.

A company called Kidde manufactures many of the fire extinguishers in people's homes across the country, including many here in Georgia. Recently, the Consumer Product Safety Commission announced the recall of approximately 37.8 million -- yes million -- of these devices that are supposed to save lives because they may fail to work in an emergency. So far, 400 of the devices have failed; 16 people suffered injuries and one person paid for that failure with his or her life. 

The problem may only get worse before it gets better. Some of the fire extinguishers subject to the recall are decades old and may have already been part of a previous recall. If a Georgia resident tries to use a model with certain plastic parts, and it fails, he or she could unnecessarily suffer serious or fatal injuries. People who have extinguishers subject to the recall are eligible to receive a new one with metal parts instead of plastic.

The dangers associated with recall could put millions of people in harm's way. Those who suffer injuries or lose a loved one due to a faulty Kidde fire extinguisher may have legal options. Products liability claims could provide an avenue for restitution needed to cover the financial losses and other damages incurred because a device designed to prevent injury and death failed to perform that critical function.

Source: CBS News, "Massive government recall covers 37.8M Kidde fire extinguishers", Nov. 2, 2017

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