INSIGHTS On Massachusetts Personal Injury Law

Welcome to the SUGARMAN blog. We'll be sharing our perspectives on the state of the law and current legal issues in Massachusetts personal injury law. Issues relating to medical malpractice, construction site injuries, premises liability, product liability, motor vehicle accidents, insurance, and more will all be reviewed here by our team of lawyers who have prosecuted some of the most complex cases in Massachusetts personal injury law.

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Hazards in the Home – Tipping Ranges and Stoves

A toddler or young child opens and then leans on a range or stove door. In an instant, the results can be tragic. Either the stove tips and falls on the child or it tips spilling the contents of stove-top cooking on the child. Unfortunately, this scene is repeated all too often. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (“CPSC”) estimates that each year there are 1,700 appliance stability and tip-over injuries treated in emergency rooms, with deaths yearly from these incidents. Most involve children under the age of 10. In addition to toddlers and young children, the elderly are also at risk of injury by leaning or resting on an open oven door. Most of these injuries involve burns caused by items tipping over from the stove top.

Some stove manufacturers have provided increased stove stability by weighting the stove and changing the length of the oven door. However, the most effective safety fix is an anchor at the back of the stove attaching it to the floor or wall. Properly installed, an anchor can prevent both the burn and crushing injuries resulting from a stove tipping. In addition to anchors, the CPSC has proposed the use of a door lock mechanism to lock the oven door into the open position. This would prevent a tipping stove from crushing a child, but not the spilled cooking burn injuries. It would also require a release to close the door. Whatever the safety measure, injuries from tipping stoves and ranges are entirely preventable with simple inexpensive devices.

Whenever a serious injury of this type occurs, a personal injury lawyer should be consulted. A landlord or stove installer might be liable for failing to install anchors as provided or recommended by a manufacturer. A stove manufacturer might be found liable for failing to include one or all of these safety fixes. The injuries from a tipping stove can be devastating and, if the fault of a landlord, installer or manufacturer, should be the basis for a claim for fair injury compensation.

SUGARMAN has a team of dedicated personal injury attorneys who represent those who have been injured. If you have been hurt in an accident and wish to speak to one of our attorneys regarding liability, please fill out a Contact Form, call us at (617) 542-1000 or e-mail info@sugarman.com.