Police in Haralson County are investigating a tragic accident that occurred last weekend that resulted in the death of a 23-year-old Tallapoosa man. The man was seriously injured on Saturday when he and some friends gathered to shoot fireworks. While the man was holding a launch tube over his head, a shell fired from the tube, hitting him in the torso and causing what police described as massive trauma. The man was taken to a hospital in Bremen where he died early Sunday morning. He leaves behind a wife and young children. Police from Tallapoosa, along with the state fire marshall’s office are investigating the incident. One of the questions they will seek to answer is what caused the firework to malfunction. There can be a number of possibilities, including a product defect. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, fireworks result in about 12 deaths a year in the U.S., with two of those being a result of a fireworks device malfunction such as delayed ignition. Another seven deaths are the result of fireworks misuse. Product liability refers to the legal responsibility manufacturers and distributors have to ensure that their products are safe when used according to labeling instructions. Failure to do so can make the manufacturer or distributor of the product legally responsible for harm caused to others. Product liability can occur as a result of the following product defects:
- A design flaw. The product was designed as the manufacturer intended, but posed unreasonable risks to consumers.
- A manufacturing defect. The product was designed safely, but due to an error during the manufacturing process, it was unreasonably safe.
- A failure to warn consumers of hazards that were not obvious but were foreseeable when using the product.