Total Solar Eclipse Shines Light on Dangers of Defective Products

One troubling aspect of an impending and much anticipated rare spectacle is putting a spotlight on preventable consumer product injuries that occur far too often in this country.

August 21 is the day for a total solar eclipse that has rightfully experienced much hype.  This eclipse will be the first in almost 40 years in which the moon’s shadow traverses exclusively across the United States.  We in St. Louis and nearby communities will be in or very near the direct path of the eclipse, providing a great viewing experience.

But viewing solar eclipses can be dangerous.  Looking at the sun without proper eyewear can cause permanent and serious eyesight damage.  Therefore, much of the media focus has been on what constitutes safe glasses for viewing the upcoming solar eclipse.

Certified Safety Product Standards

Certified safety standards for solar eclipse eyewear have been established, referenced as ISO 12312-2.  Experts warn that, at a minimum, solar eclipse viewers use only glasses that have this safety standard label printed on them.

However, they also warn that there is little stopping unscrupulous manufacturers from slapping this label on unsafe glasses, knowingly putting buyers at great risk for significant harm.

This is not to pick on the makers and sellers of these glasses.  But the media stories on counterfeit solar eclipse viewers are timely reminders of the hazards consumers face from dishonest or careless product manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers.

From unsafe auto tires to dangerously packaged laundry detergent pods to drugs with known harmful side effects, consumers may suffer critical injuries when manufacturers and distributors fail to adequately design, falsely label or simply ignore potentially fatal flaws in their products.

Makers and Sellers of Defective Products May be Liable for Damages

The Consumer Product Safety Act, passed in 1972, enacted many new safeguards designed to protect consumers from dangerous products.  Both makers and sellers are required to report known defects that pose risk for serious injury or death. They must report products that they know don’t meet safety standards.

Determining all parties responsible for serious injuries caused by defective products is not always cut and dried.  For example, sellers of falsely labeled solar eclipse glasses may claim they were hoodwinked by the manufacturer.

If you were seriously injured or had a loved one killed as a result of a defective product of any kind, an attorney who handles product liability lawsuits can represent your legal rights in obtaining just compensation for the harm you suffered.

The choice of a lawyer is an important decision that should not be based solely on advertising.