John is a 45-year-old professional builder living in California. He’s currently unmarried, has a 20-year-old son who is several states away from him for most of the year, and he owns his own successful contracting business which he has been growing from the ground up for the past ten years. He’s as proud of his lifestyle as he is of his business venture, and he works hard to maintain both.
He isn’t one for making use of gadgets in his workshop when he’s sure that there are only five tools to do most jobs, but the latest invention of a gadget to slice through concrete catches his eye when he spots it on another building site. John decides to ask the contractor where he bought it - it seems like a far more efficient and faster way of doing it.
The contractor tells John that it’s a precision cutting machine that uses water to do the same job people have been using other tools for: He’s surprised that John hasn’t heard of it and recommends that John purchase one of these for his own business.
John agrees that this is a damn good idea.
He buys one of these machines the same week and has it delivered to his workshop at home. It takes a few videos online and a few readings of the instructions for him to feel that he has a pretty good idea of how to operate the thing for the first time.
He’s excited about the testing phase, and he sets up a video camera to record his experiment with this new toy. If it works the way that they say it does, he could cut his workload in half too!
He sets up the machine and gets the camera recording.
When it’s time to fire it up, he notices that the machine is far louder than he believes it’s supposed to be. He checks the instructions again to see if there are any warnings about the product and similar dangers like this: It says nothing.
A few seconds later, John takes a step forward. Suddenly, a jet of water sprays from the machine and John immediately feels blood streaming from his leg. He hobbles over to switch off the machine, but realizes that he’s going to need to make a trip to the emergency room.
He calls his neighbor who offers him a lift.
This is far worse than just a few stitches: The doctors say that scans will be needed to see just how deep the potential damage goes. While they’ve seen a lot of tool-related accidents before, they admit that nothing compares to this.
The scans show that the water jet penetrated right into the bone, separating a fine piece of bone from John’s
leg. Doctors say that they could operate, but that this could be risky in itself.
John agrees to the surgery, but worries about how much this will cost him and his business.
The manufacturer takes no responsibility for the malfunctioning product, and says that it must have been the way John had set up the machine that caused the accident and not the machine itself. When presented with the video, they still insist that John as at fault.
A few months into his recovery, he finally receives the final bill for what the surgery will cost. He has started to exhaust the savings he had put away, and paying the surgical bill suddenly seems like an impossible feat for him.
As a result of the injury, John experiences chronic pain in his leg and goes through a lot of pain and discomfort on a daily basis especially where he has to walk long distances or stand on his feet for a long time - which describes his average day at work.
Contact a defective product law firm if the above sounds familiar to you.