Snuggling up with an electric blanket may seem like the perfect remedy to a cold Montana winter evening, but Billings readers may want to double check the brand and manufacturer before getting too comfortable. In a recently filed federal lawsuit, one woman claims that a popular appliance manufacturer has been knowingly peddling a dangerous and defective product.

In her lawsuit, the woman alleges that an electric blanket manufactured by Sunbeam caught fire while she was using it due to a defect in a safety circuit identified as “Circuit 104.” She claims to have suffered burns on one knee and damage to personal property as a result of the blanket fire.

To make matters worse, the woman asserts that the manufacturer knew or should have known that the blanket posed a safety risk from complaints and other information it has received since the time it began marketing the blanket in 2001. She accuses the company of providing insufficient warnings to purchasers about the risk of injuries associated with the faulty product.

The woman seeks more than $75,000 in compensation and penalties for her injuries and damage to property, but it takes only a little imagination to envision a much more tragic situation. If the woman is right about her claims that the manufacturer has regularly produced blankets with a defect in Circuit 104, it may be a small miracle that the product has not resulted in any fatal accidents to date.

As this case illustrates, victims of injuries caused by a negligent manufacturer have rights to seek compensation under the law. When a manufacturer knowingly and recklessly delivers a dangerous product to market, as claimed by the plaintiff in this case, courts will sometimes award punitive damages in addition to the actual damages suffered by the injured victim. An experienced personal injury attorney can help Montanans navigate the complexities of product liability law and recover fair compensation for injuries caused by a defective product.

Source: The Madison-St. Clair Record, “Woman sues Sunbeam over electric blanket that allegedly caught fire,” Bethany Krajelis, Nov. 29, 2012