A 10-year-old Austin boy recently died when he went into the gap between a stone wall and a vehicle gate as his friend activated the gate. Metal mesh was supposed to be present to prevent people from entering the gap. The vehicle gate opened and suffocated the boy for several minutes. He died days later at a hospital, with asphyxiation the official cause of death.
The boy’s parents have filed a lawsuit against the homeowner as well as Fusion Gate Inc. (the designer of the gate), George Dahmen Construction (the installer of the gate) and Omron Electronics (the manufacturer of the electric eye). The lawyer representing the family argues that companies that manufacture gates like the one that killed the small boy have known for decades that the product posed a risk to life. Allegedly, the gate was defectively designed, lacking a mandatory safety system that should have stopped and reversed the motion of the gate when it detected resistance during the boy’s death.
Liability in Defective Gate Cases
Defective vehicles gates fall under the legal umbrella of products liability. Consumers have a reasonable expectation that the products they purchase are safe and will not cause harm when properly used. When products fail due to defective design, manufacture or installation, serious injuries are often the result.
Faulty safety features are a common cause of defective product injury. To investigate cases involving faulty safety features, it can require a lot of work: finding expert witnesses, physicians, engineers to identify issues and laboratory tests. For these reasons, it is best to discuss your case with a personal injury attorney.