Time and again here at our firm we see situations where clients may have been injured by defective products but due to the failure preserve crucial evidence, the claim oftentimes is irretrievably lost. An example might be an exploding tire where there is a tire blowout which causes a vehicle to overturn. Unless the tire itself is preserved as evidence and can be examined to determine the cause of its failure, for obvious reasons, it would be impossible to prove a defective product due to a design or manufacturing problem with the product as opposed to poor maintenance, under inflation, over inflation or other sundry causes other than a defect in the product. The same is true for house fires which result is serious injuries or death where a suspected heater, air conditioning unit or air purifier is believed to have caused the fire. Unless the product is preserved and examined by an expert, the evidence necessary to prove a products liability claim will be missing and therefore the claim virtually impossible to pursue.
In any case where serious injuries or a wrongful death results from a situation where a defective product is believed to have contributed to the incident, it is absolutely imperative that all available evidence be preserved for examination by experts. Obviously, the initial focus in such cases is on the injury or death and not the possibility of a lawsuit. However, if the cause of the incident is believed to be a defective product, nonetheless, family members, investigators, law enforcement personnel and other people connected to the incident should do what they can to preserve the evidence for later examination. The family can hardly be blamed for remembering to do so during a time of personal tragedy and grief but family friends, outsiders, investigators and other personnel connected to the incident can and should do so in order to have the claim properly investigated. Absent preservation of critical evidence, it may be impossible to obtain justice for the victim of a dangerous and defective product.