Parents now have to be aware of yet another danger to children – studies have shown that instant cups of soup present a serious risk of scalding and scarring. The danger lies in the product’s design. The styrofoam cups full of noodles tend to be is tall and lightweight, with an unstable base.
The Director of the burn unit at the University of Southern California’s County Hospital, Dr. Warren Garner, has stated that he does not stock such products in his own household due to fear regarding the product’s significant propensity to tip over. He estimates that his hospital sees an average of two to three patients a week with injuries suffered due to these poorly designed products. Records show that small children, often toddlers, are Garner’s unit’s most frequent visitors. In addition to the significant burn potential from the soup broth, the scalding hot noodles have the potential to inflict even deeper wounds. Reportedly, hospital stays involving these soup-noodle burns require twice as much time in recovery. The aftermath can even include limited mobility in joints.
Not all soups are equally as dangerous. To test the elements contributing to the dangerousness of certain packaged soups, Dr. David Greenhalgh, Chief of Burns at Shriner’s Hospital for Children in Northern California, calculated the angle at which 11 different brands of soup tipped over. Dr. Greenhalgh’s testing showed that the tall and narrow designs were three times more prone to tipping than those with a short, wide-based design. In response, Greenhalgh proposes a Yoplait yogurt container-like design that is wider at the base than at the top. Instant soup companies have thus far refused to acknowledge the dangers imposed on consumers, and have rejected user-friendly re-design proposals.
Every year, consumers are victimized by dangerously defective products, sustaining catastrophic and even fatal injuries as a result. At any point during the design and manufacturing process, significant failures may contribute to a product’s hazards, including (1) missteps during the early design stages; (2) inadequate testing to ensure safe performance; and (3) marketing efforts that include inadequate instructions and warnings, or even fail to include any relevant cautions. Even one act of negligence during the process from the product’s conception to its sale can cause catastrophic injuries and wrongful death once the product reaches the homes, schools, and workplaces of unsuspecting consumers.
If you or a family member has suffered significant personal injuries as the result of a defective product, contact the law office of Swartz & Swartz, P.C. Call (617) 742-1900 in the Boston area, or for clients in greater Massachusetts, New England, or other states across the U.S., call toll-free at 1-800-545-3732. Our product liability attorneys are here to answer your questions and protect your legal rights.