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Defective Product Personal Injury…or Death

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Los Angeles, CADiving is not everyone's cup of tea. That said, with more and more baby boomers retiring early and seeking interesting ways to pass the time, diving—for those who love the water and looking to extend their passion—is a growing industry. And like all industries, there are defective products that get in the way of a pleasant experience. Such occurrences often result in defective product personal injury lawsuits and the involvement of product liability lawyers.

It is not known if the recent death of a diver in Los Angeles will result in a defective product lawsuit. However, last week the US Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) attempted to prevent more deaths and injuries by announcing a recall of diving air hoses for dry suits manufactured by SI Tech AB, of Brastad Sweden.

The hazard is a colored insert contained inside the hose housing, at the end and just back of the thread. The concern is that the insert can become dislodged during use, severely restricting airflow and posing a drowning hazard.

The CPSC reports there have been six incidents of the inserts dislodging during a dive. Five of the reports involved divers who survived. However, one insert that dislodged resulted in the death of the diver in California.

Defective Product Personal Injury: When the Air Stops…

The recall involves a dry suit inflation hose that connects a diver's dry suit to the air supply and allows for the pumping of air into the suit to set up a positive pressure arrangement to help keep it watertight. The hose contains an airflow-restricting insert that may be black, blue or green in color. The batch code is stamped on the threaded metal end of the hose and the products were sold with dry suits, as well as separately.

As with any adverse event or emergency that happens in the air, an equally devastating event can happen underwater—especially when airflow to a diver is stopped or restricted in any way and the individual cannot make it back up from the depths in time.

The CPSC reports that 65,000 of the air hoses were sold through diving equipment retailers and distributors nationwide from July 2006 through February 2009. At a retail price of $45, the hoses are not expensive.

The CPSC, in concert with the manufacturer recommended that consumers stop all use of this product immediately, unless otherwise instructed. It is advised that consumers contact the manufacturer for additional information or instructions. However, if you have had a close call while using one of these devices, you may wish to seek legal advice.

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