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Product Liability and the Internet of Things (IoT)

Product Liability and the Internet of Things (IoT)Every day, computer devices such as laptops, smartphones, home appliances, and cars are becoming connected to the Internet and to each other. This network of devices allows people and products to interact with others that can make life exciting. Unfortunately, these Internet connections also make us more vulnerable to security attacks and even to personal injury or death.

If a device that relies upon the Internet and software is found to have a design failure, and that design failure causes personal injury, the injury victim may have a product liability claim against the maker of the product. The product liability claim may also extend to any entity that profited from the sale of the product.

Types of IoT product liability claims possible in Chicago

The ways in which an Internet connected device can fail are virtually endless. In many cases, an individual will bring a claim against the wrongdoers. If many people are hurt by the same type of product, then class action lawsuits may be possible.

Some common devices that are currently creating product liability cases or that may in the near future are:

  • Many cars already depend on sophisticated software to perform correctly. New cars and trucks are being designed that will allow the vehicles to be driven without any driver input. If these driverless cars and technical cars cause an accident, then it is only just that the makers of these vehicles be held accountable.
  • Security systems. In the event of an emergency, a consumer cannot afford to experience a design failure. Examples of potentially life-threatening product failures include home alarms, personal security devices, door locks, and sprinkler systems.
  • Health care products such as pacemakers and other monitoring devices. 2017 saw a number of recalls for medical devices. Relying on software and product updates could increase the number of recalls, not to mention increase the risk of serious injuries or death.

Other potentially problematic devices include TVs, webcams, home thermostats, remote power outlets, hubs for controlling multiple devices, scales, and garage door openers. As “smart” as our homes may be, reliance on the Internet opens us up to a whole host of other problems. These issues could become even more severe if net neutrality rules are officially repealed, too. After all, suing an ISP like Verizon or AT&T comes with its own slew of problems.

At Gainsberg Law, P.C., our Chicago product liability attorneys understand how to hold the makers and manufacturers of defective products connected to software and the Internet liable if their products cause injury or death. For help now, please contact us at 312-600-9585 or make an appointment by filling out our contact form.