2 year old boy of St. Louis, Missouri was killed after his kitchen stove turned over on top of him.
Deondre Watson Jr. was killed July 11, 2010 when the kitchen stove turned over on him; an accident that was rare, but very preventable and the subject of an ongoing public awareness campaign. Safety experts who examined the case say that a simple bracket (which is required in many jurisdictions) would have saved him.
The underlying story in this suit is a topic nationally well known. Many people across the county (upwards of 34, nearly half involving children age 2 and under) have died due to similar accidents since 1980. In addition to the fatalities, nearly 100 people have been seriously injured since 1980; a lot of which were burn injuries sustained when hot substances spilled on them during the tip over. This number is very frustrating to safety advocates who have been trying for years to get people to realize the danger, and react by installing a simple bracket.
Fred Pritzker, a personal injury attorney from Minneapolis who has represented several of the families who have experienced loss of loved ones due to tip-over accidents says, “This is something that should never happen. We’ve known about this lurking disaster in homes for years. Yet it’s inexpensive and easy to fix.”
This tip-over epidemic started in the 1980’s when manufacturers began making stoves lighter. Eventually the industry agreed to an easy fix: anti-tip brackets. Manufacturers started including an anti-tip bracket with every new stove beginning in 1991. Now the challenge is getting homeowners and appliance installers to use them.
In mid-September, 2010, Deondre Jr.’s parents, Deondre Watson Sr. and Diana Taylor, filed a wrongful death lawsuit in St. Louis County Circuit Court. The suit names Oak Tree Apartments (apartment building in which they lived) as defendant, stating that the landlord at the apartments should have secured the appliance. Plaintiffs seek unspecified damages.
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