Supermarket Sued over Hot Water Bottle Injuries

A Father is suing a WA Supermarket after a $2.99 Hot Water Bottle burst,causing serious burns to himself and 10 year old son.

The father claims the hot water bottle he bought from the store in June 2009 was faulty and it burst when he filled it with hot water,causing burns to his right arm, back and to his son’s right leg.

The writ claims the sale breached the terms of contract because the hot water bottle was not “merchantable quality” and not fit for the purpose for which it was sold.

The Department of Consumer Protection said eight hot water bottles had to be removed from WA shelves last winter after 37 stores were inspected.

Seven of the same brand did not meet labelling standards while one failed on a technicality because the label had been removed.

On average 200 hundred Australians are treated in hospital every year for hot water bottle burns.

In 2008 a product safety law came into force meaning hot water bottles made or imported into Australia must comply with standards relating to thickness,durability and have warning labels.

TGA Australia info on recall of hot/cold Gel Packs

Theraeutic Goods Administration

TGA – safeguarding public health & safety in Australia by regulating medicines, medical devices, blood & tissues

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Safety information

Updated urgent safety advisory – Hot/cold gel packs

24 September 2008

A number of brands of hot/cold gel packs are being recalled following testing by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) of contents for ethylene glycol, a toxic substance. Testing was undertaken following the previous recall of Thermoskin® hot/cold gel packs to determine if the problem was more widespread.

All sponsors of gel hot/cold packs were contacted by the TGA to obtain information regarding the contents of their products and to obtain samples for testing. It has now been confirmed that some of these other products also contain ethylene glycol.

All the brands of gel hot/cold packs, listed below, that were found to contain ethylene glycol are being recalled.

Notices advising consumers of these recalls will also appear in the media as soon as the sponsors of the affected products are able to obtain advertising space in national newspapers. In the meantime recall letters will be sent directly to pharmacies and other outlets selling the affected products.

The TGA reiterates that parents should ensure that all gel hot/cold packs are kept out of reach of children and are only used under adult supervision. In the event of accidental ingestion patients are urged to attend the nearest emergency department immediately for assessment and further management.