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Could televised shoe malfunction be a products liability case?

While nothing is perfect, when it comes to consumer goods, one would expect them to function as they were intended to. Unfortunately, defects can happen, causing products to no longer work. In some cases, defects can create risks and dangers, resulting in the injury of a consumer.

Based on recent reports, a major manufacturer of basketball shoes and other athletic apparel suffered what many dubbed a national embarrassment recently when one of the brand's shoes came apart. The event played out during the opening seconds of a big college basketball game between two top-ranked rivals. On national television, a star college player, who is also an NBA hopeful, l fell and was hurt after the sole of his shoe came apart. While the young man seemed able to walk after the accident, he stayed out of action for the rest of the game due to a strained knee.

While the manufacturer received public ridicule through social media outlets, experts do not expect that the brand of the shoe will suffer a serious long-term impact. The brand, after all, has a solid corner on the market for basketball shoes. For its part, the manufacturer called it an isolated incident. Still, in the short term, the manufacturer of the shoe has suffered from a recent Wall Street selloff that may be connected to the incident.

Some observers of the incident who have legal knowledge also say that, at least in theory, the basketball player would have a good claim for compensation based on products liability. After all, the shoe was marketed to support one's feet as they played basketball, and the shoe that broke obviously came up short in this respect.

While thankfully the player seems to have escaped any serious injury, the story still serves as an important reminder that clothing, shoes and athletic wear, like other consumer products, must be designed and manufactured with the safety of the public in mind. When a manufacturer fails in this respect, they may have to pay compensation to victims in Florida and elsewhere.

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