Personal Injury from Poorly Designed/Made Appliances

We have a new dishwasher and microwave from a reputable brand in the unit we recently rented. In the first week of our tenancy my wife injured her ankle and finger from the very sharp edges on the dishwasher door.

Then just tonight I suffered a deep cut to my leg from the sharp metal corner in on the dishwasher door, as well as a cut to my finger from the microwave door.

The cuts are deep and the ones sustained from the dishwasher resulted in more bleeding than a simple cut.

What would you do?

Just gauging whether it’s worth involving a personal injury lawyer from the outset, because I want the manufacturer to not just compensate for the injuries but also issue a nationwide recall/resolution that could potentially affect thousands if not tens of thousands of users.

Just imagine your child getting a nasty cut that may result in a lifelong scar because they happen to pass by the dishwasher while the parent is loading/unloading the dishwasher.

Thanks

Update: pictures with the sharp edges/cuts, sorry for the bloody scene

https://i.imgur.com/CyvCezt.jpg

https://i.imgur.com/LJHBTFE.jpg

Poll Options

  • 21
    Contact landlord/builder
  • 20
    Seek resolution with manufacturer
  • 101
    Just get a personal injury lawyer

Comments

  • +18 votes

    Your poll is expired?

    Are you sure they are not manufacturing defects? Otherwise you two might be very unlucky/uncoordinated?

    • +34 votes

      Otherwise you two might be very unlucky/uncoordinated?

      Wife: I got a cut from dishwasher
      Husband: Oh come on…(unlucky/uncoordinated?)

      Next day
      Husband, gets a cut… damn, better go ask in OzB!

      •  

        Not really, wanted to ask the same from the first day when my wife almost cut her finger from the top of the dishwasher door, but we were swamped with the move and and the handover of the previous place. Also there were issues that needed attention in the new place which involved getting the building manager involved. So totally slipped of the radar.

        Also my wife only told me about her ankle cut when I got mine.

        •  

          Lol just get some strong skin. Problem solved.

          I advise superglueing all areas that could come in contact.

          Seriously though try some duct tape in the short term.

      •  

        Could it not be installed correctly ? it would be then the installer who you have to sue. Other option is to get a new dishwasher or wrap the place with duct tape

    •  

      I have background in systems safety. This is most likely badly designed with poor risk assessment during the design process. The edges on the facades of both appliances are seriously sharp, could slice meat on them!

        • +31 votes

          They’re made in Italy 😀

          • +2 votes

            @edy4eva: Like an alfa romeo…

          • -2 votes

            @edy4eva: Chinese already conquered Italy. who's next victim?

          • +6 votes

            @edy4eva: then blame Marco Polo

          • -5 votes

            @edy4eva: Italy has laws that allows a product started in another country, but finished in Italy to bear the mark of "Made in Italy".

            Most likely your stuff was made in China, then "finished" in Italy.

      • +8 votes

        could slice meat on them!

        Yet another problem easily solved by just going vegan.

        • +8 votes

          I will save this for a rebuttal of anybody who claims vegans are humourless!

      • +36 votes

        There's a bias fallacy where if you work in a certain field, all you tend to see are things related to that field. Like a surgeon always wants to cut, and a systems safety person will also try to look for unsafe things with a product for example.

        Sometimes all we see are problems, and don't try to find solutions that don't involved suing someone else or making it someone elses problem.

        I don't want to offend you, but when you know something is sharp, you normally try to avoid that area.

        Perhaps you should have an option in the poll that says "Investigate why corners are sharp, and try to be a bit handy and cover sharp areas with some tape until a resolution can be found."

        I would just grab some sand paper for metal and smooth out the sharp edges if possible.

        Downvote me all you want ozbargain, but sometimes a man has just got to be a man and fix small things himself. Just have to be a bit more 'utility' sometimes rather than running to the internet when you get a cut….

        I'm sorry but this litteraly sounds like I'm not going to take responsibility, I got a small cut on a sharp edge, but I'm going to keep on cutting myself on it until someone else does something about it.

        • +1 vote

          Sandpaper won’t fix it. In both cases it’s a bent sheet of steel wrapping the door, plastics all around. The edges should have been recessed under an extra cover/seal, or sitting flush with the do door edges instead of sticking out.

          I will take pictures and share the info. Will also contact Smeg directly, and let the agent as well as the building manager/builder know. They have installed 144 of those in this complex alone (and there are three complexes!)

          • +6 votes

            @edy4eva: Safety is absolutely a factor under consumer law, so you could make complaint with the ACCC - and with enough complaints they will investigate the manufacturer, but you didn't buy the dishwasher. You can advise the landlord, but it won't get you a resolution either. As the above comments suggest, I would look at taking responsibility and come up with a solution for the dangerous area and fix it.

          • +1 vote

            @edy4eva: rofl smeg. absolute nightmare, good luck!

          •  

            @edy4eva: I have background in personal injuries. I’d send an email to Smeg attaching the photos and see what they say. If you’re planning on going to a “no win, no fee” lawyer, they will only take the case if they think it is winnable. You can ring any of the big firms and say what has happened and you may get a small payout. Smeg may have parts available to fix the problem that they should do for free. Temporarily, I’d stick duct tape on any sharp corners if you can. I’ve never heard of anyone cutting themselves on a microwave,

            •  

              @iCandy: "If you’re planning on going to a “no win, no fee” lawyer, they will only take the case if they think it is winnable. You can ring any of the big firms and say what has happened and you may get a small payout. "

              No offense, but honestly are you for real? In my opinion, these guys (the guys with big bill boards advertising personal injury) are just absolute pests upon society and only end up driving up the price for the end consumer, insurance etc, and members on ozbargain end up paying for it.

              Should probably mention to OP that if you have recognised there is a safety issue yet you still decide to injure yourself on the appliance then there would be extremely limited liability on the manufacturer for that. It's like seeing a raging over flooded river and then deciding to drive your car through it.

              •  

                @Gallifr3y: I agree with you, but the law is an ass.

                • +1 vote

                  @iCandy: yep. lucky enough australia is still full of people who aren't afraid to even stick it to the prime minister for stepping on his lawn and normally would take such trivial things on the chin.

  • +5 votes

    The cuts are deep and the ones sustained from the dishwasher resulted in more bleeding than a simple cut.

    Did you go see a doctor?

    • -1 vote

      No, just cleaned the cuts and applied a bandage

      • +16 votes

        Then no one has any record that the appliances are dangerous.

          • +16 votes

            @edy4eva: A PhD doctor, or a medical doctor?

            • +13 votes

              @kerfuffle: https://www.ozbargain.com.au/comment/9837018/redir

              "… industrial policy, qualitative methods combined with System Dynamics modelling…".

              It's not immediately clear what relevance the "I happen to be a doctor" comment has in this context.

            • +3 votes

              @kerfuffle: Definitely the paper doctors who do a 1-3 year phd, write one thesis, and go around notioning that they are medical doctors.

              • -2 votes

                @Gallifr3y: Well in fairness medical doctors are not the only kind of doctor. They are just the most frequently encountered doctor by the general public, so for most people "doctor" means "medical doctor" but they are no more a doctor than anyone else.

                      • +1 vote

                        @Gallifr3y: For someone with a strong family background, you don't seem to understand the system very well:

                        • all doctorates are awarded by a university. One is not more valid than another.
                        • an MBBS is actually a Bachelor level (ie undergraduate) qualification, so if anything is less of a "doctorate", it is that qualification.
                        • Australia has moved to awarding medical degrees as a Doctorate of Medicine (MD) and it is a graduate entry (ie postgraduate, doctoral level) degree now. This was partially done to remove the ambiguity around awarding the title of doctor to an undergraduate degree holder of the previous MBBS

                        And finally ALL Doctorates are academic titles. They simply recognise a level of academic attainment in a field - for most of the public they only ever consciously come across medical doctors because virtually nobody else interacts with them in a way that they would know or use their title.

                        I get it. You go to family gatherings and your jackass relatives holding medical degrees try to belittle the PhD degrees by saying they are not real doctors. That does not make it true.

                • +10 votes

                  @lunchbox99: Cabin crew: 'Is there a doctor onboard'
                  OP: 'Im a doctor'
                  Cabin crew: 'This man is unconcious'
                  OP: 'Im actually a PhD working in…'
                  Cabin Crew: 'Um, is there a REAL doctor onboard'

                  Nobody cares about academic titles outside of academia. It was blatantly obvious the poster meant medical doctor, not a researcher with no medical training.

                  • -7 votes

                    @shtgnjns: No shit sherlock. I realise that's what they meant in this case. I'm questioning the claim that PhD's aren't "real doctors".

                    A Doctor title for a PhD is not an "academic title" any more than it is for a medical doctor. Both are conferred from exactly the same institutions.

                    • +5 votes

                      @lunchbox99: You're arguing semantics, but you're also wrong. In English, the use of 'doctor' as a common noun (which is what people mean when they say 'real doctor') exclusively refers to a medical doctor, not a PhD holder or anyone else. It might well be different in other languages, but this is an English speaking forum.

                      So no, you're not a real 'doctor', and to argue otherwise is just misleading and pure ego stroking. You may well have a doctorate and can use the title of Dr, but you're actually 'a chemist', 'a data scientist', 'a mathematician', etc.

                      And when used by PhDs it is absolutely an academic title, awarded by obtaining a 'doctorate'. The title for everyone else is an honorary one, obtained through their professional qualification as a medical doctor, vet, dentist, whatever else.

                      • +6 votes

                        @shtgnjns: Firstly, you're not responding to OP, so I never claimed to be anything.

                        But you are wrong. English speaking countries have gone through quite a tumultuous history of whether or not a bachelor qualified medical school graduate could be called "doctor", which traditionally was reserved for people holding Doctorate level qualifications (ie a postgraduate qualification).

                        I won't go through the entire history except to say most medical doctors in Australia have traditionally been awarded the undergraduate qualification of MBBS - literally Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery. This is NOT a doctorate level qualification and led to sufficient ambiguity that Australia changed our system of awarding medical degrees.

                        Starting in the 90s, Australia now mostly awards a Doctorate of Medicine (MD) to clarify the ambiguity and this degree is postgraduate (ie requires graduate entry).

                        All you are saying reinforces my original point - the general public usually only comes into contact with medical doctors and therefore think (incorrectly) that they are the only "real doctors". It is simply not true. Since you're such an expert on this, can you please tell me what qualification you hold. I hold an MBBS and PhD.

                        This conversation is really weird. I spend all day working with people who hold medical and non-medical doctorates (or both) and they refer to each other as doctor without batting an eyelid…. because they are doctors. Some are doctors of medicine (what the public call "doctors" by shorthand) and others are doctors of something else.

                        The title Doctor has never been exclusive to medicine since it's original inception. read a goddamn book once in a while. or wiki…
                        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bachelor_of_Medicine,_Bachelor...

                        EDIT: I should clarify that what I mean above is about formal degree level/title ambiguity, not whether medical graduates should be called Doctor. Obviously they should be.

                        • -7 votes

                          @lunchbox99: Holds an MBBS AND a PhD but cant differentiate between the collective/specific 'you' and common/proper nouns, cool.

                        • -1 vote

                          @lunchbox99: MD/PhD or not
                          I was previously privy to discussions held at the faculty level (higher than medical school)… the change to MD was in no way shape or form related to the titular concerns of bachelors
                          The MD put simply means more money because more undergrad students who attempt to get into post grad medicine, more money as post grad fees are higher and can be uncapped (looking at you full fee paying medical schools, Melbourne, Bond, Macquarie).

                          • -1 vote

                            @diazepam: Yes it did, but I'm surely additional income was also a consideration. I think it is better to have people gain broader degree experience/knowledge and age prior to undertaking a medical degree. Many people used to enrol in the old system simply because they had good marks at school, which is a poor criteria for choosing future medical doctors.

                            Historically, Australian medical schools have followed the British tradition by conferring the degrees of Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) to its graduates whilst reserving the title of Doctor of Medicine (MD) for their research training degree, analogous to the PhD, or for their honorary doctorates. Although the majority of Australian MBBS degrees have been graduate programs since the 1990s, under the previous Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) they remained categorised as Level 7 Bachelor's degrees together with other undergraduate programs.

                            The latest version of the AQF includes the new category of Level 9 Master's (Extended) degrees which permits the use of the term 'Doctor' in the styling of the degree title of relevant professional programs. As a result, most Australian medical schools have replaced their MBBS degrees with the MD to resolve the previous anomalous nomenclature. With the introduction of the Master's level MD, universities have also renamed their previous medical research doctorates. The University of Melbourne was the first to introduce the MD in 2011 as a basic medical degree, and has renamed its research degree to Doctor of Medical Science (DMedSc).

                      • +1 vote

                        @shtgnjns: The word doctor is derived from the Latin "docere" meaning "to teach".

                        In English, it does not exclusively refer to a medical doctor. The Oxford English dictionary refers to a doctor (noun) as both 1. a person who treats people who are ill and 2. a person who holds the highest unversity degree.

                        I don't think it fits that it would be an "ego stroke" if a person who earns a doctorate degree legitimately uses thet title of Dr, but it is no such thing when a person that earns a Bachelor of Veterinary Science uses Dr in theirs? You are satisfied that a vet is "real doctor" while a person with a PhD in reproductive biology is not?

                        Rather than rewrite history and attempt to shame people who use a title they have earned, I think it would be of great public benefit if more people were aware of the nuances surrounding the title and its use.

                        • +1 vote

                          @kittywoo: Words change meaning over time. It's called semantic change.

                          Aweful, used to mean "worthy of awe" as in great. Now it doesn't.
                          Senile used to just mean "old age", now it has negative connotations.
                          Hussy comes from the word "housewife". Take that however you want :)

                          So in popular usage today, Doctor tends to mean medical. I would include psyciatrists, vets, dentists etc. I would also include those that work in medical research and other behind the scenes areas.

                          But if someone introduces themselves as Dr. Jones. My first assumption would be they were a medical doctor. If they then said they were a doctor of philosophy/animal husbandry/folklore/buddhist studies/media studies (or best of all Naturopathic Medicine), then I would judge them based on introducing themselves as a Dr. I respect the effort they put into research/study and that they may be considered experts in their fields. I understand that that entitles them to be a "doctor of…" but in my mind they are not Doctors.

                          It's like a pilot of Qantas introducing themselves as Captain Smith at a BBQ. Sure they're a captain/pilot, but if they use that title outside of their field I would assume it's a military captain.

                          •  

                            @dizzle: Yes, the use of words and even their meaning within a culture can change over time. But the meaning of the word doctor has not changed.

                            There is no denying that it is common for people think a doctor refers to a medical practitioner. But your experience and assumption that Dr Jones is a medical doctor, while common, is not universal. There are many of us who would not reach such a conclusion.

                            It is unlikley that your neighbour with a PhD in astrophysics will introduce themselves as Dr Jones. Rather, they will say "Hi, I'm Jane". You may never know they are Dr Jones. In this scenario, this only strengthens your association between the word doctor and the meaning as medical doctor.

                            If the consensus here is that only those within the medical field are entitled to us the title Dr, how far does this net extend? How do you define who is in and out? Is there a list of legimate and illegitimate professions? Only those with a scalpel? Or, if legitimacy is based on something like AHPRA, the Dr of Chinese Medicine is then considered a legitimate doctor and the dietician with a PhD is not? This seems very murky indeed.

                            •  

                              @kittywoo:

                              It is unlikley that your neighbour with a PhD in astrophysics will introduce themselves as Dr Jones. Rather, they will say "Hi, I'm Jane"

                              That was really my point. It's about where you use the title.
                              OP opened a reply with "I happen to be a doctor" when discussing medical issues (whether there is a medical log of the injury). I don't see any other conclusion to draw than OP saying he is a medical doctor when he is in fact not a medical doctor.

                            •  

                              @kittywoo: Thankyou… this is exactly what I have been trying to tell them. It just highlights that most people don't know someone is a Dr specialising in immunology or virology or physics or whatever. They only ever associate Dr with medical people, but it is only reflective of their limited experience.

                              I work with hundreds of people who have medical or non-medical doctorates. It is so normal to us that we don't even think about it.

                            • -1 vote

                              @kittywoo: Those with a scalpel are Mr/Ms after transcending the Dr title
                              Ironic isn’t it. They needed to differentiate themselves from the lowly other doctors so they went back to being Mr/Ms

                        •  

                          @kittywoo: Ok, I'm not suggesting that a PhD isn't a 'Doctor' of Philosophy, it is literally the name of the degree. I'm also not suggesting that they can't use the title, they can and should.

                          But when people ask if you're a 'real doctor' (their term, not mine) they are asking about the common noun usage of the term, which means a medical practitioner (not Vet or Dentist either btw).

                          If someone says 'I am going to the doctors' this isn't an ambiguous statement, they mean they're going to a medical doctor, not down to a local university to meet with a PhD. It is the same if someone says 'I am a doctor', 'Can you call the doctor', 'I spoke to my doctor' etc.

                          •  

                            @shtgnjns: The noun doctor refers to both medical doctors and any other person with a doctorate. To me it doesn't mean only medical doctors because I deal with non-medical doctors all day. I probably would infer your meaning from a layperson (eg if my mother said doctor to me, I would assume medical doctor).

                            The fact that you think it only refers to medical doctors just highlights your limited experience with any other type of doctor. As they say, ignorance is bliss.

                            •  

                              @lunchbox99: You know what, you're right, my mind is clearly just too tiny and inexperienced to comprehend all of this.

                  • -5 votes

                    @shtgnjns: I have first aid training, and yes I am a PhD. And the comment above was in sarcasm.

                    Anyhow, medicine was my initial choice back when I finished high school but family pressure had me go into engineering.

                    Recently I considered med school. Time and financial constraints are going to be a major hurdle. Got motivated by someone who did just that and they were much older, as well as an engineering master who plunged into the medical field and now became a practicing GP.

                    • +3 votes

                      @edy4eva: That is good . Please stay away from any jobs in the legal world .

                    •  

                      @edy4eva: Thats awesome man, all the best with whatever you decide to do.

                    •  

                      @edy4eva:

                      I have first aid training, and yes I am a PhD

                      LMFAO. that’s all I have to say.
                      Can’t wait to see you help on a flight. Love to see your legal fees after

                  • +1 vote

                    @shtgnjns: Perhaps replace the word real with medical. The call would usually be for a medical doctor or medical practitioner, the latter being a protected title. Doctor is not.

          • +48 votes

            @edy4eva: You mean you hold a doctorate. It was clear in this context that a medical doctor was implied. All you’ve done is confirmed yourself to be Dr Douche, PhD.

    •  

      No! just a lot of blood :)

    • +2 votes

      OP you need to get to the emergency department ASAP.
      Otherwise it would have healed by the time you get there.

  • +5 votes

    What brand?

  •  

    Post a picture of the sharp edge so we can provide reasonable opinion (or remove post)

    •  

      I will later tonight

      •  

        Just uploaded

        • +1 vote

          Heh. Years back I had the opportunity to get a work funded car for a previous employee but it had to be Australian. So got a Holden SV6. The doors omg had so many sharp weld points on it on the inner jams. Had to file them down as me and the kids cut our hands on them.

  •  

    No matter what I set the date it reverts back to 4/4/21, sorry

    • +11 votes

      Your a doctor right… so i'm sure you can figure it out?

  •  

    Call the R.A. in the morning and get them to inspect the dishwasher and microwave ASAP.

    •  

      Sorry who is the RA?

      • +2 votes

        May he means REA.

      •  

        Real Estate Agent

      • +21 votes

        Sorry who is the RA?

        The Sun God

  • +5 votes

    What, no MS Paint diagram?

    • +2 votes

      OP has photos and are more grotesque :P

      • +18 votes

        I looked at the second photo and nearly lost my breakfast. How did that finger stay on? I mean, it is literally only holding on by a few strands…

        • -1 vote

          The finger cut is minor but is still an injury. Look around the appliances you use, does any have a sharp metal edge that’s knife like?

  • +3 votes

    Was the Dishwasher you bought designed to be Underbench/built in or freestanding?

    •  

      I didn’t buy them, came with the unit. They’re built in.

      •  

        Maybe it is a bad install…

        Look for the Manual/Install Docs.

        • +2 votes

          OP should check if this part of the manual helps;

          THE APPLIANCE IS NOT INTENDED FOR USE BY PERSONS (INCLUDING
          CHILDREN) WITH REDUCED PHYSICAL, SENSORY OR MENTAL
          CAPABILITIES, OR LACK OF EXPERIENCE AND KNOWLEDGE, UNLESS THEY
          HAVE BEEN GIVEN SUPERVISED OR INSTRUCTION CONCERNING USE OF
          THE APPLIANCE BY A RESPONSIBLE PERSON FOR THEIR SAFETY.

          YOUNG CHILDREN SHOULD BE SUPERVISED TO ENSURE THAT THEY DO
          NOT PLAY WITH THE APPLIANCE.

  • +28 votes

    Imagine the sharp knives in the dishwasher, should be a class action against knife companies. Call ACA

      • +18 votes

        Psychological? Seriously? Are we talking PTSD?

          • +18 votes

            @edy4eva: I thought you said you were a doctor