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Product Liability/Defective Products

  • Defective Product Information
  • Situations and Injuries with Faulty Products
  • How To File A Product Liability Lawsuit
  • Time Limit To File A Product Liability Lawsuit
  • Product Liability Verdicts
    • Sullivan v. Tricam
    • Eisenbise v. Crown Equipment Corporation
    • Oliver v. Apex Digital
    • Soulliere v Suzuki, Inc.

    • Product Liability Laws – Defective Product Injury StatutesIn personal injury law, around 7% of cases are product liability lawsuits filed against a business or corporation for manufacturing or distributing a faulty product. The product may be broken in some manner or else backfire when being used, which can result in injuries. The injuries that can occur are widely varied and can range from negligible to permanent. For example, defective pens and knives may result in large cuts or lacerations that require stitches, but a defective brake system on a bus can result in large-scale injuries to passengers and other drivers. The actual number of items that are defective is likely much higher than the 7% of cases that are filed, but the items may not cause harm (and thus have no chance for success in a personal injury claim) or the victims may not report the incidents. There are peaks and valleys of injury rates and accident reports over the years, especially when it comes to certain types of items. For example, in 1997, there were 141,000 defective toy-related incidents, which climbed to 255,000 in 2001. By 2006, however, the number had drastically decreased to 30,000. In 2017, there were 30,000,000 vehicles recalled, which was a sharp drop from the previous year’s 53,000,000. The reason that so many cars are recalled and incidents happen compared to toys is that there are often many more things that can go wrong on cars and which can lead to injuries. All the working parts should be in working order; if even one screw has the tendency to come loose, there could be additional issues that may not be readily apparent. Because cars are mass-manufactured, an issue present with one vehicle could be present with dozens others, which would necessitate the entire stock to be retrieved and fixed. Each year, defective products are estimated to result in over 3,000,000 injuries and 20,000 deaths. The sheer number of injuries should be enough to show that it is wise to take legal action against the responsible company for the trouble.

      Defective Product Information

      By the Numbers: Product Liability/Defective ProductsDefective products are relatively common. However, not every defect leads to an injury. Some can break and leave sharp edges while others can suddenly explode and take off small limbs or digits, but most of the time, a faulty item simply stops working. Product recalls are occasionally listed on the news and in the newspapers. Recalls that are widespread are usually related to vehicles, food, pills, popular gadgets, and more. For example, a recent recall of lettuce forced many stores to run out of the vegetable; there was an E. coli outbreak that affected the food, so consumers were getting sick. There were also cases of Samsung Galaxy Notes catching fire due to the batteries overheating and being unable to cool down after excessive use.

      Product Liability Claims

      Pharmaceutical DrugsDangerous Diabetes DrugsMedical Devices and ImplantsRecalled Product LawsuitTransvaginal MeshDefective Product LiabilityCar Lemon Law Airbag DefectsFederal Cartridge Issues Recall for Blackhawk T-Series L2C Firearm Holsters
      To stay up to date on the latest recalled products, you can read website of the Consumer Product Safety Commission, It is a government-run organization that holds companies accountable for their products. On the site, you can look at recalled items, read a history of defective products, learn more about specific industries and common recalls, and more. The recall will list the type of product, the company name, the distributor, the manufacturer, the cost, the repair or remedy, the reported injuries, and more.

      Learn more about your legal options by chatting with a representative now.

      We have collected a list of the most commonly recalled products below:
      • Cars
      • Bicycles
      • Alternate vehicles like boats, snowmobiles, ATVs, scooters, and others
      • Food and drink
      • Toys for children
      • Medication
      • Assistive devices like wheelchairs and crutches
      • Phones and tablets
      • Furniture and decoration
      • Construction goods and home maintenance/repair items
      • Kitchen appliances
      • Sports equipment and protective gear
      • Public facilities and structures
      • Sockets, wires, plugs, and chargers
      Some companies are infamous for their recalls. They may have made headlines or affected millions of units; in the worst cases, hundreds of deaths resulted from the problems. Among the top recalls are:
      • Johnson and Johnson’s Tylenol in 1982 that was laced with cyanide
      • Peanut Corp.’s salmonella outbreak that contaminated nearly 4,000 products in 2009
      • Toyota’s floor mat recall in 2010 that made gas pedals get stuck
      • General Motor’s ignition switch recall in 2014 that caused cars to turn off abruptly
      • Firestone’s tires installed on Ford vehicles in 2000 that caused blowouts
      • Takata’s air bag recall that started in 2008 and has been ongoing for over 10 years
      It is handy to always pay attention to the news regarding product recalls or to answer any queries from a company after you’ve bought an item. If the product has defects, you could be severely injured.

      Call (213) 389-3765 to set up a free, no obligation consultation to find out if you have a case.

      Situations and Injuries with Faulty Products

      Defective Product InformationDefective products can be present everywhere you go. They may not simply be items that you purchase, but they could be parts of items that you buy or products that you use out in public. The issues are varied and deep, and you should always exercise caution and care when using anything. A simple problem can metastasize and create a highly damaging situation. Some of the results of products malfunctioning can include:
      • Explosions: Explosions can happen with any compressed canister or mixture of gases. There may also be explosions where fire or sparks or used. Explosions most often happen in kitchens and in garages, and it is crucial that individuals wear protective gear when handling any potentially dangerous item. They can be injured with burns, disfigurement, loss of digits and limbs, scarring, and more.
      • Snapped wires, cords, or springs: Wires, cords, and springs hold a lot of products together. One of the most dangerous defects is present in some garage doors; the spring is so tightly wound and taut with tension that if it were to release, it could easily sever flesh and cause the garage door to suddenly and violently drop. Other wires may break apart and cause there to be less protection or safety on the item. You could suffer lacerations, gashes, puncture wounds, slashes, crushing injuries, falls, and other injuries.
      • Car troubles: There is a litany of issues present in some cars, from defective airbags and seat belts to faulty brakes and electronics. In today’s age, more and more cars are becoming hybrids that are reliant on electronic imaging and more computerized movements. Other cars simply have bad materials and corrode quickly or do not work as they properly should. Car crashes can result in comas, concussions, broken bones, fractures, internal organ damage, nerve damage, traumatic brain injuries, brain damage, spinal cord injuries, whiplash, paralysis, death, and more.
      • Weak supporting materials: Screws may be loose on stepladders and ladders, while the nails and rods used to hold drawers together could be faulty. The wood used for staircases could be rotten or low quality. You can easily fall if supporting materials are weak, leading to hip damage, knee injuries, torn muscles and ligaments, contusions and lesions, and more.
      • Outbreaks: Food-borne illnesses like salmonella and E. coli can affect many individuals. You may not know that an item is afflicted with anything at all as the bacteria are microscopic. There could be pesticides present on the foods as well, or the food could simply be imported from a place that has had chemicals dumped into the soil or water supply. You may suffer infections, diseases, food poisoning, stomach issues, and more.
      Any incident involving a defective product should be immediately reported and you should quickly collect evidence to take legal action. It is imperative that you let someone know about the issue; your quickness can help save others from injuries if the company is unaware of the defect. The business may issue a recall right away.

      How To File A Product Liability Lawsuit

      A product liability lawsuit is a form of personal injury law that can be initiated if you are injured because of a faulty item. You must be able to show that you were legally using or in ownership of the product when you were hurt – that is, you cannot be in a closed store or section of a restaurant reserved for employees and get hurt on a broken item only to turn around and try to sue the manufacturer. You must be able to show at least one of three requirements for your product liability lawsuit. They are as follows:
      • The product had a design defect that was not caught and would clearly indicate that a problem would arise or an accident would happen and users would get injured
      • There was a manufacturing defect with the item during its production, which can be attributed to a broken or faulty machine, creator error, assembly line problem, or any other issue.
      • There were no hazard symbols or warnings present on the product’s packaging or on the product itself that indicated potential harms or misuses

      Learn more about your options for compensation by calling (213) 389-3765.

      How To File A Product Liability LawsuitMany products have design flaws or manufacturing defects that cause them to fall apart or break during use. It is not as common anymore for there to be a lack of hazard warnings on the items, provided it warrants one. For example, almost all toys with small parts have warnings that tell parents to keep out of reach of children due to a choking hazard. If you wish to file a product liability claim, you should take care to follow these steps. You will have a better chance of success and you will be adequately prepared for what happens when interacting with the insurance agent representing the company. Firstly, it is key that you do not get rid of the product. You should not return it to the store, ship it to the manufacturer for repair, throw it away, or do anything else that would keep it out of your possession. If you must get rid of it, you should take as many photos and videos of you can, especially if you can mimic the defect (assuming it is safe to do so). You should be certain to get medical assistance immediately after the incident, as well. The lack of medical attention in product liability cases is one of the main reasons that claims do not succeed. You need to establish that you were injured and that you sought treatment. You may not feel as though you were injured at first, but you should still see a doctor. If you have a long gap between the incident and the medical treatment, your claim might suffer. The insurance agent and company could declare that you were likely hurt elsewhere. You should not try to fix the product yourself or take it anywhere that would try to repair it. If there are any attempts to do so, the company can say that the product has been compromised and there is the possibility that your tampering caused the accident. It would be hard to show the before and after of the item if you did not take photos in times you didn’t need to. It is important that you hold on to as many receipts, documents, proof of purchase records, email confirmations, shipping records, and such as you can. This will show that you were legally in possession of the product and that you bought it with your money. If the defective product was in a public place or private property, you should be able to show that you were legally present when you were injured. A defective product that cannot be shown to be yours cannot be used as evidence in a case. If there were any eyewitnesses who saw the item malfunction or who were also handling it at the time of the incident, you could ask them for their statements and testimonies. These eyewitnesses can give you the upper hand in a case, as they may have seen the incident from a different angle and can back up your side of the story. Time Limit To File A Product Liability LawsuitYou should take photos of your injuries, the area in which the accident happened, and anything else that could be preserved. If there are videos available, whether by a dashboard camera, surveillance camera, or other recording device, you can add them to your claim as well. They can show the incident and defect in motion. It may be beneficial to reach out to other individuals who have the products and to see if their items similarly malfunctioned. If so, you can add the witnesses to your claim. You can then contact the company to file a report or to let them know that you will be taking legal action. Your next and final step should be to consult an attorney. Trying to handle a product liability case by yourself can lead to disaster, as you may not have the necessary legal experience and negotiating knowledge required to win. You could be severely hurt after the incident and not be in the right state of mind or physical health to take legal action. An attorney can handle the legwork for your case while you recover from your injuries. In the event that the company issued a recall, or if there are numerous individuals who were similarly affected and injured by the product, you could be a part of a class action lawsuit. A class action lawsuit is a collective suit of numerous plaintiffs taken out against a singular defendant; the lawsuit is handled by an attorney, and all of the plaintiffs will contribute their evidence. This mass of evidence is usually adequate to prove that a company was negligent in some manner. The issue with class action lawsuits, though, is the compensation. A single settlement or verdict will be divided amongst all of the participants, which can cause some individuals to feel as though they were undervalued or did not receive the proper or necessary or deserving compensation for their injuries.

      Complete a Free Case Evaluation form or call (213) 389-3765 today.

      Time Limit To File A Product Liability Lawsuit

      In California, you have a statute of limitations of 2 years from the date of the injury to file a product liability lawsuit. If you miss this deadline, you will not be able to pursue compensation in the future. The statue of limitations prevents individuals from pursuing claims way past their due dates; if you were hurt over ten years before because of a problem with a vehicle, the time for repairs and restitution from any medical bills is past. The bills and injuries may have been paid or lessened, but the company may not have any way of paying for your damages. The evidence you could procure could also have a shelf life; some pieces of evidence will corrupt quickly while some others will last long. Importantly, many witnesses may forgot key details or be unable to remember crucial points about a case. If there is no consistent and accurate amount of facts being disclosed, there will be doubt on your claim, and you will likely not succeed. The statute of limitations does not have to be specifically limited to 2 years from the date of the injury, though. There are a few situations in which the statute can actually be extended. One of the most common reasons for an extension to the statute of extension is because the injured party was under the age of 18 years old. Once he turns 18 years old, he can legally sue; the statute would be temporarily suspended while he waits to turn legal age. Additionally, you may be severely injured or left in a compromised psychological state after an incident. This could suspend your statute of limitations until you return to health and can make sensible choices. The defendant may not be in the state when you choose to use. If s, your statute would be extended and would pick back up when he returns to the state. Sometimes, responsible parties will flee because they know there is no way to serve them a lawsuit while they aren’t in California and after a certain amount of time, but once they return, the statute will resume. Many plaintiffs do not know the dates they must adhere to. It can be confusing to sue based on the date of the injury and not the incident itself, and it is common for individuals to forget important dates. A product liability lawyer can see to it that you meet your deadlines and you do not risk missing the statute of limitations.

      Determining The Value Of Your Product Liability Claim

      Product Liability VerdictsOften, victims of defective products will want to know what their cases are worth or what they can earn in a lawsuit. They may ask attorneys or search the internet for different answers, but the amount of cases makes it difficult. The averages are skewed because high-paying verdicts raise the number itself, and many settlements are kept confidential between the parties. Truthfully, there is no way to determine the value of a lawsuit with only the facts and evidence. The insurance agent will consider the claim and make an offer, but it may be wildly different than what anyone estimates. The insurance agent will look to your injuries as the primary source for determining how much you should receive. If your injuries were severe, extensive, and impactful on your life and job, you could be in a position to earn a lot of money. For example, a severed limb from a defective chainsaw can be worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. The agent will also look at your job type, age, and level of responsibility for the incident. That is, if you were partially responsible for the accident or if you somehow influenced the product to become defective, you could be held comparatively negligent and not receive your full settlement or any money at all. If the incident caused you to switch jobs or made it impossible for you to work, and you spent months recovering, your case could be worth over $1 million dollars. On the other hand, if you only suffered a few sprains and your working capabilities were not compromised, you could walk away with less than $10,000. Further, because many court cases are handled by a jury, they could potentially deem your request unreasonable and award you much less than you initially asked for. It will be up to your attorney to successfully and skillfully negotiate the fairest deal for you or to convince the jury that you should receive the maximum compensation available under the law.

      Product Liability Verdicts

      Forms Of Compensation From Product Liability Lawsuits To get a better understanding of the value of your case, you could look over other lawsuits that featured product liability claims. The different cases can show you how negligence and evidence play a key role in the outcome, as well as how fault can be assigned. Some juries may unanimously agree that a product was not broken, while others may believe that it had a direct impact on your injuries. You can read these cases below to grasp product liability lawsuits more completely:

      Sullivan v. Tricam

      In Christopher Sullivan v. Costco Wholesale Corporation, Tricam Industries, Inc., Sullivan fell from a step stool and suffered injuries to his arm. Sullivan was standing on a step stool in a garage when he fell over and hurt himself. He suffered a bruising to his tailbone and arm, but his main complaint was related to his shoulder. Three days after the incident, Sullivan went to the local Kaiser health facility, where he was diagnosed with a shoulder impingement and a form of osteoarthritis. He had surgery a few months after the incident, which cleared him for any potential future procedures. Sullivan took a few weeks off work to have the surgery. Despite the relative safety and healing of his shoulder, he claimed that he still avoided certain activities, such as physical sports, because of a fear of damaging his shoulder again. The plaintiff and counsel claimed that the stool was defective and that Costco should not have sold it. They said that there was a distinct lack of reinforcements on the stool that would protect people who stand on the top, as step stools are meant to support individuals directly on top of them. There was also a statement that the stool’s rails were undersized and not properly designed; smaller rails and bars would decrease the aount of stability and support, leading to the potential for falls and injuries. The defense stated that all of the specifications matched proper design standards. They said that the measurements taken by the plaintiff were inaccurate and that the damage and collapse to the stool occurred when Sullivan fell on it, not the other way around. The damages on his side were consistent with him falling off the side of the stool and landing on it. The jury did not award Sullivan a victory and did not grant his request for $150,000. They found that the issue that was purported to have been the cause of the accident did not exist.

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      Eisenbise v. Crown Equipment Corporation

      In Nathan Eisenbise and Jeniffer Eisenbise v. Crown Equipment Corporation and Crown Lift Trucks, Eisenbise suffered foot injuries when he was hit by a forklift. A CostCo employee was operating a modernized forklift that has a different design than most are used to. The forklift has two wheels next to the forks that drive it while a pair of wheels also rests at the back near the side that steer it. The occupant is able to stand inside and rest against a pad. The bottom of the forklift does not have a skirt to prevent wheel exposure – as such, Eisenbise claimed that the design was defective. When Eisenbise was hit, the forklift ran over his foot and ankle, leading to crushing injuries. The forklift weighs close to 10,000 pounds, so a lot of force was placed on very small and fragile bones and ligaments. His toes were dislocated and there were lasting injuries that prevented him from fully healing. Nearly a year after the incident, he complained of sores and constant pain, which culminated in an amputation; the wound had not healed properly and he had suffered complications with the damage. At trial, the defense argued that the design was state of the art and did not require the guarding to prevent injuries. They said that the accident happened because both parties were lacking attention and no considering where the other was. The jury decided that the design of the forklift did not have any impact on the incident and the injuries that Eisenbise suffered. They did not award him and his wife (who also sued for loss of consortium) the $6.5 million they requested.

      Oliver v. Apex Digital

      In Shirley Oliver v. Apex Digital Inc., Apex Digital LLC, Worldwide Corporate Housing L.P, Archstone Communities LLC, Archstone Developer LLC, Archstone Property Management, ASN Woodland Hills East LLC, Motorola Mobility LLC, Oakwood Woodland Hills Lessee LLC, Oakwood Worldwide Local LLC, Sichuan Changhong Electric Co. LTD., Time Warner Cable Inc., Oliver’s daughter died as a result of a fire that was allegedly caused by a faulty relevision set. Oliver’s daughter, Lauren Humphrey, was ill and dependent on drugs and alcohol. She lived alone in an apartment that her mother, Oliver, rented for her. A television manufactured by Apex Digital was in the room that the fire broke out in. The fire did not consume the whole apartment complex, and the fire department claimed that the cause could not be determined. Humphrey was found at the scene of the fire with a high blood alcohol content level, having ingested pain medication as well. It is believed that the drugs and alcohol inhibited her from waking up during the fire, leading to her passing away due to carbon monoxide poisoning. The plaintiff’s expert on fires said that the fire started where the TV was located. The defense counsel did not agree. The defense further claimed that the death of Humphrey was primarily due to her inebriation and inability to leave the home. For damages, Oliver used her previous incidents as fodder. Her last two husbands had died, one of whom was murdered. She said that she was close with her daughter and still provided for her, but that the loss left a significant impact on her life. In the end, the jury awarded Oliver nearly $2.5 million for the loss of her daughter. It ruled that the Housing unit was primarily responsible, although only 80 percent so.

      Soulliere v Suzuki, Inc.

      In Thomas Joseph Soulliere v. Suzuki Motor of America, Inc., Suzuki Motor Corporation and Berts Mega Mall, Soulliere was injured when his motorcycle did not properly brake. Soulliere was traveling down the highway when a car pulled out of a parking lot directly into his path of travel. He immediately hit the brakes but the front tire brake id not engage; Soulliere hit the car and immediately suffered damage to his legs. His counsel stated that the front brake design was defective – there was a part that was liable to become corroded, which would allow gas into the brake system and prevent it from working. Suzuki knew of the issue for 9 years prior to the recall but had only issued a recall in October 2013 (the bike was manufactured in 2009), 4 months after the crash happened. However, the plaintiff argued that the awareness dated back years. The defense denied that the recall was brought on by the incident and denied that the brake refused to work at all. They said that he had no previous troubles with the motorcycle and did not have any after the incident. Further, the defense said that a skid mark at the scene of the accident proved that the brakes were effective and in working order. As a result of the incident, Soulliere suffered fractures to his leg and knee, a dislocation, and more. He required a rod placed in his femur to stabilize the leg. He also needed numerous reconstructive and fixation surgeries, one of which was redone on his knee after it was reinjured. The plaintiff stated that he would likely need an artificial knee due to the degradation and eventual need for yet another surgery. The plaintiff requested that Suzuki be held accountable for the refusal to recall despite the knowledge of the brake issues, coverage of medical bills and pain and suffering damages, lost income, and punitive damages. The jury awarded the plaintiff with over $9 million in damages after finding Suzuki knew about the defect and had acted with malice and oppression.


      The burden of proof should be almost beyond a doubt when trying to display that a company created or distributed a faulty product. Because the majority of these accidents happen in the home, there is almost no way to accurately determine the extent of fault. If there is a chance that the item broke because of user error, or if the user’s injuries were not as serious as stated, the company likely won’t be held responsible.

      Learn more about your legal options by chatting with a representative now.

      Forms Of Compensation From Product Liability Lawsuits

      Defective products are common. Any commercial product can be defective if due to either a manufacturing defect, design defect or failure to warn defect results in injuries. Often times injured parties do not retain an attorney. As a result they are often forced to pay out of pocket for injuries which they were not responsible for. Retailers and manufacturers will deny liability and justify the denial based on “consumer misuse”. Many times consumers are taken advantage of my large corporations who would rather deny valid claims then take responsibility for injuries caused through their negligence. If you have been injured you should make sure to speak with a product defect lawyer to better understand your rights. Make sure your case is filed before the statutory time period expires.

      Defective Pharmaceutical Drugs and Unsafe Prescription Drug Claims:

      Defective Drug Injury Lawsuit

      Defective Drugs are a leading cause of death and serious injury in the United States

      According to the Center for Disease Control pharmaceutical drug account for more deaths in the United States then auto accidents.  Death and serious injuries due to defective drugs are the result of drug manufacturing company negligence; including failure to properly test the drugs, placing the drug in the stream o commerce before all known dangers have been rectified, and failure to properly warn of serious
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