Articles Posted in product liability

Some products are dangerous even when manufactured correctly. For example, when a mining company buys a stick of dynamite and a blasting cap, there is no question that this product is capable of exploding and causing serious damage or loss of life, even when used correctly.  If the product wasn’t capable of exploding, it would not be of any value to the mining company, so they wouldn’t buy it.

tobaccoThe same could be said about a chainsaw.  While it won’t explode if manufactured correctly, it is definitely dangerous and capable of inflicting serious injury or death.  If it wasn’t, it would not be able to make quick work of a log or tree as it was designed to do.  In other words, some products are inherently dangerous, and as long as it was not unreasonably dangerous, defectively designed, or the company did not adequately warn consumers of the proper way to the use the item safely, the company may not be liable for any personal injuries. Continue reading

Hip replacement surgery has become one of the most often performed elective surgical procedures in the United States.  This involves the total replacement of the patient’s natural, but damaged hip joint, which an artificial hip implant manufactured by a medical device firm.  While there are many names for the different firms, these days, they are often subsidiaries of a handful of major pharmaceutical companies and medical device manufacturers.

surgeryA recent news article from ABC 6, takes a look at how a modern hip replacement is performed and what a patient can expect during his or her recovery.  As discussed in the article, in the 1990s, having a total hip replacement involved a having an open incision followed by a stay in the hospital of two weeks or more and then being placed in a lengthy rehabilitation program.  There was a lot of time spent in rehabilitation, and this was not only a long, but also a painful process. Continue reading

For quite some time, it has been known that the new Samsung Galaxy Note 7 Smartphones have defective batteries and other components that can result in the devices exploding.  This can cause serious personal injury and has caused users to be severely burned. These phones are also not allowed on airplanes, since an explosion on a plane could be catastrophic for hundreds of passengers.  Not only can they not be taken as carry on, they cannot be checked in baggage, even if they are powered down.  The reason for this is because the battery can explode even when the phone is not on or being operated.

mobile phoneWhile the company has voluntarily agreed to recall the device and provide users with a refund, for whatever reason, some users are not willing to return the defective smartphones.  It seems they would rather run the risk of the phone exploding or bursting into flames in a user’s pocket and are not returning them to Samsung. Continue reading

According to a recent news feature from CNN Money, there is significant confusion when it comes to the recent recall of Galaxy Note 7 smart phones manufactured by Samsung after some of the models exploded.  The reason for the confusion in part is because there are two different suppliers of batteries, and the company has chosen not to call this a recall, but rather a return and replacement program.  While the company may wish to use this more innocuous sounding description, federal regulators have chosen to stick with the more familiar name, calling it a defective product recall.

mobile-phone-4-1490452However, before we look at the more confusing aspects of this recall, lets look at what we do know. We know that these smart phones that retail for over $900 are bursting into flames and basically exploding while people are holding them.  The company says that the problem only occurs while the phones are charging, but since many people charge their phones while using them to talk, text, and use other apps, this poses a significant danger. Continue reading

These days, McDonald’s have been seeing a decline in profits as more are turning to healthier food options for themselves and their families.  This is not say the company and its competitors are not making a ton of money, but their numbers are not as good as they were a decade ago.

children-at-play-1439826For this reason, the company has been working towards providing healthier options while still keeping the old standards. To some extent it has been working.  One of the thing they were doing to make parents feel the restaurant chain can promote a healthier lifestyle for children despite their old image problem, is to include a fitness band in Happy Meals.  These are essentially a very cheap version of the Fitbit and other popular fitness watches that have flooded the market in the past few years. Continue reading

In Applebaum v. Target Corp, plaintiff was injured while riding a bicycle she purchased at defendant’s big box retail store.  She claimed the reason she was injured was because of a defective brake on the bike that was resold to her after another customer had returned the item.  She claims the bike was returned to the store because of the defective brake, negligently repaired, and then resold to her, thus causing her to suffer a personal injury.

bicycle-1549579According to court records from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, this case deals with the issue of whether plaintiff was injured while riding her bicycle due to a defective bicycle or due to operator error. Continue reading

For the second time in a week, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit has dismissed a product liability claim, citing forum non conviens. This is a discretionary power a court has to dismiss a case when another court (or forum) is better suited to hear the case. doctor9

The dismissal isn’t going to prevent a plaintiff from re-filing the case, but depending on the facts, he or she may run up against a statute of limitations issue. It’s always better to thoroughly research such issues ahead of time so that it doesn’t become time and money wasted.

There are many considerations that go into determining the proper forum in a product liability lawsuit, including:

  • Where plaintiff lives;
  • Where defendant is headquartered/ operates/ distributes;
  • Where the injury occurred.

Continue reading

Johnson & Johnson lost a $500 million federal case in Texas earlier this year involving its Pinnacle hip replacement devices. However, the company won an important victory recently when the U.S. District judge overseeing the case slashed that damage award to $151 million, finding the punitive damage award excessive. gavel1

The verdict had been in favor of five plaintiffs and three spouses, who after a two month trial were collectively were supposed to receive $360 million in punitive damages and $140 million in compensatory damages.

Although the judge denied the company’s request to set aside the verdict or grant a new trial, the medical product behemoth is now seeking an expedited review of the verdict. The company has argued that jurors were improperly biased after hearing evidence that was both irrelevant and unfair during the trial. Attorneys for plaintiffs, however, say the bid for a new trial is nothing more than a flimsy attempt to snag a “do-over” after the strategy they employed during trial went awry.  Continue reading

Two drug companies have been ordered to pay $67 million over false claims made regarding the efficacy of cancer drug Tarceva, the U.S. Justice Department announced.whitepills

The drug is approved for some patients who suffer from non-small cell lung cancer or pancreatic cancer. However, OSI Pharmaceuticals LLC and Genetech Inc. reportedly misled consumers about how effective the drug was in treating non-small cell lung cancer.

This settlement was reached after allegations that between January 2006 and December 2011, the two drug makers promised the product would be effective for non-small cell lung cancer patients. What they failed to disclose was that research had shown it only worked if the patients hadn’t ever smoked or had any sort of mutation in their epidermal growth factor receptor. The latter is a protein that has been traced to the spread of cancerous cells. Continue reading

Johnson & Johnson has been ordered to pay $70 million to a male teen whose use of antipsychotic drug Risperdal caused him to grow breasts. greenpills

The verdict was handed down in a state court in Pennsylvania, after jurors concluded the drug-making giant failed to disclose that its product could cause gynecomastia, the unnatural growth of large mammary glands in males. Not only that, jurors concluded, but the company actively and with intent destroyed, falsified or hid records that pointed to this fact.

This $70 million damage award interestingly only includes compensatory damages, as opposed to punitive damages. It also is significantly more than the $2.5 million awarded to an Alabama teen in 2015 who developed size 46 DD breasts.  Continue reading