Articles Posted in Defective Products

When, as consumers, we count on products to work as they are supposed to, and they do not and cause harmful consequences, there is recourse in product liability law . Recent posts about this have involved medical products, but motor vehicles have the potential to be dangerous if there is something wrong, as well. A recent news story has highlighted the danger of a product for safety when driving that can be replaced with a fake, causing serious injuries or death in car accidents.

Airbags in cars have saved lives and lessened the severity of injuries in car accidents. However, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has issued a warning about counterfeit airbags. NHTSA says the counterfeit airbags are being used as replacements for the proper product. So far they are not aware of any injuries or deaths relating to these fakes, but it is still dangerous to have them out there with the potential for injury or death. These fake airbags look nearly identical to the real ones, including the insignia and branding of major automakers, but NHTSA tested one and it showed consistent malfunctioning ranging from non-deployment of the airbag to the expulsion of metal shrapnel during deployment. The fact that there have been no injuries, with these factors, may amount more to luck than to anything else.

NHTSA has identified certain makes and models of cars for which counterfeit airbags may be available (see a list at the bottom of this article). However, NHTSA says that only 0.1 percent of the cars in the U.S. may be affected. You may be affected if you have had the airbag replaced in your car within the last three years and it was not replaced by a new car dealership. If you have had your airbag replaced, or if you have bought a new airbag online, it is recommended that you contact the call center for your car’s manufacturer. You can get further information about call centers here.

Our Atlanta product liability attorneys are following recent news about Honda’s recall of 126,000 motorcycles with malfunctioning brakes, the second such recall done. These vehicle recalls show product defects in vehicles could potentially cause accidents, injuries, and even deaths.

The recalled motorcycles include GL-1800 motorcycles from 2001 through 2010, and those from 2012. Honda issued an initial recall of these motorcycles in December 2011, but continued receiving complaints. Honda told the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that the reason for the problem was undetermined, and they were still investigating the cause.

Through July 24 of this year, Honda received 533 complaints about problems with the bikes. It turns out the secondary brake master cylinder can cause the rear brake to drag, which in turn can cause a crash or fire. The complaints include reports of eight small fires; luckily, no reports of crashes or injuries related to these brake problems were received.

In good news from our federal 11th Circuit Court of Appeals this week, a girl will have another shot at justice in her product liability case.

Amber Wright was 13-years-old when she went to a hair salon in Carollton, Georgia. It was February 2005, and she wanted blonde highlights. The licensed cosmetologist used a product manufactured by a company called Farouk Systems named “Blondest Blonde. The cosmetologist had used the product before and didn’t notice anything out of the ordinary, although Amber told her about feeling a burning sensation on her head. Things got worse from there, and nine days later the 13-year-old was in the emergency room with second and third degree burns on her scalp. Doctors stated that Amber had chemical burns, which can develop over time. Eventually, her burns were so severe that surgeons had to do a skin graft on her scalp.

Amber sued Farouk Systems for a defective product and failure to warn about potential scalp burns. Her trial had problems from the start, however. A chemist hired to testify was excluded under a Daubert ruling, which means the court found it did not meet scientific evidence standards. Her lawyers did not challenge that exclusion in the trial court. The lower court found that thus Amber had abandoned her product defect claims and therefore all her other evidence was inadmissible, and granted Farouk Systems summary judgment.

Monster Beverage Corp. faces multiple lawsuits claiming that product is linked to deaths and other serious health concerns.

Recently a lawsuit was filed against Monster Beverage Corp., manufacturers of the Monster Energy drink. The lawsuit was filed by a mother who alleges that her nineteen year old son died of cardiac arrhythmia last July due to his consumption of Monster Energy drinks. The mother claims that her son would not have died but for the fact that he drank two cans of Monster Energy drinks every day for the three years preceding his death.

Monster Beverage Corp. denies these allegations. They argue that there is no causal connection between the boy’s cardiac arrest and his consumption of Monster Energy drinks. The Company cites the coroner’s report which does not provide any indication that the boy died as a result of drinking Monster Energy drinks. They suggest that the facts show the boy drank Monster Energy drinks for years without incident.

A 2008 salmonella outbreak caused by tainted peanut butter is the subject of a trial currently underway in Georgia. The outbreak, which sickened 700 people and killed at least nine more, led to one of the largest food recalls in US history. Our Atlanta product liability attorneys have been following the case, which made the news again this week.

The 76-count indictment names Michael Parnell, the owner of Peanut Corporation of America, Mary Wilkerson, the plant’s quality assurance manager, and another former manager, Samuel Lightsey. The indictment accuses the company of shipping tainted products and hiding lab tests that showed they contained salmonella. Wilkerson is also charged with obstructing justice.

Lightsey pled guilty in May, agreeing to testify for the prosecution in exchange for a lighter sentence. In six days of testimony, Lightsey spoke of how the Peanut Corporation of America shipped contaminated products with falsified documents stating they were free of salmonella, and of the presence of mold and mildew within the plant. He also told the court of how employees used a pellet gun to shoot birds that got inside the plant.

Technology seems to be progressing at a crazy pace these days. Think of all the gadgets and things we take for granted now. So when our Atlanta product liability lawyers saw an article about driverless cars, it seemed like something that could possibly be not too far in the future of our lives. Google has a fleet of driverless cars and Audi and BMW are investing in the new technology too. Driverless cars are already being tested in some parts of the US.

Most car accidents are due to some kind of human error, whether negligent or reckless or otherwise. It is the number one cause of road accidents and as much as 90 percent of fatal car accidents are due to a human mistake. So theoretically, new driverless cars could save thousands of lives by reducing the risk of many accidents. It could especially counter the more extreme forms of dangerous driver behavior, such as road rage. And of course it could also impact drunk driving, as well, if those intoxicated could mainly, or someday entirely, depend on their car to drive them home.

The new question that will be faced once these driverless cars are on the roads is who will be liable in a car crash. The auto industry knows that there is a high likelihood of product liability law being more prevalent in car crash cases in the driverless future, although industry experts note that there will still, at least in the foreseeable future, be drivers in the car, just with less active driving than now. This is an issue that will have to be addressed and sorted out. Last year, Arizona introduced a law to cover driverless cars. Nevada and California have laws on the books about driverless cars, too, including a provision that requires a licensed driver to be in the car ready to take over driving at any time. So that driver would still have the potential for liability in crashes involving these new cars, as they do with regular driver-operated cars. It won’t be long before most states will have provisions to face this new technology. Jeff Dial, who introduced the Arizona law, said, “The more you deal with this issue, the more the issue grows and grows.One other idea to confront the product liability issue is to model driverless car liability after the way vaccine liability is handled. Congress created a special way to handle these cases in the 1980s, and now the cases go to special hearings and victims are paid through funding provided by a tax on vaccines.

Manufacturers, and the stores that sell their goods, know that they have a legal duty not to offer the public unsafe products with no warning. When an unsafe products slips through, there are laws that hold these companies legally and financially accountable for the injuries that result. However, our Atlanta injury lawyers understand that these companies often try to escape accountability for the harms that their products cause. For example, according to recent news accounts, a company called Blitz USA Inc, the makers of defective plastic gasoline cans, and Wal-Mart Stores Inc (where the defective gasoline cans were sold) are trying to use Blitz’s bankruptcy filings to avoid further product liability lawsuits.

At one point Blitz held 70 percent of the US market of gas cans. The main reason that it was forced into bankruptcy was because the company was hemorrhaging money from 36 product liability lawsuits for harm caused by the cans. The defective gas cans have caused severe damage to people who unsuspectingly suffered severe burns, usually from explosions. The company, based out of Oklahoma, has an insurance policy, but there is a $1 million deductible before the insurance kicks in. The court papers filed by Blitz in November stated that they had already spent $30 million defending these products liability suits stemming from the defective gas cans, which was a “debilitating expense for the company.The company also estimated it owed $3.5 million in lawyer’s fees over defending these lawsuits.

Blitz filed under Chapter 11 last November, which temporarily stopped all lawsuits against it. Recently, attorneys for Blitz asked the judge at the US Bankruptcy Court in Wilmington, Delaware, to halt all related lawsuits against Wal-Mart as the retailer selling the allegedly defective goods. Wal-Mart is Blitz’s most important customer, so the company wants to protect Wal-Mart and is worried about the increasing number of these products liability suits. The bankruptcy judge refused the request to halt the lawsuits against Wal-Mart.

When products are released to the market that turn out to be dangerous, often those items end up being recalled. Hopefully, the dangerous consumer products are recalled before anyone gets hurt, but this does not always happen. When an injury occurs as a result of a product defect, an Atlanta defective product lawyer should be consulted to provide help to the victim of the injury or, in the case of fatal injuries, by surviving family members. atlanta product defect lawyer Van Sant Law

Many different types of products are subject to recall, from dangerous medications to unsafe baby products. However, one of the most commonly recalled products is vehicles.

A lot can go wrong with cars, and the consequences can often be dire when there are problems. For example, just recently, Ford recalled 555,000 cars because there was a risk that the cars could roll away without notice. This would put everyone near the vehicle at risk of being hit and hurt or killed by the runaway Ford.

A product is recalled when it is determined it presents an unacceptable risk to public safety. In far too many situations, the product is recalled after someone gets hurt by its use. When this occurs, an Atlanta defective product lawyer should be consulted by victims who need assistance pursuing a claim for compensation. Taking legal action in the case of a defective product can allow victims to be fully compensated for all losses arising from the product defect. Because of special strict liability rules applicable when products malfunction and cause harm, a plaintiff in a defective product case should be compensated for damages regardless of whether the product manufacturer was negligent or not. Medicine recall Van Sant Law

A plaintiff must prove a problem with the product occurred in order to be able to successfully make a product liability case. Evidence may include expert testimony and studies showing problems with the product. A recall may sometimes be used as evidence in a product liability claim, although recalls do not automatically make manufacturers liable even when presented as evidence. Recalls can alert consumers to the fact that a product they were using harmed them, so the consumer can stop using the product and can move forward with exploring the possibility of legal action.

What are the Different Types of Product Recalls?

When children receive gifts for Halloween or the upcoming winter holidays, the new toys and other presents should bring nothing but joy to the home. Unfortunately, sometimes toys turn out to be dangerous and they actually put children at risk of serious injury or even death. Young girl playing in a park Van Sant Law

An Atlanta defective products lawyer knows that the number of toy recalls have been declining in recent years, as safety efforts have improved and dangerous toys are more often identified before they are actually released to the public. However, risky toys could still make it onto store shelves. When kids receive gifts for Halloween or other holidays, parents need to be aware of how to check for recalls and should make sure that these new toys are safe before kids start playing.

Recalled Toy Dangers for Kids

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