Articles Posted in Defective Products

A woman and her husband are seeking $300 million in damages in a product liability lawsuit against the maker of a robotic surgical system that she says nearly killed her and caused her excruciating pain and suffering, as well as lifelong medical

In Zarick v. Intuitive Surgical Inc., plaintiff alleges the surgical system caused her severe internal injuries when doctors relied on it to perform a hysterectomy.

This case is one of the first to go trial against this defendant, which characterizes itself as the worldwide leader in minimally-invasive, robot-assisted surgery. These procedures are conducted with a surgeon sitting at a console near the patient, looking through a viewfinder and moving a joystick-like controller to move the robotic arms of the device. This particular device alone is used in some 200,000 surgeries a year.

Plaintiff reports that the system botched her 2009 surgery, causing her intestines to protrude through her vagina. She was rushed to a nearby emergency room and was forced to undergo a high-risk surgery that required a hip-to-hip incision. Plaintiff, 44, and her husband are asking for $50 million in economic damages and another $250 million for emotional distress, pain and suffering, loss of consortium and loss of life enjoyment.  Continue reading

Defective and dangerous products cause thousands of injuries in the U.S. annually. Product liability laws define the parameters concerning who may be held responsible when a dangerous or defective product causes injury to a person. ammo

Parties that may be held potentially liable include product designers, manufacturers and distributors – anyone in the chain of distribution.

But what if one of these responsible entities is based outside the U.S.? After all, a great many of the products we use are produced outside our borders.  Continue reading

When we think of potentially injurious products, chairs aren’t often first on the list. rockingchair

But in the last three months, there have been a series of chair recalls of various types of seats with the potential to put users at risk of a fall.

Although one might think a fall from a chair isn’t a serious matter, it’s important to note the way a person falls can be as important as how far they are falling.

So for example, someone falling 12 feet off a ladder may break an arm, if they extend the arm to cushion the fall. However, a person falling backward on a chair and smacking their head on concrete may suffer a skull fracture or traumatic brain injury – even if the fall height was only a few feet.  Continue reading

Drugs and medications are often the source of product liability claims that stem from patient injury or illness. Although all pharmaceutical companies have a duty to make sure their products are properly tested under U.S. Food and Drug Administration guidelines, the fact that a drug is approved does not shield the manufacturer from liability if the drug proves defective. girlinnature

Many of these cases involve failure to warn. That is, while some products may be unavoidably unsafe (the drug is unsafe no matter how carefully its made, but it still has benefits), the company has a duty to adequately warn users of those dangers. This can be accomplished by directing warnings to “learned intermediaries,” such as the doctor or pharmacist.

Product liability lawsuits are often complex and challenging. Recently, the Arizona Supreme Court issued a ruling that may make it somewhat easier for victims of defective drugs in that state to bring claims against drug companies that fail to make safe drugs or adequately warn of the risks.  Continue reading

A jury in Georgia has ordered medical device manufacturer Wright Medical to pay $11 million in the first federal trial concerning the Conserve hip implant. Of that sizable award, $1 million was in compensatory damages, intended to compensate plaintiff for losses, and $10 million was in punitive damages, intended to punish defendant. skiing

Jurors concluded not only was the hip implant defective and unreasonably dangerous, but that manufacturer misrepresented the safety of those products. For this, jurors determined defendant was 100 percent at fault for plaintiff’s injuries.

Plaintiff, who spent nearly 50 years as a children’s ski instructor and led a very active lifestyle, was advised by doctors to undergo a hip replacement in 2006. Her doctor, based on what he’d been told by manufacturer, told her the metal-on-metal hip replacement model was her best bet. But as we have discovered with so many hip replacement devices, this one failed prematurely. Continue reading

A $6.6 million verdict in favor of an asbestos injury plaintiff was reinstated after the Florida Supreme Court ruled an appellate court had wrongly reversed the trial court’s conclusion of the case. dust

Plaintiff in Aubin v. Union Carbide Corp. was diagnosed with peritoneal mesothelioma, a form of terminal cancer caused by exposure to asbestos. Plaintiff claimed he was exposed to the toxic material by way of a product called SG-210 Caldria, a product designed and manufactured by defendant. He had worked as a construction supervisor at his father’s firm between 1972 and 1974, overseeing construction of a residential development in South Florida, and claimed it was during this time he was exposed to the dust during the sanding and sweeping of drywall compounds and ceiling texture sprays, which contained SG-210 Caldria.

At the time, plaintiff asserted he did not know the compounds he was working with contained asbestos, and therefore had no idea he was at risk of developing the serious illness. Continue reading

A new study conducted by researchers at the Mendoza College of Business at Notre Dame suggests there is a noteworthy correlation between offering substantial stock options to the CEO and future product recalls.
Published in the Strategic Management Journal, the findings indicate that these stock options, which are often used by boards of directors as a way to encourage CEOs to go after high-risk initiatives, can quite often result in a higher percentage of safety problems.

From the board’s standpoint, they want higher-risk initiatives that have the possibility of earning their shareholders more money. But CEOs tend to naturally be naturally more reticent to take chances. Stock option pay is one way boards try to balance this tendency.
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When Germany-based chemical company BASF acquired a manufacturing firm nine years ago for $5 billion, it was aware that had been prior product liability cases against the company for asbestos exposure.
The smaller firm had been in the talc-mining business, and as the years wore on, those who worked in the mines, their family members and some in the public began to get sick. Some filed lawsuit once they learned that there was asbestos in the mine, which causes a number of latent diseases, primarily mesothelioma, asbestosis, COPD and lung cancer.

In the early 1980s, the company was sued by an individual who alleged they were harmed by the asbestos in the mines. During the deposition phase of the proceedings, officials with the company conceded there was asbestos in the mines. However, soon after that, before the case could go to trial, the company entered a confidential settlement agreement. The records were sealed. And from that point forward, the line from the company and its legal team was that there was no asbestos in the mines.
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Those who work within the manufacturing industry often rely heavily on large machinery to help them do their jobs. They have a right to expect those machines were thoughtfully designed and carefully manufactured so as to keep workers who use them safe.
When that does not happen, workers usually have two options of civil remedy. The first is workers’ compensation benefits. Workers file these through their employer to cover their medical costs and a portion of lost wages while they recover. Critical injuries may warrant longer-term benefits, and a death usually entitles dependent relatives to workers’ compensation death benefits. Workers cannot additionally sue their employers for negligence. Workers’ compensation is almost always an exclusive remedy against an employer, as well as co-workers.

The second option for recovery is third-party liability. When a work-related accident was the result of a defective or dangerous machine, careful analysis by an experienced injury lawyer can help determine whether this is a viable option. These cases are often complicated, and, as the recent case of Kirkbride v. Terex USA reveals, they can present significant challenges. But when they are successful, injured workers may have the security of lifelong financial stability, with covered medical expenses and compensation for loss of earning capacity.
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One would think the most dangerous aspect of hunting would be the firearm. Or perhaps even the wild animals. But in fact, one of the leading causes of injury for hunters is the tree stand.
Tree stands – also sometimes referred to as “deer stands” are platforms used by hunters. They are secured to the tree in order to raise the hunter up higher for a better vantage point.

However, there are many cases every year in which a hunter falls from one of these stands, resulting in severe or sometimes even catastrophic injuries. Not all tree stand falls may be ripe for litigation. But if the reason the hunter fell has to do with a defective design of the tree stand product, compensation from the manufacturer may well be in order.
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