Articles Posted in Defective products

The holiday season is typically the most dangerous time of the year when it comes to bringing dangerous or defective products into the home. But, like most aspects of life, COVID has also changed the risk of product injury. Pandemic quarantines have found all of us spending much more time at home. Online shopping has further complicated the picture when it comes to holding companies accountable for endangering consumers.internet-300x229

The Government Accountability Office reported last fall that the government’s watchdog for dangerous and defective products, the Consumer Product Safety Commission, needs to do a better job of protecting consumers and addressing the risks of today’s diversified online marketplace. Our defective product lawyers want consumers to know that anyone involved in marketing, supplying, manufacturing or delivering a dangerous or defective product can be held responsible for resulting damages under federal law.

Specifically, the agency found:

What did you get for Christmas?

Traditionally, the year-end holidays have been a time for family, gathering with friends, and exchanging gifts with those in your life with whom you are closest. COVID-19 has limited gatherings this year, but there is every indication Americans are making every effort to exchange gifts, albeit more often by mail.

The extra volume has inundated the postal system at a time when online purchases were already at record highs. The acceleration to a predominately online economy will continue to play out in the years ahead. But one risk that should not be forgotten is the risk of dangerous and defective products.1260938_christmas_tree_5-300x200

Our product injury attorneys in Fort Myers know more dangerous and defective products are brought into homes during the holidays than at any other time of the year. While some injuries may be no fault of a product, others are caused by defect or by products that are inherently dangerous, such as trampolines and all-terrain vehicles.

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Giant Internet retailers like Amazon are coming under increasing fire for selling defective products to American consumers.

The Washington Post, which is owned by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, is among the media outlets reporting U.S. regulators are reviewing anti-trust concerns amid allegations the company is misleading consumers about product safety.

Fort Myers defective product lawyers know today’s Internet economy continues to vie with big box stores like Wal-Mart and Costco for consumer dollars. Each owes a duty to consumers when it comes to product safety, regardless of whether a purchase is made online or at a brick-and-mortar retailer.

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The state supreme court in California has ruled that makers of brand name medications first of all owe a duty of reasonable care to make sure product labels have adequate warnings (regardless of whether the end user is exposed to the brand name drug or the generic version) and also that liability for failure to warn could be found even if the product maker stopped making the drug and no longer owns it.defective product lawyer

That ruling, which relied on a previous decision by a federal appellate court, could have big implications for product liability litigation in California. Although it doesn’t directly impact Florida cases, it’s common for state supreme courts to rely on their sister courts’ reasoning when faced with similar dilemmas. The decision is likely to open the doors to more product liability lawsuits against brand name drug manufacturers.

The case involves a woman who was prescribed a generic version of the brand name drug Brethine, which is prescribed to curtail premature labor. She was pregnant with twins at the time. The drug was originally an asthma medication, but was given for the off-label use of halting or slowing the potential for preterm labor. Both boys were born seemingly fine, but were diagnosed with developmental delays at age 3. By age 5, they were diagnosed with autism. A lawsuit filed on their behalf against the brand name drug manufacturer, Novartis, alleged the company was aware or should have known about the drug’s potential risk of adverse effects to fetal brain development.  Continue reading ›

Several years ago, Florida lawmakers decided to enact a measure that would alter F.S. 90.702 (testimony by experts) and F.S. 90.704 (basis of opinion testimony by experts), forgoing the so-called “Frye standard” (so named for the 1923 case of Frye v. U.S.) and instead adopt the more stringent and widely-used “Daubert standard”(so named for the 1993 U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharm., Inc.). Then earlier this year, the Florida Supreme Court in the per curiam ruling of In re: Amendments to the Florida Evidence Code, decided NOT to adopt the Daubert standard – even though the legislature had passed a law enacting it – for two reasons:

  • Concerns regarding the constitutionality of the amendment;
  • Procedural concerns with the law creating a section that isn’t part of the state’s evidence code.injury lawyer

So why does any of this matter when it comes to your personal injury lawsuit? The truth is, it may have a significant impact in the type of evidence you are allowed to present in your case. The federal courts and most other states now follow the Daubert standard, while Florida is one of the few states that still follows Frye.  Continue reading ›

While the majority of auto accident injuries are the result of negligence by one or more motorist involved, crash victims shouldn’t overlook the possibility that a vehicle defect may have been a contributing factor, if not the sole accident attorney

The auto industry hasn’t garnered a great deal of public trust in recent years, as numerous class action lawsuits have revealed a long-standing pattern within the industry to conceal vehicle defects from unsuspecting members of the public. Last year, as noted by Automotive News, auto makers recalled a record 53.2 million vehicles for defects ranging from seat belt failures to malfunctioning airbags to non-working breaks. These are serious deficits that, even if they don’t cause a crash, may result in one suffering injuries that far worse than they otherwise would have been.

Now, we receive news of the latest reported problem, which involves an alleged defect wherein Chrysler Pacifica vans are shutting off suddenly in mid-travel. The New York Times reports one man in San Francisco was driving at 70 mph down the highway in his brand new van when the vehicle shut off without warning. As she explained, “It just died.” In the middle of a congested highway, the van slowed to a crawl with no power steering or electrical power. The driver edged his way over as far to the right as he could, trying desperately to get to the shoulder with what little juice was left as vehicles whizzed by. He was barely missed by a semi-truck that laid on the horn and was forced to swerve.  Continue reading ›

Comparative negligence is the legal theory that a plaintiff is at least partially to blame for his/ her own injuries. In some states, that fact alone can prohibit a person from collecting any damages whatsoever (pure contributory negligence). In other states, a plaintiff’s own negligence can’t be more than the negligence of other parties (modified comparative fault). In Florida, which follows a pure comparative negligence standard, any amount of comparative negligence won’t bar the claim, but it will proportionately reduce damages (per F.S. 768.81).car accident

Recently, the South Carolina Supreme Court weighed a case that asked whether the doctrine of comparative negligence applied in a crashworthiness product liability lawsuit against a vehicle manufacturer. That state follows a modified comparative fault model.

Although this is an out-of-state case, it’s worth examining because state supreme courts will often consider the rulings of sister courts in weighing similar circumstances. In this case, the court ruled that comparative negligence does not factor in a crashworthiness case. Further, public policy in that state doesn’t prohibit a plaintiff who was allegedly intoxicated at the time of a crash from bringing a claim of crashworthiness against the manufacturer of the vehicle. Continue reading ›

A federal appeals court reversed a $3 million judgment in favor of a personal injury plaintiff who alleged a defective vehicle caused him to suffer serious injuries in a 2012 car accident. The court ruled that expert witness testimony pertaining to the speed control cable should not have been admitted. Specifically, the appellate court ruled, the precedent set in the 1993 case of Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals meant the trial court had a duty to perform certain gatekeeping functions with regard to its expert witnesses, and yet the court failed to do so.gavel

According to court records from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit in the most recent case, plaintiff was driving his pickup truck, which he had recently purchased, on a road in West Virginia. He was traveling about 50 mph when he realized he was unable to slow down when he let up on the accelerator pedal. He tried to slow the pickup by applying the brakes, but this did not work. In order to avoid hitting anyone else, he turned the truck off the road, drove over a curb and crashed his vehicle into a brick wall of a local business. The tires continued spinning for about half a minute after the engine shut down.

There was no indication the vehicle previously had problems with the accelerator, throttle or cruise control.  Continue reading ›

A federal product liability lawsuit has been filed against the manufacturer of Physiomesh, a medical device surgically implanted in patients suffering from hernias. woman

Plaintiff in Quinn v. Ethicon, Inc. and Johnson & Johnson, before the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida, is seeking more than $75,000 in damages for serious and disabling personal injuries suffered after she was implanted with this hernia mesh. Not only was her underlying condition not remedied after the May 2014 surgery, but her condition actually steadily worsened. She suffered from persistent abdominal pain, diminished bowel motility and bowel obstruction.

About a year after the initial surgery, plaintiff underwent corrective surgery. What should have been a quick procedure ended up lasting two hours as the surgeon tried to remove all parts of the defective Physiomesh. The surgeon was unable to get it all out. Plaintiff says now she never would have agreed to undergo the procedure with Physiomesh had she known of the potential complications.  Continue reading ›

It seems such a common-sense measure for rental car companies: Don’t rent out vehicles that have been recalled until they’ve been repaired. drive7

But until June 1, 2016, there was no law stopped from them from doing so. Many rental car companies routinely rented to customers vehicles they knew were unsafe. Very few faced any consequences for it.

Then in 2004, two sisters, ages 20 and 24, picked up a rental car they assumed was safe. Little did they know, it had actually been recalled for leaking steering fluid. They were the fourth customers to rent the vehicle after the recall was announced. As they were driving, the steering fluid began to leak. The sister who was driving lost control of the car and slammed into a semi-truck before the car burst into flames, killing them both. Since then, their mother has been fighting to hold the rental car company accountable and to enact legislation that would ensure this never happened again.  Continue reading ›

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