Articles Tagged with defective products

The automaker disagrees with a jury’s $1.7 billion verdict in a case involving a rollover crash that killed two people in 2014.

“I used to buy Ford trucks,” one observed remarked. “I thought nobody would sell a truck with a roof this weak. The damn thing is useless in a wreck. You might as well drive a convertible,” he added. During the trial, the plaintiffs cited reports of 80 similar rollover wrecks to support their defective product claims. 

During closing arguments, Ford’s lawyer said that it is “simply not the case” that the automaker was irresponsible and willfully made decisions that put customers at risk.

The same problem that plagued defective Philips CPAP sleep apnea treatment machines has affected another line of products.

This recall affects Philips Trilogy 100 and 200-series ventilators. The company previously recalled these ventilators in 2021, but the company assured the Food and Drug Administration that it had fixed the problem. Trilogy 100 and 200 ventilators, which are widely used in a number of settings, contain polyurethane foam linings to deaden the gadget’s sound. These vibrations break up the foam, so patients could inhale microscopic particles, which are highly toxic.

Unsafe continuous positive airway pressure machines, which pump air into sleeping people to keep their airways open, have already prompted tens of thousands of lawsuits throughout the country.

If you were recently injured by a product and you plan to file a lawsuit against a liable party (such as the manufacturer or retailer of the product), you should be aware of some potential defenses that the party might bring up in court.

Potential Defenses

Defendants in products liability cases can typically raise various defenses that plaintiffs should be cognizant of before deciding whether or not to proceed to trial. Some of these defenses include the following:

If you were ever injured by using a product, you may have a valid products liability claim. It is important to understand what a successful products liability claim requires. The following will provide some helpful information regarding products liability claims in the state of Georgia.

What is a Products Liability Claim?

Generally speaking, a products liability claim is based on the theory that a party should be held accountable for manufacturing, designing, producing, selling, or reselling a defective product that causes injury to a person.

Industrial accidents are often the result of a chain of events. There are usually multiple parties whose negligence or intentional failures led to an innocent worker’s injury. Of course, when the victim files a lawsuit, these parties are quick to try and deflect blame to one another.

Hill v. Konecranes, Inc.

An ongoing federal lawsuit in Savannah, Hill v. Konecranes, Inc., provides an apt illustration of this principle. This tragic case involves the 2015 death of a crane operator. The victim worked for International Paper Company (IP) in Augusta, where he used a gantry crane to move timber. Konecranes, Inc., was the company responsible for manufacturing and installing the crane. IP also retained Konecranes to perform regular inspections of the gantry crane.

In recent years there have been hundreds of personal injury lawsuits filed against Mentor, the manufacturer of ObTape, a mesh sling used to treat urinary incontinence. According to a 2009 report in the New York Times, Mentor stopped selling ObTape in 2006 after reports emerged that pieces of the mesh sling were breaking off inside of patients. This rendered the devices ineffective in stopping incontinence and led to a variety of additional side effects, such as chronic bladder inflammation.

Taylor v. Mentor Worldwide LLC

Eventually, more than 800 lawsuits against Mentor, which is now owned by Johnson & Johnson, were consolidated as part of a multi-district litigation (MDL) proceeding here in Georgia. One of the first cases from this MDL to go to trial involved a woman named Teresa Taylor. She specifically accused Mentor of design defects in ObTape.

Pressure cookers were first developed in the 17th century. They create an airtight environment where steam pressure raises the boiling point of water, allowing food to cook much faster than normal. Of course, the buildup of pressure can lead to an explosion if the cooker itself is somehow defective.

Williams v. Tristar Products, Inc.

In an ongoing federal lawsuit, Williams v. Tristar Products, Inc., a Georgia woman alleges that a defective pressure cooker exploded in her home, causing her severe second-degree burns. At the time of the accident, the plaintiff was using a PC-WAL1/TRI-6 pressure cooker, which had been a Christmas gift from her mother. The plaintiff said she had used the pressure cooker on three previous occasions without incident, and that she always followed the manufacturer’s directions.

Motorcycle accidents often leave the victim with devastating injuries. So, when the accident is even partially the result of a defect in the design or production of the motorcycle itself, the manufacturer may be liable for damages under Georgia law. However, a judge or jury may decide that the motorcyclist was also partially responsible and reduce the manufacturer’s liability accordingly.

Suzuki Motor of America, Inc. v. Johns

This is precisely what happened in a recent case before the Georgia Court of Appeals, Suzuki Motor of America, Inc. v. Johns. A jury determined that the manufacturer of a motorcycle was 51% responsible for an accident that injured the plaintiff. Both sides appealed the verdict for different reasons, but the appeals court declined to second-guess the jury.

When someone is injured by a dangerous or defective product, Georgia law permits the victim to bring a personal injury claim against not only the product’s manufacturer, but in some cases against the retailer that sold the product, as well. More precisely, the seller can be held responsible if the evidence shows it had “actual or constructive knowledge that the product was unreasonably dangerous at the time of sale.”

Gomez v. Harbor Freight Tools USA, Inc.

To give an illustration of how the law is applied in practice, here is a recent decision from a federal judge in Athens, Georgia, in an ongoing seller liability case. This lawsuit centers on an allegedly defective plastic gas can purchased from a Harbor Freight store in Valdosta in 2012. The plaintiffs are not the original purchaser, but rather her neighbors.

When your child is seriously injured due to an apparently defective consumer product, you rightfully want to seek justice against the companies responsible for bringing the dangerous item to market. Under Georgia law, there are a number of possible legal theories to support a product liability claim. Of course, the facts of each particular case will dictate which theories are applicable.

Morgan v. Dick’s Sporting Goods, Inc.

For example, a federal judge in Gainesville recently denied most of a motion to dismiss a product liability lawsuit arising from injuries sustained by a minor child due to an allegedly defective bow-and-arrow set. According to the plaintiffs, the child’s parents, they purchased the set from a popular sporting goods retailer in Gainesville. The lawsuit alleges that a retail salesperson “assisted” the plaintiffs in selecting the particular bow-and-arrow set at issue.

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