Year after year, thousands of product liability claims are filed.
And year after year, they lead to a plethora of settlements and verdicts awarded to consumers who have been injured, directly or indirectly, by faulty or sub-standard products.
Filed by consumers just like you, these lawsuits require companies to maintain safety standards and spend more of their time and resources testing their products to ensure their safety.
In the article below, we will discuss a number 0f product liability lawsuits that demonstrate how product safety and reliability are crucial to a company's success, and they'll help you understand your rights as a consumer.
Table Of Contents
- What Is Product Liability?
- Blitz Gas Cans
- McDonald's Coffee
- Remington Rifles
- Ledraplastic Balancing Balls
- Toyota Cars
- Product Liability Lawsuits
What Is Product Liability?
Before we start, let's take a quick look at what product liability actually is.
In the United States, product liability law refers to the legal rules concerning who is responsible for defective or dangerous products.
It's not the same as ordinary injury law, and those differences sometimes make it easier for an injured person to recover damages.
Product liability refers to a manufacturer or seller being held liable for placing a defective product into the hands of a consumer.
Responsibility for a defective product that causes an injury lies with everyone in the distribution chain.
So, when a product causes unexpected danger to a consumer, it cannot be said to meet the ordinary expectations of the consumer.
Blitz Gas Cans
At one point in time, Blitz was the largest producer of portable gas cans in the United States.
However, Blitz had to file for bankruptcy in mid-2012 because of a wide range of product liability lawsuits filed against it.
Consumers from all over the country filed cases against the company because their cans would explode when being used to pour gas and would then start a fire.
Each claim cost the company an average of $4 million, and more than 30 cases were filed in 2012 alone.
That would eventually lead to Blitz shutting down its operations.
I'm not sure there's a single adult in this country that isn't familiar with this case.
The Liebeck v. McDonald's case from 1994 is one of the most prominent and unbelievable product liability cases in the history of the United States.
In case you aren't aware, Stella Liebeck accidentally poured hot coffee from McDonald's onto her lower body, suffering third-degree burns on her legs, thighs, groins, and buttocks,
Liebeck's lawyers argued that McDonald's served their coffee at an unreasonable temperature of 180 to 190 degrees Fahrenheit, while other companies served their coffee at a safer temperature of 140 degrees.
When it was all said and done, Liebeck was awarded $2.7 million in punitive damages and $160,000 for medical expenses, much more than her lawyers asked for, to begin with.
If you're a gun collector, you undoubtedly know about Remington.
But not everyone knows about their product liability lawsuits.
The Remington rifle models 700 and 710 were proven to have a faulty fire control system, which caused the rifle to fire even when the trigger wasn't pulled.
That creates obvious problems.
Many product liability lawsuits were filed against the Remington Rifle Company, but the most prominent jury verdict was $15 million awarded to a man in Texas when he shot himself in the foot while hunting.
Ledraplastic Balancing Balls
Not even professional athletes are safe from product liability lawsuits.
In 2009, Francisco Garcia of the Sacramento Kings was balancing on a Ledraplastic balancing ball along with weights when the ball burst, leaving him injured.
He suffered a fractured right forearm, causing him to miss the first four months of the NBA season in his first-year contract with the Kings.
Garcia along with the Kings filed a product liability claim against Ledraplastic for $4 million in lost wages and $29.6 million in damages.
Toyota was forced to issue a massive recall for many of its cars in 2010.
One of the cars safety features, known as "brake to idle fail-safe" wasn't installed on many of their cars, therefore increasing the chances of an accident when the accelerator malfunctioned.
The failure to include this mechanism in many Toyota models resulted in one of the biggest litigation cases in recent history, as well as a class action lawsuit.
Toyota would eventually agree to pay a whopping $1.1 billion in damages to settle the suit.
Product Liability Lawsuits
Even though companies mean well, and they do all they can to prevent faulty products from entering the market, it still happens.
If you've been injured by a faulty product, the first thing you need to do is contact your attorney.
If you don't have an attorney, the lawyers at The Roth Firm have years of experience and expertise in product liability and personal injury lawsuits.
They will guide you through the entire claims process and ensure that you get what you're owed after your injury.
Click the button below to get started.