Many of our clients, as well as the Western New York community as a whole, identify our firm with asbestos litigation, especially mesothelioma cases. While this area is certainly where we concentrate our practice, it is important to know that asbestos litigation is part of a broader area of law known as products liability.
Products liability arises from the idea that makers of products should be held responsible for defects in their products that cause injuries to consumers.
Perhaps the most widely known example of a defective product was found in the case of the Ford Pinto, where the car manufacturer’s design called for the gas tank to be placed too close to the rear bumper making the vehicle likely to catch fire upon impact. It would have cost Ford an estimated $11.00 per car to fix this design flaw.
Some of the more recent high profile products liability cases involve defective ignition switches on certain General Motors cars, such as the Chevy Cobalt. It was discovered that the ignition switch could slip out of place causing the engine to stall and cutting power to the brakes and steering wheel, resulting in some catastrophic accidents. Other examples of defective products that caused injuries to consumers include:
- Takata Air Bags – The heart of the problem involves the air bag exploding on impact;
- Unsafe Drugs – Duract, a pain management drug, was found to cause liver damage and in some instances, death;
- Sports Utility Vehicles/Rollover – Every year more than 10,000 people die in rollover accidents. A major area of litigation involves lack of roof strength, resulting in the crushing of the roof during a rollover accident;
- Child Car Seats – Child car seats are one of the most recalled products due to design defects in the car seat.
- Table Saws – Thousands of table saw injuries occur every year. Injuries to fingers and hands could be prevented if table saw manufactures incorporated flesh-sensing technology.
If you or a family member has been injured as a result of a defective product, please give us a call.