Each year, thousands of product liability lawsuits are filed, which leads to an abundant amount of settlements and verdicts that are awarded to consumers who have been injured indirectly or directly by sub-standard or faulty products. The lawsuits require companies to maintain safety standards and spend more resources for product testing. Below are some products that skimmed the safety standards and were presented with a product liability lawsuit. They show that product safety and reliability are crucial and also help you understand your rights as a consumer.
- McDonald’s Coffee
In 1994, Stella Liebeck filed a suit against McDonald’s after she accidentally poured hot coffee on her lower body and suffered from third degree burns on her thighs, groin and buttocks. This is one of the most prominent liability cases in U.S. history. Liebeck’s lawyers argued that the company served coffee at a temperature of 180 to 190 degrees Fahrenheit while other companies serve coffee at a reasonable 140 degrees. Liebeck was awarded a jury verdict of $2.7 million in punitive damages and $160,000 for medical expenses.
- Dow Corning
In 1998, Dow Corning, a joint venture of The Dow Chemical Co. and Corning Inc., reached a settlement in which it agreed to pay $2 billion as part of a larger $4.25 billion class action suit filed by customers who claimed that their silicone breast implants were rupturing, causing injury, bodily damage, scleroderma and death.
- Blitz Gas Cans
A product liability lawsuit was brought against Blitz for the unreliability of its gas cans, which would explode when used to pour gas to start a fire. Once noted as the largest producer of portable gas cans in the U.S., the company filed for bankruptcy in mid-2012 because of a barrage of product lawsuits against it. Each claim cost the company an average of $4 million and more than 30 cases were filed in 2012 alone causing the company to close its operations.
- Ledraplastic Balancing Ball
In 2009, Francisco Garcia of the Sacremento Kings was balancing on a Ledraplastic balancing ball with weights when the ball burst and he was injured. Garcia fractured his right forearm and was unable to play the first four months in his first year contract with the Kings. The Kings and Garcia filed a product liability claim against Ledraplastic for $4 million in lost salaries and $29.6 million in damages, eventually winning the case.
- GM Motors
In February 2014, it was discovered that several of GM motors automobile models were manufactured with faulty ignition switches that could shut off the engine during driving, disable power steering and brakes, and prevent airbags from inflating. The faulty switches have been linked to at least 13 deaths and 31 car accidents, but more claims are beginning to be associated with them. GM has since recalled over 26 million cars and has set up an uncapped $400 million fund designed to compensate for deaths and injuries caused by the vehicles. One other lawsuit against the car manufacturer is seeking $10 billion in compensation for owners of GM cars and trucks that claim their vehicles have lost resale value die to the damage to the brand.
These are just a handful of lawsuits that have occurred. Thousands of others have come out of the woodworks for various products and reasons. If you or a loved on has been injured due to a defective product, you may have a case. At Balkin Law, we’re here to fight for your rights and get you the compensation you deserve. For more information or a free case evaluation, contact us here or call us at 888-751-5908. We’re here for you.