Defective goods cause thousands of injuries in the U.S. every year. The good news is that the legal rules applying to manufacturers and sellers of such dangerous goods are unlike ordinary injury law rules. Sometimes, they help injured persons recover money damages more easily.
Generally, under law, a product must adhere to the ordinary expectations of a consumer. But when a product comes with an unexpected defect, it cannot be said the product has met a consumer’s ordinary expectations.
For this reason, the manufacturer or seller responsible for placing the defective goods in the hands of the consumer can be sued in court. Here are a few recent cases to show some of the important ways products liability law holds product sellers responsible when their products hurt consumers.
General Motors (GM) and faulty ignition switches
No driver expects their car to shut off while being driven. But that’s exactly what has happened to many people driving GM products. GM has been at the center of a legal storm since it was revealed that millions of its small cars were saddled with a faulty ignition switch that could malfunction and cause a driver to lose control of the car. GM has already compensated the deaths of 124 people caused by the faulty ignition switch. Millions of other lawsuits for injuries due to the defective switches remain pending.
Johnson & Johnson pays two women $127 million
Johnson & Johnson’s (J&J) talcum baby powder is one of the company’s flagship products, used by millions of people worldwide. The company was sued by two women who claimed that after using the powder on the vaginal area, they developed ovarian cancer. Ultimately, the consumer products giant was ordered to pay the two women $127 million, with potentially hundreds of similar cases in the pipeline.
J&J continues to lose hip prosthetics cases
Six patients who had undergone hip joint replacement surgeries sued J&J, who manufactured the artificial hip joints. The plaintiffs claimed the devices had led to serious health issues such as inflammation of tissues around the prosthetic, metallosis, and bone erosion. A jury awarded the plaintiffs $360 million in the case, though it may be subject to Texas’ statutory cap of $10 million on punitive damages. A later bellwether case awarded plaintiffs over $1 billion. Thousands of cases remain.
As you can see from these examples, product liability cases allow people who are wrongfully hurt by defective products to recover money damages. If you or someone you love has been harmed by a defective product, contact the attorneys at Alexander Law Group, LLP at 888.777.1776 for a free case consultation. Holding companies responsible for harm caused by their products is something we pursue with passion.