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Defective Products and Products Liability

Defective Products and Products Liability lawsuits involve injuries from the use of a defective or dangerous product. This could arise in the case of a defect in a car which causes an accident, a burn sustained from using a beauty product, or even food poisoning. The manufacturer or seller is held liable to any party who foreseeably could have been injured by the product. There are several types of defects, including defect in the manufacturing, defect in the design, defect in the warning (improper labeling) and marketing defects (insufficient instructions).

Usually, a products liability lawsuit is not easy and involves testimony from experts. Since the law of products liability varies from state-to-state, similar cases in different states might not yield the same results.


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Perhaps smokers see them as a healthier option to regular tobacco, or maybe they're allowed in more places than your classic Marlboros. But for whatever reason, the use of e-cigarettes, vape pens, and other electronic smoking devices has exploded over the last decade.

And the batteries for those devices have apparently been exploding as well, according to recent lawsuits. Over 120 lawsuits alleging injuries from explosions and fires caused by e-cigarette batteries were filed last year alone. And e-cigarette litigation doesn't show any signs of slowing.

We rely on pharmaceutical drug companies to make safe products to keep or make us healthy. But all drugs come with side effects, so we also rely on those companies to warn us about those effects, and on doctors to only prescribe drugs in a safe manner. And, as the past year has proven, that doesn't always happen and the results can be disastrous.

Here are the major drug lawsuits from 2017:

Xarelto, the brand name of blood thinning medication rivaroxaban, can help treat and prevent dangerous blood clots in patients undergoing hip and knee replacement surgeries. An unfortunate side effect of Xarelto is an increased risk of internal or external bleeding.

A serious of lawsuits (some 20,000 in all) have been filed against the makers of Xarelto -- Johnson and Johnson and Bayer AG -- claiming the companies failed to warn consumers of the bleeding risks. And in the first verdict to go against J&J and Bayer in those cases, a Philadelphia jury awarded a woman $28 million in damages.

Lawsuits can be one way of holding companies responsible for making defective products. But settlements of those lawsuits have a way of hiding the true extent of injuries caused by a poorly designed or malfunctioning device.

Take, for example, Savage Arms' stainless steel 10 ML-II muzzleloader rifle. The company is facing another lawsuit over the rifle's tendency to explode, and while it has settled a few previous lawsuits, the actual number of hunters injured by the rifle ranges from a few dozen to possibly hundreds of victims.

Johnson and Johnson has become a regular subject of our injury blogs. From talc-based baby powder causing cancer to vaginal mesh implants causing bleeding and loss of sexual function to anti-psychotics causing breast enlargement in male patients, Johnson and Johnson has been the subject of hundreds of lawsuits and been forced to pay hundreds of millions of dollars in jury verdicts. To be fair, many of the allegedly defective products were made by J&J subsidiaries, but the most damning accusations claim J&J knew of the danger to consumers and sold the products anyway.

The same can be said for Johnson and Johnson's Pinnacle hip implants designed and manufactured by DePuy Orthopaedic. Johnson and Johnson faces some 9,700 lawsuits nationwide regarding the implants and has just been ordered to pay out its third jury award, this one for $247 million.

Just about everyone would like to sample something before they buy it. We try on clothes and shoes before purchasing, get sips of wine before assenting to the whole bottle, and hear snippets of music before downloading an entire song or album.

It's no surprise that we'd like to try on our makeup before we buy it as well. What else could account for the ubiquitous free samples at makeup counters in malls and stores nationwide? But exactly how we sample makeup has become a central issue in a lawsuit filed by a California woman who claims a lipstick sample from a Sephora store gave her oral herpes.

While jury after jury has been awarding plaintiffs hundreds of millions of dollars in lawsuits against Johnson & Johnson for the cancer-causing risks in their talc and baby powder products, the company's attorneys have consistently defended "the safety of Johnson's Baby Powder" and asserted they believe the verdicts will be overturned on appeal. This week, J&J got one of those verdicts reversed, but not on the basis of the safety of its products.

The Missouri Court of Appeals for the Eastern District overturned a $72 million verdict in favor of the family of an Alabama woman who died from ovarian cancer, saying the case should never have been tried in St. Louis.

It's not too surprising when Victoria's Secret racy lingerie sparks some romantic flames. A little more surprising is when a less revealing hoodie from the company's PINK apparel line literally catches fire.

Samantha Burke claims that a hoodie, t-shirt, and bra she purchased from Victoria's Secret "burst into flame while she cooked, resulting in sever and irreparable injury to her body." She is now suing the company, alleging that she "will bear the scars on her body, and in her memory, forever."

As more and more people fall victim to opioid addiction, more and more lawsuits are being filed. States are suing drug companies, addicts are suing doctors, and the federal government is starting its own investigation into the crisis.

But who's liable for opioid addiction? The addict? Doctors? Drug manufacturers? All three? Here's what you need to know about opioid lawsuits and addiction liability.

At this point, there have been so many lawsuits filed against Johnson & Johnson over its talc and baby powder products, and judgments against the company based on cancer caused by those products, it's becoming hard to keep track of them all. Luckily, Bloomberg did the work for us: J&J is facing "5,500 claims in U.S. courts, [and] has lost four previous jury verdicts in St. Louis for a total of $300 million."

And you can add another verdict to that list, this one coming in California. A Los Angeles jury awarded Eva Echeverria $417 million after finding J&J liable for not warning about the cancer risk in its baby powder products.