Defective Products / Products Liability: Injured
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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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When you've been injured by a product, you may be wondering if you have a legal case that's worth pursuing.

Defective products can hurt consumers in a variety of ways, but victims often worry that something they did with the product will prevent them from recovering. Perhaps they voided the warranty by trying to repair it, or even used it in a non-traditional way.

Consider the following general product liability principles to decide whether you have a good injury case:

A handful of states are reconsidering a certain brand of highway guardrails after investigations revealed they were harming drivers instead of protecting them.

Trinity Industries, the manufacturer of the highway guardrails, reportedly made a change to its design in 2005, one that allegedly can cause the guardrail to impale an impacting vehicle rather than curl out of its way. The New York Times reports that guardrails with this questionable design were installed "coast to coast" over at least seven years, prompting a rival company to sue under federal law.

How are states' responses and this federal lawsuit working to remove allegedly dangerous guardrails from the nation's highways?

When Is a Warning Defective?

Products that are improperly manufactured or designed in an unsafe manner can certainly lead to personal injury lawsuits.

But even a product that is manufactured and designed properly can be subject to a product liability lawsuit for a defective warning, if the manufacturer failed to adequately warn about foreseeable risks of harm posed by use of the product.

So when is a product warning considered defective?

General Motors has offered to pay compensation for 19 deaths caused by faulty ignition switches in the company's vehicles.

The dollar amounts of the automaker's offers weren't announced. But the 19 deaths marked an increase from the 13 deaths GM had previously said were caused by the faulty ignition switches, Reuters reports. The ignition switch flaw, which led the company to recall millions of vehicles earlier this year, can cause a vehicle's ignition to slip out of the run position, stalling the vehicles and disabling features such as airbags.

What led to the new number of ignition switch-related deaths?

A New York father has filed a $4.5 million lawsuit against the makers of a plastic T-ball bat that allegedly caused his 5-year-old son to suffer severe facial injuries and permanent scarring.

The lawsuit claims that the Adjust-A-Hit T-Ball set was defectively designed, reports the New York Daily News. Daniel Ducalo was injured when a section of the plastic bat -- which adjusts in length telescopically -- came apart, sending a jagged piece of plastic into the boy's face, causing a wound that required more than 300 stitches.

What will the family need to prove in order to recover for the boy's injuries?

McDonald's patron Klaus Geier is suing the fast food giant after an incident in which his OJ allegedly came with an unexpected surprise -- a plastic spear which lodged itself in his throat.

According to TMZ, when Geier tried to extract the foreign object from his mouth, a serrated spear deployed and fired itself into his esophagus. This may sound like a bad horror movie, but to Geier the nightmare is real. After finally wrenching the spear and its casing from his throat, Geier asserts he suffered severe throat injury.

Could this OJ suit be the next McDonald's hot coffee case?

Johnson & Johnson is pulling power morcellators used for performing hysterectomies, responding to concerns that the devices risk spreading cancer to healthy tissues.

Doctors had been warned against using the device by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in April, but J&J is now asking surgeons not to use its power morcellating line of products. The Associated Press reports that the company is "conducting a worldwide withdrawal of all of its morcellators still on the market."

Noting that this is a withdrawal and not a recall, what future legal implications do these morcellators hold for J&J?

Yet another GM recall class-action lawsuit has been filed in federal court, with more than 600 plaintiffs alleging injuries and deaths due to the car manufacturer's faulty ignition switches.

The suit was filed by a Corpus Christi, Texas-based law firm, based largely on crashes that occurred after GM's bout in bankruptcy court in 2009. Attorney Robert Hilliard told The Associated Press that this makes the suit exempt from GM's attempt to shield itself under bankruptcy law.

What should you know about this most recent class-action lawsuit, and what happens next?

Cigarette manufacturer RJ Reynolds has been slapped with a $23.6 billion jury verdict, with more than 99 percent of the vast sum made up by punitive damages.

Putting it mildly, juries' love affair with tobacco companies has cooled in the last few decades, but it's still surprising to see a jury want to punish RJ Reynolds Tobacco Company this much. Plaintiff's attorney Willie Gary told the Pensacola News Journal that jurors "wanted to make a difference" after hearing how RJ Reynolds and others "lied and failed to disclose information that could have saved lives."

We certainly aren't blowing smoke; here are five things to know about this huge verdict against RJ Reynolds:

General Motors is setting up a compensation fund for victims and family members of those killed or injured as a result of defective ignition switches installed in the company's vehicles.

The defective ignition switches have so far been linked to at least 13 deaths and have led to the recall of millions of GM vehicles. The attorney in charge of the fund has already been presented with the names of 165 people whose families believe were killed in accidents caused by the defective switches, Reuters reports.

Here's an overview of how the fund will work and who will be eligible for compensation: