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The last thing any person wants—in any case—is to have a negative experience with a product intended to improve their life. But that holds particularly true for products that are so vital to survival, like medical devices and medications. Or products that go so awry, they result in death or severe injury, like a vehicle. These categories mark some of the most common types of product liability cases. Learn more about what to look out for and how to seek justice if you encounter one of these product liability issues.
Automobile product problems can emerge from flaws in an overall vehicle design or specific elements like tire tread or the components of a spark plug. Even the tiniest details can have big impacts when you’re driving at 30 miles an hour next to other vehicles and obstacles. If every part doesn’t work as intended, you’re left vulnerable to injury or, in the worst cases, death.
In fact, two of the largest product liability cases in the U.S. were brought against auto manufacturer GM – one for a faulty gas tank that won $4.5 billion in punitive damages. Depending on the situation, the fault may lie with the manufacturer of the part or the vehicle itself, the car dealer, or even the shipper. Finding the way to the heart of the matter can be a daunting task, which is why it pays to have skilled legal experts by your side as you pursue a case.
Medical devices are required for safety and comfort, and sometimes survival. When you hear the term “medical device,” big contraptions like MRI machines and x-rays often come to mind first. But more commonly, issues will arise with the smaller—and just as important—things: IUDs, replacement joints, stents, implants and pacemakers. And we see that importance reflected in the payouts: medical product cases offered the highest median award across product liability cases between 2012 and 2018, at $4,002,185.
Malfunction or faulty design can lead to reduced quality of life, or worse, and that’s why patients and their families sometimes need to turn to legal action when these vital devices fail. Product liability cases can even help protect consumers, putting pressure on medical device designers and manufacturers to spend the necessary time testing and revising, working and reworking, to ensure that a product on the market will serve its intended user group at the highest level.
Nearly 70 percent of Americans take at least one prescription medication. No doubt many more take the casual Advil for pain or Benadryl for allergies. With such a dependent relationship between people and a product, a faulty medication may have critical implications. Sometimes medications can have unintended side effects, such as blood clots caused by an antidepressant, or heart palpitations caused by a drug to treat migraines. And in some cases, a drug company failing to warn consumers of known and possibly dangerous side effects can also be grounds for a product liability case.
The study and approval processes for medications are there for a reason, to help protect patients and provide life-saving medicine. But when those safeguards fail and drugs cause harm, there may be cause for recourse in the form of a lawsuit.
Don’t be left wondering who is to blame when something bad happens to you or a loved one. With the support of the skilled legal team at Cok Kinzler, get to the bottom of the burden of responsibility and find justice in these types of product liability cases. Get in touch with us for a free consultation.