Consumer safety is everything. If you choose to start a business or become a manufacturer, you must prioritize the safety of your customers over everything else. Unfortunately, this does not tend to happen as much as it should. The vast majority of manufacturers have made it very clear that the priority is profit over everything else. And because these corporations hold so much power, in many instances, they’re able to get away with harming the people who keep them in business. Anyone who thinks they have been negatively affected by a defective product needs to file a product liability claim as soon as possible.
Product liability claims must be handled by an experienced lawyer. In a case like this, you are not going against a “regular” defendant. It is more likely that you are facing a billion-dollar corporation with access to some of the most expensive defense attorneys in the country. Because of this, you must make sure you hire a lawyer who won’t back down from a tough situation.
Based in Houston, Texas, Pusch & Nguyen are qualified product liability lawyers with a proven track record of success. Our legal team has helped countless clients receive life-changing settlements that allowed them to fully recover from their physical, mental, and emotional injuries caused by defective products. If a manufacturer’s error caused you to experience damages in your life, you may be able to file a product liability claim with the help of our firm. For more information on how we can help, call us today at 713-597-8420 to schedule a free consultation.
In 2009, professional basketball Francisco Garcia of the Sacramento Kings was using a 75-centimeter Ledraplastic balancing ball during a scheduled weightlifting routine. During his workout, the balancing ball suddenly burst, injuring him. Garcia suffered a right forearm fracture was unable to participate in the first four months of the upcoming NBA season, while also having to deal with lingering injuries and bodily issues throughout the season. Due to the nature of the injury, the Sacramento Kings and Garcia decide to file a product liability claim against Ledraplastic, seeking reimbursement for Garcia’s $30 million contract and additional damages related to lost wages and pain and suffering.
Ledraplastic allegedly marketed the ball as being “burst resistant” and able to withstand 600 pounds. Because Garcia weighed roughly 220 pounds and was holding two 90-pound weights, it is clear that this product did not live up to its self-inflicted hype. During the trial, Garcia’s product liability lawyer was able to recreate the product failure by placing 400 pounds onto the exercise ball.
Francisco Garcia and the Sacramento Kings ended up winning the lawsuit. They were awarded $29,000,000 million in damages, an additional $4,000,000 in lost salaries, and a confidential amount paid to Garcia for pain and suffering.
Philip Morris is a much different company than they were only a few years ago. As a brand that built its name on the back of cigarette and tobacco sales, PMI (Philip Morris International) has undergone a serious transformation over the past few years. Today, this corporation focuses on creating and curating smoke-free products that offers smokers a healthier alternative to cigarettes.
The cigarette giant faced a massive lawsuit back in the early 2000s. In 2002, 64-year-old Missouri City woman Betty Bullock hired a legal team to prove that her tobacco addiction (and subsequent lung cancer) was directly caused by Philip Morris’s failure to warn her (and other consumers) of the dangers related to smoking.
Bullock had been using tobacco products since she was a 17-year-old in the 1950s. Her attorneys alleged that in the same decade, Philip Morris launched a widespread misinformation campaign in an attempt to conceal the dangers associated with smoking cigarettes. Attorney Michael Piuze argued that the brand also marketed their products to children while destroying research data pointing towards an adverse health impact from tobacco use.
Throughout the trial, Philip Morris made no effort to try to defend its actions. Instead, their main defense was the assertion that Bullock’s lung cancer would not have happened if she had simply stopped smoking. They also claimed that Bullock’s testimony proved that she was aware of the health risks that come with smoking, and she was also repeatedly warned and advised by her doctors not to smoke. After winning her lawsuit, a judge ordered the tobacco company to pay Ms. Bullock $28 billion dollars, though this was amount was later reduced to $28 million.
Not every product liability claim will fall under the same category. There are multiple types of product liability claims, and if you are planning on filing, you and your attorney will need to be aware of the different categories.
The most common and most obvious type of product liability is the defective manufacture claim. This occurs when a product is flawed as a direct result of a manufacturing error. When this happens, the product will be different from other copies, and it may even pose a health and safety risk to anyone who dares to use it.
A design defect claim can occur if a product is deemed to be inherently dangerous due to a design flaw, even though it may be non-defective or manufactured as planned. For example, let’s say the new Chevy Tahoe features a sleek new top-heavy design, but because of this, the SUV now has an increased rollover risk that has led to multiple deadly car accidents. If this occurs, a design defect claim may be in play.
Failure to warn defects can also lead to product liability claims. Certain products have an innate level of risk associated with them, and as a result, they require certain precautions to be taken in order to guarantee safe operation. In this type of circumstance, the manufacturer has a duty to the customer to provide them with ample warning about the product’s proper use and how they can facilitate it. One example of this would be power tools; manufacturers such as Ridgid and Ryobi are allowed to sell “dangerous” tools, but they must provide the purchaser with enough information to help them safely operate the device. Another example of a failure-to-warn claim would be prescription medicine that does not warn the patient of potential side effects that can occur if mixed with other medications or substances.
Medical bills do not pay themselves, and if you have been injured by a defective product, you probably have a mountain of medical expenses that you don’t know what to do with. Filing a product liability claim may lead to you receiving compensation for your emergency surgeries, physical rehabilitation, medical evaluations, MRIs, and other forms of medical treatment. In certain product liability cases, individuals have even been able to receive compensation for their chemotherapy.
Lost wages are commonplace in product liability claims. A defective product has the ability to put you out of work for an extended period of time. If you’re recovering from an injury caused by a defective airbag, drug, vehicle, or piece of machinery, you may have incurred some serious physical damage that has caused you to miss weeks and months of work.
Emotional distress is another damage you may be able to receive compensation for. Product defects can have awful consequences, and emotional damage is most certainly one of them. If you have been negatively affected or traumatized by the injury you sustained due to a product defect, you may be entitled to compensation. Hiring a high-quality product liability lawyer and filing a claim can lead to compensation for mental health treatments such as psychiatry, therapy, counseling, and prescription medicine.
A defective product has the potential to ruin innocent lives. Because of this, we take product defects and product liability cases extremely seriously. If you have been injured by a defective product, our team of professionals are here to help you build your lawsuit and help you recover from your damages. Manufacturers must be held accountable when their lack of quality control causes their customers to suffer injury. No corporation should be able to get away with creating a defective product that ruins one of their customer’s lives through physical injury, emotional trauma, and financial turmoil.
Have you been directly or indirectly hurt by a faulty or defective product? If so, Pusch & Nguyen can help. As top Houston personal injury attorneys, we serve clients who are trying to file a product liability lawsuit. Based in Houston, Texas, Pusch & Nguyen are here to help you recover from the damages you’ve experienced as a result of a faulty product. Contact us today at 713-597-8420 to learn more about our law firm.