Illinois Products Liability Litigation Statistics
Many dangerous and defective products injure thousands of victims every year in America. Many of these victims filed lawsuits against those responsible for designing, manufacturing, or selling the product using product liability civil tort laws. The plaintiffs seek to recover damages and hold the manufacturer financially accountable for their negligence in selling dangerous items.
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC represents victims of a defective product and other types of professional negligence. Our law firm has successfully prosecuted cases for our clients who were injured by dangerous goods, devices, and products. Our attorneys are available to answer any legal questions on how to receive the monetary compensation you deserve if your injuries involve product liability that was caused by someone else's negligence. Should you have additional questions, we invite you to contact our office for a free review of your legal rights.
Defining Product Liability
Under the law, various factors can determine if a product is dangerous or defective. Typically, product liability involving a dangerous product could include medical devices, consumer goods, personal or commercial vehicles, consumable items like prescription medications, beverages, and food.
The law says that every product manufacturer, designer, distributor, and vendor has a duty to manufacture or supply products that do not harm consumers when the item is used as it was designed. These laws will hold the manufacturer, distributor, supplier, retailer, or others legally responsible and financially accountable for any injury that was caused by their dangerous product.
Ongoing product liability litigation will determine if the injured party is entitled to recover their tangible and non-tangible damages. These cases tend to be built on manufacturing or design defect or the company's failure to warn consumers of the potential of being injured by using the product.
The Theory of Liability
Attorneys working on behalf of the victims will file a lawsuit against the designer, manufacturer, or distributor of a defective product using the theory of liability. These product liability cases are typically built on how the product is dangerous or defective that led to the victim's injury. These cases are built on:
- A Design Defect – A defect in the design of the product might cause an unreasonable danger during the manufacturing or use of the item. Obvious defective designs could include the manufacturing of children's pajamas without flame retardant properties or manufacturing a toaster that produces an electrical shock when turned on. To recover financial compensation in a products liability case built on a design defect, the plaintiff will need to show a correlation between the product's design and their injuries.
- A Manufacturing Defect – These types of dangerous defects can happen during the manufacturing process if the item is not produced according to its design. It may be that the item was manufactured with a defective component or that the manufacturer changed the original design without oversight. To receive compensation, the plaintiff must prove there is a correlation between their injuries and a defect that occurred during the manufacturing process.
- A Marketing Defect – Even if the product was manufactured and designed without a defect, the item could be sold by flawed marketing, meaning that the item had insufficient instructions, improper labeling, or inadequate safety warnings that led to the victim's injuries. To successfully resolve a case for compensation, the plaintiff must prove that there were no obvious dangers to use the product, but still, they were injured because they did not receive sufficient warnings or did not receive proper instructions on how to use the product safely.
- Strict Liability – Under strict liability rules, the court will not consider any information that the manufacturer provided that showed the use of extreme care when producing the item even though it still caused the victim's injuries or death. The plaintiff in the case merely needs to show that the product was defective to prevail.
- Breach of Warranty – The attorney working on behalf of the plaintiff may use a breach of warranty legal theory to build the case that showed the manufacturer breached their express or implied warranty on using the item. If the item is sold without a stated warranty, the manufacturer must follow the Uniform Commercial Code. As an example, a plaintiff might show that they were injured after taking the product for its intended purpose and still were injured.
- Negligence – An attorney might build a products liability lawsuit against the defendant claiming negligence and arguing that the designer, manufacturer, or distributor acted negligently, which led to the victim's injuries. Typically, these claims of compensation are built around negligence theory that proves how the designer, manufacturer, distributor, or retailer failed in their duty of care and breach of their responsibility by not acting appropriately using acceptable standards of care. Usually, the lawyer will show a direct link between the defendant's breach of duty caused by negligence and the victim's injuries.
Common Product Liability Lawsuits
Most product liability cases involve medical devices, vehicle components, bad drugs, toys that choke children, and lead contamination. In detail, these include:
- Defective Hip Replacement Devices – Many artificial hip device manufacturers are facing thousands of lawsuits after designing, manufacturing, and selling their artificial hips on the medical marketplace. Companies including Zimmer, Wright, Stryker, Depuy, and Smith & Nephew have recalled numerous hip implant devices.
Lawsuits filing claims against artificial hip manufacturers allege that the device makers sold defective devices that were later recalled due to a design flaw, missing components, migration issue, implant failure, or fractured parts.
- Tire Blowouts – While many tires blow when traveling on the highway due to hot weather, heavy loads, or high-speed driving, others break apart due to a design defect or problem during the manufacturing process. In many cases, the sidewall failed due to a design defect that led to an unexpected collapse when the vehicle was moving. Other times, the manufacturer used defective materials during tire production that caused uneven treadwear, sidewall cuts, blisters, bulges, or excessive vibration. These defects are serious and can lead to accidents involving severe injuries or fatalities.
- Defective Medications – Every patient takes the medication to get better. Unfortunately, drug manufacturers sell defective drugs that have been recalled and others that are still available on the medical marketplace even though the drugmaker knows they are dangerous. Victims who have been injured after taking a bad drug can file a claim for compensation even if the medication has not been recalled by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) or the drug manufacturer. The most dangerous drugs that are known to cause adverse reactions include:
- Metoclopramide (Reglan) prescribed by doctors to treat vomiting and nausea.
- Infliximab (Remicade) prescribed to suppress or enhance the immune system. Doctors prescribe the drug for the treatment of Crohn's disease, arthritis, ulcerated colitis, psoriasis, and other conditions.
- Tacrolimus (Protopic) prescribed to treat skin conditions including eczema and psoriasis. The anti-inflammatory properties are shown to produce serious reactions including death.
- Dexamethasone (Decadron) prescribed for its anti-inflammatory (glucocorticosteroid) properties to treat cancer.
- Rituximab (Rituxan) to treat specific forms of cancer including leukemia and non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Taking the medication has been linked to unexpected death.
- Prednisone (Cotolone) prescribed as an effective steroid to treat medical conditions associated with arthritis, multiple sclerosis, colitis, and inflammation.
- Cyclophosphamide (Cytoxan) prescribed as a chemotherapy treatment that slows or stops growth. Many patients who have taken the medication have suffered adverse reactions including fever (pyrexia) and ammonia.
- Choking Hazards – Typically, a parent will file a claim for compensation on behalf of the injured child who has choked on a choking hazard, usually a toy from a board game, building blocks, or fast food meal. Many of these cases are built on the manufacturer and distributor's negligence in selling a toy that has a potential choking hazard because of its dangerously small components.
Often, the manufacturer failed to follow the Federal Hazardous Substance Act or the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 by failing to provide appropriate warning to the consumer. Plaintiffs in hoping to resolve a claim for compensation successfully must prove that the manufacturer or reseller sold their defective product under strict liability laws.
- Lead Contaminated Items – Any product that has lead particles or dust could cause severe neurological damage or death to humans, especially to young children who are still in their developmental ages. While the U.S. Congress banned the use of lead in paint and other building materials decades ago, there are products sold in America that still contain lead. Many of these items are brought into the United States from other countries that have led components or parts accessible to children.
Many jewelry items that were found to contain lead have been recalled from the marketplace. Even so, many individuals still possess these dangerous items. Any manufacturer, distributor, or retailer can be held legally accountable and financially responsible for producing, selling, or distributing products that exceed acceptable levels of lead.
Useful Statistics Involving Product Liability Litigation
The following is a list of useful statistics and information concerning Illinois products liability litigation in the last ten years (since 2005):
- There have been 110 medical malpractice cases.
- All the cases filed were in state courts.
- Only 19 of them recovered more than $5 million, or roughly 17%.
- 52 of them recovered nothing at all, or roughly 47%.
- 7 of them recovered something under $100,000, or roughly 6%.
- 19 of them recovered something between $100,000 and $1,000,000, or roughly 17%.
- 13 of them recovered something between $1,000,000 and $5,000,000, or roughly 13%.
- The most popular venues for litigation included Cook and the collar counties.
- The typical case about two and a half years from start to finish.
- Only between 10% and 20% cases actually go to trial.
- The most common issues in Illinois products liability cases related to asbestos, cars, equipment/tools, toys, toxic materials, food/beverage, and medical/health products.
The cases were near equally divided between defective design, manufacturer, and warnings.
Regarding liability schemes, a little over 10% of the cases were for breach of warranty, one-third were for strict liability, and the rest were for negligence. Common and conspicuous defendants included Ford Motor Company, Honeywell, and Abbot Laboratories.
Of all cases awarding plaintiffs more than $5 million, approximately 37% were against car companies, and approximately 21% were against pharmaceutical companies/healthcare companies.
There is a Time Limit to File a Lawsuit against a Defective Product Manufacturer
In Illinois, every victim injured by a defective product has two years to file a claim or lawsuit against the product manufacturer to ensure they receive financial compensation to recover their damages. Not filing the appropriate documentation in the proper courthouse before the statute of limitations expires will strip away any right to seek monetary recovery at any time in the future. Because of that, many injured victims will hire a personal injury attorney to handle their case.
Hire an Attorney to Resolve Your Case
The defective product injury attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC understand that the injuries you suffer are not your fault but the responsibility of a negligent manufacturer or distributor. Our legal team has successfully obtained millions on behalf of the victims and their family members to ensure they were adequately compensated to cover their medical expenses, household bills, lost wages, loss of future earnings, pain, suffering, and emotional damage and we can help your family too.
Our law firm encourages you to contact our attorneys today to schedule a no-obligation case consultation to discuss the merits of your monetary recovery claim at no charge to you. We accept all personal injury cases, wrongful death lawsuits, and bad product injury claims through contingency fee arrangements. This legal contract postpones the payment of legal services until after we have successfully completed your case through a negotiated settlement or a jury verdict.
Our law firm gets results quickly because we understand you need money now. We proudly offer every client a “No Win/No-Fee” Guarantee, meaning if we are unable to secure financial compensation on your behalf you owe us nothing. All information you share with our law office will stay confidential.