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Articles Posted in Product Liability

Legal Theories to Win a Product Liability LawsuitProduct liability lawsuits are some of the most newsworthy court cases. Many people have heard of large-scale settlements that can reach into the billions of dollars. For example, the makers of the weed killer Roundup recently agreed to pay $10 billion to settle over 10,000 product liability cases.

Another example is the hundreds of millions of dollars that automakers paid out for the defective Taketa airbags that they put in cars.

However, there is a lot that must happen from the time that the claim is filed by the injured person through the time that the defendant pays to settle a lawsuit that claims that their product harmed someone. In Illinois, the product liability law is found in 735 ILCS 5/. Part 21 specifically focuses on product liability law.

Talc Powder and Johnson and Johnson Having to Pull ItFor decades, baby powder was viewed as Johnson & Johnson’s flagship product. The company started selling baby powder with talc in it all the way back in 1894, only eight years after the company was founded.

However, Johnson & Johnson’s century-plus history of marketing talc-based baby powder is now over as several crushing jury verdicts have made selling the product a high-risk proposition. Juries have found the pharmaceutical giant’s product responsible for cases of cancer and have ordered the company to pay billions of dollars in damages.

Juries Have Issued Large Talc Powder Verdicts

Lawsuits Involving Hernia Mesh2020 promises to be a busy and eventful year in product liability litigation against hernia mesh manufacturers. There are several bellwether cases in multidistrict litigation that are scheduled to begin trial in 2020.

The defendants are fighting these cases and have not settled them or conceded any type of liability. These bellwether cases are crucial because there is a large number of potential cases yet to be filed in hernia mesh lawsuits. Millions of surgeries have relied upon the implant, and the failure rate is estimated as high as 12-30%. Moreover, many of the plaintiffs do not realize until years after the surgery that they were injured because some of the mesh implants can take time to erode.

Bellweather Hernia Lawsuit Trails: An Indication of What is to Come

Weed Killer and LawsuitsAfter several high-profile jury losses that resulted in large verdicts against it, Bayer is faced with a spiraling legal crisis from sales of the weed killer Roundup. Now, there is strong talk that the German company may be close to putting some of its legal woes that it inherited when it acquired Monsanto behind it by settling the lawsuits.

The media has reported that the settlement number could reach as high as $10 billion. Still, given the harsh punishment that juries have meted out to the company, any type of settlement may be a prudent bet for Bayer as the stock market has punished the stock in the past year since news broke of the jury verdicts against Roundup related to Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma cases.

The Settlement Talks Have Stabilized the Stock

Cooking Spray ExplosionsCooking spray seems to be an innocuous kitchen product that puts oil in a form that is convenient to use. However, like any spray product, there are dangers associated with the product since the contents are under pressure. Recently, there have been several lawsuits that have been filed by the manufacturers of Pam cooking spray that were all filed on the same day.

The plaintiffs suffered injury when cans of this cooking spray exploded, leaving them with serious disfiguring injuries. The lawsuits claim that there is a defect in the product that caused them to explode, although the company maintains that its products are safe and any explosions must have been due to improper use.

One of the overlooked complications associated with using cooking sprays in the kitchen is that they are used on or in close proximity to stoves. This heats contents that are already under pressure and makes them even more potentially dangerous. Specifically, Pam contains propellants designed to make the product spray through the vents. The company will not reveal exactly what these propellants are, but the lawsuits claim that they are propane and butane. All the company says is that the propellants are food grade and have been approved by the FDA. However, when heated, these propellants can become explosive.

The McDonald's Coffee Cup Case

Introduction to an Infamous Personal Injury Lawsuit Controversy:

A normal woman in a small town drives up to a McDonald’s and orders a cup of coffee. The rest is history. In the weeks and months to follow this encounter, great controversy would swirl around this woman and her latte. Television shows, pundits, and politicians across the country debated the matter vigorously. A documentary was even produced depicting the incident (called Hot Coffee). Yet, what actually happened?

On February 27, 1992, Stella Liebeck, 79 years old, pulled into the drive-through of a McDonald’s restaurant in Albuquerque, New Mexico and ordered a cup of coffee. It only cost her 49 cents but it serving her that drink would cost the restaurant a lot more than that when it was all said and done. Stella was not actually driving; her grandson, Chris, was driving his 1989 Ford Probe.

Politely, Chris pulled into a parking space so that his grandmother could add cream and sugar to her coffee. In the process, some of it spilled out of the cup and onto her groin, burning her butt and thighs. She was only wearing cotton pants and they did not effectively guard her from the high temperatures of the coffee (said to be over 180 °F).

Quickly, she was rushed to the hospital where doctors determined she had suffered third-degree burns on a small part of her body. She stayed at the hospital a little over a week where she received skin grafting. The incident left her with significant weight loss, permanent disfigurement, and disability for years to come.

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Complications from Laser Hair RemovalBotox, tummy tucks and laser hair removal are becoming some of the most sought-after cosmetic treatments. At one point in time, only wealthy members of society could afford the occasional Botox treatment or laser skin treatment. Today, these types of cosmetic services have become commonplace in American society. Medical and cosmetic boards continue to grapple with licensing issues and have not yet determined whether a doctor must perform these procedures. Spas, physical therapy centers, salons and independent contractors continue to deliver laser skin services with little oversight and regulation by government authorities.

The Increased Risk of Skin Damage

Laser cosmetic services are now more popular than ever for individuals who want to avoid the invasiveness of facelifts and facial surgeries. Often, individuals fail to consider all of the risks that are associated with laser cosmetic services. Non-doctors may not be aware of the power of lasers and the damage that they can cause to skin. They may not inform consumers of these risks. Dr. Jalian is a lead dermatology researcher at the University of California-Los Angeles, and he has found that laser procedures can cause significant harm if they are not administered in the proper fashion. Consumers may suffer from serious skin burns and cell damage as a result of intense laser lights. Consumers should also be aware that they may experience a hot feeling on their skin after receiving laser services.