What Is Product Liability?
The doctrine of “product liability” is simple: manufacturers, distributors, and businesses have a duty to the people who buy their products. As consumers, we have a right to buy goods that will not harm us. Otherwise, we wouldn’t buy them at all.
In New York State, a manufacturer’s duty to public safety means that all businesses must use reasonable care in creating products that work as advertised, and aren’t defective in any way that could harm users. If a product is potentially harmful, they have to let us know, through warning labels and public announcements. This last responsibility covers salespeople, as well. If a salesperson fails to warn a purchaser about dangers, they can be held liable in a personal injury lawsuit.
Can I Sue For My Injury?
When a product’s defects become apparent, the CPSC usually releases a recall, pulling the product from shelves and out of the home. But in most cases, consumers have also been injured. Without a record of accidents, the CPSC would not become aware of any defects in the first place.
If you were injured while using a consumer product, you may have a viable case. Contact the New York City product liability team at Banville Law to discuss your situation. In a free consultation, we’ll let you know if we can help. Call (917) 551-6690 or fill out our contact form to learn more.
Defective & Recalled Products
Recalling a product does not automatically release a manufacturer from their responsibilities to the public. Even those companies that “own up” to their mistakes, oversight, or outright negligence can be held accountable.
Here’s a partial list of pressing consumer safety issues currently facing the public:
Low T Drugs
Testosterone-based medications, including AndroGel, Testim, and Fortesta, have taken America’s aging male population by storm. Approved by the FDA for the treatment of a serious medical condition, hypogonadism, many consumers have found these “Low T” drugs an acceptable alternative to Viagra. Manufacturers promise increased sex drive, long-lasting erections, and improved muscle mass. But thus far, they’ve been less than forthcoming about the risks of their products.
Several large-scale research studies have uncovered the troubling side effects of testosterone supplementation: an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and events, including deep vein thrombosis, heart attack, and stroke. Now, men who have suffered the devastating side effects of Low T drugs are fighting back, filing product liability lawsuits against the multi-national conglomerates who threatened their health.
You can find more information about Low T lawsuits here.
Takata Air Bags
Japan-based manufacturer Takata recently announced a massive automotive recall, citing a defectively-manufactured airbag. The airbags can inflate with excessive force, ejecting from the steering wheel and shooting shrapnel into the cab. At least four deaths and over 30 serious injuries have been linked to the defect.
Around 7.8 million cars are involved in the recall. Takata’s defective air bags were installed in cars produced by:
You can find out if your car is included, and what to do, here.
Transvaginal mesh technology was designed to treat serious conditions, including pelvic organ prolapse (POP) and stress urinary incontinence (SUI), commonly suffered by women after childbirth. But the method, which involves surgically implanting a layer of synthetic mesh inside the vagina, poses more risk than benefit.
Mesh products like Gynemesh PS can erode, penetrating vaginal walls, and causing severe pain, bleeding, and infection. In turn, this penetration creates a substantial risk for the perforation of other organs. Surgery is necessary to remove the dangerous mesh, but this process is difficult, and potentially harmful, in its own right.
Produced by GlaxoSmithKline, Avandia is a prescription medication used to treat type 2 diabetes. Its side effects include severe cardiovascular conditions, including heart attack. In fact, the US Food & Drug Administration has publicly linked the use of Avandia to at least 100,000 heart attacks. After only one year of usage, the medication can double a patient’s risk for heart attack.
Tens of thousands of American victims have filed suit against GlaxoSmithKline for conditions that developed after they took Avandia. In 2012, the US Department of Justice itself secured $3 billion from the company for failing to warn patients of the drug’s risks.
Bayer Pharmaceuticals’ popular birth control pills, Yaz and Yasmin, have been found to result in severe cardiovascular and blood disorders. Side effects include life-threatening blood clots, gallbladder disease, stroke and heart attack. Thousands of victims have filed suit, and Bayer itself reports that $1.7 billion in settlements have already been paid out.
DePuy Hip Implants
In 2010, DePuy Orthopaedics recalled two of its most popular hip-replacement products: ASR Hip Resurfacing System and ASR XL Acetabular System. The hip implants were found defective or harmful on multiple counts:
- After implantation, the implant may come loose, causing severe pain and requiring further surgery
- The implant is made partially of cobalt and chromium, two metals that can poison patients
- The metals out of which the implants are made may flake off, leading to allergic reactions and the development of tumors
Almost 100,000 people received one of DePuy’s ASR hip implants before their recall, and thousands have sued for their injuries. In 2013, DePuy’s owner, Johnson & Johnson, agreed to pay more than $4 billion to settle existing cases. Victims may still be able to claim compensation from the negligent manufacturer.
As inherently dangerous products, nail guns present manufacturers with an extra measure of responsibility. Recently, at least two large producers, Hitachi and Ridgid, have announced recalls. The recalls involve:
- Hitachi’s Coil Nailer NV83A2
- Hitachi’s Pneumatic Nailer NR83A2(Y)
- Hitachi’s Pneumatic Nailer NR83A3
- Ridgid’s Coil Roofing Nailer R175RNE
- Ridgid’s Clipped Head Framing Nailer R35EOCHE
These products presented serious safety risks. One increased the likelihood of unintentional misfire, another fired fasteners sideways.
Keurig MINI Plus Brewing System
Keurig, a producer of single-serve coffee makers, recently announced a recall of more than 7 million brewing machines. The MINI Plus Brewing System can overheat, shooting scalding water on consumers. The Massachusetts-based company announced their recall voluntarily, although questions remain over whether they informed the public soon enough.
To date, more than 90 individuals have reported burn injuries due to defective Keurig brewers.
Find more information on the Keurig recall here.
Asbestos & Mesothelioma
Asbestos is a naturally-occurring mineral that was used in thousands of industrial applications throughout the 19th and 20th centuries. Cancer experts, however, are convinced that long-term exposure to the substance can cause mesothelioma, a rare cancer that is extremely difficult to diagnosis. In fact, the link between asbestos and mesothelioma has been clear since the late-1970s.
Many employers, though, allowed their employees to continue working around asbestos, despite their knowledge of the mineral’s dangers. Now, victims of this widespread corporate wrongdoing are filing lawsuits, demanding significant financial compensation from the companies that endangered lives.
To learn more about filing an asbestos mesothelioma lawsuit, click here.
Contact A New York City Lawyer
Were you injured by a defective product? Contact the experienced personal injury lawyers at Banville Law today. We offer a free consultation to all victims exploring their legal options. And our attorneys always offer their services on a contingency basis, so you only pay after we win.
Based in Manhattan, Banville Law offers experienced legal guidance to clients throughout New York City and the surrounding counties. We serve:
Contact us today and you’ll speak with a New York product liability lawyer within 24 hours.