There are many kinds of product liability cases. Each case is about a defective product that harms one or more consumers. In some cases, product liability claims can be filed against manufacturers, distributors, sellers, and even retailers.
Victims and families are eligible for thousands and millions of dollars as compensation if they win class action lawsuits. This article discusses the most significant class action lawsuits involving defective products.
Product Liability Class Action Lawsuits
The most prevalent kind of litigation is a product liability class action. Consumers or their representatives file a case alleging that their products or services cause injury and harm.
The critical issue in these cases is proving defects in the product that causes an injury. If proven, the manufacturer or distributor of the product is held liable for the damages incurred, such as medical bills, punitive damages, lost wages, and such.
Product liability claims are on the rise. Consumer products have been responsible for 11.7 million personal injuries across America in 2021. Americans or people at large use hundreds of products daily, from toothbrushes to cars to food items. It’s easy to see why these cases make up such an essential part of the judicial system today.
Firestone and Ford
In the 1990s, Firestone and Ford tire fiasco, many of their tires were found defective. The defective tires caused accidents and injuries. The drivers had been driving on the roads with vehicles equipped with faulty tiers for years.
The faulty tires killed 271 people and injured hundreds more. Once the information about the defective tires started surfacing, consumers affected by these tires sued the companies for millions.
Due to all the bad publicity surrounding their products, both Ford Motor Company and Bridgestone/Firestone settled with each other out of court at $240 million just months later.
Roundup is the highly used weed killer globally. Most farmers and gardeners use this pesticide. Monsanto, a chemical company embroiled in controversy for decades, manufactures Roundup.
Roundup was initially marketed as an herbicide with shallow toxicity levels. However, the IARC labeled glyphosate, the critical component in Roundup, as likely cancerous to people in a 2015 study.
Shortly after, thousands of people filed lawsuits against Monsanto. They claimed to develop cancer, mainly non-Hodgkins lymphoma, due to exposure to Roundup weed killer. They alleged that Monsanto didn’t warn them about the dangers.
The jury has ordered the company to compensate and pay for punitive damages to several victims. However, the organization appealed to the Supreme Court, which was eventually dismissed. There have lots of changes to these pending court proceedings since then.
The recent Roundup lawsuit update that Monsanto settled 100000 claims amounting to $11 billion. Yet, more than 30000 cases are still pending as of this writing.
Takata and Honda
Takata Corporation is a Japanese auto seatbelt, airbags, and other automotive safety systems manufacturer. In 2015, Takata was forced to admit that their products were defective after an investigation by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The NHTSA found that the driver’s side airbag inflators in certain Honda vehicles explode with too much force when triggered by an accident.
The lawsuit alleged that due to these faulty airbags, many individuals sustained severe injuries. They suffered lacerations and burns on their faces. In some cases, they also suffered blindness. The plaintiffs in this class action case sought reimbursement for health expenses and lost income. They also demanded punitive damages against both Takata and Honda.
After years of litigation involving thousands of people injured by exploding Takata airbags installed in millions of cars on American roads, Honda agreed to settle the case for 1 million dollars plus millions of more damages associated with pursuing these claims against them.
In September 2015, Volkswagen admitted to cheating on emissions tests. The company had installed a device in some diesel-powered vehicles. When the automobiles were being tested, they would cut pollution emissions. However, it allowed the car to spew up to 40x more toxins than was lawfully permitted under typical operating circumstances.
In January 2017, the U.S. Department of Justice filed a civil complaint against Volkswagen Group, alleging violations of federal environmental laws and seeking to recover penalties for these violations. In May 2018, Volkswagen agreed to pay $4.3 billion in criminal fines as part of its plea agreement with the DOJ.
Baby Powder Lawsuits
Many women have ovarian cancer after using Johnson & Johnson’s talcum powder. Asbestos, a cancer-causing ingredient, is present in the product. The company was accused of covering up the dangers of its baby powder for decades, and thousands of women have filed product liability lawsuits against them since then.
The jury ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay $4.7 billion in damages in May 2018. To date, the corporation has spent $100 million in compensation. The dispute is still ongoing, and the corporation seeks to avoid paying out by declaring bankruptcy.
As you can see, product liability lawsuits are a significant issue in the United States. The good news is that many of these cases have been successful for plaintiffs who have suffered injuries due to faulty products. If a defective product has injured you or someone close to you, please contact an experienced lawyer and see what you can get.