Friday, April 26, 2013

5 of the Most Notable Product Liability Lawsuits in History

Each year, thousands of product liability lawsuits are filed across the country.  Some of the past lawsuits have reached verdicts, while others were resolved through settlements. Usually, faulty or sub-standard products are the main cause of most complaints.

Generally, the lawsuits are filed by consumers, consequently requiring the company in question to maintain safety standards and spend extra resources for product testing.

Below are some of the most remarkable product liability lawsuit in history that marked several changes in the current product safety standards and reliability:

McDonald’s coffee

Coffee is usually served and consumed hot, but not too hot to the point of burning one’s skin.

In 1994, Stella Liebeck filed a lawsuit against the fast food chain giant claiming that she suffered third degree burns on her thighs, groin and buttocks after a hot coffee accidentally poured into her. Liebeck claimed in her lawsuit that company served coffee at a temperature of 180 to 190 degree Fahrenheit while other companies served only at a reasonable 140 degrees Fahrenheit. The complainant was awarded with $2.7 million in damages and some $160,000.00 for her medical expenses.

Ledraplastic balancing ball

Balancing balls are purposely created primarily for athletes to protect their body from hard surfaces and literally for balancing while exercising. Unfortunately, it didn’t function as expected during a warm up exercise session of the Sacramento Kings team. 

In 2009, Francisco Garcia of Sacramento Kings sued Ledraplastic after a 75-meter balancing ball burst into him while he was balancing along with weights. He sustained fractures in his right forearm and was unable to play for four months in his first year of contract with the Kings. Both Garcia and the Kings filed a product liability claim against the company. The complainants were awarded with $4 million in lost wages and some $29.6 million in damages.

Toyota cars

In 2010, Toyota model cars were involved in one of the biggest litigation cases in history, as well as a class action lawsuit. The automaker failed to install a safety feature called “brake to idle fail safe.” The safety feature was used to reduce the chances of an accident once the accelerator malfunctioned. Toyota agreed to pay a staggering amount of $1.1 billion to settle the lawsuits.

Blitz gas cans

Blitz was formerly the largest producer of portable gas cans in the U.S. but the company was forced to file bankruptcy in 2012 after paying an average of $4 million each of the more than 30 complainants in a series of product liability lawsuits. Complainants claimed that the gas cans would explode when used to pour gas to start a fire. Now the company ceased its operation.

Remington rifle models 700 and 710

Since 1979 until present, Remington has received thousands of customer complaints product liability claims. Unfortunately, instead of admitting the defect and correct what has went wrong in its products, the company chose to pay millions in settlements. Complainants claimed in their lawsuit that the rifle model 700 and 710 were proven to have faulty fire control system which can cause it to automatically fire even the trigger was not pulled.

Generally, product liability claims arise when someone has been injured to an apparent product defect. However, many personal injury lawyers remind that it is not always necessary that someone has to be injured to be able to file such claim. Keep in mind that if a product that is designed to function for a particular function but failed or malfunction, it clearly imposes threat. Therefore, everybody must fully understand the three types of product defects – the manufacturing defect, design defect and warning defects.

Friday, April 19, 2013

California Glorifies Distracted Driving Awareness Month by Cracking Down on Violators

April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month. Therefore, law enforcement agencies across the Golden State, particularly the California Highway Patrol (CHP), continuously exert efforts to educate motorists about the dangers of distracted driving.

Over the years, distracted driving has grown to be a huge traffic safety concern not only in the state, but also across the entire country. Apparently, there is indeed a strong need to exert more efforts to put an end to it, agreed a Los Angeles car accident attorney.

Consequently, the CHP kicked off the Distracted Driving Awareness Month by curbing drivers who are violating California’s distracted driving laws. Law enforcements are keeping an eagle-eye for distracted drivers who wrap their one hand on the wheel while the other is holding a cell phone. In fact, at least 255 local agencies are joining this zero-tolerance effort.

Tickets issued on violators don’t come cheap, as said by a spokesperson from the San Jose police. For the first offense, a driver will be given a fine of $159.00, which would rise to at least $279.00 for the following offenses.  With these fines, officials are suggesting that motorists should turn off their cell phones or put it out of reach when driving. Also, drivers can leave a message via voicemail, saying that phone won’t be answered when driving.

Last year, the same effort was made by state regulators to mark the Distracted Driving Awareness Month, with more than 57,000 tickets issued to traffic violators across the state. Also, during the last Super Bowl event, several agencies dispatched DUI patrols across the state to go after drunk drivers.

Based on statistics, drivers who are using cell phones are four times more likely to get into a car accident and get injured than someone who is not. By spreading awareness about the dangers of distracted driving, law enforcements believe that they could somehow reduce the number of injuries and fatalities brought by such driving behavior.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Clark Gable’s Son Arrested after Allegedly Hitting 6 Parked Cars in Malibu

Image gives credit to Nelson Barnardo / Getty Images

Recent reports confirmed that the son of the Hollywood legend William Clark Gable, John Clark, was arrested for suspicion of drunk driving after he allegedly being involved in multiple car crash in Malibu.

Media sources say that Gable was arrested on last April 2 following a rear-end crash on Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu. Gable allegedly fled the accident scene and continued to drive until he struck six parked cars. The incident did not stop there as he continued driving. He only came to a stop when his vehicle struck the garage of a home nearby the area.

So far, no information has been released regarding the occupants of the involved vehicles. Also, there were no reported injuries associated with the incident. Nevertheless, the 52-year-old Gable was taken into police custody on suspicion of both driving under the influence (DUI) and hit-and-run before he was transported to the Sheriff’s station.

Subsequently, reports claimed that authorities contend that alcohol and drugs were seen as factors to the incident.

According to certain news articles, John Clark inherited his famous father’s good looks and interest in acting. In fact, he is reportedly filming a movie entitled “Sunset at Dawn,” which is expected to be released by 2014. 

“You will find peace not by trying to escape your problems, but by confronting them courageously,” quoted by a Los Angeles auto accident attorney. If only Gable stopped right after the first car crash incident, the he would have avoided the subsequent mishaps as well as the hit-and-run charges, said by the lawyer herein.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Truck Driver Loses Consciousness After Choking on Food; Causes California Fatal Crash

Image is a screenshot of the original photo taken by KCRA3.
Distracted driving laws only prohibit the use of handheld devices, but who knows in the near future, state regulators might also ban eating while driving following a tragic truck accident that killed and injured other motorists on the road.

According to recent news reports, at least two people were killed after a truck driver who choked on food and lost consciousness on California Highway just near Sacramento lost control of the big rig that he was driving.

Police reports claimed that the truck driver choke on food and lost his unconsciousness while driving along the eastbound lanes of Interstate 80, which is 15 miles west of Sacramento. Subsequently, the big rig drifted onto the right shoulder of the road and then sharply veered back to the left, going across the highway and over the center divider. As a result of which, it struck into an approaching BMW, which burst into flames before killing its two passengers.

The driver of the truck regained consciousness but it was too late to avoid another collision. The big rig further crashed into other two vehicles leaving three other motorists with minor to moderate injuries, according to the California Highway Patrol spokesperson.

The truck driver suffered minor to moderate injuries including burns. All lanes in the highway were closed to traffic for hours.

So far, the identity of the victims and the truck driver remains unveiled.

Truck accidents rarely occur. In fact, it accounts for only a small percentage on all vehicle accidents all over the country. However, when such accidents happen, it is often fatal and results to severe injuries, observed by a Los Angeles personal injury attorney