Articles Posted in Product Liability

Product Liability | April 1, 2015

The relatively recent introduction of electronic cigarettes into the marketplace poses new concerns from some safety officials. E-cigarettes, which are often also referred to as personal vaporizers, are battery-powered devices that are designed to simulate real tobacco cigarettes. E-cigarettes typically work by using the power of the battery to produce a heated vapor from nicotine-infused oils.

Since E-cigarettes first came into the market in 2007, it’s estimated that more than 2.5 million Americans are currently using them. It’s also important to remember that this number is growing as the popularity of vaporizing or “vaping” begins to take hold. This fact is important to remember because many safety agencies have not yet had sufficient time to evaluate the safety of E-cigarettes.

Product Liability | December 19, 2014

Under the basic premise of products liability, manufacturers have a duty to ensure that the products they sell to the public are not unreasonably dangerous. Although this area of law can be quite complicated, it is generally assumed that consumers usually purchase products based largely on what they assume to be the product’s purpose.

Much of that consumer expectation is predicated on the manner in which products are marketed. For example, a person shopping for milk at a grocery store would not expect to find laundry bleach packaged in similar containers next to the milk in the dairy aisle.

Product Liability | October 10, 2014

Illinois consumers have a reasonable expectation that the products they buy and the medicines they consume will not injure them when normally used. Throughout the years, Illinois courts have come to expect that farmers, manufacturers and others who introduce items for sale into the stream of commerce will exercise care to ensure that those products are reasonably safe for use under normal conditions.

But what happens if a consumer is injured by a product as a result of not using it under normal conditions? For example, imagine a home destroyed in a fire caused a coffee pot with a built-in auto shutoff function. The homeowner admits to having used the pot twice per day despite the manufacturer’s recommendation of using it only once per day. Most people would agree that using a coffee pot twice daily is not an unreasonably normal usage of that product.

Product Liability | September 5, 2014

The overarching theory behind product liability is that consumers have a right not to be harmed by products they purchase. Additionally, manufacturers and retailers have a duty to ensure that the products that they introduce into the stream of commerce are safe for the normal use by customers who purchase those products.

Generally speaking, when a client is injured or made ill by a product they purchased there are four basic categories of liability to examine. Design defects in commercially sold products such as a fuel can susceptible to spontaneous ignition is one example.

Product Liability | January 29, 2014

In July 2012, a Chicago woman was trying out a chair she was looking to purchase at a TJ Maxx store in nearby Crestwood. The woman, who was almost 8 months pregnant, sat in the chair, and it collapsed. As a result, she alleges lost her baby and is now suing the store and the chair’s manufacturer for allowing a defective product to cause her unborn baby’s death.

The woman is suing the store’s parent company, The TJX Companies Inc., and Red Monkey LLC, the chair’s manufacturer. After the collapse, the woman was hospitalized that night for pain in her leg, thigh and abdomen. An ultrasound showed that her baby was still alive. However, a week later, after noticing decreased fetal movement and tightening in her abdomen, she found out that the fetus had died. Her baby girl was born stillborn the next day.

Product Liability | November 13, 2013

When Chicago homeowners choose new products for their home, the intent is to beautify the home and make it more functional and appealing, not cause the home to deteriorate. However, a Pennsylvania couple claims that their window purchase caused the wood in their home to rot, resulting in additional expenses for repair.

The couple is suing window manufacturer Pella Corp. for manufacturing, advertising and selling defective products. They purchased the windows when they remodeled their home. They claim that the windows they purchased from Pella allowed water to enter the home, which caused the wood in the window frames and other areas of the home to prematurely rot. The couple filed the product liability lawsuit at a federal court on Oct. 30.

Product Liability | October 30, 2013

In a Chicago car accident, it is typically one of the drivers who is at fault. Sometimes drivers may blame the manufacturers for a defect that caused the crash, and they are sometimes right. However, in one recent product liability case against Ford Motor Company, the automaker prevailed.

The lawsuit claims that Ford should be held liable for a December 2006 accident in which a 16-year-old driver of a Ford Focus drifted toward the left after becoming distracted. He then overcompensated by turning too far to the right. The car began to rotate to the right and the driver then steered to the left. However, the car continued to veer to the right, onto a shoulder and into a canal that was 25 feet deep.

Product Liability | September 18, 2013

Chicago homeowners use their air conditioning unit to cool down their homes in the summer heat. The last thing they want it to do is catch their houses on fire. A Texas homeowner claims that his air conditioner’s internal wires overheated due to a defect in December 2011, causing his home to catch fire and suffer considerable damage.

The man, from Port Neches, Texas, filed a product liability lawsuit against Carrier Corp. in Jefferson County District Court in March. He claims that the A/C condenser unit’s control box, located outside his home, had a defect that caused the wires to overheat. This started a fire, which caused damage to the home. The Arcoaire condenser unit was designed and manufactured by Carrier Corp.

Product Liability | August 14, 2013

When Chicago residents receive steroid shots or other injections from their medical providers, they don’t usually expect to get serious side effects. They may expect a little redness or swelling for a few days afterward, but not something life-threatening such as meningitis. Unfortunately, more than 700 people have been injured or killed across the country due to tainted injections. On the positive side, the victims and their families now have a new avenue in order to receive compensation for the pain and suffering they have had to endure.

New England Compounding Center (NECC) was the company that manufactured and shipped the steroid injections tainted with fungus to medical facilities. A U.S. bankruptcy judge recently declared NECC bankrupt, with the company filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in December 2012. This means that victims can now file product liability claims against those who sold them the defective products, including healthcare clinics and providers. The lawsuits can be filed through the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation.

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