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Product Liability 940 articles

Many times after our skilled team of professional investigators thoroughly examines a personal injury claim, a Beasley Allen lawyer will determine that the injury was caused by a defective product. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), deaths, injuries and property damage from consumer product incidents cost more than $700 billion each year. We help ensure that manufacturers, distributors, suppliers, retailers and others who make products available to the public are held responsible for the injuries those products cause.

A great number of the product liability claims we investigate are single vehicle accidents. In investigating automobile accidents and product liability cases over the past 30 years, we have seen many single vehicle accidents that were caused by a design defect or mechanical problem. Single vehicle accidents where the occupant received injuries disproportionate to the severity of the accident can often be traced back to a defect

NHTSA updates air bag defect warning to include another three million vehicles

Takata airbag - image source alexauto321, wikicommons

Shortly following the U.S. government’s plea to nearly five million car owners to learn more about a life-threatening air bag defect, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has updated its warning to include three million more car owners believed to be driving under dangerous circumstances. According to the safety alert, the NHTSA is making the public aware of inflator mechanisms within the affected vehicles’ airbag systems that may rupture upon impact, triggering an arsenal of metal fragments to violently fly out as the bags are being deployed. Takata Corp., one of the world’s largest automotive suppliers in the world, manufacturing air ... Read More

Texas guardrail maker loses whistleblower case, jury orders company to pay $175 million

guard-rail - KCPQ-TV image

A Texas guardrail manufacturer accused by a whistleblower of defrauding the federal government has been ordered to pay $175 million by a federal jury. Dallas-based Trinity industries for years has manufactured guardrail systems for the Federal Highway Administration (FHA), which uses them on highways in most every state. In 2012, whistleblower Josh Harman, a Virginia guardrail installer and safety advocate, sued Trinity under the qui tam provisions of the False Claims Act, accusing the company of secretly changing the design of its government-approved ET-Plus guardrail system. According to Mr. Harman, the redesigned ET-Plus guardrails cost less for Trinity to produce ... Read More

More deaths and injuries due to dangerous Takata airbags lead to rare urgent plea from U.S. government

Takata airbag - image source alexauto321, wikicommons

In order to try and prevent further deaths and injuries to drivers or passengers on the road, the U.S. government has issued a shocking plea to the almost five million people currently driving vehicles with potentially deadly Takata airbags. Drivers of the affected vehicles are being urged to visit their dealership immediately to have the airbags inspected and possibly repaired or replaced. According to Takata Corp., the Tokyo-based supplier of the airbags in question, the inflating mechanisms within the airbags may rupture violently, causing multiple metal fragments to disperse rapidly into whatever may be in front of them. Safety advocates have confirmed ... Read More

GM’s top lawyer to retire amid ignition switch defect scandal

GM recall

General Motors (GM)’s top lawyer Michael Millikin is retiring from the company early next year after a 36-year career with the Detroit automaker. His resignation comes amid a U.S. Justice Department investigation of the company’s handling of its deadly ignition switch defect, which affects 2.6 million vehicles and has been linked to at least 29 deaths and 27 serious injuries. Mr. Millikin and GM’s entire legal team have fallen under harsh criticism after it became known that they played a key role in the company’s inaction while millions of vehicles with defective, potentially deadly ignition switches rolled off GM assembly ... Read More

NHTSA warns consumers about exploding airbags, urges vehicle owners to have cars inspected

Takata airbag - image source alexauto321, wikicommons

Following an investigation into possible exploding airbags it began in June, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) issued an urgent warning to motorists. The agency notes more than 4.7 million vehicles may contain defective airbags manufactured by Takeda, which can explode in even a minor collision, sending shrapnel flying at drivers and passengers. Automakers worldwide already have recalled 12 million vehicles for the problem. Takata airbags are used in a variety of automobiles produced by different manufacturers. The NHTSA alert includes cars made by Toyota, Honda, Mazda, BMW, Nissan, General Motors (GM), and Ford. The problem appears to be ... Read More

DOJ seeks to shut down operations at pharmaceutical supply company after reports of infection

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The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) is moving to shut down Pharmaceutical Innovations, a Newark, N.J.-based company blamed for producing ultrasound gel that caused infections in 16 patients. The DOJ, working on behalf of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), filed a complaint against the company and its president and owner, Gilbert Buchalter, seeking an injunction to halt operations at the plant until it resolves violations to the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act. The DOJ claims the company produced the gel used in ultrasound tests without following proper manufacturing practices, failed to obtain proper approval before distributing its products, and ... Read More

General Motors ignition switch death toll rises to 23

GM recall

The number of deaths linked to the ignition switch defect in more than a decade of General Motors (GM) vehicles continues to climb, with the latest toll hitting 23, according to a report by Kenneth Feinberg, the lawyer overseeing a fund established to compensate crash victims and their families. After it finally began recalling vehicles affected by the potentially deadly ignition flaw last February, GM said that it had linked the defect to 13 deaths and 54 crashes. Underscoring the seriousness of the problem, safety advocates and plaintiffs’ lawyers, however, said the real toll was likely to be much higher. ... Read More

Former Peanut Corporation of America Officials Convicted on Criminal Charges

peanut-butter-recall

“Just ship it.” These three words have come to haunt former Peanut Corporation of America (PCA)owner Stewart Parnell since he sent them in an email to a plant manager in March 2007 concerning tainted peanut products. U.S. prosecuting attorneys brought this statement to light in the opening statements of brothers Stewart and Michael Parnell’s trial concerning the 2009 outbreak of salmonella poisoning linked to their company’s tainted products. In an unprecedented conviction, a federal jury returned guilty verdicts against two former officials and one broker for the Peanut Corporation of America for the unlawful sale of salmonella-tainted peanuts and peanut ... Read More

U.S. Treasury approved GM exec pay raises despite poor performance, losses

GM recall

Top executives at General Motors (GM) and Ally Finance (formerly GMAC, GM’s former consumer finance offspring) received “excessive” pay hikes approved by the U.S. Treasury Department, which has monitored and approved executive salaries and bonuses since the companies received $66.7 billion in taxpayer-funded bailout money. According to a report released Wednesday by the Office of the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (SIGTARP), the Treasury Department allowed total pay packages of at least $1 million for all of the top executives at both companies. The report also says several GM executives who received a combined $3 million ... Read More

GM announces two new recalls to repair fire hazards

GM recall

General Motors (GM) has announced two new safety recalls over defects that could potentially result in fire, and in some cases, explosion. Last week, GM said it was recalling about 3,200 natural gas-powered cargo vans for gas leaks that could lead to an explosion and fire. The recall affects 3,196 Chevrolet Express CNG and GMC Sahara vans powered by compressed natural gas. The Detroit automaker informed the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) that the affected vehicles “may have a CNG (compressed natural gas) high pressure regulator that leaks natural gas into the atmosphere,” adding that this flaw “could cause ... Read More