Our firm has been handling product liability cases for years. Because a product liability claim focuses on whether or not a product is defective, a product case can arise in all sorts of situations. These cases can arise in any type of product – from an automobile to a lawn mower or even to a tree stand – if it is defective and was sold to the consuming public. In automobile cases, the defective product could be the entire vehicle, or a component part such as the seat belt or tires. If an individual is injured while on the job, a product case may be found in the defective industrial machinery that caused the injury. Our lawyers are trained to recognize defect claims in all types of cases. Any accident, whether it is an automotive or an industrial or an at-home accident, that involves a serious injury or death, including paralysis, loss of limb or brain damage, should be carefully analyzed for possible product liability claims. Here are just a few of the type of product cases our firm is currently working on.
Because of the publicity surrounding the Ford/Firestone litigation, tire failures have been reported with increasing frequency. Although most of us will log thousands of miles in our lifetimes without so much as an air leak, tire failures can and do occur regularly. Many of these failures can be directly attributed to manufacturing defects, design defects, or a tire manufacturer’s failure to warn of dangers inherent in their products. These dangers have been known to the tire industry for years. Tire manufacturers know that tire treads will wear with proper use and at some point fail if not serviced properly and replaced after their intended period of use has expired. So, tire failures, blowouts and detreads are foreseeable events. Although not all tire failures result in serious accidents, the sudden failure of a tire can cause a vehicle to lose control and roll over or collide with other vehicles on the roadway. Tire failures are especially dangerous if the vehicle is traveling at highway speeds.
Tire tread separation can be caused by bonding problems in the tire manufacturing process, contaminants introduced into the tire during the tire making process, under-vulcanization, old ingredients, improper sized components, or something as simple as air being trapped in between the layers of the tire during manufacturing. Detreading of these defective tires can result in single- or multi-vehicle accidents, or even rollovers. Even the auto manufacturers agree that drivers should be able to pull over, not rollover, when a tire detreads. That is unfortunately not always the case.
If you would like more information or have a question, you can contact Greg Allen (Greg.Allen@beasleyallen.com) or Cole Portis (Cole.Portis@beasleyallen.com) or JP Sawyer (JP.Sawyer@beasleyallen.com) at 800-898-2034.
There are thought to be two collisions in an auto accident. The first collision is the vehicle’s impact with another vehicle or object. The second collision is the passenger’s impact with the interior of the vehicle, or in cases of ejection, impact outside the vehicle. Seat belt injuries occur when a defective seat belt fails to adequately protect a vehicle passenger in the “second collision” phase of an automobile accident. The purpose of a seat belt is to minimize the injuries caused in a second collision, by reducing or eliminating injurious occupant contact with the vehicle’s interior. Seat belt injuries often occur when there is a seat belt design, production, or installation defect. You may have a seat belt defect case if:
• an occupant who was believed to have been belted is found unbelted after the accident;
• a belted occupant makes contact with the vehicle interior, resulting in injury;
• the occupant is ejected outside the vehicle or outside the restraint of the seat belt, but the seat belt buckle is latched;
• the webbing of the seat belt is loose after the accident;
• the webbing of the seat belt is torn;
• the door mounted seat belts in the vehicle were ineffective when the door of the vehicle opened;
• the seat belt is “only” a lap belt or shoulder belt;
• the vehicle occupant compartment is intact and a belted occupant is injured; or
• the seat belt mounts came loose from the floor or vehicle pillars during the accident.
If you would like more information or have a question, you can contact Cole Portis or Greg Allen at 800-898-2034, or by email at Cole.Portis@beasleyallen.com or Greg.Allen@beasleyallen.com.
To protect occupants in a rollover, maintaining survival space is very important. Survival space is the space around an occupant that remains free of intrusion in an accident. It is the area in which an occupant is able to “survive” the crash. A roof is part of the structural support of a vehicle and is therefore a critical component in keeping the occupant safe. If a roof crushes substantially during an accident, from a failure of the side rails, headers or support pillars, catastrophic injuries can occur. Often, this decreased survival space results in some portion of the vehicle impacting the occupant’s head causing death, paralysis or brain damage. Sometimes, the occupant can even be partially ejected through an opening created during roof crush. In a single vehicle accident, where the roof of a vehicle deforms, crushes, or opens over the occupant’s head by deforming sideways, there may be a roof crush defect. Greg Allen is writing a separate piece for this issue on the subject.
If you would like more information or have a question, you can contact Greg Allen or Cole Portis at 800-898-2034, or by email at Greg.Allen@beasleyallen.com or Cole.Portis@beasleyallen.com.
Thousands of workers are injured or killed each year at their work place. Although a state’s workers’ compensation system places limitations on the ability of employees to hold employers accountable for these work-related injuries, many people do not realize that there may be another available source of recovery. Injuries in the work place quite often are caused by defective products. If a product causes an on-the-job injury, a product liability suit may be brought against the product’s manufacturer. Catastrophic injuries, deaths, and amputations unfortunately too commonly occur from defective products found in the work place. Given the notable shortcomings of workers’ compensation benefits, it is extremely important to evaluate on-the-job injury claims to determine if a third party claim exists against some other party. Commonly, injured employees are mangled or killed by defective machinery. In these cases, a third party claim can be filed against the designer, manufacturer, seller and/or the assembler of the machinery. In addition to defective machinery, employees can sustain injuries on the job due to the negligence of a third party.
If you have any questions or would like to discuss this topic more, please contact LaBarron Boone or Kendall Dunson, lawyers in the Section, at 800-898-2034 or email them at Labarron.Boone@beasleyallen.com or Kendall.Dunson@beasleyallen.com.
Product liability cases are often overlooked, especially in single vehicle accidents involving large trucks. However, theories of defect apply equally to 18-wheelers as they do to cars. For example, defective roofs and defective seatbelts cause injuries in 18-wheeler truck accidents as well as passenger car wrecks. Also, some defects, such as defective under ride protection, are almost exclusive to 18-wheeler trucks. So, it is important to keep your eyes open while investigating an 18-wheeler accident so that you don’t miss important product liability claims.
Take the time to look at the correlation between the severity of the accident and the severity of your client’s injuries. Determine if there is a headache (header board) rack defect, a seatbelt defect, an airbag defect, underride protection defect, roof structure defect, or any other defect. If you would like more information or have any questions, please feel free to contact Ben Baker, a lawyer in the Section. His email is Ben.Baker@beasleyallen.com. He can also be reached at 800-898-2034.
Every year in the United States, between 2500 and 3500 people are diagnosed with mesothelioma. Mesothelioma cancer, or malignant mesothelioma, is a rare disease generally affecting the lining of the chest or abdominal cavity. Mesothelioma cancer is most strongly associated with exposure to asbestos, and can remain latent in those exposed for 20 to 50 years.
Mesothelioma is a deadly disease. By the time the symptoms appear and cancer is diagnosed, the disease is often advanced. The average survival time is about one year. The five-year relative survival rate is around 10%. Because of the long latency period (the period of time from exposure to manifestation of symptoms) involved in mesothelioma cases – 20 to 50 years – mesothelioma cases present unique challenges. For example, because it is necessary to properly identify the asbestos-containing products the client was exposed to, it is necessary to develop and maintain an ever expanding library of product identification materials. The product identification library consists of labels, photographs of asbestos products, advertising materials and the like from products used in specific industrial settings 50 or more years ago. Further, many of the long-thought-of primary Defendants in asbestos litigation are in bankruptcy and many Claimants are left with no further recourse than to seek payment through a bankruptcy trust.
As a result, development of secondary and tertiary Defendants has become more important and premises liability claims are often included in current mesothelioma lawsuits. Indeed, many of the current viable mesothelioma claims proceed against little-known companies responsible for manufacturing and selling asbestos gaskets, packing materials, industrial insulation used in boilers, power plants, ship yards, pumps and air compressors.
Due to the complexity and uniqueness of these cases, it is critically important to associate a law firm with resources and experience to tackle these difficult and challenging issues. If you would like more information or would like to discuss a potential case, please contact Mike Andrews or Ben Locklar, lawyers in the Section. They can be reached at Michael.Andrews@beasleyallen.com or Benjamin.Locklar@beasleyallen.com or 800-898-2034.
Contact us today for a free legal consultation with an experienced attorney.
Fields marked *may be required for submission.
If you would like to subscribe to the Jere Beasley Report digital edition, simply visit our Subscriptions page and provide the necessary information or call us at 800-898-2034.
Attorney Advertising - Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.