Articles Posted in Product Liability

When we think about our smartphones, we think about devices that can potentially save our lives: we use them to call 911 after an accident, to let others know of our locations, and we even store our medical information in them to let others know of any allergies or health conditions we have. However, what if your phone causes you injury? Recently, it was discovered that the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 phone would catch on fire—in fact, it would even reportedly explode—due to a malfunction with the battery. In these cases, Miami personal injury attorneys could sue the cell phone manufacturer, or any one in the stream of commerce on behalf of injured victims in a products liability lawsuit.

One Florida man has already filed suit against Samsung. The plaintiff, Jonathan Strobel, was shopping in Costco when his Galaxy Note 7 exploded, causing a second-degree burn. Strobel is seeking compensation for medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages, and other damages. And in fact, the number of lawsuits may grow. So far, Samsung has received 92 reports of issues caused by the batteries. Twenty-six users have reported burns, and 55 have reported property damage. As more reports trickle in, Samsung may have a number of claims to defend. Miami products liability attorneys file claims making at least one of the following allegations: that a product’s design was flawed, that it was manufactured improperly, or that it failed to properly warn consumers of the potential risks of using it. In a defective design case, a plaintiff argues that the design of the product itself caused the harm. For example, in the Galaxy Note 7 example, if the materials in the battery made it overheat and eventually ignite, the issue was in the design of the battery.

If the manufacturing of the product was the problem with the Galaxy Note 7, parties will argue that an issue in the factory caused the batteries to catch on fire. Perhaps the wrong materials were used by mistake in a certain batch of phones, which led to the overheating. If inadequate warnings were the issue, plaintiffs will allege that Samsung did not provide proper warnings about the risk of the batteries overheating and the phones igniting, if the company was aware that this was a possibility.

file000980994442Today’s vehicles are built in a way to ensure the safety of each and every individual riding within them. Yet, manufacturing defects do occur. Some defects can lead to catastrophic injuries or even death. Defective airbags can lead to such injuries. Recently, six fatalities were traced to the Takata airbag defect. For drivers involved in airbag-deployment accidents, instead of their airbag saving them, it shoots out shards of metal right through the airbag. This led to millions of recalls. In March of 2015, a 2003 Honda Civic crashed in Florida, and its driver did not survive.  Police reports later linked the driver’s fatality to a faulty airbag inflator that basically ruptured in the crash.

If you or a loved one is injured in a similar fashion or incurred other catastrophic injury, it is critical that you retain an experienced catastrophic injury attorney. The Miami, Florida catastrophic injury attorneys at Gerson & Schwartz PA are here to help. We have helped catastrophically injured people for more than 40 years. We are well versed in the law and know how to get you adequate compensation for your loss.

The Basics of Florida’s Products Liability Law

warning-abstract-graphic-design-label-numbers-letters-construction-3041Hover boards were a highly popular gift, if not the most popular gift, during the holiday season of 2015. Yet, beyond their popularity lurks countless cases of personal injuries relating to the hover boards. Miami’s Jackson Memorial Hospital has seen over 10 hoverboard-related patients with injuries involving broken bones, concussions, and contusions. In one Miami, Florida case, a child was riding on a hoverboard when its batteries died and “locked up.” The child “snapped his arm in half and broke his wrist.” This injured child’s parents say the manufacturer should be held liable as they had knowledge that their hover boards were dangerous; “[t]hey know that there are issues of safety and they’re selling them anyway.”     

Product liability cases, or defective product cases, run rampant here in Florida. If you or a loved one are injured at the hands of a defective product, you should hire an experienced products liability attorney. The products liability attorneys at Gerson & Schwartz P.A. are well versed in the complex law of products liability and are here to help ensure that you are adequately compensated for you injuries or loss.

Florida’s Product Liability Law

kl;klklWho does not like to jump around on trampolines? It is fun, right? Albeit entertaining to most, trampolines can cause significant bodily injury and even death. For example, recently, in Oviedo, Florida, a 19-year-old boy died inside a trampoline park called Boing! Jump Center.  Seminole County Sheriff’s deputies said that the teenager was performing flips when he landed on his head. The doctor in this particular case, Dr. Elizabeth Davis of Arnold Palmer Hospital, stated that trampolines can be very dangerous and can easily cause catastrophic injuries, such as the one in this case.

The dangers of trampolines are obvious. Are there ways to make trampolines safer?  Consumers of all products, not only trampolines, expect the products they use to be safe. The product’s manufacturers are required to design the products to meet strict government and industry safety standards. When the product is not designed in compliance with such standards and someone is injured or killed, the injured victim or the victim’s family may sue for compensation. Due to the multiple complexities of Florida’s products liability law, you should hire an experienced products liability attorney of Gerson & Schwartz PA for your case.     

Defective Products in Florida and the Relevant Law   

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In December, a Gadsen County jury reached a decision to award $11 million to a woman suing R.J. Reynolds Tobacco company. The woman claimed that she contracted throat cancer from smoking their cigarettes. Although the $11 million figure may be reduced by the judge because the woman can be considered partially at fault, this case represents a huge victory for those suffering from nicotine addiction. If you have gotten sick or lost a loved one from tobacco product consider contacting a Miami Product Liability Attorney.

This case was argued in court as a product liability case. The 71-year-old woman’s attorney alleged that R.J. Reynolds was selling a defective product even though it was perfectly legal. The nicotine in the cigarettes caused the woman to become addicted reducing her fault for not being able to quit and prevent the cancer. The woman began smoking when she was just 14 years old.

The tobacco company’s lawyers argued that the woman was a willing smoker and not the picture of a hopeless addict she was portraying to the court. They also claimed that her cancer was not even caused by the cigarettes, but by the Human Papillomavirus, which at times is known to lead to cancer. The jury clearly did not buy the tobacco company’s arguments and decided instead to punish them heavily for selling such a dangerous product.

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When someone is injured or killed in an auto accident, the driver is usually responsible. But blame could also rest in the hands of the manufacturers and even the legal system designed to keep defective vehicle parts off the road.

In October, the National Transportation Safety Board announced that the system to recall defective tires is broken and ineffective. The investigation was launched in response to an auto accident in Florida involving a van equipped with defective tires that left two people dead and eight others injured. Neither the owner of the van nor its mechanics were aware the tires had been recalled.

According to the NTSB, there are 33,000 accidents in the U.S. each year due to defective tires, and even when tires get recalled, most drivers are unaware. Having defective tires can result in you being held responsible for the damages in an auto accident.

IMG_0013_CCFar too often, our Miami personal injury attorneys read about a prescription drug causing serious, life-threatening side effects. Unfortunately, Xarelto continues this disturbing trend. Xarelto, manufactured by Johnson & Johnson and its subsidiary Janssen Pharmaceuticals, is a blood-thinning drug approved by the FDA in July 2011. Xarelto is a new type of anticoagulant drug that has captured the US drug market in recent years. Drugs like Xarelto were originally designed as an alternative to Warfarin, a similar blood-thinning medicine that has been in the market since the 1950s. However, recent research shows that Xarelto too, is coming with its fair share of problems.

Xarelto has led to an increased danger of blood clotting related injuries like gastrointestinal bleeding and severe internal hemorrhaging, especially during surgeries or following accidents. Two FDA “boxed warnings” (also known as “black box” warnings) have been prominently included on the drug’s box. One warning informs patients that stopping Xarelto early can increase the danger of building more blood clots. The other warning label states that Xarelto can add to serious head and spinal injuries (epidural and spinal hematoma).  

Xarelto manufacturers have been sued by numerous patients who suffered strokes, pneumonic embolisms, deep vein thrombosis, and heart attacks. Adverse Xarelto side effects can result in extensive hospitalization, lengthy medical bills and considerable time off from work. These damages are recoverable by victim who suffered Xarelto side effects or by the family of a loved one who lost their life due to Xarelto.

The area of products liability is one of the biggest areas in which a personal injury lawyer can make a difference in the lives of consumers. We rely upon products that we use every day to be safe and reliable, often putting our lives in the hands of the companies that make and manufacture these products.

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Nowhere is that more evident than in the area of medical products. A recent, tragic death in Chicago is a reminder of how vital it is to keep companies responsible for ensuring the safety of the products.

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It seems that more cars including additional GM products are facing recalls based on design and manufacturing defects. Some of the problems are those that could potentially cause serious or catastrophic injury, reminding us that often our vehicles may not be as safe as we believe they are, and that it’s important to pay attention to the recall notices in the news. The Miami personal injury lawyers at Gerson & Schwartz, P.A. are keeping a close eye in the wake of the latest  General Motors recall fiasco.

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Airbags a Big Recall Target

The rumor is true, that often an airbag can cause as much injury as a crash itself. Still, airbags often save lives, and are an important protective tool for drivers.

We’ve written in the past about the importance of understanding what kind of cases are medical malpractice, and what kind are general negligence or products liability. A recent case has again discussed the difference, this time in a products liability context.

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Why The Difference Matters

The difference is important because of the mandatory medical malpractice pre-suit requirements. Florida law puts significant requirements on a plaintiff suing for medical malpractice that aren’t required for ordinary negligence or products liability.

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