Product Liability Lawyers Serving Florida
When products are sold to consumers that are unsafe for their intended use, they can cause serious, sometimes irreversible, injuries. Many defective products are recalled every year for causing thousands of severe injuries and deaths. Things that combust or are a fire hazard, including anything fueled by electricity or gas, can be some of the most deadly defective products.
If a dangerous product injures you or a loved one, you can file a product liability claim against the manufacturer, distributor or seller of the product. Whether you bought the item or were an innocent bystander when injured, you may be eligible for monetary compensation for medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering.
Schedule a FREE consultation with our product liability attorneys today at (407) 712-7300. Colling Gilbert Wright serve clients in Orlando and throughout Florida.
There are many details involved in product liability lawsuits for defective and dangerous products as well as a variety of cases our lawyers specialize in including:
- Determining Who is at Fault in a Product Liability Claim
- Product Recalls for Fire & Burn Hazards
- Product Liability & Class Action Lawsuits
- Choosing a Product Liability Lawyer
- Johnson & Johnson’s Talcum Powder and Ovarian Cancer
- Lead in Children’s Toys
- Defective Medical Products
- Fungal Meningitis
- Dangerous Drugs
- Defective Vehicles
- Questions About Product Liability
- Schedule a Free Product Liability Consultation
Determining who is At Fault for a Defective or Dangerous Product
Virtually any product that you use or come into contact with may be the basis for a product liability claim if the product was defective and causes injury to you or a family member. A defective product could include anything from a part on your car that did not work as intended (for example, an airbag or a seatbelt) to a consumer product such as a child’s toy that causes injury to the child or a prescription drug that causes dangerous side effects.
Retailers and manufacturers of unreasonably dangerous or defective products can be found liable for neglect under the following conditions:
- Inadequate inspection or testing of the product before releasing it to the public.
- Failure to discover and correct a serious flaw in the product.
- Failure to recognize how dangerous the product is.
- Inadequate, incomplete or nonexistent warnings on the risks or hazards associated with the product.
Product liability claims require a thorough investigation of the product and what caused it to be defective, as well as determining which party in the manufacturing chain is responsible for you or your loved one’s injuries. Depending on the nature of the defect, various parties could be held responsible under product liability law including the:
- Parts manufacturer
- Assembling manufacturer
- Packaging company
There are different types of theories under which product liability lawsuits may be brought including:
- Negligence: A negligence product liability claim shows that the defective product was made defective as a result of negligence on the part of one of the parties in the manufacturing chain.
- Strict liability: A strict liability claim shows that your injuries or your loved one’s injuries are the result of a defective product. A strict liability claim does not have to establish negligence; it simply establishes that the product was defective.
- Breach of warranty: If you or a loved one is injured by a product while using it for its intended purpose, you may be able to file a breach of warranty lawsuit. Although many breach of warranty lawsuits are filed when there is either a written or expressed warranty, the law also recognizes certain implied warranties.
Product Recalls for Fire & Burn Hazards
There is a myriad of defective products on the market recalled because they were fire and burn hazards. You may be surprised at how many of these items you have in your home. Some examples of various products recalled for fire and burn danger include:
- Faulty botanical candles: When burned the dried flowers caught on fire.
- Defective ceramic teakettles: Teakettles burst, releasing boiling water on the person handling the kettle.
- Inadequately tested space heaters: Overheated, causing the exterior to becoming hot enough to ignite a fire.
- Poorly tested fire extinguishers: Failed to discharge when the trigger was activated.
- Defective microwave ovens: House fires caused by defective control panel membranes.
- Defective conventional ovens/ranges: Imploding ceramic glass cooktops and glass door panels.
- Faulty propane tanks: Defective valves or improper handling leads to explosions.
Product Liability & Class Action Lawsuits
Many product liability lawsuits become class action lawsuits if a number of people have been injured. The injured parties unite to sue the manufacturer sharing legal expenses and splitting any compensation that is awarded.
Three major factors are considered in a product liability suit:
- Strict Products Liability:
- The product is the cause of the injury and the main focus of the lawsuit.
- The manufacturer is found negligent if the product is found to be unreasonably dangerous.
- The defect existed when the product left the manufacturer.
- Negligent Design or Manufacture:
- The focus is on the manufacturer’s actions in designing and manufacturing the defective product.
- The manufacturer failed to meet the required specifications causing the product to be unsafe.
- Breach of Warranty:
- A product must be fit for its intended purpose.
- The product must meet standards set by the Uniform Commercial Code adopted by the governing state
Choosing a Product Liability Lawyer
The attorney you choose to represent you for a dangerous or defective product claim should have ample experience with these types of cases as well as good communication throughout the entire legal process. Our lawyers offer a free consultation to clients throughout the United States in order to go over the details of your case. We specialize in several areas of product liability such as dangerous/defective medical devices and medications, defective motor vehicles and consumer products.
At Colling Gilbert Wright, we have reached successful verdicts and settlements for our clients who have suffered injuries as a result of using a product. One of our most recent wins was a $16 million product liability settlement for a worksite explosion.
We are dedicated to our clients in Orlando, Florida and nationwide and will aggressively fight on your behalf from start to finish. If you have lost a loved one due to a medical or consumer product, we can help you during this difficult time so you can focus on grieving while we pursue justice for their wrongful death.
Talcum Powder & Ovarian Cancer Lawsuits
Our attorneys have been litigating for women who have ovarian cancer linked to exposure to long-term talcum powder use in Johnson & Johnson products. Johnson & Johnson executives are alleged to have purposely omitted scientific findings that talcum powder used in their products causes a significantly elevated risk of ovarian cancer.
The Johnson & Johnson Shower-to-Shower product has specifically been linked to ovarian cancer. Their baby powder also contains talcum powder and has been used for decades for feminine hygiene. The most shocking aspect of this case is that the company blatantly ignored their product liability responsibility in order to keep sales high. They failed to remove these products from the market and didn’t make any attempt to warn women of the increased risk for ovarian cancer.
There are 20 years of studies, which prove that feminine hygiene products sold by the company lead to cancer and ultimately fatalities. A jury in Missouri ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay $72 million in damages, of which $62 million were punitive damages due to their lack of respect for human health and vitality. In fact, the company made several attempts to cover up the research results of their products.
You could be eligible to collect compensation for any pain and suffering you and your loved one’s have endured. Ask yourself these questions, and call our lawyers to discuss your potential product liability claim:
- Have You Been Using Talcum Powder for Years? If you’ve been diagnosed with ovarian cancer, Johnson & Johnson could be responsible for your condition. We can help you explore your options, and fight for you to get the compensation you deserve for your current and future medical needs. The scientific community has known for two decades that talc can severely affect your health. You should have been notified immediately of the potential risks involved with Johnson & Johnson Baby Powder and Shower-to-Shower products.
- Do You Have Ovarian Cancer? Was it Properly Diagnosed? We want you to know your options in coping with ovarian cancer and the cause behind it. Medical expenses add up quickly, and you need access to the best healthcare facilities across the country. We can help you recover the means necessary to receive proper and timely treatment to increase your longevity and reverse the damage cancer has caused.
- Did A Loved One Pass Away From Ovarian Cancer? If you suspect a deceased relative died because of ovarian cancer caused by Johnson & Johnson products, we can help you begin a wrongful death suit. There is no dollar amount that can make up for your loss, but monetary restitution can help ease your financial woes since their passing.
There is ample proof that talcum powder can cause ovarian cancer. Johnson & Johnson is responsible for up to thousands of deaths over the span of 20 years. The $72 million settlement does little to make up for the loss of life.
Lead in Children’s Toys
Many parents have been lulled into believing that lead paint in children’s toys is a thing of the past. The use of lead in products marketed to children was banned in the U.S. in 1978, but it is still used in the manufacturing of children’s toys in other countries. These product liabilities may require that you speak with a defective product attorney should your child suffer injury after exposure.
Some of our biggest toy retailers, including Toys R Us and Wal-Mart, have chosen to sell cheap toys imported from China. While this allows them to sell massive amounts of toys at low prices, it has also allowed inferior, harmful products to make their way into the hands of thousands or millions of children.
Mattel, Fisher Price and Disney recalls have made headlines recently, but brand name toys are not the only culprits. Toys and children’s jewelry dispensed from vending machines have also been found to contain lead.
Simply handling the lead-contaminated toys or wearing the tainted jewelry will not cause lead poisoning, but children put everything in their mouths. In this way, they can ingest dangerous amounts of lead paint. Lead poisoning can cause serious illness and death in adults. In children, the risk is far greater and it takes much smaller amounts to cause harm.
Damage to children caused by lead can include:
- Learning disabilities
- Behavioral problems
- Brain injury
- Kidney damage
- Lowered IQ
You may not be aware that your child is playing with toys containing lead. If your child displays symptoms of lead poisoning, seek medical help right away.
- Memory problems
- Reduced coordination
- Slow reflexes
- Muscle weakness
- Increased sleeping
- Hearing loss
- Abdominal pain
- Reduced appetite
- Weight loss
- Unusual paleness
Children exposed to dangerous amounts of lead do not always show immediate symptoms. In such cases, the damage may not become apparent until later in life when blood levels of lead have returned to normal.
Bayer/Monsanto Roundup Cancer Lawsuits
Roundup is a widely used herbicide formerly produced by Monsanto and now by Bayer. It’s primarily employed to kill weeds and control invasive plants. The active ingredient in Roundup is glyphosate, a chemical that disrupts the growth of plants but has been called into question regarding its safety for humans and the environment. As Roundup is the most popular herbicide sold, the manufacturers have done everything they can to dispute the claims that it is dangerous, even deadly.
The primary concern about Roundup is its potential link to cancer, specifically non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL). In 2015, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), part of the World Health Organization, classified glyphosate as “probably carcinogenic to humans.” Additionally, a study published in ScienceDirect’s Mutation Journal in 2019 found that people exposed to glyphosate had a 41% increase in risk of developing NHL.
Since the IARC’s determinations, numerous lawsuits have been filed against Monsanto and Bayer, accusing the companies of failing to warn consumers about the risks associated with Roundup. One of the most notable cases was in 2018 when a California jury awarded Dewayne Johnson, a former school groundskeeper, $289 million in damages, later reduced to $78.5 million. Johnson developed non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma after using Roundup in his job.
A landmark moment occurred in 2020 when Bayer agreed to pay more than $10 billion to resolve thousands of Roundup lawsuits. Despite these settlements, Bayer continues to assert that Roundup is safe when used as directed and does not cause cancer.
If you suspect you may have your own Roundup lawsuit, there are some critical steps to take:
- Medical Diagnosis: You must have a verified medical diagnosis linking your condition, usually non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, to glyphosate exposure.
- Proof of Exposure: You’ll need to demonstrate that you were exposed to Roundup, which could be through receipts, photographs, or witness testimonies.
- Statute of Limitations: Keep in mind that there is a time limit to file a claim. Generally, you will have 4 years from the discovery of the cause of your illness. However, it is important to consult an attorney to ensure you are acting within your rights.
- Legal Consultation: Schedule a FREE consultation with a skilled personal injury lawyer who is experienced in the product liability arena. They can evaluate your case and guide you through the legal process.
The Roundup lawsuits revolve around the alleged dangers of glyphosate and the failure of Monsanto to inform consumers adequately. Although there have been several high-profile settlements, Bayer maintains Roundup’s safety. However, taking legal action is possible if you believe you have been harmed by Roundup. Contact us today to explore your options.
Hair Relaxer Cancer Lawsuits
Emerging scientific evidence released by the National Cancer Institute in October 2022 has exposed a disturbing connection between chemicals in hair relaxers and serious female reproductive health issues, including uterine cancer. Previously, hair relaxers and other hair products had also been linked to breast cancer, ovarian cancer, and uterine fibroids. Legal actions against manufacturers of these products are gaining momentum.
Initially introduced to the market in the early 1900s, hair relaxer manufacturers have primarily targeted black women, offering a solution for straightening naturally curly hair. These products are available for both professional and at-home applications and are stocked in various retail outlets across the U.S.
The decade-long investigation, the Sister Study, revealed alarming findings in 2022. Women using hair relaxers showed almost double the risk of developing uterine cancer, with those using the products more than four times a year exhibiting a 150% increase in risk. Earlier studies corroborated this, linking relaxers to a higher incidence of uterine fibroids.
Hysterectomies—the partial or complete surgical removal of the uterus—are often considered the last resort for severe uterine fibroids and a standard procedure for uterine cancer. The fact that a commonly used product can result in such devastating health issues is an offense that deserves justice. Though monetary compensation is a pittance compared to the injuries suffered by these women, it can at least help as they try to heal.
The criteria for participating in the lawsuit against chemical hair relaxer manufacturers are straightforward but essential. You must have a medical diagnosis of endometrial or uterine cancer—or other female reproductive health issues—and this diagnosis should come after a period of using hair relaxers. Both salon treatments and at-home applications are included in this legal inquiry.
Given the newly found links between hair relaxer use and uterine maladies, legal proceedings are now targeting manufacturers—L’Oréal, Dark & Lovely, Revlon, Just for Me, Namaste, Optimum Care, etc.—for compensation related to the physical and emotional toll of these traumas. Importantly, the lawsuit aims to hold manufacturers accountable for the harmful chemicals used in these products and their failure to adequately warn consumers of associated risks.
To pursue a claim, you will need to:
- Obtain your medical records verifying your diagnosis of uterine cancer or any other condition implicated in the study.
- Seek out an attorney who is practiced in product liability lawsuits.
- Submit your detailed claim outlining your usage of the product, diagnosis, and any related medical treatments you’ve undergone.
If you are experiencing these severe health issues due to the use of hair relaxers, you might be eligible for legal redress. By taking legal action, not only can you seek compensation for your own losses, but you can also contribute to broader efforts to hold companies accountable for the safety of their products.
Paragard IUD Injuries & Lawsuits
Paragard, a T-shaped intrauterine device (IUD) approved by the FDA in 1984, serves as a long-lasting contraceptive solution. Unlike its hormonal counterparts, Paragard releases minute amounts of copper, triggering a toxic inflammation that inhibits fertilization. Although marketed for its longevity of up to 10 years and the simplicity of its removal, concerns have emerged about its design.
Many women claim that the device’s plastic arms, intended to flex for easy removal, actually stiffen and break, leaving hazardous fragments in the uterus. These complications have led to various medical issues, including:
- Uterine perforation
- Cervical perforation
- Inflammation or allergic reaction
- Pieces lodged in organs or unable to be removed
Some women have needed surgical interventions like laparoscopy or hysterectomy to rectify these problems.
Imagine the horror these women face when a device intended to help them causes excruciating pain and damage that could rob them of their womanhood and ability to have children. In these instances, a legal avenue to justice and compensation for their terrible losses is vital. Perhaps it can’t heal their wounds, but it may bring them the financial stability needed to focus on recovery.
The crux of the legal claims against the manufacturer, Teva Pharmaceuticals, and its subsequent owner, CooperSurgical, centers around three core allegations:
- Design defects
- Failure to adequately warn users
- General negligence by the manufacturer
Women who have been brutalized by faulty Paragard devices can file lawsuits targeting these companies for compensation. The essential criteria for eligibility include:
- Documented usage of Paragard
- Evidence of device malfunction before or during removal
- Removal of the device within 10 years of implantation
- Proof of incurred complications
Paragard cases aren’t processed as class-action suits. Instead, they fall under multidistrict litigation (MDL), where individual lawsuits are grouped before a single judge for preliminary matters. Depending on the severity of their injuries, claimants are categorized into different tiers, each with its potential compensation.
If you’re considering legal action, consult an attorney to evaluate your eligibility and inclusion in the ongoing MDL. This could be a critical step in obtaining the justice you deserve for the hardships you’ve endured due to this flawed medical device.
CPAP Recall Lawsuits
In 2021, Philips Respironics recalled millions of CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) and BiPAP (bilevel airway pressure) machines and ventilators. The devices contained a polyester-based polyurethane (PE-PUR) sound abatement foam that was degrading and becoming dangerous for users.
This was sobering news for millions of people suffering from sleep apnea and attempting to get a good night’s sleep. CPAP and BiPAP devices provide a consistent flow of purified, pressurized air to keep a user’s breathing passage unobstructed during sleep. The majority of people who rely on these devices use them every night. They believed that the machines were helping. They could never have imagined they’d actually be causing serious injury.
As the PE-PUR foam degrades, it releases harmful gases and particles that are then inhaled and ingested by the users of the machines. The primary concern related to this is an elevated cancer risk. Particles and fumes from PE-PUR foam have been linked to cancers of the lungs, liver, kidneys, nasal cavity, mouth, and tongue. Moreover, these devices pose a risk of organ damage and failure (kidneys, liver, and lungs).
Apart from life-threatening concerns, users of faulty Philips CPAP, BiPAP, and ventilators may also face less severe but still significant health issues. These include:
- Persistent headaches
- Breathing difficulties
- Sinus infections
- Queasiness & vomiting
- Irritation around the airway, eyes, or facial skin
- Mucous membrane inflammation affecting the eyes, nose & mouth
If you exhibited any of these symptoms following the use of a CPAP or BiPAP machine or after being on a ventilator for medical treatment, consulting your healthcare provider promptly is crucial.
Due to the severity of these health concerns, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) categorized the recall as Class I, its most critical classification. Philips had submitted 30 reports between 2011 and April 2021 regarding these issues. By November 2022, the FDA had received over 90,000 medical device reports, including instances of 260 deaths. These reports have only intensified the resolve of plaintiffs to seek justice.
These legal actions have grown so numerous that they have been consolidated into a MDL process centralized in a federal court in Pennsylvania. As of September 7, 2023, Philips has agreed to a minimum settlement of $479 million to resolve some of the economic loss cases. However, personal injury and wrongful death cases remain open. The lawsuits accuse Philips of both design defects and failure to warn customers and healthcare providers.
If you or someone you love has suffered due to the usage of a faulty CPAP, BiPAP, or ventilator, it’s urgent to engage legal counsel. Consult with us today to evaluate your case and discuss whether you have a viable claim for compensation for your terrible losses.
Questions About Product Liability
Some of the most common product liability questions we hear from our injured clients include:
What do I need to prove in a product liability case?
If you decide to file a Florida product liability case, you must be able to prove that the product that harmed you had a manufacturing defect, a design defect, or that it failed to warn you about inherent risks associated with its use.
Most product liability cases are based on “strict liability,” meaning you do not have to prove negligence or fault: you are only required to prove that the product was defective and that it caused your injuries. However, if the product’s defect was the fault of an identifiable party involved in the manufacturing chain, you may want to bring forward a claim based on negligence.
What types of damages can I recover?
Individuals can recover up to four different types of damages in a product liability lawsuit:
- Compensatory damages: To cover medical expenses, lost income, and any other financial losses caused by the defective product.
- Pain and suffering: To compensate for physical and emotional pain and suffering caused by the defective product.
- Punitive damages: These are typically only pursued if the defendant’s conduct was so deplorable that the court wants to make an example out of them to discourage others from doing the same.
- Loss of consortium: If your injuries have had a measurable negative effect on your relationship with your spouse, you can recover damages.
The types of damages you will be able to pursue, and extent of compensation you request under each area of recovery, will greatly depend on the nature of your case and the effect your injuries have had on your life as a whole. Our experienced product liability attorneys at Colling Gilbert Wright can analyze your case and help you determine which types of compensation would be viable to pursue.
If I used the product in a way that was not necessarily intended, will it affect my case?
Product manufacturers are obligated to anticipate and warn customers against foreseeable misuse. If you accidentally misused the product in a way that the manufacturer should have reasonably foreseen, you can still recover compensation for your injuries. However, if the court determines it was not possible for the manufacturer to foresee the way you misused their product, they may not be liable for any damages.
Schedule Your FREE Product Liability Consultation
If you or a loved one has been injured as a result of a consumer product, product in the workplace or a medical device or medication, please call our lawyers in Orlando today at (407) 712-7300 to schedule a FREE consultation. Colling Gilbert Wright serve clients nationwide and throughout the state of Florida.