The faster a new product is introduced to the public, the sooner the manufacturer will profit from its sale. Unfortunately, to generate profits more quickly, some companies cut corners during a product’s development and safety testing process. This explains why so many dangerous, defective products harm and kill thousands each year.
“Corporations have a responsibility to ensure their products are safe for consumer use”
Products are considered defective if they have:
• Dangerous or defective design
• Insufficient instructions or warnings
• Improper construction
• Asbestos contamination
• Faulty machinery or parts
• Mechanical defects
Examples of Defective Products
- ReNu Contact Lenses Solution. Approximately 30 million Americans enjoy the benefits of soft contact lenses. So when ReNu with MoistureLoc, a Bausch & Lomb product, was causing adverse reactions by users, the FDA had to get involved.
- DePuy Hip Replacements. With 93,000 DePuy hip replacement units in patients, DePuy had to issue a Product Recall of Defective ASR Hip Implants, which will cause over 11,000 people to have their implants removed and replaced.
- Vehicle Rollover. Sport utility vehicles, or SUVs, are a convenient and popular mode of transportation for millions of Americans. Unfortunately, these vehicles are highly susceptible to rollover. According to 2001 data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, SUVs were involved in 36 percent of all rollover-related accident deaths in the U.S. – more than any other type of vehicle.
- Orthopedic Implants. In their efforts to capitalize on a lucrative and expanding market, manufacturers have rushed orthopedic products to market without adequate testing or kept obsolete products on the market when safer and better products become available. In many instances, patients and their doctors were not informed of risks or misled and were denied adequate information to make informed decisions about their medical options. As a result, patients have been injured by products that they would not otherwise have accepted.
- Heart Devices. Heart devices have been in the news lately because of product failures that have led to several deaths. Class actions and individual claims are arising out of these failures. On June 17, 2005, Guidant Corporation recalled approximately 40,000 cardiac defibrillators implanted in U.S. patients. The units have defective lead-wire insulation that can short circuit, leading to device failure, which is potentially fatal. On June 24, 2005, Guidant recalled about 60,000 additional units with defibrillator flaws and 28,000 pacemakers, which gradually fell apart causing the device to fail. Guidant, a spin-off from Merck & Co. had revenue of $3.8 billion in 2004.
- Lawn Mowers. Recently there have been a number of cases involving back-over injuries sustained by children from riding lawn mowers. The design defect in these products is that they allow the operator to reverse the mower. While the “power take-off” is engaged and the blades remain turning, children are affected the most by this design defect. The industry is well aware of this problem but not all are compliant. Over a ten-year study, the American Academy of Pediatrics estimates 68,000 injuries occurred related to lawn mowers. Approximately 9,400 children receive emergency treatment annually from lawn mower-related injuries.
- Children’s Toys. Numerous injuries to children are caused every day by products specifically marketed for them. For instance, some toys present choking hazards because they are small enough to fit into a young child’s mouth. Crib gyms have been responsible for strangulation. Projectiles and other weapons have resulted in puncture wounds, eye injuries, and death. Recreational equipment dangers include those from above-ground pools, athletic helmets, bicycles, and playground equipment.
Fellows Hymowitz Rice assists those who have been harmed by defective products. We are here to hold manufacturers, whether big or small, accountable for injuring innocent users of defective products. Our goal is to make sure our clients are fairly and justly compensated for their injuries and economic losses.
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