Articles Posted in Product Liability

Ford.jpgThe Missouri Supreme Court issued an opinion on January 25, 2011 in Moore v. Ford Motor Company, regarding whether Ford failed to properly warn consumers about the possibility of seat collapse when its Ford Explorer vehicles are involved in an accident, especially for people who are larger.

Ms. Moore was six feet tall and 300 pounds, and was involved in an accident where her seat collapsed. She was injured, and left a paraplegic. The Missouri Supreme Court found that the trial court erred in awarding a directed verdict in this case and found Plaintiff made a submissible case that the Explorer had potential dangers, and that Ford failed to warn of those dangers.

popcorn.jpgA Jackson County, Missouri jury will be asked to determine whether diacetyl, used in microwave popcorn for flavoring, is a defective product that ultimately caused a former Blue Springs, Missouri woman to develop lung disease. The plaintiff, Elaine Khoury, is suing ConAgra Foods Inc. for personal injuries allegedly suffered from years of consuming Act II popcorn, which contained diacetyl until 2007. Numerous popcorn lung cases have been filed in Missouri; however, this case is unique in that the plaintiff is a popcorn consumer. The majority of the previous Missouri popcorn lung cases involved workers from a Jasper County popcorn factory.

blanket.JPGA federal jury sitting in Missouri recently entered a verdict in a product liability case filed against Sunbeam Products, Inc. The plaintiff was a Missouri woman who suffered third-degree burns after a Sunbeam electric blanket caught fire in 2008. The jury awarded the woman $2,000,000, but the verdict was reduced to $700,000 because the jury determined the plaintiff was 65% at fault.

Pills.jpgRecently, the first trial date was set in a group of over 8,000 personal injury and product liability lawsuits pending against Pfizer, Inc., claiming its menopause drug Prempro is a defective and dangerous product because it has been linked to breast cancer. The drug was used to treat symptoms such as hot flashes and mood swings. More than six million woman took the drug; however, in 2002 a study revealed a link to breast cancer. Thousands of lawsuits were subsequently filed all across the country, resulting in consolidation for pretrial purposes in an Arkansas federal court. Some of those cases are now being sent back to their original filing court so that trial dates can be set. The first case to be set for trial is an action brought by Karen Zahn against Pfizer’s Wyeth division, which is now back pending before a judge in Galveston, Texas. The trial is scheduled to begin in May, 2011.

Toyota logo.jpgMissouri drivers may have been at risk of a dangerous automobile accident due to another automobile defect not reported to consumers by Toyota in a timely fashion. Recent documents uncovered in the Toyota recall debacle reveal that Toyota also knew about an automobile defect in its vehicles due to cracking and breaking steering relay rods for eleven years before it finally recalled those defective automobiles. Missouri drivers were driving Toyotas for over a decade that had a potentially deadly safety defect and were at risk of losing control of their steering while driving. This could, and may have, resulted in Missouri automobile accidents with personal injury, or even death. At least 3 deadly car crashes were linked to steering rod problems in Toyota vehicles nationwide.

Records show that Toyota was repairing the steering rods for 11 years in the United States, including Missouri, before it finally recalled nearly a million automobiles in 2005. This new revelation into Toyota’s practices of handling known defects in its automobiles calls into question how promptly it reports any defects in its automobiles to the National Highway Traffic Safety Commission.
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Jeep.jpgChrysler announced that it is recalling 288,968 Jeep Wranglers and 284,831 Dodge Grand Caravan and Chrysler Town & Country minivans. The Wranglers are being recalled due to a product defect with fender liners, which could result in a fluid leak, thereby raising the risk of an automobile accident on Missouri’s roads. The minivans are being recalled as a result of a product defect with a sliding-door hinge that could possibly cause a fire. Chrysler has reported to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that it is not aware of any accidents or injuries connected to the defects involved in the recall. Repairs will be made at no cost to the vehicle owner.

Shrek.jpgMcDonald’s has voluntarily recalled 12 million ‘Shrek’ glasses that it sold at its stores due to a dangerous product defect that could cause injury to its customers. The 16 ounce glasses, that were sold for $2, have paint on them in which dangerous cadmium was discovered. Cadmium is toxic to humans. It is a carcinogen and can cause softening of the bones and kidney issues.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has warned consumers to immediately stop using the glasses. It also reports that there have been no injuries reported from people who have already handled or drank from the glasses. McDonald’s will have information on its website about how to obtain a refund for those who have purchased the glasses. Despite the warning from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission to stop using the glasses, and the known dangers of cadmium exposure, McDonald’s maintains that it believes the glasses are safe for use by consumers, but still warns them to stop using them out of an abundance of caution.
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