Consumers trust companies to provide the best quality products possible. However, sometimes businesses make faulty goods, and people can get hurt. Fortunately, for victims of defective items, the law does provide some safeguards. Filing a lawsuit may be the only means of getting redress. Although viewed by some as an extreme measure, a lawsuit can result in positive changes by holding companies accountable for consumer safety. The following are five product liability cases that changed history.
German automaker Volkswagen made the news in 2015 when it admitted to cheating on American emissions standards. In total, there are more than 11 million cars on the international market that the company fitted with a secret device to cheat emissions tests.
#2 McDonald’s Hot Coffee
McDonald’s received some negative publicity when a woman placed a cup of its piping hot coffee between her legs in a parking lot. After spilling in her lap, the beverage caused second-degree burns. A civil jury awarded the victim $2.7 million in damages.
#3 Dow Corning
In 1998, Dow Corning suffered a loss in a class action lawsuit, filed by women whose breast implants caused problems. The plaintiffs claimed that the implants harmed their bodies. In some cases, customers had contracted scleroderma, an autoimmune disease, perhaps from the silicone in the implants. Dow settled, paying more than $3 billion.
#4 General Motors
General Motors faced a series of product liability claims in 2014. Investigators found that some of its cars had faulty ignitions that shut down while vehicles were in operation. This led to more than 100 deaths. As a result, the automaker recalled more than 20 million of its vehicles, making changes to the designs. GM agreed to spend $575 million to settle the civil lawsuits.
#5 Philip Morris
In 2002, a woman, suffering from lung cancer, filed a lawsuit against cigarette maker Philip Morris. According to the claim, the company failed to provide enough warnings about the associated risks of smoking its products. Philip Morris paid $28 billion in punitive damages, designed to punish the company for gross negligence.
Hurt by a Defective Product? Contact an Attorney at the Khonsari Law Group
Not all lawsuits will change the course of history. Still, if you are a victim of a defective product, you deserve justice. Attorneys at the Khonsari Law Group will provide you with personalized consultations to discern the best legal approach. Contact us today to set up a free case evaluation.