Product Liability: What You Don’t Know May Hurt You

There have been a number of high-dollar verdicts in product liability lawsuits recently, including:

Roundup (Monsanto)

The popular weed killer made by Monsanto has been the subject of a number of lawsuits alleging the product’s main ingredient — glyphosate — causes non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.  Earlier this month, a California jury awarded a couple more than $2 billion for their Roundup claim.  In March 2019, another California jury awarded $80 million to a Sonoma County man who blamed the herbicide for his cancer, and in August 2018, a California groundskeeper was awarded $289 million (since reduced to $78 million by a judge).  There are currently more than 13,000 lawsuits pending against Monsanto.

Talcum Powder (Johnson & Johnson)

Currently, there are more than 14,200 lawsuits pending against Johnson & Johnson, the manufacturer of talc-based products Johnson’s Baby Powder and Shower-to-Shower Body Powder. Research over the past 50 years has shown a potential link between talc and the development of ovarian cancer in women.  Recent news reports have indicated that J&J also knew of the presence of asbestos in their talc products, which has also been linked to diagnoses of mesothelioma.

There have been several verdicts to date against J&J, including a July 2018 award of $4.69 billion to 22 women with ovarian cancer ($213.2 million per victim) in a Missouri trial.  Five other verdicts for plaintiffs have totaled more than $724 million.

IVC filter (Cook Medical Inc., C.R. Bard, Inc.)

Surgically implanted into the inferior vena cava vein of the heart, IVC filters are used to prevent blood clots from reaching a patient’s heart or lungs.  Thousands of lawsuits have been filed by patients claiming their IVC filters failed, causing organ damage, blood clots, pulmonary embolism, and additional complications.

Grounds for Product Liability Claims

Product liability laws exist to protect consumers, and require manufacturers to pay for injuries caused by a defective or hazardous product.  A product liability lawsuit can be based on:

Negligence.  If a manufacturer does not exercise reasonable care in the design, manufacture, or distribution of a product, they could be held liable.

Breach of Warranty.  When product warranties are breached, an injured party may be able to recover damages that occurred as a result of the breach.

Strict Products Liability.  With a strict liability claim, you must prove that the product was defective, that the defect existed before the product was released, and that the defect caused you harm or injury.  Cases that fall into this category are usually due to design defects, manufacturing defects or failure to warn.

Filing a Product Liability Lawsuit in Florida

In order to prevail in a product liability claim, you must show:

  • You suffered an injury or incurred monetary losses.
  • The product that caused your injury was defective, either in the manufacture or design of the product or because of a failure to warn of potentially serious side effects.
  • The product defect was responsible for your injury or loss.
  • You used the product as specified by the manufacturer.

What is Your Case Worth?

This can be difficult to answer since every case is different and there is no guarantee as to how any individual case will resolve.  Generally, personal injury plaintiffs are entitled to recover damages for:

  • Medical expenses and lost wages
  • Future medical care or required home care
  • Lost earning potential (if you are disabled)
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of quality of life
  • Inability to function as a whole person
  • Disfigurement, deformity and permanency of injury

If you think you may have a cause of action for a product liability lawsuit, we can inform you of your options.  We’ve helped victims from Bradenton, Sarasota, and all over Florida get compensation for their injuries. Call us for a free consultation now at 941-748-2916 or contact us online. We are here to help!