Articles Posted in Products Liability

This cases arises out of a product liability action. The plaintiffs allegedly suffered injuries after breast implants they received ruptured and leaked. Plaintiffs can recover damages from the manufacturers of defective products. As your experienced Southern California product liability attorney can tell you, California law allows recovery as long as the plaintiff proves four different elements. First, they must prove that the defendant manufactured the product. Second, plaintiffs must prove that the product was defective when it left the possession of the defendant. Third, plaintiffs must show that they used the product in a reasonably foreseeable manner. Finally, the plaintiff needs to prove that they suffered harm due to the defect.

Jurisdiction

While the underlying action is a product liability action, the case recently heard by the Federal District Court in the Central District of California was focused on a jurisdictional issue. The court here had to determine whether this case should be heard by the state court of the federal court. State courts have original jurisdiction over personal injury claims. However, these claims can be moved to federal court in certain instances.

One kind of claim that a California personal injury attorney may take is a product liability claim. Product liability claims are based in the theory that a manufacturer of a product is responsible for the injuries that occurred while a plaintiff was using that product. Of course, manufacturers aren’t always responsible for injuries that happen while someone is using their product, but if a plaintiff can prove that some aspect of the product is unreasonably dangerous, then they may be able to recover damages.

Kinds of Defects

Plaintiffs can pursue damages under a few different theories, including manufacturing defect, design defect, or failure to warn. A manufacturing defect is when most of the products are fine, but something happened during the manufacturing process to make the specific product the plaintiff used defective and the defect resulted in injury. With a design defect, all of the products made with that design are defective because of the way the product is designed. Failure to warn means that there is a dangerous element to the product that is not obvious and the manufacturer did not warn consumers about the danger. Continue reading

Last month, a Los Angeles Superior Court jury found that Johnson & Johnson must pay $417 million to a 63-year-old California resident. The plaintiff claimed she developed ovarian cancer from using products like Johnson & Johnson’s Baby Powder for feminine hygiene. The verdict was the largest yet in a series of lawsuits claiming that the New Jersey-based company failed to adequately warn customers about the cancer risks present in their talc-based products.The plaintiff developed terminal ovarian cancer following decades of using Johnson & Johnson talc-based products, specifically, its Baby Powder and Shower-to-Shower products. Her lawyers argued the company encourages women to use its products on their genitals, even though it knows studies link genital talc use to ovarian cancer. The plaintiff allegedly began using the products when she was 11. She was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2007.

Her attorneys cited several studies that pointed to a link between long-term genital talc use and ovarian cancer, including a 1982 paper suggesting that women who used talcum powder for routine feminine hygiene faced a 92% increased risk for the disease. They also highlighted internal Johnson & Johnson documents dating back to 1964 to prove that the company was aware of the potential danger.

The plaintiff’s lawyer said the plaintiff and he were grateful for the verdict, which included $347 million in punitive damages and $70 million in compensatory damages. The company is facing 5,500 similar claims across the country. It was recently hit with over $300 million in judgments by juries in Missouri alone, where there have been five jury trials about talc-based products. Johnson & Johnson lost four of those trials, which largely were brought by out-of-state plaintiffs. The cases have raised jurisdictional questions after the U.S. Supreme Court issued a ruling in June limiting where personal injury lawsuits can be filed.

This month, the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) consolidated 37 lawsuits alleging exposure to Monsanto’s Roundup weed killer causes cancer. The lawsuits were consolidated in Northern California, where two of the initial lawsuits alleging herbicide caused cancer were filed.The active ingredient in Roundup–glyphosate–has become the most heavily used agricultural chemical in world history. A study published this winter revealed that Americans have applied 1.8 million tons of glyphosate since it was first introduced into the market in 1974. That’s equivalent to the weight of water filling nearly 2,500 Olympic-sized swimming pools and spraying the herbicide on every cultivated acre of land on the planet. Its mass spraying has led to the explosion of resistant weeds, which have evolved to survive despite being sprayed.

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The parents of actor Anton Yelchin — who acts in “Star Trek Beyond” — have filed a lawsuit in L.A. Superior Court against Fiat Chrysler “for the wrongful death of their son due to significant defects.” At a press conference, Yelchin’s attorney indicated that the lawsuit was filed to punish the car company for the defective manufacturing of a 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee that killed Anton.In mid-June of this year, Anton’s car, which was allegedly equipped with a defective electronic transmission shift, rolled out from the driveway of his home and pinned him between a brick pillar and a security fence. He was later found dead.

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Last month, California sued Johnson & Johnson for failing to warn patients and doctors regarding the risks and likelihood of complications resulting from the company’s pelvic mesh devices. The suit also alleges false advertising and knowingly concealing the risks linked to the devices. Specifically, the suit claims that Johnson & Johnson incorrectly marketed the devices as a safe alternative to non-mesh treatments for pelvic floor disorders, while knowing their use could potentially result in a number of side effects, including bleeding and losing sexual function.

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