Product liability cases occur when a product with a defect causes an injury. We handled either the first or one of the first GM ignition switch cases. We have handled gun, saw and automobile cases, among others.
YOU MUST KEEP THE PRODUCT.
When I was about 10, my dad bought a shaped fiberglass disc to ride on behind the boat. It was a blast, at least, until the ski rope broke and it split open my chin. My daddy took an axe to it. He wasn’t going to sue anybody, but after that he couldn’t have. I still have the scar and like most boys raised in the south, didn’t mind a bit.
Joel and I had a truck driver who was badly injured when his 2005 Kenworth cab failed to protect him in a wreck. The truck was sold for salvage and we were not able to have the truck inspected. The wreck was not his fault, but it wouldn’t have mattered if it had been. That’s what makes these cases interesting. We all tend to look at who was careless as the cause of accident, but safety products must perform regardless of who caused the accident. The first case where the court system really saw the light was when an intoxicated motorcyclist had a wreck and his helmet failed. Initially the court threw the case out. Someone was finally able to explain that the helmet he was wearing was intended to protect him regardless of how the accident happened.
Some cases involve the role of the product itself. A steering wheel failure may cause an accident while a seatbelt that fails is a failure of a product intended to protect the occupant. Therefore, with cars and trucks there are basically two types of cases. The first are defects that cause accidents such as unintended acceleration or vehicle instability causing a rollover. The second category is the failure of the vehicle to protect the occupants. Both of these are ‘crashworthiness” cases.
Any auto or truck case involving death or serious injury should be evaluated. In most cases the vehicle is probably not the cause. However, there are known defects in some vehicles. We either know or can find out about that particular failure through the use of an expert.
However, we have to have the product that failed for inspection. When that truck was lost to us, so was the case and it could have replaced his income and helped his family care for him.