Articles Posted in Product Liability

In cases arising out of defective products, both the claims and defenses largely hinge on evidence that suggests or disproves liability. As such, in many instances, a plaintiff will attempt to introduce evidence of other harmful events caused by the product in question and any litigation that arises out of such incidents. In turn, defendants will typically fight to exclude such evidence, arguing that it is prejudicial. In a recent Florida ruling, the court addressed the admissibility of a settlement agreement in a case involving a defective product in subsequent litigation involving that product. If you suffered harm because of a faulty or dangerous device, you might be owed significant compensation, and it is smart to meet with a skillful Florida product liability lawyer to assess what evidence you may be able to use in support of your claims.

Facts of the Underlying Case

It is reported that plaintiffs filed a lawsuit against the defendant, asserting that it manufactured and sold earplugs that were dangerous. Specifically, it is alleged that the earplugs failed to actually block noise as intended, resulting in tinnitus, hearing loss, and other damages. Another lawsuit, referred to as a whistleblower or qui tam action, was filed against the defendant as well. In the qui tam case it was alleged that the defendant knew that the earplugs were defective and continued to sell them regardless. The qui tam action ultimately settled.

Allegedly, prior to trial, the defendant filed numerous motions seeking to preclude the plaintiff from introducing certain evidence at trial. In part, the defendant argued that evidence of the allegations in the qui tam complaint and the qui tam settlement should be excluded as irrelevant, unduly prejudicial, and inadmissible hearsay. Continue reading ›

Dangerous devices injure people throughout Florida daily. In many instances, the injured party will pursue a product liability claim against the manufacturer of the product. Usually, a plaintiff alleging a product was unreasonably dangerous must produce expert testimony in support of the assertion. A proposed expert must have certain qualifications, though, otherwise, he or she may be precluded from testifying. This was demonstrated in a recent Florida opinion in which the court discussed the admission of expert testimony in product liability cases. If you were hurt by a dangerous product, you could be owed damages, and it is advisable to meet with a skillful Florida product liability attorney to assess your options.

The Plaintiff’s Harm

It is reported that the plaintiff was operating a forklift manufactured by the defendant. The forklift had an open area that allowed for entry and exit without a door. Additionally, it was operated by holding the brake pedal down. The plaintiff lost control and collided with the end of the storage rack. His leg was crushed between the forklift and the rack, and he sustained severe injuries.

Allegedly, the plaintiff then filed a product liability lawsuit against the defendant, arguing that the design of the forklift was defective and that reasonable alternative safer designs were available. Specifically, they argued that the forklift should have a barrier that prevented a person’s leg from leaving the body of the forklift during operation and two brake pedals, one of which was for emergency braking. Following discovery, the defendant moved to preclude the plaintiff’s experts from testifying. The motions were ultimately denied in part and granted in part. Continue reading ›

When a dangerous product causes an injury, the injured person will often file a civil lawsuit seeking damages from the product manufacturer. Typically, the injured party and the manufacturer will reside in different states. Thus, the question of which state’s law applies will often have to be resolved by the courts. Recently, a Florida court addressed the issue of what state’s laws apply with regard to punitive damages claims in a product liability case filed against a Massachusetts company. If you were harmed by an unsafe product, you might be owed damages, and it is in your best interest to meet with a trusted Florida product liability attorney to discuss your rights.

The Plaintiff’s Harm

It is reported that the plaintiff underwent a procedure during which transvaginal mesh produced by the defendant was implanted to treat urinary incontinence. She then suffered severe side effects and filed a lawsuit as a product liability against the defendant in a district court in Florida. As part of her complaint, she sought punitive damages. Over a year into the litigation of the matter, the defendant filed a motion asking the court to govern the punitive damages claim under Massachusetts law. Ultimately, the court denied the motion.

Choice of Law Analysis in Product Liability Cases

The court explained that parties could stipulate to, or waive, the law that will govern claims or issues in a federal diversity case. In the subject case, the court noted that the defendant’s motion was untimely, as it was filed several months after the deadline for dispositive motions had passed. Additionally, it was not filed due to new facts, as the defendant possessed the information that formed the basis of its request since the onset of the case. Thus, the court denied the motion as untimely.

Continue reading ›

Dangerous products often lead to the untimely demise of the people who use them. If a person dies due to the use of an unsafe product, the personal representative of the person’s estate will typically choose to pursue claims against the manufacturer of the product. In some instances, a  defendant in a product liability case may attempt to introduce evidence that the deceased person engaged in unsavory behavior in order to reduce its liability. Evidence must be relevant to be admissible, however, and even relevant evidence may be precluded if it is unduly prejudicial, as demonstrated recently in a Florida court’s ruling. If you lost a loved one because of a dangerous product, it is advisable to speak to a trusted Florida product liability attorney to assess your options.

The Claims Against the Defendant and Evidence of Marital Strife

It is reported that the plaintiff’s decedent smoked cigarettes that were manufactured and distributed by the defendant for approximately fifty years. He eventually contracted lung cancer, which ultimately caused his death. The plaintiff, who was married to the decedent, filed a lawsuit against the defendant manufacturer, alleging numerous claims, including negligence and strict liability.

It is alleged that, prior to trial, the plaintiff filed a motion to preclude the defendant from introducing evidence about the decedent’s infidelity and the couple’s marital problems, including their divorce and remarriage. The court granted the motion on the grounds that as the events happened long ago, they were irrelevant and were highly prejudicial because it painted the decedent in a poor light. A jury found in favor of the plaintiff, and the defendant appealed, arguing in part that the trial court erred precluding in testimony regarding the couple’s relationship.

Continue reading ›

Each day, people are injured throughout Florida by use of defective products. In many instances, people harmed by an unsafe device or machine are able to file product liability lawsuits to pursue damages from the product’s manufacturer. Typically, a plaintiff in a product liability case will need to retain an expert to testify as to the manner in which the product was unsafe. In a recent case, a Florida court discussed the parameters for admitting expert opinions regarding alternative designs. If you were hurt by an unsafe product, you may be able to recover damages and should consult a capable Florida product liability attorney as soon as possible.

History of the Case

It is reported that the plaintiff worked as the manager of the meat-market at a supermarket in Florida. During a busy Sunday, he was cutting meat with a band saw manufactured by the defendant. He became distracted and turned away from the saw. When he returned to the saw, he reached for a tool, and his arm was amputated by the saw’s unguarded blade. The plaintiff then filed a product liability lawsuit against the defendant, alleging that the design of the saw was unsafe.

It is alleged that during the trial, the plaintiff presented expert testimony regarding other designs the defendant could have employed that would have been safer. The defendant asked the court to provide the jury with a state of the art defense instruction, but the court declined. The jury found in favor of the plaintiff, and the defendant appealed on several grounds, including the argument that the trial court erred in declining the provide the jury with the requested instruction.

Continue reading ›

Contact Information