Each year, product liability cases arise when customers are harmed or injured by using incorrectly manufactured, designed, or stored products. Recently, product liability has been in the news again after it was revealed that some Chinese manufacturers have been knowingly using cadmium – a heavy metal known to cause cancer – in jewelry sold in the US. Defective and dangerous products such as this cause serious harm to US consumers each year. Children’s toys, for example, sometimes cause choking hazards or other harm. Other products have been linked to burn injuries and other serious injuries.
In many cases, a good Florida personal attorney is required to pursue a product liability case, since most companies have multiple insurance and coverage options. As well, many products today are manufactured overseas. When a company is accused of making unsafe products, there is often a blame game being played out. Companies accuse manufacturers (usually located overseas), while manufacturers blame exporters or parent companies. Stores selling the products are also sometimes accused or found to be partly liable.
Trying to determine who is responsible for an unsafe product takes a good attorney and an investigation team. Injured parties often feel that they are not given the answers they need from manufacturers and become frustrated when it appears that companies are allowed to produce such unsafe products with little harm to their reputations.
A recent release by LAS Newswire has revealed that the trend may be changing. The news agency reports that a Bloomberg study has found that juries are ruling in favor of plaintiffs in defective product cases. As well, the study found that the size of the verdicts imposed on large companies has risen. Both trends, say experts, are expected to continue into 2010.
In 2009, large companies had to pay out $620 million in defective product lawsuits in just the top five product-defect verdicts alone, representing a 53% increase over the previous year. Some experts think that the current unemployment rate as well as the economic recession is persuading juries to find against larger companies more often.
In 2009, the five largest verdicts returned in courts involved product liability cases. The largest case was a $300 million verdict against Philip Morris unit in Florida. Clearly, juries are more willing to penalize large companies and reward injury victims who have suffered due to product defects.