Articles Posted in Product Liability

Comparative-Negligence-Blog-scaledLiability in personal injury cases is often unclear and ambiguous. This is because a defendant may not be entirely responsible for the accident. It is not uncommon for plaintiffs to be partially at-fault too. Fortunately, victims may still be eligible to recover compensation for their damages even if they were partly to blame. When applying the legal doctrine of comparative negligence, also known as comparative fault, a plaintiff that contributed to their accident would still be awarded compensation for their damages. However, the total amount would be reduced based on their share of fault. Whether you have been hurt in a car crash, construction accident, slip and fall, or any other mishap, comparative negligence can significantly impact the compensation you obtain. 

Common Comparative Fault Claims

When a defendant can successfully demonstrate that the plaintiff shared some responsibility for an accident, they will not have to pay the full jury award. Consequently, comparative negligence is one of the most prevalent affirmative defenses raised in personal injury litigation. Some situations where plaintiffs might be considered comparatively negligent include:

DUTY-OF-CARE-scaledTo prove fault in most personal injury lawsuits, a plaintiff must show that the defendant was negligent. Victims have the burden of demonstrating four legal elements to prove negligence. The first element of negligence is the at-fault party’s duty of care. Typically, this is one of the easiest elements to prove because everyone has a basic obligation to avoid unnecessarily injuring others. The duty to act appropriately is relevant in almost every situation and is often assumed by being in another’s vicinity. In other words, you must implement the same degree of caution and consideration that a reasonable person would exercise given the same situation. Someone does not need to assume the duty of care to another party voluntarily. It can be imposed just by being in a specific place at a specific time.  

Breaching The Duty Of Care 

The defendant does not need to know you to owe you reasonable care. However, the duty can be based on the relationship of the parties. Additionally, according to New York law, those in certain positions or professions can be held to a higher standard of care to prevent harm. After determining that a defendant owed you a duty of care, you must show how they breached it. A breach arises when an individual’s actions or inactions fail to meet the appropriate standard of care. When a defendant is required to act a certain way and fails to do so, they may be regarded as having breached their duty. Depending on the circumstances, the standard can be breached in numerous ways. Some common examples of breaches include: 

Compensation-300x200Victims often turn to personal injury claims to recoup their losses after being injured in accidents. If the verdict is in the plaintiff’s favor, they can obtain a monetary award for their losses. One type of damage awarded to victims is called compensatory damages. Compensatory damages are designed to pay victims money to cover the costs related to their injuries and other losses. In other words, this type of damage is awarded to compensate plaintiffs for the actual losses they have suffered. For instance, if a careless motorist smashed into your car and totaled it, the compensatory damages would equal the fair market value of your vehicle when it was demolished, minus the salvage value or any usable parts. The two types of compensatory damages that courts can award to plaintiffs are special damages and general damages.

Special Damages 

Special damages are quantifiable and easily calculated because they are based upon the actual costs incurred by a victim because of the accident. These damages are intended to replace everything that was lost and nothing more. In addition to hospital bills and other medical expenses, victims can obtain compensation for damage to property, lost wages, and other related out-of-pocket expenses. The amount awarded to a victim is based on a set formula because these losses can be easily proven and verified by concrete evidence. Some other common examples of special damages include:

Choose-the-right-lawyer-300x200Victims suffer injuries in tens of millions of severe accidents every year, such as slips and falls, collisions, and dog bites. Most of these injuries are caused by someone else’s negligence or even recklessness. The consequences of being involved in an accident can range from serious personal injuries and post-traumatic stress disorder to the destruction of property and costly hospital bills. Over 40 million accident victims require medical care due to various personal injuries each year. If you or a loved one have been injured due to someone else’s negligence, you may be wondering what type of lawyer to call.

Personal Injury Attorneys Help Accident Victims

If you, or a family member, have been injured in an accident that was caused by another’s carelessness, a personal injury lawyer is someone who can provide you with legal representation. Personal injury lawyers specialize in tort law, including negligent and intentional acts. This type of attorney focuses on pursuing monetary compensation for accident victims through civil litigation. It is crucial to choose a lawyer who has significant experience litigating the type of injury related to your case.

Sleep-Apnea-Replacement-300x224Approximately 18 million adults throughout the country suffer from obstructive sleep apnea. Which, when left untreated, can lead to acute health complications, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, cardiomyopathy, heart failure, and stroke. Many sleep apnea sufferers rely on airway pressure machines to prevent upper airway tissues from collapsing and increase their oxygen levels. However, in June 2021, Philips Respironics, a chief manufacturer of sleep apnea treatment devices, issued a voluntary recall of as many as 4 million devices due to hazardous components. The company’s recalled breathing machines contain a polyester-based polyurethane (PE-PUR) foam known for degrading into tiny black particles and placing users in unnecessary danger of inhaling toxic gases or ingesting carcinogens. Consequently, users scrambled to secure alternative sleep apnea machines, which abruptly went into short supply. Since then, numerous lawsuits have been filed alleging that Phillips was aware of the above hazards for years but postponed recalling the devices until they could manufacture safer ones. 

The FDA Warns That Silicone-Based Foam May Be Hazardous

As part of the recall, Philips promised to replace or repair the affected devices. In September, the company began producing and distributing replacement devices to users. Based on lab results provided by Philips, which demonstrated acceptable outcomes, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a silicone-based foam for the repair and replacement program. Nevertheless, after an inspection of Philips’ Murrysville facility, the FDA warned that the use of silicone-based foam in substitute sleep apnea devices might also be unsafe. The FDA expressed concern after a similar silicone-based foam in a replacement device failed safety tests because it released potentially toxic vapors. The FDA has requested Philips to commission an independent research lab to conduct further analysis on the new foam to determine the potential dangers. 

Face-Wound-Dressing-300x200Unfortunately, even after an accident victim’s initial pain subsides, they could be left with permanent scarring and other disfigurements. Most scarring is caused by damage to the skin, such as scratches, abrasions, and puncture wounds. Depending upon the severity and location of the scar, it can significantly impact a victim’s ability to work and even perform routine tasks. Besides being a constant reminder of the traumatic injury, even the slightest alterations in a victim’s appearance can bring about overwhelming depression and emotional pain. Victims with scars in prominent places, such as the head, face, neck, or hands often struggle with terrible self-esteem and anxiety.  

Leading Causes Of Scarring And Disfigurement

The impact of scarring and disfiguring injuries can last the victim’s entire lifetime. Scarring is a normal part of the healing process. Just about any wound, burn, or other trauma, such as surgery, can result in scar tissue. After an accident, the most common types of scarring and disfigurement injuries include:

Leg-Cast-with-Crutches-300x200Approximately 40 million accident victims require medical treatment for an assortment of personal injuries each year. With numerous types of accident-related damages, some have the potential to drastically alter victims’ lives forever. Most personal injuries result from accidents involving another’s negligence. Unfortunately, negligence can cause innocent victims to suffer severe injuries, which lead to costly hospital bills, rehabilitation, pain and suffering, and lost wages from missing work.  

The Five Most Prevalent Types Of Personal Injury Accidents

  1. Car Crashes: Car accident claims are the most common personal injury cases in Buffalo, New York, and throughout the country. Every year, millions of victims sustain severe injuries due to car crashes. Collisions are often caused by careless or irresponsible driving practices, such as distracted driving, driving while sleep-deprived, driving under the influence, and speeding.  

Paraquat1-300x200As the number of claims filed continues to multiply, the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation has ordered all paraquat lawsuits to be consolidated. The paraquat multidistrict litigation, MDL No. 3004, will be administered by the Honorable Nancy J. Rosenstengel at the United States District Court for the Southern District of Illinois. The Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation’s decision indicates that paraquat lawsuits are rapidly building momentum and could soon develop into a mass tort.

How Is Multidistrict Litigation Beneficial?

When personal injury or product liability cases affect large numbers of plaintiffs, the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation can implement special pretrial proceedings known as multidistrict litigation. In which multiple claims sharing common legal issues are provisionally combined and moved to a district court. The chosen district court supervises the discovery and pretrial litigation for the group of cases. Multidistrict litigation helps conserve resources while supporting consistent court rulings for different claims involving similar matters of law. By eliminating duplicate discovery demands, depositions, and other pretrial procedures, they help streamline cases. Upon completion of pretrial proceedings, several lawsuits may be designated to serve as bellwether trials. The judgments from the bellwether trials often serve as a basis for possible settlement amounts in the remaining claims. Unsettled lawsuits are transferred back to be tried at the courts of original jurisdiction. While the issues surrounding the plaintiffs’ injuries are similar, the injuries can vary in severity. Thus, multidistrict litigations provide victims with an opportunity to address the nature of their damages independently.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA), in conjunction with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), is investigating a multistate outbreak of potentially dangerous bacteria. Hand soaps linked to Burkholderia Cepacia infections, sold at Walmart and other retailers, were voluntarily recalled over health concerns. B. Cepacia is the name given for at least 20 different species of bacteria that are often antibiotic-resistant.

Antibiotic resistance is one of the biggest public health threats of modern times. Unfortunately, roughly 2.8 million victims contract antibiotic-resistant infections, and over 35,000 of those suffer fatalities each year. According to the CDC, B. Cepacia is found in soil and water, but contaminated medicines usually cause human infections. Although B. Cepacia poses minimal risk to healthy individuals, those with certain sicknesses, such as cancer, cystic fibrosis, and weakened immune systems, may be more vulnerable to infections, which can cause severe lung disease and even death.

What Scent Theory Products are Contaminated? 

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