For many of us, 2016 was a year we are more than happy to put behind us.
An unprecedented number of artists and public figures were lost, mass
shootings were rampant, government failed consumers time after time in
instances like the Flint water crisis, and we have faced a seemingly never-ending
stream of product recalls. While vehicle air bags took the biggest hit
of the year, other companies had their own problems with defective products.
Johnson & Johnson Baby Powder Lawsuits
Johnson & Johnson has recently taken one hit after another for drugs
and medical devices marketed by their subsidiaries which have been found
to be dangerous to consumers, however the talcum powder lawsuits are all
on J & J. Women who have used Johnson & Johnson baby powder with
talc for a considerable length of time in the perineal area, could be
exposing themselves to ovarian cancer. More than 45 years ago, British
researchers found talc particles deeply embedded in ten out of 13 ovarian
tumors. Despite the fact that subsequent studies had similar findings,
and that several doctors expressed the opinion there was a significant
risk of ovarian cancer for women using J & J talcum powder for feminine
hygiene, the company continued selling the product. In 2016, three plaintiffs
were awarded $72 million, $55 million and nearly $70 million by Missouri jurors.
2016 Air Bag Recalls
Takata, a Japanese company, issued what was considered to be the largest
auto safety recall in history, recalling more than 100,000,000 air bag
inflators—yes, that is
one hundred million. Nineteen different automakers were forced to recall front airbags made
by Takata, and installed in cars between the years of 2001 and 2015. These
Takata air bags were found to explosively deploy, causing eleven deaths,
and more than 180 serious injuries in the United States alone.
It appears Takata constructed the air bags without a chemical drying agent,
meaning that moisture in the environment, high temperatures and age could
lead to the air bags improperly inflating, sending metal shards into the
vehicle and the occupants. Although the Takata air bag situation has been
ongoing for more than two years, in December 2016 a more “aggressive”
recall schedule was announced by the Department of Transportation. This
recall schedule targeted the vehicle models with the highest risk of malfunction.
Honda may have taken the largest hit in the Takata air bag debacle in the
U.S., as nine of the eleven Takata-related deaths occurred in Acura and
Honda models, resulting in a recall by Honda of more than 11 million vehicles.
The involved automakers have prioritized resources in the recall, focusing
on high-humidity areas first. Some estimate it could take until 2023 for
all recalled Takata airbags to be repaired or replaced.
While Takata faced the largest air bag recall, other companies had their
own air bag troubles. In June 2016, Toyota recalled 3,370,000 vehicles
due to defective air bags and emission control units, and Nissan recalled
3,530,000 vehicles in April 2016 due to passenger-side airbags which might
not properly deploy. In September 2016, GM recalled 4,300,000 vehicles
due to software issues with air bags.
General Motors Switch Litigation
GM was hit hard in 2016—in addition to the air bag recall, faulty
ignition switches in GM vehicles were linked to 124 deaths and 274 serious
injuries. There were 234 injury and wrongful death lawsuits consolidated
into an MDL in Manhattan. Of the six GM switch bellwether trials set for
2016, one was withdrawn by the plaintiff, three were settled by GM, and
GM was victorious in two of the trials.
As of January 2017, GM has paid out more than $2 billion in criminal and
civil penalties and settlements. In July, a ruling from the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in NY found that GM was not protected from
the influx of lawsuits through bankruptcy filings. Although GM is fighting
that decision, some predict the amount GM will be paying out when all
is said and done to be as high as $10 billion.
There have been many more product recalls, such as the recall of 2,500,000
Samsung Galaxy Note 7 cell phones, which were found to randomly catch
fire, as well as 2,800,000 Samsung top-loading washing machines which
were found to malfunction and injure those standing near the washers.
If you or a loved one have been injured by a defective product, it is
important that you contact an experienced product liability attorney as
soon as possible, to discuss your options.
Product Liability Lawyers
If you have suffered injury or harm because of a defective product, food
recall, or faulty medical device, it could be extremely beneficial to
speak to an experienced product liability attorney who can help you recover
damages for your medical expenses, lost wages and pain and suffering.
Call the product liability lawyers at Golomb & Honik today for a consultation
and to learn about your legal options. Our goal is to get you the greatest
maximum recovery for your physical and emotional suffering.
To learn more about your legal options or to schedule a free consultation call the
Philadelphia product liability lawyers at Golomb & Honik today at
1-800-355-3300 or 1-215-985-9177 or fill out our confidential
The national product liability lawyers at Golomb & Honik have successfully
represented individuals in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and
throughout the United States.