Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Nationwide
While federal regulation and legislation aims to protect consumers from
dangerous product defects, it is our legal system that is often responsible
for exposing the safety hazards that manufacturers conceal. Product injury
litigation shines a bright light on manufacturers and corporations whose
dangerous drugs, medical devices, automobiles, and other defective products
have continually harmed consumers. Two of the most recent examples of
this in action are the GM ignition switch malfunction and the Toyota accelerator defect.
GM recalled more than 2.6 million vehicles when it was finally exposed
that their ignition switch could inadvertently shut down the engine, thus
disabling the air bags, power brakes, and power steering. The defect itself
was not exposed by engineers from GM or the NHTSA—but rather after
a lawsuit was filed. Now, GM has admitted to knowing about the deadly
defect for more than 10 years.
Toyota makers have a similar story. The defect surfaced 5 years ago, but
the company blamed driver error and a floor mat and pedal design. Plaintiff
attorneys from across the country and industry expert engineers have pointed
to an accelerator defect and subsequently filed more than 500 injury lawsuits
against Toyota. Toyota has since recalled 6.8 million vehicles.
While corporations and large manufacturers continue to lobby for tort reform,
it is clear that litigation has tremendous value in protecting consumers
from unsafe products. It has taken injury lawsuits to expose the defects
in child safety seats, asbestos products, medical devices, and prescription drugs.
Businesses and large corporations work diligently to keep safety rules
and regulations weak-this increases their profits and their ability to
rush products to market. Yet product-injury litigation continues to aid
regulators in identifying and curbing unsafe products from continually
harming consumers. Through class action lawsuits, multi-district litigation,
and individual injury lawsuits, negligent corporations are kept in check
and consumers kept out of harms way.