Product Liability

1992 Sports-Utility Vehicle/Rollover

M/A v. Doe Corporation, Boston, Massachusetts

$6.5 million dollar settlement: $4.0 million for 23 year-old female driver who suffered brain injury and paraplegia; $2.5 million for wrongful death of her 21 year-old brother/passenger. Plaintiffs allege vehicle was inherently unstable and uncontrollable when making a high speed avoidance maneuver. Vehicle rolled over 5 times and roll bar crushed both driver and passenger. Defendants alleged excessive speed and inattention of the driver.

 

1992 Passenger Van/Rear Gas Tank Explosion

Estate of A, B and C v. Doe Corporation, San Jose, California

$5.75 million dollar settlement for 5 decedents (ages 82, 47, 16, 12 and 8). Van with “hang down/split” gas tank was struck by bullet vehicle traveling at 100+ mph after making an illegal u-turn across an unlit highway at night. Plaintiffs alleged van’s gas tank and fuel neck were defectively designed and that the sliding door’s locking mechanism jammed, trapping the back seat passengers in the van while it burned.

 

1993 Sedan Rollover/Door Latch Failure

James S. v. Doe Corporation, Sacramento, California

$4.0 million dollar settlement for front seat passenger who was rendered paraplegic after being ejected through passenger door during slow speed rollover. Plaintiffs alleged that the door latch was defectively designed and that compressive forces generated during the rollover caused the latch to bypass and the door to open. Defendant alleged that plaintiff was ejected through the passenger window, had suffered his injury by striking the interior roof of the vehicle and was not wearing his seatbelt.

 

Industrial Washing Machine/No Front Loading Door Interlock

Estate of O v. Roe Corporation

$1.5 million settlement for plaintiffs’ decedent, a married 28 year-old father of twins, was killed while loading wet laundry into the subject machine which had to be spun while loading to evenly distribute the load. Plaintiffs alleged that the machine’s front loading door should have been equipped with an electrical “lock-out” device which would prevent the drum from spinning during the loading cycle. Defendant’s manufacturer and supplier/installer, alleged plaintiffs’ decedent was negligent during the loading process by not having another worker help him and that he had wedged a piece of wood into the push button operation control.

 

Industrial Masa Mixer/Failure to Equip with Lock-Out Device

Estate of G. v. Doe Corporation, San Bernardino, California

$1.0 million dollar (policy limits) settlement for family of decedent who was killed when a coworker turned on a top loading mixer machine while decedent was still inside cleaning it. Plaintiffs alleged that the top loading door should have been equipped with an electric “lock-out” which would have prevented the mixer drum from turning when the top door was open.

 

Industrial Stamping Machine/Failure to Equip with Applicable Guards

E.M. v. Doe Corporation, Los Angeles, California

$2.0 million dollar settlement for 52 year-old machine worker ($1.5 million) and wife ($100,000) and waiver of Workers Compensation lien ($400,000). Machine worker lost 4 fingers of left/minor hand and his wife claimed loss of consortium. Plaintiffs alleged that the portion of the machine which stamped the copper plates fed by a conveyor was not properly guarded and should have been equipped with a barrier guard.

 

2007 Automobile/Motorcycle Collision Lorenzo G. v. Roe City, et al.

Wrongful death and survival action arising out of an automobile/motorcycle collision between Elisa G. and motorcyclist on October 4, 2007. Plaintiffs contended that defendants were negligent by creating and maintaining a dangerous condition in the intersection of Faculty Avenue and Carson Street in the City of Long Beach, California. This dangerous condition was created by the grossly negligent placement of unneeded construction barricades that obstructed the view of east and west bound traffic to vehicles preparing for and turning onto Faculty Avenue. Unfortunately, Elisa G. was severely burned due to the accident and died 30 days later after succumbing to her burn injuries.

Defendants alleged that the sole cause of the accident was the speed of the motorcyclist, which they estimated was in excess of 80 mph, combined with an illegal and unsafe left hand turn by decedent Elisa G. Plaintiffs’ counsel invested great time and resources to establish liability on behalf of the defendant contractors and city. The case settled for a combined $2.6 million in June of 2008.