Articles Posted in Products Liability

Planes rarely crash, but when they do, the damages sustained are usually catastrophic. Plane crashes are typically caused by malfunctioning parts within the aircraft, and in many cases, more than one party bears liability. While parties have the right to seek compensation for losses caused by plane crashes, it may not be evident which jurisdiction’s laws apply to their claims. In a recent Massachusetts opinion, the court explained the analysis it must undergo to assess what laws are applicable. If you lost loved ones in a plane collision, it is in your best interest to contact a Cape Cod personal injury attorney about your options for seeking compensation.

Facts of the Case

It is reported that in October 2015, a plane crashed in Mexico, killing all four people that were aboard. The cause of the crash was determined to be a failure of the plane’s horizontal stabilizer actuator. The plane was owned by a Massachusetts corporation. In 2012, the owner sent the plane to a facility owned by another Massachusetts company, where it underwent an inspection, maintenance, and repairs of various parts, including the plane’s horizontal stabilizer actuator.

Allegedly, representatives of the estates of the people who died in the crash instituted a lawsuit against the owner and repair facility in a Massachusetts court, asserting claims of negligence and breach of warranty. The defendants moved for the court to apply Mexican law to the case, but their motion was denied. Continue Reading ›

People harmed by dangerous products have a right to seek compensation from the entities that developed and sold the defective device. Product liability claims are complicated and typically involve issues beyond the realm of understanding of the average person. As such, in most product liability cases, the plaintiff will need to hire an expert to offer testimony regarding the nature in which the product in question was defective and how the defect caused the harm sustained. If a plaintiff’s expert is precluded from testifying, it may prevent them from establishing liability. Recently, a Massachusetts court discussed the admissibility of expert testimony in product liability cases in a matter arising out of harm caused by a defective motorcycle. If you were injured in an accident caused by a defective product, it is wise to meet with a Cape Cod product liability attorney to discuss what evidence you must produce to recover damages.

The History of the Case

It is reported that in July 2013, the decedent was operating a motorcycle manufactured by the defendant when he collided with another vehicle that was making a U-turn. The impact caused the motorcycle’s fuel tank to burst, which subsequently caused a fire. The decedent sustained second and third-degree burns that required over twenty surgeries to treat. He later died by suicide.

It is alleged that the plaintiff instituted a product liability lawsuit against the defendant on behalf of the decedent’s estate. The defendant moved for the plaintiff’s expert report to be deemed inadmissible and for summary judgment. The court granted both motions, and the plaintiff appealed. Continue Reading ›

Under Massachusetts law, people harmed by defective medical devices can pursue product liability claims against the parties responsible for making and selling them. While proving the liability of the party that manufactured a defective product is relatively straightforward, establishing the fault of a party that merely distributed the defective device can be more challenging. Recently, a Massachusetts court discussed what a plaintiff alleging a defendant sold a defective product must demonstrate to establish negligence. If you suffered harm due to a dangerous device, you have the right to seek damages, and you should meet with a Cape Cod product liability attorney to discuss your possible claims.

The Plaintiff’s Claims

It is reported that the plaintiff underwent a surgical replacement of his hip, which used a hip replacement system designed and produced by the defendant manufacturers and distributed by the defendant seller. He suffered heavy metal poisoning due to the device, which led to pain, bone loss, tissue damage, and other injuries and ultimately required surgical removal. He asserted numerous claims against the defendants in a civil lawsuit, including a negligence claim against the defendant seller. At issue was whether the claims against the defendant seller were sufficient.

In many cases, a person who has been harmed by a dangerous product lives in a state other than the one where the product was created. As a result, if the aggrieved party chooses to sue the manufacturer for damages, the case may be filed in federal court. When determining blame in a product liability case involving parties from several jurisdictions, there are a number of considerations to consider, including which state’s laws apply in the end. A federal court in Massachusetts has outlined the process a court will go through to decide whether state’s laws control the plaintiff’s claims in a case where the plaintiff was injured by a harmful medical device. If you have been hurt by a defective product, you should consult with an experienced Massachusetts personal injury lawyer to see what claims you may be able to file.

Injuries Suffered by the Plaintiff

The complainant had a hernia that needed to be repaired surgically, according to reports. The defendant’s mesh was implanted into her abdomen during the surgery. The mesh eventually broke down, resulting in serious inside damage. She subsequently sued the defendant, claiming carelessness, strict liability for poor manufacturing and design, negligent misrepresentation, and fraudulent concealment, among other things. The action was filed in federal court in Massachusetts because the plaintiff lived in Nebraska and the defendant’s primary business location was in Massachusetts. The defendant then moved for the plaintiff’s claims to be dismissed.

Federal Choice of Law Considerations

The court said that it must first perform a choice of law analysis to identify which state’s laws applied to the plaintiff’s claims before deciding whether they were adequate to defeat the defendant’s request to dismiss. The court must conduct an examination using the forum state’s choice of law rules to determine which laws apply in cases brought in federal court under diverse jurisdiction. Continue Reading ›

Every day, people in Massachusetts are harmed by defective products. As a result, numerous people around the state file product liability cases in an attempt to hold parties who sell unsafe items accountable. In many cases, such lawsuits allege that both state and federal laws have been broken. A Massachusetts court recently reviewed the pleading criteria imposed on a plaintiff asserting state law claims that are comparable to federal law violations. The issue was discussed in a ruling issued in a case where the plaintiff was injured because of defective medical equipment. If you were injured as a result of a defective product, you may be entitled to compensation, and it is in your best interest to speak with a Massachusetts personal injury lawyer about your options.

The Injuries Sustained by the Plaintiff

The plaintiff is said to have taken a supplement created and sold by the defendant. She then experienced serious negative effects, prompting her to initiate a lawsuit against the defendant. She claimed negligence, breach of warranty, failure to warn, and product liability in her complaint. The defendant attempted to dismiss the plaintiff’s claims, claiming that federal law preempted them. The request was denied by the trial court, and the defendant appealed, resulting in a reversal of the trial court’s decision on reasons other than those alleged by the defendant.

Pleading Requirements in Federal Cases With State Law Claims

In cases involving FDA-regulated items, the appeal court concluded that state law claims are not preempted by federal law as long as they parallel rather than complement federal requirements. The court went on to say that in such cases, a plaintiff does not have to establish the particular flaw in the device or the specific federal regulation that was allegedly broken in order for a claim to be successful. Continue Reading ›

In Massachusetts, people hurt at worker can often recover workers’ compensation benefits but are barred from pursuing personal injury claims against their employer by the exclusivity provision of the Workers’ Compensation Act. While the Act may ultimately bar a plaintiff’s claim against her employer, however, a defendant may not be able to prove that it constitutes grounds for dismissal at the onset of the case, as demonstrated in recent Massachusetts opinion in which the court affirmed the denial of the defendant’s motion for judgment on the pleadings. If you suffered bodily harm due to another party’s negligence, it is advisable to speak to a trusted Cape Cod personal injury lawyer to evaluate your options for seeking compensation.

The History of the Case

It is reported that the plaintiff was employed as a machinist for a company that was a wholly-owned subsidiary of the defendant. She suffered injuries while using a machine and subsequently filed a personal injury lawsuit against the defendant, asserting claims of negligence and negligent supervision and averring that it failed to provide a safe workplace, reasonably supervise the worksite, or properly train its employees.

Allegedly, the defendant moved for judgment on the pleadings on the grounds that it was immune from civil liability under the exclusivity provisions of the Massachusetts Worker’s Compensation Act (the Act). The court denied the defendant’s motion, and it appealed. Continue Reading ›

Although car accidents generally arise out of negligent driving, other factors can contribute to the damages sustained in collisions. For example, a defective car part may injure a person involved in an accident. Manufacturers of defective car parts may be deemed responsible for any losses they cause, but they may try to avoid liability by arguing the court in which a lawsuit is filed does not have jurisdiction over them. Recently, a Massachusetts court discussed the exercise of personal jurisdiction over entities that are based in another state in a case in which the plaintiff suffered harm due to a defective headrest. If you were injured in a collision, it is in your best interest to speak to a skilled Cape Cod car accident attorney about your options.

The Plaintiff’s Claims

It is reported that the plaintiff was involved in a car accident while riding in a vehicle manufactured and sold by the defendant car company that had headrests made by the defendant manufacturer. She sustained injuries due to the headrest, which she deemed defective. Thus, she filed a product liability lawsuit against the defendants in the federal district court. The defendant manufacturer moved to dismiss the plaintiff’s claims, arguing in part that the court could not validly exercise personal jurisdiction over it. Upon review, the court granted the defendant’s motion.

Establishing Personal Jurisdiction Over Out of State Defendants

Personal jurisdiction is the term used to define a court’s power to compel parties to abide by its orders. Parties who file a case in a court are deemed to consent to its jurisdiction. In regards to parties who do not consent to a court’s exercise of jurisdiction, though, the Due Process Clause of the constitution protects their liberty interest in not being held to judgments of a forum with which they have no meaningful ties, contacts, or relationships. Continue Reading ›

Under Massachusetts law, a pharmacist or druggist who misfills a prescription can be held liable in a pharmaceutical negligence suit. In such cases, the plaintiff has the burden of proof, and several procedural requirements must be met in order for the plaintiff to prevail. If you or someone in your family has been hurt by the mistake of a drug store or pharmacy, you should talk to a lawyer to learn more about your legal rights. Waiting too long to get legal advice about your case can result in forfeiture of what might otherwise have been a valid and valuable claim for pharmaceutical malpractice.

Facts of the Case

In a recent case initially filed in Massachusetts state court but removed to the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts, the plaintiff was a man who was prescribed the drug Levaquin for treatment of a head cold. Levaquin is a quinolone antibiotic also known as levofloxacin. When the plaintiff attempted to get his prescription filled at the defendant pharmacy, the pharmacist who was on duty received a “hard stop” warning on his computer indicating that the plaintiff was allergic to quinolones. The pharmacist looked into the matter further and saw that there was conflicting information that included a prior statement by the plaintiff to the effect that he “in fact had no quinolone allergy” and had been prescribed quinolones on multiple occasions in the past. As per the defendant’s policy in such situations, the pharmacist exercised his “individual judgment,” ultimately deciding to go ahead and dispense the Levaquin.

After suffering an allergic reaction to the medication, the plaintiff filed suit in state court, seeking $650,000 in compensation for his injuries. After the defendant removed the case to federal court, it moved for summary judgment. The district court found that the case had been properly removed to federal court based on diversity jurisdiction, despite the defendant’s meager settlement offer of $5,000. The court also agreed with the defendant that it was entitled to summary judgment on the plaintiff’s claims for negligence, breach of warranty, and unfair or deceptive practices in violation of Massachusetts General. The plaintiff sought appellate review.
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While the coronavirus pandemic will likely mean that everyone’s holiday season is at least a little bit different this year as compared to years past, there are some things that remain the same. Gifts will be exchanged. Special meals will be planned. Accidents, injuries, and illnesses will happen, possibly triggering a Cape Cod product liability lawsuit.

While not every product mishap will result in an injury or illness significant enough to trigger litigation, some, unfortunately, will. Fortunately, the law provides some protection against unreasonably safe products, provided that the consumer does his or her part to assert a claim in a timely fashion.

As in other types of personal injury litigation, the burden of proof in product injury cases is on the injured individual, so it is important that any evidence concerning the bad product be saved and preserved as possible evidence. Contacting an experienced product liability attorney is also a critical step in the process of receiving fair compensation for medical expenses, lost earnings, pain and suffering, and other damages caused by a defective product.

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In a Cape Cod products liability case, there are likely to be several defendants. This is because several different parties in the chain of distribution – from the manufacturer to the wholesale distributor to the retailer – can potentially be liable to the plaintiff.

While it might seem simpler to name only a single defendant, this is rarely wise. Naming multiple defendants can help ensure that the plaintiff ultimately receives what he or she is due if there is a favorable judgment, even if one or more of the defendants proves to be insolvent or has limited resources for satisfying the plaintiff’s claim.

When there are several defendants, each of whom could potentially be held liable for a plaintiff’s personal injuries, it is not unusual for there to be cross-claims between the defendants as each attempts to limit its own monetary outlay to the plaintiff. Experienced product injury lawyers are well-acquainted with these tactics and understand that this “infighting” between the defendants cannot stand in the way of the injured party’s quest for justice.

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