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Articles Posted in Products Liability

prescription drugsA Cape Code product liability lawsuit can arise from many different types of products, including prescription medications. Drug-based product liability cases can involve products that were defectively designed or manufactured, but more often they may claim that the manufacturer failed to warn consumers of possible complications from usage of the medication.

Of course, the plaintiff has the burden of proving that the defendant is liable for his or her injuries, and this can be a challenge in many cases. If the plaintiff’s complaint does not alleged sufficient facts to support a viable cause of action against the defendant, the trial court may dismiss the plaintiff’s case.

Facts of the Case

In a case recently ruled upon by the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts, the plaintiff was a man who claimed that he suffered serious side effects from a prescription medication and that the defendants, a drug manufacturer and a research and development company, failed to warn him of these possible issues. The drug in question was Risperdal, which is an anti-psychotic drug. The plaintiff, who is an inmate at a correctional institution in Bridgewater, Massachusetts, was purportedly prescribed the drug due to a diagnosis of a personality disorder. According to the plaintiff, the drug caused him to gain weight, have tremors, and develop gynecomastia (increased breast tissue).

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carsA Massachusetts product liability lawsuit can arise from a wide array of defective products. Sometimes, these products are the subject of a recall by the manufacturer or a governmental entity, but often they are not.

Nevertheless, it is wise to stay abreast of the latest recalls in order to avoid possible safety issues concerning consumer products, motor vehicles, foods, or other items.

Vehicle Recalls Recently Issues

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration maintains a website that lists all of the latest recalls for cars, trucks, sport utility vehicles, vans, and the like. You can search for recalls specific to your automobile if you have the vehicle identification number (VIN). Recent recalls include certain Chevrolet Silverados and Tahoes, which may develop a loose or inoperative brake pedal. Because this could result in a crash, vehicle owners should contact General Motors for information on having a repair made.

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In personal injury and wrongful death cases, there are sometimes multiple theories of liability. In a Cape Cod product liability case, for instance, the plaintiff may allege that the defendant manufacturer was negligent in the design of an unreasonably dangerous product and that the defendant should be held accountable for its failure to warn the consumer of the dangerous propensity of the product in question. These theories are not necessarily inconsistent.

Sometimes, however, a plaintiff may have to decide between legal theories that could be considered inconsistent. A recent case explored the complications that can arise in such situations.

Facts of the Case

Legal News GavelApproximately seven out of every 10 Americans take a prescription medication. While the majority of these drugs are reasonably safe (virtually every medicine has some side effect), there has been a trend in recent years for drugs to be put on the market before the full effects are adequately studied.

A number of Massachusetts product liability lawsuits have arisen as a result of personal injuries or wrongful deaths allegedly caused by prescription medications. One common claim in such lawsuits is an allegation that the patient was not adequately warned of the medication’s side effects. A complication arises, however, when the patient takes a generic version of a drug. This is because federal law requires that a generic drug provide an identical label to its name-brand counterpart, even though the drugs may be made by different manufacturers.

Facts of the Case

Legal News GavelThe National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is an arm of the federal government whose mission is to save lives, prevent injuries, and reduce costs due to traffic crashes. The entity’s website lists many statistics illustrating its success, including a “safety success” of decreasing Massachusetts fatal car accidents in rural towns by 48% in 2015.

As part of its task of keeping people safe on America’s roadways, the NHTSA issues recalls of vehicles, car seats, tires, and equipment that may pose a risk to the public. Sometimes, a recall affects only a few products, but other times millions of consumers may potentially be affected. Either way, it pays to stay up to date on the latest information issued by the NHTSA.

Toyota Recalls 65,000 Tundras/Sequoias

seasonal decorThe holiday season can be both joyous and stressful. Shopping, decorating, and social obligations can be challenging enough without the added issue of a potentially dangerous or defective product.

Unfortunately, product recalls do not have a “season,” and a Cape Cod product liability attorney can tell you that an accident can happen just as easily during this time of the year as any other. Thus, it is important to be ever-vigilant about the vehicle you drive to the mall for your holiday shopping, the food you arrange on the party buffet, and even the gifts you pass along to friends and family.

Recent Recalls for Automobiles

Legal News GavelA Cape Cod product liability lawsuit can arise from something small and simple or from something large and complex. If the product in question is of the more complex variety, it is possible that there may be multiple defendants involved, especially if the product was made of many different pieces. In cases involving multiple component parts, the issue of who had a duty to warn of the end product’s propensity for harm can be very complex.

Facts of the Case

In a case recently considered by the Appeals Court of Massachusetts, the plaintiff was the executrix of a man who was found dead underneath a dump truck. The decedent’s clothing was allegedly caught up in a spinning joint on the truck, and his cause of death was reportedly accidental asphyxiation. The plaintiff filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the defendants, the manufacturer of the original version of the truck (which the court described as “stripped down”), and the maker of a part of the system used to tilt the dump body of the truck, asserting product liability claims sounding in negligence and failure to warn. The trial court granted summary judgment to the defendants.

Legal News GavelWhile not every dangerous or defective product is recalled by its manufacturer, it is a good idea to occasionally check the government’s “Recent Recalls” list. It only takes a few minutes, and it could provide important information about a defect in a vehicle, food item, tire, child safety seat, or other product.

Cape Cod product liability lawsuits sometimes involve recalled products, but often the product in question has not been the subject of a recall. (Product liability claims include theories such as breach of warranty, manufacturing defect, design defect, failure to warn, negligence, or strict liability.)

Strollers and Motorcycle Handlebars Could Cause Injuries

Legal News GavelThe United States prescription drug industry generates billions of dollars in revenue per year. Statistically speaking, about one in two Americans used a prescribed medication during the last month, and about one in four used three or more drugs.

There are two ways to look at this situation. The more positive approach is to be thankful that we live in a time when so many medical conditions can be treated by the use of pharmaceuticals. The more skeptical approach is to consider whether we really need all of that medicine, or whether “Big Pharma” (as it is sometimes called) is more about money than benevolence.

Either way, one thing is for sure:  not all drugs are safe for all patients. Even medications that have gone through all of the required testing sometimes cause considerable harm and even death, inevitably leading to Massachusetts product liability lawsuits in Cape Cod and elsewhere.

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Typically, a worker who is hurt on the job is limited to benefits available to him or her under the Massachusetts workers’ compensation laws. However, there are a few limited circumstances under which a third party may be liable in tort for the employee’s injuries.

One of these circumstances arises when a defective product was to blame for the worker’s injuries. Additionally, in some cases, the general contractor on a construction project may also be liable for the injuries of a subcontractor’s employee.

Of course, liability is never automatic, and these defendants – like most defendants who are facing the payout of a substantial verdict due to another person’s injuries – usually fight hard against a finding that they are legally responsible.

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