Articles Posted in Product Liability

Recently, a man filed a Maine personal injury lawsuit against Ford Motor Company claiming that the defective design of a lawnmower caused a blade to fly off a mower and strike his leg. According to a local news report, the man was bicycling with his son when a pickup truck towing a trailer with a mower passed them. The blade on the mower came loose, struck the man, and severed his leg. The impact was so severe that the man may have bled to death. However, in a fortuitous turn of events, a nurse happened to witness the incident. The nurse stopped and used a beach towel as a tourniquet until further emergency help arrived. Although the man survived, he required amputation above the knee.

Following the accident, the victim filed a lawsuit against the mower’s manufacturer, the Ford Motor Company. The complaint alleged that the mower was defectively designed because there was no backup mechanism to prevent this type of accident. The mower’s design allowed the blade to drop when transported in an upright position. The plaintiff argued that the manufacturer should have designed a backup mechanism to ensure that the blade did not drop during transportation. Further, the plaintiff pointed out that the factory-installed safety device failed, and the manufacturer did not provide any warning to users that this type of accident could occur.

There are generally four types of product liability lawsuits in Maine; including:

The manufacturer of a popular infant jogging stroller model was the subject of a Washington Post investigation shedding light into how the company resisted a product recall despite more than 100 reports of serious stroller injuries (adults, infants and children) over six years, along with U.S. regulators demands that the manufacturer warn consumers and remove the product from shelves. As longtime Bangor child injury attorneys, such revelations are deeply troubling, but not wholly surprising. The report indicated that shifting federal policies toward more relaxed regulatory standards have the potential to allow manufacturers of dangerous products to go unchecked by public and consumer safety agencies for longer stretches at a time.

Our Maine defective product attorneys help equalize the playing field between huge corporations with an army of defense attorneys and individual consumers harmed by unsafe, defective products. It’s important to note: a product doesn’t have to be recalled in order for someone to file a lawsuit, particularly when there is an extensive on-the-record pattern of severe injuries involving similar causes over a period of time, as was allegedly the case here.

Often one of the biggest issues in these cases is whether a defendant adequately warned the public about a danger they knew/reasonably should have known about. If they actively tried to conceal it, this can even be grounds for punitive damages (intended to penalize a defendant for egregious wrongs, versus compensatory damages intended solely to make a person “whole” for losses sustained).

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An auto accident in Waterville is being blamed on a mechanical failure. 

According to the Kennebec Journal, the problem had to do with the front end of a Volkswagon Jetta. The 31-year-old driver  reported he was operating the vehicle on North Street when he suddenly described feeling in the steering wheel as if he’d struck a pothole. He swerved and struck a large white van head-on.

Inside the van, the 62-year-old driver and two passengers sustained minor injuries. One was transported the hospital. Incredibly, the driver of the Jetta wasn’t seriously hurt.

Police investigators reported there was no pothole in the area. However, they came to the conclusion that a mechanical failure in the vehicle was responsible for the collision.

Both vehicles had to be towed from the scene.  Continue reading

A man whose son died soon after Bangor police officers used a Taser on him in an effort to wrangle him into custody has filed a lawsuit, naming not only the city police, alleging unnecessary force, but also the maker of the device, asserting the product is inherently dangerous.

The case of McCue v. City of Bangor et al has been filed in Maine’s U.S. District Court, with the father seeking $6.5 million in damages.

Bangor wrongful death lawyers know that in-custody deaths are often the result of violence, improper use of restraint or failure on the part of the institution to have the proper policies or protections in place. This claim is somewhat unique in that it incorporates a product liability claim as well.

There may be defective products in your home and you might not even know about it.

We’re talking about defective products that can cause serious injuries in Bangor and elsewhere. Remember the recall that was made earlier this month regarding the inflatable pool slides that were sold by both Walmart and Toys ‘R’ Us?sThe recall of those products didn’t even come until after someone died and several others were injured.

Sometimes that’s just how it works, unfortunately. It’s important for consumers to stay in the loop with the latest recalls to help to make sure that everyone in their home is safe from dangerous products.Unfortunately, even when consumers know about recalls not many return the product or take it in to have the necessary repairs done. As a matter of fact, only about 10 percent of recalled products ever leave a consumer’s home.

Our Bangor product liability attorneys understand that many times it’s up to the consumer to stay educated about dangerous products. Take the recall of the furnaces back in February. Back then, there were about 200,000 furnaces that were recalled, with the same ones being recalled eight years prior. Still, more than 90 percent of the close to 400 accident reports came after the initial recall. This is serious business and consumers need to take these recalls seriously.

“We know that the majority of products that are recalled remain in consumers’ homes,” says Kids in Danger’s Nancy Cowles.

Why don’t consumers ditch the dangerous products?sExperts say there’s a number of reasons. One of the top ones is that they just don’t know. Others say that consumers feel they’re exempt from the risks and that nothing’s going to happen to them. Some say that it’s because since there’s so many recalls a year, consumers just overlook them as false or insignificant alerts. Whatever the case may be, the truth of the matter is that far too many people are being injured and killed by dangerous products long after warnings have been made public.

Cowles says that parents need to continuously check the products in their home and check the Consumer Product Safety Commission‘s recall list often. If you notice that something in your home has been recalled, be sure to remove it immediately. The risks aren’t worth it.

We aren’t able to protect our children from everything, but we are able to make the necessary move to protect them from the products that have already been deemed dangerous.

TIME recently released the most dangerous products that you may have in your home. These products include the Bumbo Baby Seats, the Lasko Box Fans, the Maytag Dishwashers, the Maclaren Strollers (before-2010), the Magnetix Building Sets, all Shades and Blinds from Roman, portable fuel from Gel Fuel, Toy Dart Guns from Family Dollar Store, various Drop-Side Cribs and LG Dehumidifiers.

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It’s that time of year again when shoppers are hitting the stores in full force in search of the perfect holiday gifts for friends, family members, co-workers and others. It’s important for all consumers to look over the U. . Consumer Product Safety Commission‘s (CPSC) recall list during the holidays to help ensure there won’t be a defective product on their gift-giving list. Recalled products can cause serious injury in Portland and elsewhere if not addressed.Our Portland injury attorneys understand that the CPSC reviews thousands of consumer products. Unfortunately, there’s a chance there are defective products in our homes and businesses right now, items that have been deemed dangerous and we don’t even know it. While it’s the CPSC’s responsibility to inform the public of the defects, it’s our responsibility to make sure that if we decide to give gifts, that they are safe and defect-free. Please review this list before bringing any new toys and presents into your household.

Schwinn Elliptical Exercise Equipment Recalled By Nautilus:

Roughly 10,000 Elliptical Exercise Trainers have been recalled because the foot plates on the devices have been found to detach from the machine during use and can pose a fall hazard to users. These products were distributed by Nautilus Inc. of Vancouver, Washington. There have been nearly 10 accident reports filed. These devices were sold under the model name Schwinn 460. They were sold at various sporting goods stores and online sites from July 2008 to May 2011. Consumers who own this product are urged to call Nautilus at 800-259-9019 for a free repair kit.

iPod Touch Rechargeable External Battery Cases Recalled by Mophie

More than 6,000 Rechargeable External Battery Cases have been recalled by Mophie LLC, of Paw Paw, Michigan, because the battery case’s integrated circuit switch can possibly overheat and cause pose a burn hazard. The company has already received more than 100 reports of the battery case becoming warm to the touch. More than 40 reports have been filed saying that the product deformed and nearly 10 reports were made of burns. Only battery cases with serial numbers that have the first five characters of TR113 through TR120 are under the recall. The items were sold in stores since April 2011. If you have one of these battery cases, call Morphie at (877) 308-4581 for a replacement product.

KEDS Girls’ Shoes Recalled by Collective Brands:

Nearly 50,000 KEDS “Know It All” Girls’ Shoes have been recalled because the stars on the heel can come loose and pose a laceration hazard. There have already been nearly 30 reports of scratches and cuts from these metal stars. The style number covered under this recall is KY40098A, which can be found on the underside of the tongue. They were sold in department stores from June to October 2011. If your child has a pair of these shoes, you’re urged to contact Collective Brands for a gift card for $30 that can be used at Stride Rite stores or on striderite.com.

As there are new products on the CPSC’s recalls website frequently, parents are urged to look over the list regularly. Many injuries can be prevented by staying informed. Happy Holidays!s

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In Maine, there is a potential intersection of the workers’ compensation and personal injury systems when the injury is caused by a third party.

Generally, if you are injured at work, regardless of the cause, you are compensated for that injury entirely through the workers’ compensation system. However, did you know that if a party other than your employer is responsible for the injury, you may also have a separate claim against that party?

For example, if you were driving a vehicle as part of your job and were injured in an accident caused by another driver, you have both a workers’ compensation claim and a claim against the other driver.

INSURANCE ADJUSTERS HAVE THE INTERNET TOO!

Most people at one time or another have heard the advice “Do not put anything in an email or online that you would not want on the front page of the newspaper”. This is never truer than when you are bringing a personal injury claim. The insurance company WILL search for your online profiles. More than once, we have received a call from an adjuster directing us to a client’s online profile.

“So what?” you might be thinking, “I have nothing to hide. Besides, nothing I put on my Facebook or MySpace account has anything to do with my accident.”sThis is almost never true. For example, if you are claiming an injury, and you are writing about all of the things you did over the weekend, that is relevant. If you are posting pictures of your participation in a charity walk, that is relevant. As your attorneys, we know the truth is accident victims have good days and bad days while recovering. It is our job to make that argument on your behalf. However, the insurance adjuster will use this to show that your injuries are not very serious.

Consumer groups are appealing a May 31 decision allowing bankrupt automaker Chrysler to avoid legal responsibility for thousands of serious injuries caused by its products, ABC affiliate WCVB reported June 4. Under the language of the bankruptcy filing, people harmed by defective Chrysler products are considered unsecured creditors, which means a bankruptcy judge can eliminate any debt Chrysler might have to them with the stroke of a pen — no matter how strong their claims might be. People with warranty claims on Chrysler cars would still be able to get repairs made, the station said. A coalition of consumer groups is calling for Chrysler and GM, which is also bankrupt, to either alter their filings or buy an insurance policy to cover the claims.

The piece starts with the story of Donia Kerrigan of Scarborough, Maine, who lost her left arm in an accident she says was caused by a defective seatbelt and airbag in her Jeep (a Chrysler brand). Kerrigan told the news station that her airbag malfunctioned and didn’t deploy all the way, in essence blowing her arm off. Another accident victim, Jeremy Warner of Indiana, lost both legs in a fire he believes was caused by a defective brake fluid container in his own Jeep. He had already sued, but told reporters that his case was eliminated by the language of the bankruptcy filing. Thanks to Chrysler’s responsibility-dodging bankruptcy plan, people like Kerrigan and Warner could be stuck with no way to recover those costs — in essence, victimized a second time by the manufacturer’s bad decisions.

As a Portland, Maine car crash lawyer, I know firsthand that this issue goes beyond equitable treatment of warranty holders and injured people. In addition to their physical injuries, which can disable them for life, people hurt in auto accidents frequently run into financial problems caused by their injuries. Medical bills alone can reach five or six figures, especially in cases of permanent disability. Victims who can’t work after their accidents lose weeks of income, and sometimes their jobs or careers. A Maine auto accident lawsuit allows them to recover that money, along with compensation for their injuries, pain and any permanent disability or wrongful death.

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