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Product Liability Cases

In the mad rush to make money, companies rarely prioritize customer safety. And, government watchdogs only take action in extreme situations. Dangerous medical devices are a good example. Largely because patent rights only last for a few years, most companies rush these devices into production, even if they have some serious design or manufacturing flaws. Frequently, these companies know about these issues. But they calculate that it’s more expensive to fix them than it is to “risk it” and sell them anyway. Additionally, the Food and Drug Administration gets most of its funding from the companies it regulates. So, the FDA hesitates to bite the hand that feeds it.

The experienced New York products liability attorneys at the Pianko Law Group routinely handle these matters throughout the Five Boroughs and beyond. Since we know all the local rules, both the written and unwritten ones, we are well-positioned to obtain maximum compensation for your serious injuries. Perhaps more importantly, attorneys obtain justice for these victims. Manufacturers will think twice before they try to sell unsafe products once they have battled against the Pianko Law Group.

Types of Defective Products

Chances are, there is at least one defective product in your garage, pantry, medicine cabinet, or closet at this very moment. The manufacturing, distribution, and sales process is designed to maximize corporate profits. All other priorities, including customer safety, are secondary.

Defective hip implants illustrate the two major types of product defects. Manufactures like DePuy and Zimmer promised patients that an all-metal artificial hip would transform them into the Six Million Dollar Man. Instead, many of these people ended up like Ironside on pain pills. Specific issues with the all-metal hip, and other defective products, are:

Design Defect

Basically, the hip is a ball-and-socket joint. With every step, these parts grind against each other and the friction wears down the joint. The body absorbs organic bone shavings and produces new ones to replace them. But metal shavings accumulate and cause metallosis, or metal poisoning. Additionally, the artificial hip degrades and, in many cases, lasts less than five years.

Manufacturing Defect

Mostly to save money on production costs and maximize profits, many companies used cheap metal components from China and other overseas countries. These parts often have high levels of cadmium, mercury, and other heavy metals. Such substances accelerate the metallosis process and, when the shavings migrate to the head, often cause brain damage.
If a New York products liability attorney proves, by a preponderance of the evidence (more likely than not), that a product defect caused injury, compensation is available.

Failure to warn of known side-effects is an independent cause of action in many cases. Frequently, companies know their products have possibly dangerous side effects. They must effectively warn consumers about all such known hazards. But many companies don’t issue adequate warnings, mostly because they are afraid that consumers won’t buy the product if they know how risky it is to use it.

Unforeseeable product misuse is usually the only defense to these claims. The misuse must usually be beyond the pale, such as using baby powder to bake a cake.

Damages Available

To better examine the damages involved in a defective products claim, let’s return to the above defective hip implant example.

When all-metal implants fail, either due to device degradation or metallosis, victims usually need immediate revision surgery. Then, they must undergo extensive physical therapy. Their ability to work is usually limited, at best, during this period. Compensation is available for all these economic losses.

Furthermore, many of these victims lose whatever mobility they had. Simply moving around a room becomes a chore. More strenuous activities, even something like walking the dog, are usually impossible. As a result, many of these victims become quite depressed. Compensation is also available for all these noneconomic losses.

Additional punitive damages are usually available if there is clear and convincing evidence that the manufacturer ignored a known design flaw or manufacturing problem and continued to sell the product. 
There is ample evidence in these areas, which is one reason why punitive damages in these claims are often high. Additionally, money is the only language these companies speak. So, unless they must pay substantial damages, they will not change the way they do business.

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