• Feb
    19
    Posted in:
    Posted by: Jarve Kaplan Granato Starr

    Largest Product Liability Cases

    Each day we go about our lives, purchasing and using products without ever thinking about whether they might cause us harm. That is in large part because in the United States, there are powerful motives for companies to ensure that the products they manufacture and market are safe. Some of these motives are driven by regulations, and others are driven by ethics, but perhaps the most powerful motivation of all is that companies do not want to be subject to product liability lawsuits.

    A product liability lawsuit is one that is filed by a person who has been injured by a defective or dangerous product. Depending upon how many people have been harmed and how bad the injuries to consumers are, companies can be driven out of business or into bankruptcy as a result of the significant compensation that they are required to pay in damages.

    Though there have been many product liability lawsuits filed over the years, there are a few that have been particularly notable because of the large number of victims and enormous payouts that the responsible companies have been required to pay. Here are some of the largest product liability lawsuits in American legal history:

    • Owens Corning – Owens Corning manufactured building materials that were contaminated with asbestos, a material known to be carcinogenic. In 1998, the company settled a class-action lawsuit filed on behalf of 176,000 people harmed by the material, paying out a total of $1.2 billion.
    • Philip Morris – Today we all know that smoking cigarettes and using tobacco products causes cancer, but the public did not know that when they first began smoking. Though people still smoke, cigarette companies now warn of the dangers of smoking directly on cigarette packaging. Those same companies knew of the risks long before they started giving out those warnings, and in 2002 Philip Morris was sued by a woman with lung cancer for that failure. They were initially ordered to pay her $28 billion in punitive damages and $850,000 in compensatory damages, but that amount was later reduced to $28 million.
    • Dow Corning – Dow Corning manufactured silicone breast implants that ruptured after they were surgically implanted. The material that leaked after the rupture caused significant physical pain, damage, and even death. Those who were harmed by the product sued and the company agreed to pay a settlement of $2 billion.

    If you or someone you love has been harmed by a defective or dangerous product, you have the right to pursue compensation for the damages that you’ve suffered. For information on whether you are eligible to file such a claim, contact us today to set up a time for a free consultation.

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