When a Texas consumer is injured by a product that has been placed in the stream of commerce, that individual may have the right to compensation from a party who is responsible for the injury. To do so, the injured party generally needs to file a civil lawsuit making a claim under which he or she can recover damages. With products liability, the two most common claims are that the manufacturer or seller of the product was negligent at some point, or that one, or both, of these parties is strictly liable for the injury. We've previously discussed some of the elements of negligence in certain cases. This time, we'll take a very brief look at strict liability.
When you get into a car accident, you rely on your airbags to protect you. Sometimes, though, it can be the airbags that actually cause the injury. Recently, there has been a massive recall of Takata-manufactured airbags. These airbags are found in an array of different types of cars, including Honda, Mazda and Lexus. The reason behind the recall is that these airbags become unstable when there are temperature changes due to the use of ammonium nitrate in the airbags. These defective airbags have been responsible for the deaths and serious injuries of numerous people, and lawsuits are now being filed all across the country.
Let's say you are looking to buy a car and go to a dealership. While there, you go with a sales rep and test drive several cars. After testing out a new beamer, the sales rep asks you to step out of the car and help direct him back into theparking spot. While the sales rep is backing up the car, he accidently hits the gas rather than the break and runs over your foot. You're rushed to the ER with a broken foot and have to get emergency surgery. Now, you have to miss work for weeks while you heal. Let's not even talk about the sky high medical bills you've accumulated.
As many of you know, we currently have a vacancy in the Supreme Court due to the death of Justice Scalia in February. A question on the minds of many is, who will President Elect Donald Trump nominate? The ultimate pick could have a vital influence on cases that the Court will hear in the upcoming months and years. Currently, 21 candidates have made the short list of potential replacements. According to the Trump camp, the candidates were chosen first and foremost based on constitutional principles.
In a products liability case, a "design defect" is a problem or condition a product has that causes injury to someone who uses the product. A design defect is a problem with the product's design that makes the product inherently dangerous. This is even if it is manufactured perfectly and made of the best-quality materials.
A design defect is not to be confused with a manufacturing defect. A manufacturing defect refers to when a product is not made in accordance with the blueprints, plans or specs. To help illustrate the difference, let's look at two examples:
Modern medical technology can be a wonderful thing. The advances in physicians' ability to diagnose and treat the multitudinous ailments that may afflict a Texas patient have resulted in creating an environment in which many diseases and injuries that would have previously resulted in almost certain death can be ameliorated or even cured. This technological advance seems to have only accelerated in recent decades. However, there is a risk also associated with rapid technological improvement: the potential for products that are defective in one way or another to reach medical offices and hospitals, and cause injury to patients.
Taxotere, a chemotherapy drug that can cause permanent hair loss, also known as alopecia, has made headlines recently as lawyers across the country vie for lead positions on the plaintiffs' steering committee. According to the Texas Lawyer, more than 40 applications have been filed by plaintiffs attorneys to be appointed for lead roles in the multidistrict litigation. The basic premise of the Taxotere lawsuit is that Paris-based Sanofi S.A. and its subsidiaries failed to warn that Taxotere could cause permanent alopecia. Currently, around 200 lawsuits have been filed, with the expectation being that thousands more will soon follow.
As we have previously discussed, the federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is the entity responsible for maintaining the safety and efficacy of pharmaceutical products and medications in Texas and around the United States. As part of this mandate, the FDA investigates reports of defective drugs as well as potential contaminates that could be found in medicines sold to consumers.
When you visit a museum, place of worship, hospital or store, the first thought that runs through your mind probably isn't who will be liable if you get hurt while on the property. Generally, this kind of thinking doesn't occur until you are hurt and have mounting medical expenses. If you find yourself in such an unfortunate circumstance, it's vital to know your rights in premises liability.
More than ever before, Americans are going to the doctor for their health ailments and getting prescriptions to treat everything from aches and pains to high blood pressure to diabetes. In fact, according to a study conducted by Coyne College in Chicago, each state has a particular flavor in terms of what drugs are searched for the most, perhaps serving as a reflection of the major health concerns in each state. For example, in our home state of Texas, the blood pressure drug, Exforge, is the number one drug searched. In our sister state of Oklahoma, another blood pressure drug, Bystolic, turns up as number one. In California, Viagra has won the day, while in Maine, it's the pain management drug, Suboxone, that rules the roost.
Well, today is election day. I remember my first experience with a presidential election. I was in second grade. Bill Clinton was running against Bob Dole. The classroom full of seven year-olds cast their imaginary ballots. Personally, I went for Clinton. My reasoning was very complex, you see. Clinton had a pet dog, Dole did not. Today, who I vote for is based on reasoning that is a bit more sophisticated than my 7-year-old self. Going through law school, you gather a great respect for our Founding Fathers and the document so many people rarely think about-the Constitution.
Janet Reno, the first female U.S. Attorney General, has died this morning due to complications associated with Parkinson's. Reno was 78 years old. In addition to being the first woman U.S. AG, Reno served as U.S. AG longer t han anyone else had in 150 years, serving as U.S. AG from 1993 until 2001. Reno was nominated by President Bill Clinton on February 11, 1993 and confirmed in March of that year. While Reno was not Clinton's first or even second choice, she ending up being the right choice. When she left office, she did so as a deeply respected individual, particularly because of the difficult cases she had to contend with during her tenure.
Texas residents may remember that we have previously discussed on this blog the various ways in which the federal government attempts to regulate the marketing and sale of various pharmaceutical products. While this is most often done through the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) with an eye toward preventing harm to the public, at times other federal agencies may need to become involved. One of these, is the Department of Justice (DOJ) which will sue companies when they have violated federal law.