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Did a Recently Recalled Product Injure You?

Injury Lawyers in Los Angeles California

Each month, dozens of recalled products range from furniture to clothing to computer batteries. A quick glance at the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission website shows that 18 products were recalled in the United States and Canada in January 2018 alone. If a defective product injured you or a loved one, California law might entitle you to financial compensation.

Proving a Product Is Defective

In California, you can receive financial compensation if a defective product injures you. Generally, you can sue anyone in the stream of commerce, such as the manufacturer, distributor, wholesaler, or retailer. If you sue all of them, then you may increase your chances of receiving full and fair compensation for your injuries.

If you sue under a strict products liability theory, you can prevail if you show that a defective product injured you. What makes a product defective?

  • Design defect. Something about the design renders the product dangerous to use
  • Manufacturing defect. A properly designed product was defectively manufactured
  • Failure to warn. Insufficient or altogether missing instructions or warnings may have rendered the product defective

A recall serves as some proof of a defective product—although it is usually not enough by itself. In any event, you will need to explain to the jury what made the product dangerous and how the defect injured you—something the attorneys at Greene Broillet & Wheeler know how to do for you.

Save Evidence

After suffering an injury, get prompt medical treatment and focus on your recovery. At the same time, do whatever is possible to preserve the product that injured you. For example, if medicine injured you, don’t flush the rest of the bottle down the toilet. If a crib injured your child, don’t throw the crib in the trash. Instead, your lawyer probably wants to see the product that injured you to identify what was wrong with it.

Compensation for Your Injuries

Dangerous products can cause catastrophic injuries, such as:

  • Burns
  • Broken bones
  • Cuts
  • Nerve damage
  • Joint and tendon injuries
  • Emotional distress
  • Physical pain

These injuries might require tens of thousands of dollars in medical treatments or more, especially if you suffered severe injuries. You might also need to miss work to recover, costing you thousands of dollars more in income. At Greene Broillet & Wheeler, we can analyze the surrounding circumstances to identify what financial compensation you can receive, such as:

  • Reimbursement of medical expenses, including hospital visits, surgery, prescription drugs, and assistive devices
  • Replacement of damaged property
  • Compensation for physical pain and suffering
  • Damages for emotional distress such as fear, anxiety, grief, and embarrassment

The amount of compensation for which you qualify will depend on your injuries and other factors, so meet with a products liability lawyer today for a case assessment.

Speak with a Los Angeles Product Liability Lawyer Now

Consumers rely on manufacturers to make their products safe. When manufacturers fail, they and others might need to pay injured victims financial compensation. At Greene Broillet & Wheeler, our products liability attorneys work aggressively to represent the best interests of our clients. Contact us by calling (310) 576-1200.

Keurig® MINI Plus: Recalled Due to Danger of Burn Injuries

Injury Lawyers in Los Angeles California

Everywhere you look today, there seems to be a Keurig® brewing system. As enticing and easy to use (just pick your flavor, insert the cup and brew) as these machines may be, some of them contain a hidden danger that can lead to life-altering injuries.

Coffee Makers Spewing Hot Liquid

Seemingly under the radar during the 2014 holiday season, Keurig® issued a recall of its Keurig® MINI Plus Brewing Systems. While many people were opening presents containing other, safer Keurig® models, the company was working to call back MINIs that can overheat during the brewing process and spray scalding liquid at those using the devices.

According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), Keurig® received approximately 200 reports of MINIs allowing liquid to escape, and almost 100 reports of burn injuries, which led to the recall.

What You Should Do

The recall affects more than 6 million brewing systems which were manufactured between late 2009 and mid-2014. If you have a Keurig® MINI, be sure to check the CPSC’s website to see if your MINI has been recalled.

Although the Keurig Green Mountain Inc., the distributor of the MINI, is offering provide a free repair to all affected MINIs, anyone who has suffered burn injuries due to these defective machines should be sure to seek medical care and consider any additional legal remedies that may be available to them. If you are considering legal remedies, be sure to do so before you return your Keurig® MINI.

Three steps to protect your rights when your car is defective

Injury Lawyers in Los Angeles California

If you’re constantly taking your car to the shop, consider looking into an auto defect claim.

With the exception of real estate property, your car might be the most expensive asset you own. A vehicle is a significant investment, whether it’s a brand new sportscar or a used beater off the lot.

If your car continues to act up despite frequent trips to the mechanic, there may be a bigger issue beneath the surface. Ask yourself these three questions to determine your options and, if appropriate, how you can protect your legal interests:

1. Is there a recall?

There’s a chance that other people have experienced the same problem with the car. If the manufacturer or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has issued a recall, you can likely take your car to a dealership to have the defective parts repaired or replaced for free. You can check for news about auto recalls on the NHTSA website.

2. Is it a lemon?

It isn’t fair, but some cars are just duds. If your vehicle has an underlying defect that requires constant trips to the shop and impairs your ability to operate it, you may have a lemon on your hands. In that situation, you are entitled to a refund or a replacement vehicle. If the dealership will not cooperate, consider speaking with an attorney.

3. Is it time for a lawsuit?

Auto defects are not just irritating and expensive to repair – they are often highly dangerous. If you have experienced harm because of a defective car – such as an accident, injury or property damage – it may be appropriate to bring a lawsuit to recover your expenses.

When you need to protect your rights

Some maintenance is to be expected, but it is simply unfair when you have to pay the price for an auto manufacturer’s negligence. If you have any concerns about your rights as a consumer or the victim of an accident caused by a defective car, consider contacting an attorney for help.

Ford Edge Crossovers Recalled

Injury Lawyers in Los Angeles California

Federal regulators recently announced the recall of 27,933 Ford Edge crossovers.

The NHTSA says that 2012-2013 model crossovers with 2.0-liter turbocharged EcoBoost engines may have a manufacturing error that creates a fire risk.

A fuel line pulse damper on these vehicles is prone to crack and could cause a fuel leak.

The automaker plans offering free repairs for its customers starting in February. The Los Angeles Times reports that no deaths or injuries have been reported in connection with this manufacturing defect.

A smaller recall was also issued by Acura, the Honda luxury brand. Acura is recalling 7,387 RLX sedans from 2014. Rear suspension bolts on these cars could come loose when the vehicles are taken to dealerships.

Nearly all of the RLX owners affected have been contacted and no injuries have been reported in connection with this recall.

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia is experiencing a massive Toyota recall for intended acceleration issues which first surfaced in the U.S.

Nearly 400,000 cars are being recalled in that country due to demands that the company install a brake override system in its cars to prevent runaway vehicles.

Greene Broillet & Wheeler, LLP handles auto defect cases across Southern California. If you or a loved one has been injured due to a faulty vehicle, call us at 310-576-1200 or contact us online.

General Motors Under Fire For Approving Defective Ignition Switches

Injury Lawyers in Los Angeles California

The congressional investigation into General Motors continues to make headlines after more information concerning GM’s recent recall comes to light.

According to a memo released yesterday, GM officials approved vehicle ignition switches that failed to meet its specifications.

The House of Representatives Energy and Commerce memo relies on testimony from parts supplier Delphi Automotive. The faulty ignition switches can cause cars to shut off unexpectedly and have been linked to at least 13 deaths.

Reuters News Reports that the House committee memo was released ahead of testimony from General Motors CEO Mary Barra, who will appear before congress on Tuesday. It is widely expected that officials will ask Barra why GM failed to issue its recall of 2.6 million vehicles earlier.

Evidence indicates that GM was aware of safety issues with its vehicles up to a decade before its recall. Ignition switches in Chevy Cobalts and other vehicles can unintentionally shut off engines and disable brakes, power steering and airbags if they are jostled. Heavy key chains can also cause the problem in some vehicles.

GM engineers were tackling the ignition switch problem as early as 2004 according to the New York Daily News. They determined that fixing the problem was too complicated and costly.

“Engineers considered increasing or changing the ignition switch ‘torque effort,’ but were advised by the ignition switch engineer that it is ‘close to impossible to modify the present ignition switch’ as the switch is ‘very fragile and doing any further changes will lead to mechanical and/or electrical problems,'” the memo states.

Officials from the NHTSA are also under scrutiny. Fox News reports that the agency considered whether GM cars had manufacturing defects in 2007 and 2010, but failed to take any action.

Greene Broillet & Wheeler, LLP handles car accident and defective product cases across Southern California. If you or a loved one has been injured in a crash, call us at 310-576-1200 or contact us online.

Woman sues Pinole Walgreens after she was given the wrong prescription

Injury Lawyers in Los Angeles California

A Bay Area woman recently sued Walgreens for giving her the wrong prescription medication.

Shirley Thompson alleged that she went to a Walgreens drug store in December of 2008 to have a prescription filled.

Her prescription was for the hypertension medication Clondine, but the pharmacist allegedly gave her Clonazepam (Klonopin), a narcotic usually prescribed for panic attacks and seizures.

Although it is unclear whether Thompson’s bottle was labeled “Clonidine” or “Clonazepam,” it was undisputed that she was mistakenly given Clonazepam.

On New Year’s Eve 2008, Thompson was severely injured in a car accident after allegedly “blacking out” due to Clonazepam. She also alleged that she became subsequently addicted to Clonazepam and suffered mental and physical distress while she weaned herself off of it.

Thompson sued Walgreens on December 30, 2010, which was outside of the statute of limitations period for personal injury cases involving professional healthcare provider negligence (including pharmacies). A trial court therefore dismissed her case.

The appeals court noted that although Thompson alleges that the effects of the medication caused her to be “out of it” or “mentally ill,” she failed to meet the criteria for insanity and that incompetency arising after the accrual of a cause of action did not halt the statute of limitations.

Case: Thompson v. Walgreen Co., Court of Appeal, First District, Division 1, CA. 2014 WL 1691894

Greene Broillet & Wheeler, LLP handles CASES across Southern California. If you or a loved one has been injured in a CASE, call us at 310-576-1200 or contact us online.

GM Ignition Switch Lawsuits Consolidated in Manhattan

Injury Lawyers in Los Angeles California

Consolidation was recently ordered for lawsuits related to economic losses from General Motors’ ignition switch recall scandal.

Most of the lawsuits are brought by plaintiffs who allege that the resale value of their vehicles has declined significantly due to ignition switch problems that the automaker hid from the public for more than a decade.

These so-called “depreciation claims” could run from $500 to $1,000 per vehicle, making this possibly one of the most expensive consumer civil action lawsuits in history, the WSJ reports.

A Manhattan bankruptcy judge will determine whether the plaintiffs’ claims are barred by GM’s 2009 bankruptcy. Attorneys will likely argue that the bankruptcy protection would violate the due process rights of their clients because the automaker knew of the ignition switch issues at the time of the bankruptcy.

General Motors will reportedly launch a compensation program for customers injured or killed due to the company’s ignition switch issues.

This week, GM recalled 89,000 more vehicles, including Buick, Chevy, and GMC models.

Greene Broillet & Wheeler, LLP handles product liability cases across Southern California. If you or a loved one has been injured due to a defective product, call us at 310-576-1200 or contact us online.

Faulty G.M. Ignition Switch Just One of ‘Array of Concealed Defects’

Injury Lawyers in Los Angeles California

Apparently, the only thing new about the “new G.M.,” as it is known, is the fact that it survived the Great Recession after emerging from Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

Hilary Stout with the New York Times reports that G.M. currently faces the considerable weight of a 700-page “master complaint” filed in federal court, a class action behemoth of a case that alleges G.M. has “produced an inordinate number of vehicles with serious safety defects.”

Per Stout’s report, G.M. has recalled 27 million vehicles in 2014, a significant contribution to the overall number of recalled vehicles among all automakers – 48 million so far this year.

The Ignition Switch

Stout writes that the ignition switch is a central issue in the class action filing (a major defect that is apparently just one of many; “The array of concealed defects is astounding,” goes the complaint, as Stout reports).

According to Chris Woodyard with USA Today, the “death count” (as the headline puts it) is now 27 because of a defect in G.M.’s ignition switch. 25 other people have been injured but survived. The defect exists in older models from the mid-2000s, cars like the Saturn Ion and Chevy Cobalt, where the switches go from “on” to “accessory” while in motion, which means that drivers lose power steering, brakes, and air bags at the worst possible time – while they’re going from Point A to Point B.

Should GM Lose Its Bankruptcy Shield, Its Auto Defect Liability Will Balloon

Injury Lawyers in Los Angeles California

It looks like GM could face the loss of its bankruptcy shield, based on a Bloomberg News report, which as of now protects the automaker from liability tied to vehicles made prior to its bankruptcy in 2009. According to Bloomberg News, whether GM loses its bankruptcy shield depends on whether the judge buys its argument that company executives were not aware of defective switches present in many of their vehicles.

The defective switches are responsible for a number of deaths, for which (among other injury and defect claims) GM has apparently allocated $600M.

If the executives did know about the defective switches, yet did not make their knowledge available to creditors at the time of GM’s bankruptcy, it could be enough to make the shield fall, and open the floodgates wide to liability.

On this, Bloomberg reporters quote a bankruptcy lawyer: “[Y]ou have to disclose your assets and liabilities. Those are basic requirements – and GM didn’t do it. It would be very easy for [the bankruptcy judge] to say, ‘Guess what? If you know someone is a creditor you have to give them notice. If you fail to do so, they aren’t constitutionally bound by my orders.'”

Even though GM has allocated $600M for deaths and injuries associated with its auto defects, potential liability could bloom much higher if the bankruptcy judge allows the shield to fall – many car owners claim that the value of their vehicles plummeted because of the defects.

Bloomberg characterizes this as a potential “$2 billion tab.”

State of Arizona Sues the New General Motors Over Vehicle Defects

Injury Lawyers in Los Angeles California

Our neighbor to the east, Arizona, has decided to file its own lawsuit against the “New G.M.” for having manufactured and marketed thousands of defective vehicles. As we wrote about earlier this month, should General Motors lose its bankruptcy shield, the automaker’s liability is likely to increase dramatically.

Arizona’s lawsuit is the latest proof.

As Rebecca Ruiz reports for the New York Times, the state’s attorney general has said that filing its own lawsuit against General Motors is “the best way to protect the citizens of Arizona.” Regarding the company’s 2009 bankruptcy, the New G.M. “was not born innocent.”

Many Deaths and Injuries Tied to Vehicle Defects

According to Ruiz, Arizona’s complaint alleges numerous defects: the infamous ignition switch, as one, along with problems with brake lights, airbags, transmission cables and headlights. In the best of cases, to put it mildly, these defects are said to have caused a decrease in the value of consumers’ vehicles. That’s bad enough.

But in the worst, people have lost their lives as a result of the defects.

Considering just defective ignition switches – equipped on thousands of vehicles and a known issue that General Motors was apparently unwilling or otherwise unable to fix – there have been at least 29 deaths in crashes tied to the switches. If you also count injuries (but not deaths), you’d add 27 people.

The Problem Was a Decade in the Making

According to a Fox News report, “GM knew about faulty ignition switches in Chevrolet Cobalts and other small cars for more than a decade but didn’t recall them until February. The switches can slip out of the ‘on’ position, which causes the cars to stall, knocks out power steering and turns off the air bags.” (Number of deaths tied to General Motors ignition switch defect rises to 29.)

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