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Major Product Liability Cases in the U.S.

Manufacturers have a duty to sell products that are safe and free of defects. When defective products are sold to the public, and consumers are injured by these defects, the manufacturer could be held liable for the injuries. As a result, the manufacturer must, under the legal system, compensate the victims for their injuries.

Those who are injured by defective products may suffer serious injuries such as broken bones, head trauma, back and neck injuries, disfigurement, internal injuries and even death. Product liability claims have resulted in millions of dollars in compensation for affected victims. Here are some of the largest product liability cases ever seen in the United States.

Largest Cases in the Country

Auto manufacturer General Motors has paid out hundreds of millions of dollars to consumers over the years for defective car parts. In 1999, General Motors was sued over a faulty part in its 1979 Chevrolet Malibu vehicles. Gas tank explosions killed six people, with the victims’ families suing for nearly $5 billion in damages.

In 2008, the company was sued for using dangerous ingredients in its Dex-Cool coolant. The chemical caused engine damage. Nearly 35 million customers filed a class action lawsuit for $20 billion.

In 2014, GM faced yet another lawsuit when several of its models were discovered to have faulty ignition switches.This caused vehicles to suddenly shut off while driving, which prevented the airbags from inflating and disabled the brakes and power steering.

The faulty ignition switches caused 31 car accidents that left 13 people dead. More than 26 million cars have been recalled by General Motors. The auto manufacturer also set up a $400 million fund to compensate those injured or killed by their vehicles.

Tobacco maker Philip Morris faced a lawsuit in 2002 by a woman who claimed that the company caused her to become addicted to cigarettes, which then led to her lung cancer. At first, Philip Morris was forced to pay $850,000 in compensatory damages as well as $28 billion in punitive damages. Philip Morris appealed the case, but was still ordered to pay $28 million.

Breast implants manufactured by Dow Corning caused injuries and deaths to many customers. Many implants ended up rupturing, causing bodily damage and death. Dow Corning reached a settlement in 1998 and paid $2 billion in compensation to injured patients.

Also in 1998, Owens Corning Corp. paid $1.2 billion to settle lawsuits claiming that its building materials contained asbestos. This material caused many people to die from mesothelioma, a type of cancer. This case involved 176,000 people.

Get Help for Your Product Liability Case

If you were injured by a defective product, you may be able to file a claim against the manufacturer. You may be able to recover compensation for injuries and other damages you incurred as a result of the product’s defect.

Let the Miami product liability lawyers at Dolan Dobrinsky Rosenblum Bluestein, LLP help you uncover the evidence needed to win your case. Contact us today at 305-371-2692 to schedule your free consultation.