Injury Lawsuits Expose Health and Safety Hazards

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Nationwide

While federal regulation and legislation aims to protect consumers from dangerous product defects, it is our legal system that is often responsible for exposing the safety hazards that manufacturers conceal. Product injury litigation shines a bright light on manufacturers and corporations whose dangerous drugs, medical devices, automobiles, and other defective products have continually harmed consumers. Two of the most recent examples of this in action are the GM ignition switch malfunction and the Toyota accelerator defect.

GM recalled more than 2.6 million vehicles when it was finally exposed that their ignition switch could inadvertently shut down the engine, thus disabling the air bags, power brakes, and power steering. The defect itself was not exposed by engineers from GM or the NHTSA—but rather after a lawsuit was filed. Now, GM has admitted to knowing about the deadly defect for more than 10 years.

Toyota makers have a similar story. The defect surfaced 5 years ago, but the company blamed driver error and a floor mat and pedal design. Plaintiff attorneys from across the country and industry expert engineers have pointed to an accelerator defect and subsequently filed more than 500 injury lawsuits against Toyota. Toyota has since recalled 6.8 million vehicles.

While corporations and large manufacturers continue to lobby for tort reform, it is clear that litigation has tremendous value in protecting consumers from unsafe products. It has taken injury lawsuits to expose the defects in child safety seats, asbestos products, medical devices, and prescription drugs.

Businesses and large corporations work diligently to keep safety rules and regulations weak-this increases their profits and their ability to rush products to market. Yet product-injury litigation continues to aid regulators in identifying and curbing unsafe products from continually harming consumers. Through class action lawsuits, multi-district litigation, and individual injury lawsuits, negligent corporations are kept in check and consumers kept out of harms way.