Worst Defective Products of 2016

For many of us, 2016 was a year we are more than happy to put behind us. An unprecedented number of artists and public figures were lost, mass shootings were rampant, government failed consumers time after time in instances like the Flint water crisis, and we have faced a seemingly never-ending stream of product recalls. While vehicle air bags took the biggest hit of the year, other companies had their own problems with defective products.

Johnson & Johnson Baby Powder Lawsuits

Johnson & Johnson has recently taken one hit after another for drugs and medical devices marketed by their subsidiaries which have been found to be dangerous to consumers, however the talcum powder lawsuits are all on J & J. Women who have used Johnson & Johnson baby powder with talc for a considerable length of time in the perineal area, could be exposing themselves to ovarian cancer. More than 45 years ago, British researchers found talc particles deeply embedded in ten out of 13 ovarian tumors. Despite the fact that subsequent studies had similar findings, and that several doctors expressed the opinion there was a significant risk of ovarian cancer for women using J & J talcum powder for feminine hygiene, the company continued selling the product. In 2016, three plaintiffs were awarded $72 million, $55 million and nearly $70 million by Missouri jurors.

2016 Air Bag Recalls

Takata, a Japanese company, issued what was considered to be the largest auto safety recall in history, recalling more than 100,000,000 air bag inflators—yes, that is one hundred million. Nineteen different automakers were forced to recall front airbags made by Takata, and installed in cars between the years of 2001 and 2015. These Takata air bags were found to explosively deploy, causing eleven deaths, and more than 180 serious injuries in the United States alone.

It appears Takata constructed the air bags without a chemical drying agent, meaning that moisture in the environment, high temperatures and age could lead to the air bags improperly inflating, sending metal shards into the vehicle and the occupants. Although the Takata air bag situation has been ongoing for more than two years, in December 2016 a more “aggressive” recall schedule was announced by the Department of Transportation. This recall schedule targeted the vehicle models with the highest risk of malfunction.

Honda may have taken the largest hit in the Takata air bag debacle in the U.S., as nine of the eleven Takata-related deaths occurred in Acura and Honda models, resulting in a recall by Honda of more than 11 million vehicles. The involved automakers have prioritized resources in the recall, focusing on high-humidity areas first. Some estimate it could take until 2023 for all recalled Takata airbags to be repaired or replaced.

While Takata faced the largest air bag recall, other companies had their own air bag troubles. In June 2016, Toyota recalled 3,370,000 vehicles due to defective air bags and emission control units, and Nissan recalled 3,530,000 vehicles in April 2016 due to passenger-side airbags which might not properly deploy. In September 2016, GM recalled 4,300,000 vehicles due to software issues with air bags.

General Motors Switch Litigation

GM was hit hard in 2016—in addition to the air bag recall, faulty ignition switches in GM vehicles were linked to 124 deaths and 274 serious injuries. There were 234 injury and wrongful death lawsuits consolidated into an MDL in Manhattan. Of the six GM switch bellwether trials set for 2016, one was withdrawn by the plaintiff, three were settled by GM, and GM was victorious in two of the trials.

As of January 2017, GM has paid out more than $2 billion in criminal and civil penalties and settlements. In July, a ruling from the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in NY found that GM was not protected from the influx of lawsuits through bankruptcy filings. Although GM is fighting that decision, some predict the amount GM will be paying out when all is said and done to be as high as $10 billion.

There have been many more product recalls, such as the recall of 2,500,000 Samsung Galaxy Note 7 cell phones, which were found to randomly catch fire, as well as 2,800,000 Samsung top-loading washing machines which were found to malfunction and injure those standing near the washers. If you or a loved one have been injured by a defective product, it is important that you contact an experienced product liability attorney as soon as possible, to discuss your options.

Philadelphia Product Liability Lawyers

If you have suffered injury or harm because of a defective product, food recall, or faulty medical device, it could be extremely beneficial to speak to an experienced product liability attorney who can help you recover damages for your medical expenses, lost wages and pain and suffering. Call the product liability lawyers at Golomb Legal today for a consultation and to learn about your legal options. Our goal is to get you the greatest maximum recovery for your physical and emotional suffering.

To learn more about your legal options or to schedule a free consultation call the Philadelphia product liability lawyers at Golomb Legal today at 1-800-355-3300 or 1-215-985-9177 or fill out our confidential Contact Form.

The national product liability lawyers at Golomb Legal have successfully represented individuals in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and throughout the United States.