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Negligent Security Seminar | March 2015

Florida personal injury lawyers



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    Product Liability

    When products are defective designed or manufactured, people can be injured or killed.  At Leighton Panoff Law we have made it our mission to aggressively represent consumers who have been injured or lost loved one because of a defective product.

    Almost every part of life is affected by consumer and industrial products.  We are all at risk when a product is defective or unreasonably safe for its intended or expected use.  When a plane crashes it is often caused by a defect in the manufacturing or design.  The same is true with the cars we drive.  If it was not for product liability cases there would be no airbags, interlock systems or padded dashboards.

    One of the most famous product liability cases involved a defective car.  In the late 1960’s, Ford produced a small car called the Pinto.  The Pinto was put into production on an accelerated schedule to try to gain market share in the small car market, something fairly new to American manufacturers.  Unfortunately the car was designed with a fuel system that caused it to catch fire and explode when struck from the rear in a certain manner.

    Once it became known to Ford that this car was defective, they did an internal study and determined that it would cost $11 per car to fix it.  Ford decided not to spend $11 per car and kept the same design and did not recall its cars.  They made this decision because they guessed that it would cost them less to pay legal claims when passengers were burned or killed than it would to fix the defect.  They were wrong.

    In a case known as Grimshaw vs. Ford, a jury was outraged that Ford would decide to let a dangerous car like the Pinto remain on the market, cover up the defect, and wait until people were injured and killed. The jury awarded $2.5 million in compensatory damages and $125 million in punitive damages (which was later reduced by the court to $3.5 million). By then the word was out about how Ford covered up the defect.

    The purpose of product liability litigation is to force manufacturer to be accountable for the products they put on the shelves.  They must be responsible for the damage they cause and take steps to prevent people from being injured or killed when they know or should know their product is defective.  Many products are recalled to cure the defects whenever possible.

    The basic law of product liability requires manufacturers to design out safety defects. If it cannot be designed out, and is a product important enough to stay on the market, the manufacturer owes the public a duty to sufficiently warn of the dangers. This allows consumers to minimize their risk and, where possible, avoid using the product if they so choose.

    At Leighton Panoff Law we have handled many product liability cases.  These range from defective toys and juvenile products (high chairs and baby pillows) to motor vehicles like cars and vans.

    Our commitment to consumer safety is a long one. Mr. Leighton has served as Vice Chairman of the American Bar Association’s Product Liability Committee. He has also taught other lawyers throughout the country, and published book chapters and articles on product liability. He is the author of a chapter in the multi-volume text, Product Liability Practice Guide.

    He has also authored articles like “Are Children Caught in the Seat of Disaster? Child Restraint Systems and Product Liability Cases,” Trial magazine, Vol. 34, No. 3 and “The Recall Process: Removing Defective Juvenile Products from the Market,” Product Liability Law Reporter (Vol. 10).

    Our experience allows us to advise our clients on what the best approach is for their case.  Feel free to contact us to discuss your product liability case if you feel that a dangerous product caused you injury.

    Please review our representative product liability verdicts and settlements.

     Disclaimer: The information about past verdicts and settlements of the firm’s cases are based on the unique facts of each case. These amounts reflect the gross recovery in each case (before attorneys fees, expenses and medical costs are deducted).  Although these results were obtained by our firm, they may not indicate the success or value of any other case.  By clicking on Verdicts and Settlements you are acknowledging that each case is unique and must be evaluated on its own merits. The information contained here has not been reviewed or approved by The Florida Bar.


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