Articles Tagged with defective products

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activity-board-game-connection-desk-613508-300x200The Supreme Court of Texas issued a decision in Emerson v. Johnson, upholding a multi-million dollar verdict in a Texas product liability lawsuit. The record indicates that the plaintiff, a highly experienced HVAC repairman, suffered severe burns to over 60% of his body while installing an HVAC unit. After an outdated and malfunctioning compressor in the unit exploded, the unit released scalding hot liquid all over the man. Despite the man’s HVAC experience, there was no way he could have known that the new compressor incorporated outdated technology inside the unit.

The man filed a product liability lawsuit against both the product’s manufacturer and an affiliate who designed and made the unit. He argued that the defendants defectively designed and manufactured the terminal and compressor. After a trial, a jury found that the older terminal design was unreasonably dangerous. The defendant asked the court to overturn the verdict based on legal sufficiency grounds or for a retrial because of a jury charge error.

On appeal to the Supreme Court, the defendants’ case largely rested on their contention that the plaintiff failed to present evidence that the terminal was unreasonably dangerous. A defective design inquiry requires the jury to find that the product is unreasonably dangerous as designed. The jury must consider the utility of the product and the risk of its use.

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red-and-white-medication-pills-3683041-scaledApril 11, 2020 Earlier this month, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that manufacturers should withdraw all prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) drugs containing ranitidine. According to a recent news report, the announcement comes after a lengthy investigation of a contaminate commonly found in ranitidine medications, such as Zantac. Individuals who have suffered serious injuries, illnesses, or death after using this product may have a claim under Texas product liability laws.

The impurity is considered a likely human carcinogen, and although small amounts are commonly ingested through diet, higher levels of exposure could increase an individual’s cancer risk. At the outset of the FDA’s investigations, the agency did not have enough information to determine whether the product was safe or if consumers should continue to use the products. However, new FDA testing revealed that the impurity in these products increases over time or at higher temperatures, and may result in unacceptable consumer exposure. The FDA stated that many of their samples did not contain unacceptable levels; however, the product requires further testing to ensure consumer safety. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic requires that consumers and patients dispose of their medication by following the specific disposal instructions found on the medication’s packaging, instead of returning their medicines at a drop-off location.

Despite extensive federal regulations, many unsafe drugs make it onto the market, and the consequences can be devastating. There are three main types of Texas pharmaceutical and prescription drug product liability lawsuits. The lawsuits typically stem from design errors, manufacturing defects, or improper marketing. Design error lawsuits generally arise when a product is unreasonably dangerous, despite proper use. These lawsuits do not frequently occur because many of these drugs do not make it onto the market. Manufacturing defect claims arise when the drug’s design is appropriate, but some manufacturing or handling error happens that renders the product unsafe. Finally, improperly marketed drug lawsuits arise when a company has inadequate or improper warning labels, that fail to warn consumers of potential side effects. However, in some cases, Texas’s learned intermediary doctrine works to shift the burden of liability from the company to the patient’s prescribing doctor.

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(NATIONAL RECALL: February 2020) The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a recall for an insulin pump that thousands of people use with Type 1 diabetes. The recall is centered around certain Medtronic MiniMed 600 series insulin pumps.

One person has died, 2,175 people have received injuries and there have been more than 26,000 complaints, according to a statement released by the FDA.

Medtronic is recalling the specified insulin pumps due to a missing or broken retainer ring. That ring helps lock the insulin cartridge into place, according to the FDA.

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