November 15, 2012

Florida Court Allows Injured Drunk Driver's Case Against Ford to Continue

Florida's 2nd District Court of Appeals ruled that a personal injury products liability case against Ford Motor Company, in which a drunk driver caused a single car accident and suffered catastrophic personal injuries may continue. The injured motorist claimed that she suffered personal injuries because Ford negligently designed the suspension and roof supports in a 1999 Ford Explorer.

The Court held that if someone is injured due to a car's mechanical defect, that Florida's strict liability standard in product liability cases should hold the manufacturer responsible even if the defect which caused the injury was not the cause of the crash. The Court reasoned that a manufacturer's responsibility should also include cases where a crash is not caused by a structural defect; stating that how a crash occurs, and the mechanism of injury, are inseparable and should be considered a single incident. And, because such car accidents and personal injuries are foreseeable, the vehicle manufacturer must assume those risks.

Having helped seriously injured victims of dangerous products across the State of Florida for more than twenty years we agree with the Court's reasoning and hope that all manufacturers understand the necessity in making their products less dangerous and crash-worthy.

June 19, 2012

Advances in Car Safety Prevent Wrongful Deaths

As personal injury lawyers helping the innocent victims of deadly car accidents throughout Florida, we are pleased to note that although Floridians are driving greater distances, car accidents resulting in wrongful deaths have drastically decreased over the past decade. According to the NHTSA this welcome decrease in deadly accidents is due to car manufacturers' greater concern for safety.

Due to a better understanding of how to build vehicles that better protect occupants, the NHTSA concluded that over a million people have been spared serious personal injuries and more than 2000 lives have been saved. The NHTSA's study looked at the ability of vehicles to protect their occupants from the so-called secondary impacts; that is, the occupant striking the interior portion of the vehicle.

Some examples of more crash resistant safety advances include more and improved air bags, pre-tensioning seat belts, increased vehicle crumple zones, side impact protection, additional interior padding and accident sensing head rests. We concur with Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood in celebrating the decline in wrongful deaths and personal injuries.

October 15, 2010

DePuy Hip Replacements Failures Spur Lawsuits

As personal injury attorneys handling medical malpractice and products liability cases throughout the State of Florida, we try to keep consumers informed of dangerous products which cause personal injuries. The DePuy ASR, a metal-on-metal hip replacement system, is one such product which is continuing to injury too may patients.

Although the FDA approved the DePuy ASR for use in traditional hip replacement in 2005, the device did not undergo appropriate clinical trials. Unfortunately, since 2008, hundreds of patients have had to have the device replaced soon after getting it.

According to The New York Times, DePuy hip implants are used in about one-third of the approximately 250,000 hip replacements performed annually. However, many orthopedic surgeons have stopped using these DePuy devices due to concerns that they cause severe tissue and bone damage.

As further evidence of the problem with such hip replacements, DePuy has since warned doctors that studies suggested that the ASR had a higher-than-expected failure rate.

We strongly suggest that if you received a DePuy hip implant and are experiencing symptoms such as unexplained hip pain, thigh pain or groin Pain, pain with walking, pain rising from a seated position or pain with weight bearing, that you immediately see your orthopedic surgeon and thereafter protect your legal rights.

January 7, 2009

Court Rejects Claims of Floridians injured by Medical Products Liability

As Florida Lawyers we are truly disappointed by the current state of the law regarding the erosion of injured victims rights caused by the negligence of medical product manufacturers. A Federal Judge in Minnesota just dismissed cases brought by thousands of injured patients with heart-defibrillator wires which were proven to fracture, shock and sometimes kill patients .

The cases were dismissed because of a recent decision by United States Supreme Court which proclaimed that federal law pre-empts state based product-liability lawsuits, essentially preventing such cases. Therefore, in the absence of some new law passed by Congress, victims injured due to faulty medical products will be unable to file a lawsuit unless they can prove the medical company violated FDA regulations. This will certainly be a difficult, if not impossible, hurdle for injured patients to meet.

Unfortunately, given the efforts of medical manufacturers and drug makers, who have convinced lawmakers that federal regulations take precedent over state laws, the Supreme Court will probably soon also apply this pre-emption to drugmakers.

April 26, 2008

Florida Smokers Can Claim Part of $600 Million Fund

A Miami Dade County Judge ruled that Florida smokers, former smokers and survivors of smokers may be eligible for a portion of an unprecedented fund of $600 million which was established by the tobacco industry. The qualifications are: the disease or medical condition must have been first diagnosed or manifested itself before November 21, 1996; and claimants will be required to submit "contemporaneous, verifiable proof," mainly medical records dated before November 21, 1996, to support their claim.

The fund, known as the "Engle Trust Fund," named after the original plaintiff in the Florida products liability case against the tobacco industry, is for people, or survivors of immediate family members, who have suffered, presently suffer, or have died from the diseases and medical conditions, including aortic aneurysm, bladder cancer, cerebrovascular disease (including stroke), cervical cancer, COPD (including emphysema), heart attack, throat cancer, kidney cancer, laryngeal cancer, lung cancer, miscarriage, and oral cavity/tongue cancer.

We cannot stress strongly enough that all claims must be registered no later than June 16, 2008. Any claim not submitted, along with the necessary medical records documentation, by June 16, 2008, will not be eligible for a proportionate share of the fund.