Defective Shoes Leading to Serious Trip & Fall – $225,000 Settlement
Our client, who was herself a nurse, was simply taking a walk when the sole of her orthopedic shoe detached and fell off. She then tripped and fell to the ground resulting in very severe injuries including shoulder adhesive capsulitis, a biceps-labral tear and a rotator cuff tendon tear. Extensive surgery and therapy were required to help with her rehabilitation. A lawsuit was filed on her behalf alleging that the shoes were defectively made or assembled. Rather than subject themselves to a lawsuit and the possible bad publicity surrounding a trial, the shoe manufacturer agreed to a just and proper settlement in the amount of $225,000 for the benefit of our client.
What is Product Liability?
At this very moment in time, literally millions of different products are being manufactured in the city of Chicago, across the state of Illinois, America and the world. Some are food products, others are clothing products (like the shoes in our settlement described above), while others may be machinery, cars, computers or thousands of various items. America prides itself on innovation and encourages new companies to create new and exciting products, but laws are in place to ensure that these products are safe for use and will not injure consumers. The Consumer Product Safety Commission lists many such recalled products and applicable federal safety standards.
So, product liability is the area of the law that protects people from dangerous or defective items and gives them an opportunity to sue for money damages those responsible for any injury or death that happens from a bad product. In order to successfully win such a lawsuit, it must be proven that not only was the item defective, but that the injury was a result of that defect. This is referred to as proving liability and damages.
What are the Basic Types of Product Liability Claims?
Every state’s laws are different, but they all basically involve the same general three types of defective product claims. These are:
Defective Design: This relates to an item that was manufactured exactly as planned but turns out to be inherently dangerous. In these circumstances, it is the entire product line which is dangerous, and anyone who uses it (even in the manner intended) may be injured. Some examples might include a booster seat that fails to keep the child restrained in the event of a crash or a toaster oven with a handle that is too hot to the touch to open safely.
Defective Manufacture: In contrast to a defective design case, there is nothing likely wrong with the planning or tooling of this product. It may be that 99% of all these items are produced properly and are safe to use. But perhaps due to some error or flaw in the manufacturing process, some (or all) are not as intended and present a danger to the consumer. Some examples might include a pacemaker that was assembled incorrectly or a car with a steering wheel that was improperly attached at the factory.
Inadequate Warnings: In this last type of case, the item is neither designed incorrectly, nor is it manufactured improperly. It is perfectly fine as is, but the problem is that the manufacturer failed to provide adequate warnings or instructions about how to properly use the item. This would not apply to an obvious item like a pencil (everyone knows that you should not stick it in your eye), but it relates to other products whose use is not so obvious without good instructions or warnings. An example might involve a chainsaw or cough syrup that lacked warnings about how much to use or what other products to avoid.
Manufacturers invest millions of dollars in design and planning costs to produce their particular products. As such, they have absolutely no desire to change their tooling or production process because this would undoubtedly cost them millions, or in some cases billions, of dollars to do. So, they employ attorneys to fight these cases vigorously. Mitchell S. Sexner & Associates LLC is available to discuss your case free of charge at 800-996-4824 and has a long, successful history of achieving justice on behalf of their clients. Call today.