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Product Liability Archives | Farah & Farah

Is There a Driver in that Car? Florida Leads Nation in Lax Driverless Car Laws

By Farah & Farah on March 1, 2017

You’ve seen stories about driverless cars around the country.

The Department of Transportation issued guidelines for safety of passengers in driverless cars after a Florida driver, who relied on autopilot, crashed his Tesla into a tractor-trailer with fatal results. 

Despite that setback, Florida lawmakers are eliminating roadblocks to the new technology with the state ridding itself of a requirement that self-driving cars be on our roads for testing purposes only. 

Florida’s love with driverless cars began five years ago when Florida state senator, Jeff Brandes, invited two Google self-driving cars to Tallahassee. He announced it was an “education campaign to get people to understand that this is the future.” 

Since then, the Florida legislature has passed HB 7027 that allows fully automatic vehicles on our state roads without a driver. Florida now allows anyone with a driver’s license to be behind the wheel of a self-driving car for any purpose, even if they are operating the car on autopilot, as long as they are capable of bringing it to a full stop.

The theory is that a vehicle’s occupant can relax and tend to business, like talk on the cellphone, rather than attend to the dreary drudgery of driving. Never mind that mass transit, trains and buses also allow a passenger to relax while putting fewer vehicles on our already crowded roads.

But that makes too much sense. 

The first state to pass legislation generally becomes a model for the remainder of the country, so all eyes are on Florida, especially in the area of liability.    

For example, who is responsible when a driverless car goes haywire – the driver or the technology? 

Manufacturers such as Ford, Google, BMW, Volvo, among others, argue that the autonomous technology advances will reduce human-error that causes nearly 40,000 traffic deaths every year.    

That remains to be seen, but there are indications consumers, injured by the driverless technology, may have to seek compensation from a common insurance pool rather than lay fault with a manufacturer. 

Already, manufacturers want the government to preempt or prevent product liability claims from being filed after an accident with one of these vehicles. The theory is if there was federal premarket approval of the technology, tort claims against the automakers should not be allowed.

Not only does that shut the courthouse door to you and me but it relies on taxpayers to pick up the tab for injuries and deaths allowing manufacturers to escape any responsibility. 

That’s a sweet deal for them, but very bad for the rest of us.

Driverless Cars – Cool Technology, But Are They Safe?

By on September 15, 2016

self-driving-carAutomobile manufacturers Tesla, Ford, Toyota, GM, BMW, Delphi, Volkswagen, and NuTonomy are all planning to have self-driving vehicles on the market within five years. While you may not run right out and purchase one of these robot cars, you’ll soon be sharing the road with them. In fact, Tesla has already put driverless vehicles out on the roadways. So, the question everyone is asking is just how safe are these vehicles?

Read the rest »

Posted in: Product Liability

Samsung’s Newest Phone Burns Seven Year Old Boy

By on September 13, 2016

galaxy-note-recallIn case you hadn’t heard, the batteries of Samsung’s Galaxy Note 7’s have been exploding. The phone was just introduced last month, and so far, at least two dozen episodes of Galaxy Note 7s catching on fire have been reported. Most recently, a seven year old boy was treated for burns when the battery on his grandmother’s phone exploded while he was using it to watch videos.

Read the rest »

Posted in: Product Liability

The Hottest Christmas Gift of 2015 Might Start a Fire

By on December 15, 2015

Florida Personal InjuryIn Back to the Future II, Marty McFly stepped on a floating piece of fiberglass and used it to get away from a group of thugs trying to beat him up. In that moment, everyone in America wanted a hoverboard. Now, 25 years later, people are getting that wish granted. The hoverboard is the hottest gift of the 2015 Christmas season. The only problem? There are now enough reports from around the country to show that hoverboards can be very dangerous.

Nearly 90 percent of hoverboards that have been imported to Britain since October have been seized for being “unsafe” because of worries they could explode or catch fire. Back in America, reports of hoverboards catching fire have started popping up over the past couple months. Read the rest »

Posted in: Product Liability

Takata Airbags And What You Should Know

By on November 18, 2014

In yet another boondoggle for consumers, Honda, GM, BMW and other automakers have begun recalling nearly eight million cars because of potentially defective airbags installed between 2002 and 2008 by safety parts manufacturer, Takata. If stored in climates with relatively high humidity, the airbags have the potential to explode with significantly more force in an accident and cause metal within the device to fly out like grenade shrapnel. The faulty bags line the dashboards, steering wheels and door interiors of suspected vehicles – making it a veritable kill-box should there be an accident. To date there are over 30 known injuries and multiple deaths linked to these deadly safety devices.

Like the most recent GM recall, finger pointing and outright denial has been the bulk of Takata’s defense. Rumors and accusations have flown about how much the company knew, when they knew it and how likely it is they covered up the problem. However, in a recent move, Takata admitted, under pressure by lawmakers, watch dog groups and their own consumers, that mishandled propellant installed by their Mexico planet is the likely cause of the problem. Under certain humid conditions, the propellant may become volatile and in the process of deployment, can tear apart the metal inflator housing – making it a miniature explosive sitting only feet from consumers’ faces. Read the rest »

Posted in: Product Liability

Wal-Mart Folding Chairs, Card Table Recalled

By on January 9, 2014

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), retail giant Wal-Mart is recalling some 73,400 card table and chair sets due to finger amputation and fall hazards.

So far, there have been 10 reports of injuries after the black vinyl upholstered chairs collapsed. The injuries include reports of a sore back, fingertip amputations, fractured or sprained fingers and one finger amputation.

The Mainstays five-piece card table set was sold exclusively at Wal-Mart stores and Wal-Mart online. The affected tables were manufactured in China and Taiwan and sold for approximately $50. The product was offered from May 2013 through November 2013.

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Georgia Woman Nearly Loses Home After E-Cigarette Explodes

By on September 4, 2013

Florida Electric Cigarette LiabilityA woman is pondering what “could have been” after an e-cigarette she was charging exploded in her Georgia home — an explosion she compared to a “bomb detonation.”

The woman claims that after she plugged the Chinese-manufactured eHit electronic cigarette into her laptop to charge, it exploded, sending 4-foot flames across her living room. She said the flames scorched her couch and rug. Fortunately, she was able to grab a wet washrag and pull the still-smoldering device out of her computer’s USB port before it could do any more damage.

“If I hadn’t been home, I would have lost my dogs, I would have lost my cats, I would have lost my house,” the woman told WSB-TV.

Read the rest »

Expert Testifies that J&J ASR Hip Implant Failed Due to ‘Toxic Debris’

By Eddie Farah on February 4, 2013

An occupational medicine specialist from the University of California, San Francisco testified in Los Angeles Superior Court that the failure of a Johnson & Johnson ASR hip implant was due to toxic exposure from the metal-on-metal device.

In the first “bellwether’ trial concerning J&J’s ASR all-metal hip replacement, attorneys for the plaintiff are seeking to bolster their contention that J&J was aware that its metal-on-metal hip implants were defective and that the company failed to warn consumers about the risks. Read the rest »

Florida Woman Files Hip Replacement Suit against Stryker Orthopedics

By on August 13, 2012

Tallahassee Hip Implant InjuryIt’s been a month since Stryker Orthopedics voluntarily recalled its “Rejuvenate” hip replacement devices due to “potential risks,” and now a 66-year-old Florida woman has filed a lawsuit against the company. The lawsuit claims the company manufactured and sold a defective product that caused her serious health complications.

The woman underwent surgery in October 2011 to replace her right hip with Rejuvenate. According to her attorney, she started experiencing pain within months of the operation, and although doctors looking into her complaints couldn’t find an infection, they did find that she had elevated metal levels in her blood. Read the rest »

J&J Baby Lotion Recall Due to High Bacteria Levels

By on February 9, 2012

Drug maker Johnson & Johnson (J & J) announced on January 27 that it was recalling about 2,200 tubes of a baby lotion after excessive amounts of bacteria were discovered in one sample by U.S. regulators. The lotion in question is Aveeno Baby Calming Comfort Lotion and it was taken off the shelves in eight southern states and Kansas voluntarily in “an abundance of caution,” adding that it was very unlikely the product would harm any children.

According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the tube tested had an excess amount of bacteria. A test conducted later did not duplicate that finding.

The product with a lot number of 0161LK was made in Canada and contained a bacteria identified as coagulase-negative Staphylococci. This type of bacteria is found in the environment and on the scalp naturally, as well as in cosmetics and household products, but it can cause urinary tract and central nervous system infections. Some strains are reported to be resistant to antibiotics. J & J issued a statement that consumers could still use the lotion or could call the company at (877) 298-2525 to receive a refund for this product recall. Read the rest »

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The attorneys of Farah & Farah in Jacksonville, Florida have experience with personal injury, medical malpractice, product liability, workers’ compensation, social security, injury and negligence lawsuits. Eddie Farah and our team of Jacksonville attorneys are proud to represent working people and families throughout the country.

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