When it comes to potentially dangerous drugs–like testosterone replacement therapies—or cars, or even a light bulb, manufacturers always know more about the product’s risks than its consumer does. The law in our country that protects us from makers of those products–who put their profit ahead of the safety of people–is commonly referred to as strict liability.
STRICT LIABILITY LAW
The law of strict liability dates back hundreds of years, when people were found to be legally responsible for the damages they caused by conducting certain “inherently dangerous activities,” like transporting dynamite or keeping a tiger in their apartment. In those situations, to win their cases the plaintiffs or injured parties do not have to prove that the defendant was careless, but merely the extent of their injuries. That is a significantly easier case for a plaintiff. As the law has evolved, it has become one of the few remaining protections of the injured when a dangerous or defective product is sold that hurts or kills people.
GM RECALLS 1.6 MILLION CARS
The most compelling and recent example of how the strict liability law can be used to protect the injured is the delayed recall by General Motors of nearly 2 million vehicles that have faulty ignition systems and have been linked to a dozen deaths.
The defect that prompted the recall is a faulty ignition switch that can suddenly turn off a car, leaving it difficult to steer and disabling its air bags. The cause has been traced to not having enough resistance in the ignition switch to counter the weight of heavy keys and key chains. This is also an important safety tip for anybody who is driving with heavy key chains, as it had never occurred to me that those items might be sufficient to turn off a car.
This week the House Energy and Commerce Committee has launched an investigation into why GM waited nearly a decade to announce the recall after it appears it had knowledge of the defect as far back as 2004.
In 2000, in the wake of the Ford/Firestone rollover litigation, Congress enacted the Tread Act, which was supposed to mandate that fatal accidents related to product or safety defects be reported directly to the Department of Transportation by the manufacturers. GM has hired a big-time lawyer, Anton Valukas, to marshal its legal defense, which most certainly will tarnish its reputation and may lead to a class action case.
PROFIT OVER PEOPLE’S SAFETY
In virtually every case I have been involved in—over more than 20 years as a practicing personal injury lawyer in Florida—involving the liability or fault of a company that makes a dangerous product, the result can be traced to money. In other words, the company conducts an analysis weighing just how much money a given liability will cost the company to fix, compared to the harm it can cause.
Our dangerous drug attorneys are passionate about holding accountable those companies that make dangerous medications and products when their products hurt or kill people. For example, if you have suffered a heart attack or stroke after having taken a testosterone supplement, we provide free initial no-fee/no-cost consultations via SKYPE, email, or Toll-Free at 1-866-597-4529. Call us today.