Products Liability Newsletters
Silicone breast implants were developed in the 1960s. They have been used for breast reconstruction (about 15 percent of implant procedures, as estimated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration) and breast enhancement (about 85 percent of implant procedures, as estimated by the FDA).
The Consumer Product Safety Act of 1972 (Act) created the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (Commission). Under the Act, the Commission has authority to adopt consumer product safety rules. The Act requires manufacturers to place warning labels and information labels on consumer products. The Act also requires manufacturers to report defects that have or may cause serious injury or death. Manufacturers must also report a product that fails to comply with a consumer product safety standard. The Act creates a federal tort cause of action for a knowing violation of safety standards or the Commission's rules. Injured persons who win a lawsuit under the Act can receive attorney fees and recover expert witness fees.
Most goods that you buy, except houses, motor vehicles, and large equipment, are consumer products. Consumer products are considered defective if they are improperly designed or manufactured or fail to warn the consumer of the product's dangers. Manufacturers of consumer products have a duty to sell safe products to consumers. If you are injured while using a defective consumer product, you may be able to recover damages from the manufacturer. This article covers the following consumer products: appliances, home products, clothing, lawn mowers, home power tools, and sports equipment.
Beginning in the 1990's, lawsuits alleging injuries a result of exposure to electromagnetic radiation started to spring up. These lawsuits are based on growing, but perhaps unsubstantiated, evidence that exposure to low-level electromagnetic radiation that is given off by power lines, electric blankets, and video display terminals (VDT's) can cause cancer, birth defects, miscarriages, and other health problems. Electromagnetic radiation occurs when voltages produce electric fields and electrical currents produce magnetic fields.
Punitive damages are damages in excess of damages awarded to compensate a tort victim for injuries sustained. Also called exemplary damages, punitive damages are awarded to punish a tortfeasor for wanton or malicious conduct. Punitive damages have often been assessed in product liability actions.