2016 is a year that most of us are more than ready to put behind us. We have lost an unprecedented number of great artists and other beloved public figures. We saw horrific tragedies, like the mass shooting in Orlando. And we saw massive government failures with ongoing consequences, including the Flint water crisis. Here are three defective product stories from 2016 that also have ongoing consequences.
Takata Air Bags
When defective Takata air bags deploy, they explode shooting shrapnel into the driver and passenger, turning the inside of your vehicle into a mini warzone. So far, 11 people have been killed by the airbags and more than 100 injured. The National Highway Traffic Administration (NHTSA) says it’s the largest recall in U.S. history affecting one in seven of the cars on the roads today. It could take until 2023 for all vehicles with recalled Takata airbags to be fixed.
GM Ignition Switch Litigation
At least 124 deaths and 274 injuries have been linked to defective General Motors (GM) ignition switches. 234 injury and death lawsuits consolidated multidistrict litigation (MDL) in Manhattan federal court. Six bellwether trials were scheduled for 2016, one was withdrawn by the plaintiff, GM won two and it settled three. So far, GM has paid about $2 billion in criminal and civil penalties and settlements.
In July, 2016 the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York ruled that bankruptcy did not shield GM from lawsuits, opening the company up to more suits and with an estimated value of $7 to $10 billion. GM is fighting the decision.
In just three lawsuits in a Missouri court, Johnson and Johnson (J&J) was ordered to pay nearly $200 million to victims and loved ones as a result of its talcum powder products causing ovarian cancer when used for feminine hygiene. There are more than 2,000 similar cases pending against J&J and it is estimated that each year 10,000 women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer linked to talcum powder. J&J wants to move cases out of Missouri to a court in New Jersey where the scientific evidence showing the link between talc and ovarian cancer has been ruled inadmissible.
If you or someone you love has been harmed by a defective vehicle or other defective product, please talk to an experienced product liability attorney right away to learn more about your rights and potential compensation.