You’ll probably remember these famous (or infamous) cases:
In 1994, a woman purchased a cup of coffee at McDonald’s. She accidentally spilled the coffee on herself while trying to remove the lid to add cream to her coffee. The resulting spill led to third-degree burns all over her thighs, groin, and buttocks. McDonald’s had already paid out $500,000 for other hot coffee spill cases across the country, and they knew they heated their coffee more than they needed to They knew about the problem, but had no intention of changing it. $2.7 million in punitive damages and $200,000 in compensatory damages were awarded by the courts, but McDonald’s appealed and lowered the punitive damages to $480,000.
Hasbro Easy-Bake Oven
The company voluntarily recalled nearly 1 million Easy-Bake Ovens in 2007 after several children got their hands stuck in the oven’s openings, leading to serious burns and even a partial amputation. The company worked hard to remedy the situation, issuing another recall for all the units and offering free repair kits and vouchers for Hasbro products. However, they still had to settle many lawsuits.
This automobile industry case is probably the most-well known. In the 1970s, Ford had to deal with a number of liability cases involving its Pinto model. It had a number of problems, the defective fuel line resulting in a significant number of injuries. Rear-end collisions (even at a slow speed), would cause fuel line explosions, resulting in severe burns and even death. And even though Ford had access to a new design that would have prevented these accidents, they didn’t recall their vehicles until a year later.
Defective Liability can include, but is not limited to:
- Automobiles and Tires
- Drug Manufacturers and Pharmaceutical Companies (See Defective Drug and Medical Equipment page
- Defective Medical Equipment (See Defective Drug and Medical Equipment Page)
- Toy Manufacturers
- Infant/Baby Cribs
- Power Tools
- Automobile Safety Equipment
- Swimming Pools