Defective and Dangerous Products
Defective and dangerous products liability is an area of personal injury that focuses on dangerous and defective products. Our firm represents people who have become seriously ill or injured, and the families of people who have died, as the result of dangerous, defective products.
• Medical devices such as Stryker, Zimmer, Wright Medical, and DePuy Hip Implants
• Machinery and tools
• Helicopters and aircraft
• Automobiles, trucks, and motorcycles
• Medicine and Drugs, prescription and non-prescription
• Toxic chemicals and substances such as pesticides, asbestos, and mold
• Household products and appliances
• Toys and recreational equipment
• Clothing and apparel
• Personal products, including tampons
Our firm has held manufacturers accountable for the harm caused to our clients, securing compensation for them through the civil litigation process, and promoting safer products through recalls and design changes. We are proud that our work has helped to ensure that defective products have been removed from the market and prevented other consumers from suffering pain and damage.
Below is a list of representative cases that our lawyers have prosecuted on behalf of injured clients.
Air Bag Injuries. Air bags that fail to deploy, or explode when they deploy, spewing shrapnel throughout the cabin, cause injuries and deaths in accidents where serious injury should not occur. We represent individuals injured by defective and malfunctioning air bags in serious injury and death cases.
Car-Seat Heaters: Burn Injuries. We have successfully litigated and currently represent several paralyzed individuals who have suffered severe injuries from electronically heated automobile seats that generated dangerously high temperatures. Because of their paraplegia, our clients could not feel the extreme temperatures capable of producing third degree burns. The burn injuries often require many months of care, including hospitalization, skin grafts, and rehabilitation.
Side Saddle Gas Tanks: Burn Injuries. GM & Chevy pick-up trucks manufactured between 1973 – 1987 were designed with gas tanks located outside of the trucks’ frame rails just under the thin sheet of body metal. The result is that side impact collisions can cause catastrophic fires when the gas tanks rupture. For more details, please go to our Spring 2006 Newsletter.
Uniroyal Goodrich Tire Company $1.78 Million Wrongful Death Verdict. Our law firm tried a case in federal court in Portland for an Oregon family against the manufacturer of a tire that exploded and caused a fatal collision. The jury returned a unanimous verdict of $1,787,708 for the family.
Cosco Child Car Seat: Quadriplegia. A family was driving over a mountain pass, with their three-year-old child restrained in a “booster” seat type of child restraint. An oncoming car lost control in volcanic grit left by highway crews, crossed the center line, and struck the family’s car nearly head-on. Despite being in the booster seat, the child suffered a severe spinal cord injury causing her to be permanently paralyzed. The adverse driver settled for her $2 million liability insurance policy limits. Working with another law firm, we then brought a claim against the child car seat manufacturer and retailer, which settled for a confidential amount.
Fatal Prescription Drug. A 45-year old woman with no history of heart disease died unexpectedly of cardiac arrhythmia. Her physician had prescribed a combination of medications for her. The Medical Examiner determined that the cause of her death was a toxic buildup of one of those medications. We won a jury verdict in the wrongful death case tried in Lane County Circuit Court.
Chinese-Made Handgun. A Norinco pistol imported into the United States from China fired when it was accidentally dropped, killing a young father. Our investigation revealed that the gun’s firing pin was too long. The case settled after we took depositions with the aid of a Chinese language interpreter.
Defective Seat Belts. Johnson Johnson & Schaller has prosecuted claims against a number of car manufacturers, including Ford and Toyota, for injuries and deaths caused by defective seat belts.
Aerial Lift Burn Injuries. Defective aerial lifts and the misplacement of power wires can be a deadly combination. In one such case, our client, who survived, was cutting tree limbs from a boom lift when he was lifted into high voltage electrical wires. In another case, our client’s husband was crushed to death at work when the aerial lift he was working in uncontrollably lifted and pinned him into the rafters of the lumber mill.
Explosion in Wood Mill: Industrial Accident. A worker suffered severe burns and died as a result of an explosion in a particle-board green dryer. Our investigation revealed that the dryer system failed to have appropriate safety features in its computer logic controls and lacked adequate explosion vents. The case involved engineering design issues, computer software, and multiple technical specialties.
Fleetwood RV Fuel System: Fatal Fire. In this case we represented the family of a man who suffered fatal burn injuries when a gas fire erupted at an RV’s fuel spout.The case prompted a product recall and reconfiguration of the design of the component parts of the fuel system.
Swimming Pool: Quadriplegia. Diving accidents are often preventable through appropriate design and warnings. In one case, we brought an action on behalf of a young man rendered quadriplegic in a diving incident in an above-ground swimming pool. The case involved issues of design, safety engineering, warnings, life care planning, and rehabilitation medicine.
Family Restaurant: Appliance Accident. A young girl, the daughter of a middle eastern family who owned and ran a local restaurant, lost her hand when it was caught in a defectively designed meat-grinder. In addition to her physical injury, the young girl faced the cultural trauma of being “marked” as a thief because of the loss of her hand. The prosecution of the claim promoted safer designs, and we obtained an award that took into account the child’s unique emotional injury.
Shattered Graphite Arrow. While target shooting with his compound bow, an experienced bow hunter suffered permanent injury when an arrow exploded upon release. Hundreds of sharp graphite shards pierced his hand, cutting muscle tissue and severing nerves. The case settled in Federal Court mediation.
Werner Fiberglass Ladder. In this ladder case, our client was severely injured when a Werner ladder he was climbing failed. We consulted with experts in California, Washington, and Michigan regarding the ladder’s design and manufacturing process. The case resolved in a judicial settlement conference.
Flammable Pajama Fabric. Our six-year-old client’s cotton flannel nightgown made by her grandmother caught fire. The fabric’s manufacturer claimed that the material met minimal federal standards, standards essentially written by the clothing industry. With dramatic video, we showed just how weak these standards were, and the case settled out of court.
Stihl Chain Saw. Our client, a timber worker, was severely burned when the chainsaw he was using spilled gas and ignited on his pants.
Defective Bee Pesticide. In this case we represented two apiarists (bee-keepers) against the manufacturer of a chemical miticide. The miticide was supposed to kill mites which infect honeybees. Instead, it killed over half our clients’ bees, destroying their business.
Childhood DPT Vaccine: Massive Brain Injury. This product liability claim was against Connaught Laboratories, Inc., a pharmaceutical manufacturer. We associated with a firm in the Midwest in prosecuting this complex claim involving brain injury to a young child.
Silicone Breast Implant Litigation against Bristol-Myers Squibb, Baxter International and Baxter Healthcare, 3M, Dow Corning, and Others. We represented over 250 women in Multi-District Litigation in U.S. District Court against the manufacturers of silicone gel breast implants. The majority of these actions were resolved through a negotiated national settlement. We also represented women who opted out of the national settlement.
Birth Control Devices and Pills. Defective birth control products continue to injure women and cause heartache. Among other cases, we successfully represented women in Multi-District product liability actions against A.H. Robins arising out of the use of Dalkon Shield intrauterine devices. The cases were eventually resolved pursuant to a negotiated settlement through the bankruptcy of the manufacturer, A.H. Robins, Inc.
L-Tryptophan Litigation Against Showa Denko, KK, and Others. We represented claimants in Multi-District Litigation in U.S. District Court against a Japanese manufacturer of L-tryptophan, and against numerous wholesalers, formulators, encapsulators, and retailers.
Defective Tampons: Toxic Shock Syndrome. We handled product liability and medical negligence cases involving claims that toxic shock syndrome was caused by defective tampons. These toxic shock syndrome cases involved many scientific and medical issues and required original research by our experts on the cause of illness to show that the products were dangerous.
CONTACT US. In addition to fighting for justice for you in prosecuting your claim, the attorneys at Johnson Johnson & Schaller believe that by holding manufacturers accountable for hazardous products, we help ensure that new products will be safer for everyone. Contact us today for a Free Consultation.
At Johnson Johnson & Schaller PC, we help people throughout Oregon, including the cities of Eugene, Portland, Springfield, Corvallis, Medford, Salem, Bend, Lincoln City, The Dalles, Roseburg, Albany, Ashland, Florence, Coos Bay, Grants Pass, and Junction City; Benton County, Deschutes County, Jackson County, Josephine County, Lane County, Multnomah County, Washington County, Linn County, Clackamas County, Marion County and Hood River County; the states of California and Washington and throughout Central Oregon, Southern Oregon, the Oregon Coast and the Willamette Valley.