Cases we have litigated, involving
Dangerously Defective Rroducts
Defective Seat Heaters
Our client, a young veteran, suffered one of the early reported seat heater burns. When he returned home from the Marine Corps, he bought a four-wheel drive vehicle recommended for paraplegics. He did not choose a seat heater, but the vehicle came with heaters in both front seats. After returning home after one of his first trips, he discovered that the skin on his buttocks came off with his jeans as he prepared for bed. He had not known that the heater had somehow accidentally been turned on and had not felt the heat. Engineers who tested the vehicle found that the driver’s seat could generate temperatures as high as 150 degrees F. While the manufacturer recalled two model years of that vehicle, we have found that many models manufactured in other years, as well as other makes of vehicles, also have dangerous seat heaters and they sadly remain on the road today. Every paraplegic or other person with sensory deficits should be made fully aware of the risk and those seat heaters should be disconnected.
Costco 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 centerline, 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.
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.
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.
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
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 a 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.
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.
Uniroyal Goodrich Tire Company $1.78 Million Wrongful Death Verdict
Location: Portland, Oregon
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.