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Articles Posted in Product Liability

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shiny floorWhen a lawsuit is filed for compensation for injuries in an accident allegedly caused by another party’s negligence, there are several ways that the case can be concluded. The most obvious ways are by an out-of-court settlement or a jury verdict in favor of one party or the other.

There is another, less commonly known, possible resolution for negligence cases known as “summary judgment.” When a court grants summary judgment, it is usually (although not always) in favor of the defendant, and it means that, even if the court looks at all of the evidence in the light most favorable to the plaintiff, there is no way that the plaintiff’s case can be successful at trial.

If the plaintiff disagrees that summary judgment was an appropriate end to the case, he or she can ask the appellate court to review the matter.

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large clockIf you believe that you have a claim for personal injuries or for a loved one’s wrongful death, you should speak to an attorney about your case as soon as possible. This is because there is a limited time for filing both injury and death cases. This Tennessee product liability lawsuit case is a reminder that the statute of limitations isn’t flexible.

The statute of limitations prescribes the exact time period for bringing a claim, such as a negligence action arising from a motor vehicle collision, an act of medical malpractice, or an injury from a defective product. There may also be an applicable statute of repose that places additional constraints on the time for filing suit, based on factors such as, for example, the date an allegedly defective product was manufactured.

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Photograph 053 by Lauren Mancke found on minimography.comIf you are suffering from non-Hodgkin lymphoma, a type of cancer, and you have been exposed to Roundup, you may need legal help.

A recent scientific study labeled glyphosate, the main ingredient in Roundup, a class 2A carcinogen. Glyphosate may be linked to cases of non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

Those who have this disease need to know that lawsuits are underway against Monsanto, the manufacturer of Roundup. If you have been exposed to Roundup, either as a consumer, a farmer or landscape worker, it is important to know your rights, and to act quickly. The statute of limitations, which restricts how long you have to file a lawsuit, may apply. It is important to begin research soon to see if you should be represented by counsel.

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feet on sidewalkProperty owners and business operators owe certain duties to those who come onto their premises for a business or social purpose. A breach of this duty can potentially result in a finding of liability against the landowner and an award of damages in favor of an injured party. This is most commonly referred to as a “slip and fall” case, in which someone is injured because of property that isn’t maintained, such as a cracked sidewalk or other similar issue.

For this reason, it is increasingly common for would-be defendants to ask for a waiver of liability from those with whom they do business. It is up to the courts to determine whether such waivers are valid under the facts of an individual case.

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product liability lawsuit

Where do you file a product liability lawsuit?

Most of the time, the answer is simple. You file it where the actionable issue occurred. If you live in Kentucky and that’s where the accident happened, it’s easy to determine you file your lawsuit in Kentucky.

Sometimes, there are multiple possibilities for where to file a suit. If the opposing party doesn’t like the plaintiff’s choice of court, the opposing party can ask for a dismissal of the case or, in some situations, a transfer. If the plaintiff disagrees with the trial court’s order regarding jurisdiction or choice of forum, the plaintiff can file an appeal.

Once the proper court has been decided, another possible issue is that of choice of law. Typically, this question arises when an issue could possibly be resolved according to the law of two or more states. However, sometimes, the choice of law question involves the law of differing nations.

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By Kyle Roby, attorney
English, Lucas, Priest and Owsley, LLP

guardrailsMetal guardrails run alongside many highways, particularly those that hug a steep embankment. They’re designed to protect those in a car if it careens off the highway. In some cases, though, guardrails are making accidents much more deadly than they should be.

A recent accident here in Bowling Green could have possibly had a different outcome if a guardrail was not involved. A car veered off of Morgantown Road and hit the support wires of a utility pole and the guardrail. The guardrail penetrated the car and hit the driver. She was killed. Two others were hospitalized with serious injuries, and two more were treated locally for less severe injuries.

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power plantThe burden of proof is initially on the plaintiff in a personal injury lawsuit. In order to prevail, he or she must prove each of the four elements of negligence (duty, breach of duty, causation, and damages) by a preponderance of the evidence. This is usually done through a combination of expert witnesses and lay testimony.

For instance, in many car accident cases, the basic facts of the crash may be explained by lay witnesses (“I saw the blue car run the red light and hit the side of the white van”). Evidence regarding certain damages, such as injuries and the reasonableness and necessity of medical expenses, requires testimony from an expert witness such as a physician.

In the middle of these extremes are cases in which expert witness testimony would prove helpful but is not strictly required in order for a case to go forward. Sometimes, the parties disagree as to whether such testimony is an actual requirement under the circumstances, and the court must make a decision.

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lawn mowerBy Kyle Roby, Attorney and Partner
English, Lucas, Priest and Owsley, LLP

The reported cases decided by the appellate courts sometimes come in batches of cases involving similar issues. Since a criminal case questioning the applicability of the death penalty, for example, involves an entirely different set of issues, research, and analysis than does a tort case arguing about liability in a medical malpractice lawsuit, there is judicial economy when the courts decide similar cases during the same time period.

Lately, it seems the courts have been faced with a number of cases involving whether or not a given situation is covered under a particular insurance policy. In the recent case of Auto-Owners Insurance Company v. Holland, the Court of Appeals of Tennessee at Nashville was called upon to decide whether a commercial general liability insurance policy provided coverage in an accident in which a child was injured by the gate of a trailer that an insured used to transport lawn care equipment.

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When a consumer is injured because of a dangerous product, the consumer has a right to pursue financial compensation for his or her injuries via a product liability lawsuit. There are several types of theories that may be used in product liability cases, depending upon the circumstances.

These types of theories include strict product liability, design defect, manufacturing defect, failure to warn, and breach of warranty. Design defects typically affect an entire line of products that were manufactured according to an inherently dangerous design. Manufacturing defects, on the other hand, may involve only a few products that were the subjects of a flaw in the construction or production process.

Damages available in a product liability case may include past and future medical expenses, pain and suffering, and lost wages. In some cases, there is also the possibility of punitive damages in cases of particularly egregious conduct by the manufacturer.

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The interior of a red concept car at a 2009 car show.By Jessica Surber, Attorney
English, Lucas, Priest and Owsley, LLP

When a person is injured because of a defective or unreasonably dangerous product, he or she may be entitled to damages such as payment of medical expenses, reimbursement of lost wages, and compensation for pain and suffering.

Although it is the exception rather than the rule, there is also the possibility of punitive damages in some cases. In order to qualify for a punitive damages award, a plaintiff must show particularly egregious conduct on the part of the defendant (typically, the manufacturer, distributor, or retail seller of the product).

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