When companies don’t act in the best interests of their customers or products don’t work as promised, consumers and the courts can hold them accountable. Plaintiffs all over the country file class action lawsuits every day, forcing companies to change their practices or improve upon their products. Here are some historic product liability cases you might have never even heard of.
Blitz Gas Cans
If you have ever run out of gas and had to hike to the gas station with the trusty red can, you may be familiar with Blitz Gas Cans. The company manufactured cans used for transporting gasoline, but the cans would often explode if consumers poured from them to start a fire.
Blitz Gas Cans filed for bankruptcy in 2012 and the barrage of lawsuits it faced—more than 30 cases—brought the company to its knees. Blitz Gas Cans went out of business after paying more than $4 million per claim.
Ledraplastic Balancing Balls
When Sacramento Kings basketball player Francisco Garcia hit the gym on a fateful day in 2009, he was expecting to get a quick workout and get back to practice. As he was balancing on the fitness ball and using light weights, the ball burst, causing him to suffer a right forearm fracture.
As a result, he was unable to play for the first half of the season, costing him lost wages and playing time. He sued Ledraplastic, winning a settlement of $29.6 million in damages and $4 million in lost wages. The company is still in business but was forced to redesign the product.
3M Hearing Loss Lawsuit
The popular manufacturer faced a slew of lawsuits when it was found to sell defective earplugs to the United States military. According to the suit, 3M sold the dual-ended combat arms earplugs knowing that there were flaws in the manufacturing that rendered them ineffective.
The military alleges that the manufacturer hid reports of flaws during the testing phase, pushing the product through for widespread use. The military members who used it suffered hearing loss and tinnitus as a result. 3M was ordered to pay $9.1 million as a result of this negligence and deceptive marketing.
AbbVie Testosterone Gel Lawsuit
AbbVie, the manufactures of AndroGel testosterone gel, was forced to pay out more than $150 million in putative damages after withholding information about the side effects of the product. Consumers who used the gel were subject to side effects like heart attack, blood clots, and stroke.
The court found that the company failed to warn users of potential side effects, leading to irreparable harm to the consumers that unknowingly used the product. AbbVie’s case was unique in that all of the damages were putative and no compensatory damages were imposed.
When companies don’t act in their consumers’ best interests, the public and the courts hold them accountable and ask for monetary damages. Pursuing a mass tort means uniting forces with other victims and a lawyer as class action lawsuits are often the best way to make a company make products safer for the public.
If you have been injured by a defective product, you may be suffering long-term effects. You don’t have to suffer alone. Chances are there are other consumers who have experienced the same consequences of a company’s negligence and need to be held accountable. Starting a class action lawsuit is the best way to get the relief you deserve.