Nothing can derail a business faster than a wave of products liability claims. With plaintiff’s attorneys advertising on television, radio, and online, product liability claims can quickly escalate out of control. While nearly all industries are susceptible to these types of claims, some industries face them more often than others. Here are some of the most heavily sued industries and examples of how we have helped our clients overcome allegations of product liability:
Heavy equipment – like bulldozers and excavators – are often a subject of product liability claims. These large machines are used widely across the country and require regular maintenance to make sure they are operating correctly. MehaffyWeber successfully represented a Fortune 100 company in a product liability lawsuit regarding heavy equipment used in the logging industry. The plaintiff was the insurance company of a logging company that purchased an excavator with a logging attachment. Several years later, the machine caught fire and was totally destroyed. The plaintiff argued that a defect in the machine resulted in the fire; however, MehaffyWeber obtained a dismissal based on no evidence of manufacturing or design defect as well as the economic loss rule. Mehaffy Weber successfully defended the appeal through the Texas Supreme Court.
Electrical equipment by its nature can be dangerous; however, when manufactured and used correctly, is perfectly safe. Anyone working with electrical equipment needs to know proper safety procedures to prevent electrocution injuries. MehaffyWeber represented an electrical equipment manufacturer after a telephone lineman suffered an electrocution. The lineman was seeking $2.5 million in damages, claiming the equipment was defective and caused his injuries; however, after a two week trial in federal court, the jury returned a verdict finding no negligence on the part of our client and no defect in the design or marketing of their products.
By their nature, these machines do present dangers, but they should be reasonably safe to use as long as operators follow important safety protocols. Just because a workplace accident involves a piece of machinery or equipment doesn’t mean the manufacturer is at fault. Owners and operators can cause accidents by not using machines correctly, not properly maintaining machines, and using them for uses other than what they were designed for. MehaffyWeber represented an international industrial equipment manufacturer accused of providing defective valves. The valves were used in conjunction with asbestos flange gaskets and asbestos external insulation manufactured by another company. MehaffyWeber successfully moved for an early dismissal of the case and the court ruled that the manufacturer was not responsible for asbestos related injuries because the manufacturer did not supply the flange gaskets or insulation which caused the injuries. Analyzing a case’s weaknesses early, as in this case, can often safe the client’s financial resources.
Protecting Against Product Liability Claims
MehaffyWeber’s product liability attorneys have broad experience litigating matters involving product liability claims. The firm’s lawyers have acted as national and regional counsel in such matters, and have tried significant cases throughout Texas. We have extensive experience working with experts in a variety of fields and have managed complex mass tort and multi-district litigations. Contact us today to schedule an appointment with one of our experienced attorneys.