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Dangerous Products

Corporations Get A Lot More Cooperative With Claims After Getting Caught In Lies

Posted by on Jul 7, 2014 in Dangerous Products, Recent News

Corporations Get A Lot More Cooperative With Claims After Getting Caught In Lies

One of the law-related blogs that I regularly read is called Torts Blog, published by Professor Alberto Bernabe of the John Marshall Law School in Chicago.  If you haven’t ever checked it out, and you are interested in the field of personal injury claims and litigation, you should. Recently, Professor Bernabe posted a series of blog posts (here and here) about how General Motors has decided to set up a compensation fund for victims and the families of victims injured or killed as a result of GM’s defective vehicles.  Professor Bernabe reviewed the basics of compensation fund (to be administered by Ken Feinberg of 9/11 and BP oil spill claim fame):  $1 million for each death, payment of verifiable lifetime earnings, and $300,000 to each surviving spouse or dependent.  In exchange for participating in the compensation fund process, families would have to agree not to pursue claims through the court systems.  As Professor Bernabe pointed out in an earlier post, the arrangement seems rationale and reasonable, but with huge corporations, one must always look for a catch. Although our current Supreme Court seems hellbent on looking at corporations as people and giving them commensurate rights, for-profit corporations generally exist for one reason — to increase shareholder value by earning a profit.  Unlike human being who can — and often do — demonstrate sympathy and empathy for the plight of others,  it is extremely rare that a corporation will do the “right thing” or demonstrate “generosity of spirit” unless doing so helps expand or protect the company’s bottom-line. Professor Bernabe made a great pick-up when he came across a story from Bloomberg news that quoted a United States Bankruptcy Judge who had presided over GM’s bankruptcy proceedings in 2009.  At the time, GM officials were seeking bankruptcy protection to shield them from the effects of bad decisions and poor economic conditions.  At the time, GM officials testified to the challenges facing the company, including the the specter of potential claims or lawsuits.  At the time, GM officials knew that one of their engineers had discovered that many thousands of GM vehicles had been outfitted with faulty ignitions switches that could be (and were) causing fatal crashes.  Nevertheless, GM elected not to recall the defective vehicles.  Similarly, GM officials — under oath — elected not to alert the Bankruptcy Court about the defects, or the potential for claims.  GM was thus allowed to declare bankruptcy, and to wipe away millions of dollars in debt, and to reorganize. When news of GM’s prior knowledge of the potential ignition switch problems, and subsequently, the potential for claims became public, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Robert Gerber’s ears perked up.  He indicated that, under the circumstances, he might consider the 2009 testimony of GM officials as fraud on the Court.  This is a serious crime, and can have very serious consequences.  It goes without saying that...

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Was Defective Tire To Blame For Interstate 4 Rollover Disaster?

Posted by on Jan 13, 2014 in Dangerous Products, Motor vehicle accidents

Was Defective Tire To Blame For Interstate 4 Rollover Disaster?

Was a defective tire responsible for a blowout accident that caused the wrongful death of a Longwood man last Friday? This was the first question that popped into my mind after reading an article on the WESH.com website describing the tragic death of Miguel Javier Figueroa Marzan, age 19, from Longwood. According to the article, Mr. Marzan was riding with a friend in a 1999 Ford SUV being driven by Marcus Grubb of St. Petersburg.  As the group drove through Lakeland on Interstate 4 heading toward Orlando, the right rear tire of the vehicle blew out, causing the vehicle to roll several times. Apparently, Mr. Marzan and Kezra Johnson were both ejected.  Mr. Marzan tragically died, while Ms. Johnson and Mr. Grubb were both seriously injured As an Orlando accident attorney, I know that rollover accidents like this one are often caused by defective tires.  After all, tires are literally “where the rubber meets the road” when it comes to safe driving. (You can click here to watch a short video I shot with safety tips to avoid tire blowouts.) If a defective tire was to blame for this Lakeland rollover accident, the victims will want to make sure and retain any pieces or remnants of the tire that they can.  Also, it would be smart to retain the crashed vehicle as well.  In a tire defect case, these pieces of evidence can be critical to proving a case. If you have any questions regarding a Florida rollover crash or defective tire case, call Winter Park personal injury lawyers Kim Cullen and Robert Hemphill at...

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Dangerous Card Table Set Fingered For Recall By Walmart

Posted by on Jan 6, 2014 in Dangerous Products

Dangerous Card Table Set Fingered For Recall By Walmart

A total finger amputation and several other partial finger amputations have caused Walmart to recall a popular card table set. According to an article on the local Channel 6 news website, the growing number of injuries have caused the nation’s largest retailer to remove the Maintstay card table set from shelves, and to offer all consumers who return the set to stores a full refund. Although I am not a huge fan of Walmart, or its Sam’s Club stores, I salute Walmart for this move.  Removing a dangerous product from the stream of commerce is always the smart thing to do.  Although a finger amputation can obviously be survived, we know from experience representing folks with finger amputations (both total, and partial) that it is a serious injury.  The fact that multiple amputations have occurred suggests that this table really is dangerous. If you have any questions regarding a dangerous product, or a finger amputation injury, call Winter Park personal injury lawyers Kim Cullen and Robert Hemphill at 407-254-4901, or visit their...

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