Past Product Liability Cases
For more than 70 years, the attorneys at CaseyGerry have been successfully representing people injured by defective products. Below are a few of the product liability cases we have litigated and information about the negligence that led to our clients’ injuries.
Poorly Stocked Grocery Store Shelf
A display at a grocery store was stocked with beer cans and bottles in paperboard containers. The beer was covering the air return grills in the HVAC system, disrupting the cold air curtain and causing condensation to build on the shelf. When CaseyGerry’s client reached for an item, the wet paperboard failed and allowed bottles to fall. The bottles crushed the man’s foot. His injury resulted in deep peroneal neuritis and entrapment of several nerves, leading him to suffer from CRPS.
Yacht Design Defect
In this product liability lawsuit, the manufacturer of a sailboat was aware of major design defects and failed to warn of the potential dangers. The sailboat did not have stability built into the boat. There was no secondary warning system to let users know that the sailboat was unstable and provided no means of monitoring the water level in the tank from the helm.
Lack of Lift Gate Warning on Refrigerator Truck
There was no warning device on the lift gate of a refrigerator truck. The extended lift gate was visible only in a small portion of the rear-view mirror, and the lift’s dark color made it less visible. The truck driver was unaware that he did not properly stow the gate and that it was still extended, and he struck and killed a man on the Camp Pendleton Marine Base.
Defective Glass Bottle Causes Explosion
An 13-year-old girl lost her right eye when a glass apple juice bottle exploded. She had been trying to turn the lid with the bottle tucked under her arm. The cap shot upward and stuck into her eye, causing permanent damage. Lab tests showed that the juice contents remaining in the bottle had had pressure buildup from a high yeast count. The defective design of the bottles allowed them to become pressure vessels, but the company had failed to remove the bottles from the market.
Flammable Sleeping Bag Catches Fire
At a camp site, a highly flammable sleeping bag caught fire. CaseyGerry’s client awoke as the fabric of the sleeping bag had melted to her feet and legs and scalded her body. She suffered third- and fourth-degree burns to more than 40 percent of her body. The manufacturer had marketed the sleeping bag as a product to be used while camping, despite the fact that its materials were dangerously flammable.
Defective Picker Lift
CaseyGerry’s client suffered an electric shock when using an order picker lift as an employee at a big box store. As a result, he sustained a complete tear of his left bicep tendon.
Poorly Designed Platform Dust Flap
A heavy machinery mechanic suffered serious knee and neck injuries when he fell from the platform of a blasthole drill. Attached to the platform is a dust flap that is capable of supporting a man’s weight and is commonly used by workers as an extension of the drill deck. CaseyGerry’s client fell forward while standing on the dust flap, but his foot was caught. As a result, he suffered a severance and tears to ligaments in his leg as well as severe and debilitating disk problems in his neck.
Acid Leak from a Cleaner Bottle
A six-month-old girl was seriously burned by toilet bowl cleaner containing hydrochloric acid. The chemical leaked out of its bottle and onto her skin.
In Re: Diet Drugs (Phentermine, Fenfluramine, Dexfenfluramine) Products Liability Litigation
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) ordered fenfluramine and dexfenfluramine to be removed from the market in 1997 after those drugs were linked to cardiac problems. Many users of popular diet drugs including “fen-phen” developed heart valve issues. In a multi-district litigation, injured users of the medications held the drug maker, American Home Products Company (later renamed Wyeth and then bought by Pfizer), responsible for its failure to warn of these dangerous risks.
Stage Lift Malfunction
An actor was entering a hydraulic stage lift, as he had many times, when it malfunctioned. Just as he put on foot in the stage lift, it quickly began moving up with the door open. With one foot and his body partially inside the lift, his body became trapped by the upper door frame, crushing his back and rendering him a permanent paraplegic.
Coordinated Action Against the Tobacco Industry
CaseyGerry represented plaintiffs in a coordinated action against the tobacco industry in the Superior Court of the State of California. According to the complaint, the companies had engaged in a decades-long campaign to deceive the public about the health risks of smoking tobacco, the addictive nature of nicotine. They also suppressed the development of “safer” cigarettes, and intentionally marketed their products to minors.
Defective Hip Implant
CaseyGerry’s client underwent surgery to receive a PROFEMUR® Total Hip System. The maker of the hip device had long known of the artificial hip’s tendency to fracture, but it failed to pull the product from the market. As a result of the device’s defects, the woman (like many other patients across the country) suffered from unnecessary and debilitating pain and the need to undergo more surgery to replace the device.
Asbestos-Containing Building Materials
The City of San Diego brought a legal action against 31 defendants who manufactured, distributed or were otherwise involved with asbestos-containing building materials. The City owned or leased more than 1,000 public buildings that contained these materials. In a second amended complaint, the City alleged asbestos particles, fibers and dust had contaminated city-owned and city-leased buildings due to normal wear and maintenance. The City sought recover for the money it had spent identifying and abating the dangers related to the asbestos.
The left hind leg of a rolling walker snapped when CaseyGerry’s client was using it. He fell to the ground and suffered a broken hip.
A man with incomplete quadriplegia suffered fractures to his left tibia and fibula when his power assist wheelchair failed. While descending the wheelchair ramp from his van, the wheelchair careened at full speed down the ramp. The man collided with the running board of the SUV parked next to his vehicle.
Two women died as passengers in an SUV crash when the vehicle’s tire treads separated and exploded. The vehicle left its lane, swerved, hit a curb, and flipped multiple times down an embankment to the right of the freeway. The SUV landed upside-down with major crush damage to the roof, doors and cabin.
Toyota Acceleration Defect
A family was driving a Toyota Lexus when the vehicle accelerated uncontrollably. As the vehicle entered an intersection, it struck the rear of an SUV. The Lexus then went over a curb, through a fence, hit an embankment, became airborne, and hit the dirt in the San Diego River basin, where it rolled several times before bursting in to flames. All four passengers in the vehicle were killed in the collision. Toyota had designed and manufactured defective all-weather floor mats, driver-side floor pan, and accelerator pedal. Vehicle occupants all over the country had experienced similar incidents, several of which led to injuries and deaths.
A defective deck had been recalled, but CaseyGerry’s client was never notified. While approaching his barbecue grill, his deck gave way. His left leg crashed through the deck to his groin, twisting his left leg. He needed surgery to repair a torn meniscus, but he continued to have ongoing knee problems.
Tony Gwynn Tobacco Lawsuit
CaseyGerry filed a product liability lawsuit on behalf of the family of San Diego Padres legend Tony Gwynn. Filed in San Diego Superior Court, the lawsuit sought to hold the tobacco industry accountable for Gwynn’s death from cancer at age 54. In 2018, the lawsuit was resolved.
Prematurely Deployed Parachute
A man was on a Navy Seal jump training mission when his reserve parachute prematurely deployed, dragging him from the plane. He hit his head, fractured his neck, and succumbed to those injuries.
Asbestos Removal in Shopping Mall
CaseyGerry represented a mall against a building products manufacturer in recovering the cost of removal of its asbestos-containing fireproofing material from the building. The case went to trial, and Casey Gerry obtained a jury verdict of $14.1 million. The defendant ultimately paid more than $16 million with the addition of interest, as the case was appealed all the way to the California Supreme Court.
While each of these cases differ, one fact remains the same. A defective product led to unexpected and catastrophic injuries. CaseyGerry’s clients prevailed in these lawsuits, obtaining justice and compensation for their losses.