In the first several weeks of 2018, a handful of folks have dies in several small plane crashes across Florida, including a sheriff in the Keys, a couple off Bonita Springs, and a man flying an experimental aircraft near the Carabelle airport. While it can be difficult to ascertain the causes of an aviation accident at first blush, a thorough investigation can help get to the bottom of the matter and indicate what - or who - precisely is to blame for the tragedy.
Maybe it was a shoddy product that caused a consumer to become injured. Or maybe a person was enjoying a new Christmas gift when it suddenly broke, causing an injury. In other cases, it might be an automobile with a design defect or defective part that leads to a car crash. No matter how a person is injured by a defective product, it's important to understand how to hold the responsible parties accountable.
Just a few weeks ago, we posted about products found on store or gas station shelves for consumption, which were not approved by the Federal and Drug Administration (FDA.) That post can be found here. Today, the FDA released a statement much aligned with our discussion. However, the target of this new discussion is homeopathic drugs and consumer injuries caused by them.
It is a common misconception by consumers that if any drug is on the shelf, whether over-the-counter or otherwise, it has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for safe consumption. However, this is not the case, and injuries up to, and including, death are caused by these unsafe products.
Imagine that you are affected with an illness which would require the instant administration of a life-saving drug to stop an adverse reaction. Now, imagine trying to give yourself or your loved one that drug, but the delivery fails. This exact scenario is much more common than one might think, and in fact, has recently been brought to light by several instances of defective Epipens.
When the manufacturer of a consumer product releases an item into the stream of commerce, they have a duty to ensure that users of the product will be able to handle it and use it as intended in a safe manner. Any Florida resident who has bought something in its original packaging has probably found warnings, labels, and instructions included with the product that describe what users should and should not do with the product to keep themselves out of harm's way. When those warnings fail to keep individuals safe the manufacturers of the products may be liable for the harmed persons' injuries.
Generally, when an injured party wishes to show that another caused them to suffer injuries or harm the injured person must demonstrate that the responsible party was careless or negligent in their actions. Negligence forms the basis of many Florida personal injury cases and implies that the injury-causing party's conduct did not meet the standard of duty or care expected of them at the time the incident occurred.
It can take years for the manufacturer of goods to develop and release a product for consumer use and consumption. During that time, the manufacturer may take the product through various iterations, refining its design and improving its usability to increase its likelihood of being bought. During that time, manufacturers also often look for ways to ensure their products comply with consumer safety standards.
Every year, new products hit the shelves of local Tampa stores that contain labels and advertisements that tout the products' potential benefits to consumers. One product that may be of interest to Floridians is an allegedly drinkable sunscreen that claims it can provide UVA protection to those who consume it. However, an attorney general from a Midwestern state does not buy the company's claims and believes that the product will cause harm to unsuspecting consumers.
There is an unfortunate irony in learning that a product specifically designed to protect consumers is the bases for one of the largest automotive defective product scandals in United States history. The case revolves around metal canisters used to trigger airbags for deployment in the event of an automobile accident. A compound in the canisters used to create a small explosion to trigger the deployment is vulnerable to humidity and heat however, and may deteriorate and burn too quickly, causing a larger explosion which may send deadly shrapnel into its victims.