Product defects cause hundreds of thousands of injuries each year. In 2007 alone, the Consumer Product Safety Commission recalled 473 defective products. Although 2007 is a bit of an outlier, nicknamed the “Year of the Recall,” recalls account only for products that are determined to be significantly defective and dangerous. Many more individual products turn out to be defective and give rise to injury.
The most common products involved in product liability lawsuits include cars, toys, malfunctioning medical devices and industrial machinery. Ultimately, Massachusetts product engineers, manufacturers and distributors are responsible for creating and selling safe products for consumer use. When parties involved in the design, manufacture and sale of these products fail to deliver a safe product, all parties involved can be held accountable.
Shaun Joseph was recently awarded $12,797,990 after he took his personal injury lawsuit against Walmart to trial. Joseph was a construction worker doing work on a Kentucky jobsite when he was run over by a truck. Only 29-years-old at the time of the accident, the young man suffered severe and life-long personal injuries. Doctors were forced to amputate one of his legs, and he was rendered a quadriplegic as a result of the accident. He also suffered blindness in one eye as the result of a brain injury. His total medical expenses exceeded $1.2 million.
Joseph’s lawsuit against Walmart alleged that a mismatched tire on the truck involved in the crash caused the accident. A Kentucky Walmart store had installed the allegedly mismatched tire. Walmart’s expert testified at trial that the driver, Nicola Liebsch, had been speeding at the time of the crash. Joseph’s expert, who testified that Liebsch lost control of the vehicle due to a defective tire, directly contradicted Walmart’s testimony.
According to Joseph’s claim, Liebsch’s husband had noticed a flat tire on the family’s truck. He took the truck to a Walmart store to be serviced, where employees told him it could not be fixed. Alternatively, employees instructed him to purchase a new tire with a different tread that made the tire two inches larger than the tire should have been.
The lawsuit was filed by attorney Phillip Lewis. The jury deliberated and decided 10-2 that the accident was caused by Walmart’s negligent installation. The jury awarded a $12.8 million verdict.