“Product liability” is a term every business owner in California and around the country needs to know. The products a company makes and sells need to be safe for use. The products and services of companies are usually covered by product liability insurance. A defective product placing consumers in harm’s way can lead to lawsuits. Multimillion-dollar awards are a common part of product liability lawsuits, including class-action lawsuits.
Philip Morris – $28 billion
Smoking tobacco products has been a problem for the medical industry for decades. The Philip Morris group faced a lawsuit from a woman with lung cancer for failing to warn her about the dangers of smoking. The Philip Morris group paid the woman with lung cancer $28 billion. An appeal reduced the award to $28 million.
General Motors – $150 million
Product defects are common in the auto industry. The recall of defective parts is common in the auto industry. GM failed to address a corrosive chemical in its Dex-coolant system leading to a class-action lawsuit. Around 35 million GM customers shared in a $150 million payout. The huge payout gave each member of the class-action lawsuit between $50 and $800.
Dow Corning – $3.2 billion
Breast augmentation remains a big business in North America. Dow Corning was responsible for one of the largest class-action payouts because of a defective product. Dow Corning’s breast implants ruptured and caused harm to women in the 1990s. The lawsuit brought in 1998 cost the group $3.2 billion. Each woman received between $12,000 and $60,000.
Protecting companies and consumers from defective products is an important part of doing business. Class-action lawsuits bring together many plaintiffs looking for financial redress after using faulty products.