If you’ve ever seen those news stories of people being injured by faulty products then you already understand the foundation for what could qualify for a product liability settlement. Whether it’s due to a defect in design, manufacturing or simply inadequacy warning, when someone is injured due to a product defect there may be a case at hand. There have been some pretty significant product liability cases over the years. Here are the five biggest product liability cases in Florida history.
Smoking Damages – Michael Johnson Sr.
Making for one of the largest product liability settlements in Florida, let’s start by looking at the case against R.J. Reynolds tobacco company in 2014. Tried in front of a jury in Pensacola, Fla., this case occurred when a family member, Michael Johnson Sr., died at the young age of 36. Smoking since his early teens, his death was linked to cigarettes. As a result, his family was awarded $16.9 million in damages and an additional $23.6 billion in punitive damages were assigned. While the punitive damages were reduced in appeal, this still accounts for a significant individual claim.
The Dangers of Asbestos
In 1997, one of the largest successful settlements for an individual occurred when a Florida jury awarded Deward Ballard $31 million in punitive damages and $1.8 million in compensatory damages. This suit was filed against defendant Ownes Corning, which was found to have concealed information about an asbestos hazard for more than 30 years. Due to this concealment, it was believed that Ballard developed mesothelioma cancer from working with Owens Corning products.
An $80 Million Car Accident
After a car accident in 2009, Kiara Dukes went to trial in 2016 against Michelin and Takata for an $80 million settlement due to alleged defects in the tires and seatbelt. While the jury found in favor of the defendant in this case, the $80 million settlement on the line makes for one of the biggest individual suits in Florida history.
Merck & Co’s National Settlement
Though not limited to Florida, the class action settlement of Merck & Co included thousands of plaintiffs who had used the drug Vioxx. The claim was that Vioxx was causing heart attacks and included plaintiffs in New York, South Carolina, and Florida. While it wasn’t limited to Florida, the $4.85 billion settlement makes for one of the largest in Florida history.
The Largest Smoking Case
Unlike the earlier mentioned case, this 2015 settlement involved three major tobacco companies: R.J. Reynolds, Philip Morris, and Lorillard. Including 400 individual cases, this Miami-tried case stemmed from a 2006 class action suit and tried for $145 billion. In total, this case resulted in a $100 million settlement.
If you or someone you know has been a victim of a product defect or you believe you have a product liability case, don’t delay. At the Berman Law Group, we have won millions of dollars for our clients. You could be next. Call us at (800) 375-5555 for now obligation consultation to get started.