Manufacturers can be held liable in Florida and elsewhere when consumers are injured or made ill through normal usage of the items they produce and sell. An automobile manufacturer was named in a recent lawsuit where defective products were blamed for the death of a 4-year-old child. The boy was killed when the jeep in which he was a passenger caught fire on impact in a collision.
Reports indicate that the child’s death was one of at least 75 other reported deaths related to the same brand of jeep involved in fuel tank fires during accidents since 1998. Those representing the claim on behalf of the boy’s family have asserted that the jeep manufacturers were aware that the fuel tanks were poorly designed, located 11 inches from the rear of the vehicles. When struck from behind, the jeeps are reportedly at great risk for catching fire.
The jury who recently listened to evidence in the case of the boy’s death found that the manufacturer recklessly designed the gasoline tanks on the jeeps. The manufacturer had been accused of hiding engineering details involved in a redesign of the products in 2005 in order to conceal the fact that it was aware of the defective designs on the earlier models. The court ordered the payment of $30 million to the family of the deceased for the pain and suffering of the child and $120 million for the untimely loss of his life.
Florida consumers who believe that they have suffered injury or illness due to defective products may pursue formal litigation against the party or parties deemed at fault. In a case of death, immediate family members who survive the loss of a loved one may file a legal claim on behalf of the decedent. Legal professionals are available with experience in products liability cases. Seeking legal consultation of this nature would be a logical first step for those considering filing a claim.
Source: insurancejournal.com, “Boy’s Jeep Fire Death Results in $150M Verdict Against Fiat Chrysler“, Erik Larson and Margaret Cronin, April 6, 2015