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March 2013 Archives

J&J Order to Pay $8.3 Million over Defective DePuy Hip

On March 8, 2013, a Los Angeles Superior Court jury awarded a retired prison guard $8.3 million dollars in special and general damages. The verdict was in the bellwether case: Loren "Bill" Kransky v. DePuy, LASC Case Number BC456086. The case summary, as of March 8, 2013, can be accessed here. The next bellwether trial begins in Illinois State Court on March 11, 2013. The Kransky verdict is likely the first of many large verdicts to be handed down against DePuy, a division of Johnson & Johnson. If you've had problems with your hip replacement, contact the Kristensen Law Group, for a free evaluation.

Suburu Recall for Zombie Cars!

Who says electronic engine controls are fool proof? Can cars start on their own without a driver in the vehicle? Can vehicle engines be turned on without someone pressing the start button? Apparently, the answer is yes according to Suburu. On February 22, 2013, Suburu filed a Defect Information Report (DIR) with NHTSA pursuant to 49 CFR 573 for vehicles the press described as zombie cars. A copy can be read by clicking here. What is a zombie car as the press has described this recall? While Rap Genius has not opined on the subject, a fair definition would necessarily include vehicles with engines that start without any input from a driver, or even a passenger. It's debatable whether the 1958 Plymouth Fury in Christine was a zombie, as it was sentient. Nevertheless, Suburu admitted that certain 2010 to 2012 Legacy and Outback vehicles 2012 to 2103 Suburu Imprezas and 2013 XV Crosstrek vehicles could receive an engine start request without user input. In other words, a fob could send an incorrect electronic message to a car, telling the engine, let's go. The vehicles could run up to 15 minutes by themselves according to Suburu. (it's unclear why 15 minutes, but that may be a fail safe.) The DIR was conspicuously silent whether Suburu received any field complaints. However, Suburu did admit such a vehicle could pose a safety concern due to carbon monoxide build up. If you have one of the affected vehicles, get your vehicle repaired as soon as possible. A copy of the repair procedures can be accessed here.

J&J's Ethicon, Inc. smacked with $11.1 million dollar verdict!

Last week on February 28, 2013, a New Jersey state jury added $7.8 million dollars in punitive damages to an award against Johnson & Johnson's Ethicon, Inc. for deliberately misleading doctors and consumers about its trans-vaginal mesh product known as Gynecare Prolift. The total verdict now stands at approximately $11.1 million. The case was entitled Linda Gross versus Ethicon, Inc. and tried in Atlantic City, New Jersey. The jury previously award the 47 year old South Dakota resident, and her husband, $3.35 million. The case was plaintiffs' first bellwether to go to trial in the New Jersey coordinated proceedings. This verdict comes after a July 2012 verdict in Kern County Superior Court jury awarded Christine Scott a verdict of approximately $5.5 million against another medical giant, C.R. Bard, for the damages caused by its trans-vaginal mesh product. The Kristensen Law Group represents over a dozen women whose lives have been irreparably damaged as a result of defective trans-vaginal mesh products. If you've been injured contact us at (310) 507-7924 or by email at klg@kristensenlaw.com. Please be advised that applicable statute of limitations may apply. In unrelated news, the owner of the New York Jets is Woody Johnson, an heir to Johnson & Johnson's founder, Robert Wood Johnson. Mr. Johnson, when he was not supporting the Jets in their recent catastrophic season, was an avid supporter of another recent failure, Willard Mitt Romney's unsuccessful campaign for President.

When a Manufacturer Must Report a Defect

Barely a week goes by without a headline reporting a large group of vehicles are being recalled. The manufacturers nearly always report the recalls are "voluntary" and done in an abundance of caution. In reality, two sections of the law serve to motivate auto-manufacturers to issue the recalls. The first requirement is when must an auto-manufacturer are required to inform the public about a defect. The second is under what circumstances the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration ("NHTSA") can order a recall. The former situation has turned into the de facto method of issuing all recalls.

Case Results

Obtained a record $16 million fine against Toyota Motor Corporation after discovering that the auto giant misled the US government when it issued a safety recall in Japan, but not the United States.

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