Product Liability

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Chicago Man Files Lawsuit Against McDonald’s After Allegedly Choking on Bone Shards

Is it possible to file a personal injury lawsuit against a restaurant or food producer for injuries caused by its products? 

A Chicago man recently filed a personal injury lawsuit against the fast food chain McDonald’s after experiencing the effects of a “defective” chicken McNugget. The complainant, whose injuries are alleged to have occurred at the McDonald’s at 10 E. Chicago Ave, was taken by ambulance for treatment after ingesting a number of “bone shards” in the chicken meat and was subsequently treated for injuries to the mouth and throat. 

The complaint names both McDonald’s and its primary chicken supplier, Tyson Foods, as defendants in the lawsuit. According to the complaint, the plaintiff is seeking damages to redress his injuries caused by the “unreasonably dangerous product,” and has accused both companies of placing consumers at risk by manufacturing unsafe nuggets capable of “impaling and/or cutting the consumer in the mouth, tongue and/or throat, and potentially causing additional damage to the stomach, digestive tract and intestines of the consumer.”

How common are food-related lawsuits? 

While the underlying facts of this case may seem unbelievable, food injuries are implicated in personal injury lawsuits on a fairly regular basis. For instance, food poisoning caused by bacteria is one of the most common personal injury lawsuits filed against the agriculture and restaurant industries, prompting historic 8-figure settlements with some of the most famous American food brands.  Moreover, the most severe food injuries (i.e., salmonella, e. coli. or listeria outbreaks) have been known to cause permanent injuries or death for victims, triggering wrongful death lawsuits by surviving family members. 

Proving negligence

When it comes to a food-related personal injury lawsuit, negligence is established by proving that the defendant acted unreasonably under the circumstances, thereby causing the plaintiffs’ injuries. Practically speaking, this could involve improper sanitation procedures, outdated equipment, failure to properly inspect commodities, concealment of known problems with the goods, or inadequate training of employees and staff. While the above-referenced McNugget case is still in its infancy, proving that the manufacturer or retailer failed to properly produce or maintain the product could mean a successful settlement for the plaintiff. 

If you recently experienced food poisoning or other injuries related to a meal or groceries you purchased, we encourage you to contact a reputable personal injury attorney in Chicago today. To get started on your claim, call Ryan Ryan & Landa today: 847-416-1989. 

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Family Awarded $10.75 million in Product Liability Action Against Manufacturer of Sealant

I was recently injured by a caustic household cleaning product. Could I possibly recover against the manufacturer? 

Product liability actions are a sub-sect of negligence and personal injury law specifically focused on injuries occurring due to consumer goods. This can include household appliances, chemicals or medication – and successful cases often result in sizable settlements or verdicts in favor of the victim.

In one recent story out of Chicago, a suburban homeowner was awarded nearly $11 million by a jury following his lawsuit against the makers of Crystal Clear VOC, a highly-flammable concrete sealant. The product was apparently intended for use only outdoors, however its packaging did not come with any sort of label or warning stating as such. Consequently, the victim was severely burned across most of his body. Sadly, the victim permanently lost the use of his hands, and is not able to feed or care for himself without assistance. 

According to the facts of the case, the victim was using the sealant on his basement floors when the toxic vapors wafted over to the vicinity of the water heater. In an instant, an explosion ensued and the victim was immediately engulfed in flames. He has been forced to endure countless surgeries and skin grafts to treat the massive burns sustained. 

After nearly five years of legal wrangling, the makers of Crystal Clear VOC refused to settle with the victim, prompting the need for a lengthy trial before a suburban Chicago jury. The result? A $10.75 million verdict in favor of the victim, which was calculated to compensate him for the costs of his injury, plus any lost future earnings. 

Product liability cases such as this hinge on the concept of reasonableness. In this case, the jury was confronted with the question of whether it was reasonable for the victim to use the concrete sealant on his concrete floors in a poorly ventilated area. Based on testimony of experts and witnesses, the jury found that the victim was reasonable to think that a concrete sealant like Crystal Clear VOC was safe for use in a basement area.  Therefore, its manufacturer Euclid Chemical has been ordered to compensate the victim for his injuries. 

If you were recently injured by household product and would like to discuss your rights, please contact the Illinois personal injury and product liability attorneys at Ryan Ryan & Landa today by calling 847-416-1989 today. 

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