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Product Liability

March 3, 2004 | From a Times Staff Writer
California first lady Maria Shriver was seated as a juror in a product liability trial that got underway Tuesday in Los Angeles federal court. Shriver was one of seven jurors selected to decide the case against the Keller Corp., a Florida company that manufactured extension ladders. The plaintiff, Leon B. Hudson, 57, of Riverside, says he suffered permanent arm and back injuries when a ladder he was descending collapsed as a result of a defective locking device.
December 2, 2003 | Yuri Kageyama, Associated Press
By U.S. standards, Yoko Masuda isn't asking for much in damages for the death of her daughter, crushed by a wheel that rolled off a Mitsubishi Motors Corp. truck. Her suit against the company seeks $51,000 for the stress and high blood pressure she has suffered since her daughter, Shiho Okamoto, 29, was killed as she walked down a sidewalk in January 2002. "I feel as though a part of my body has been torn away," Masuda said, choking back tears.
February 1, 2002 | From Reuters
A Superior Court jury ruled Thursday that Ford Motor Co.'s Explorer sport-utility vehicle is "defective by design," in what was thought to be the first time the auto maker was found liable for manufacturing and shipping a faulty Explorer model. A Barstow jury ruled 10 to 2 on Thursday evening in favor of Agop and Catherine Gozukara, whose four-door 1994 Ford Explorer rolled over on a California highway three months after they bought it in 1997.
Harry Pearce strode up to a makeshift stage at the Cadillac factory in this gritty burg in the midst of Detroit. Dapper in a gray suit, he clearly was from a different world than the factory workers who had gathered at dawn to see him. But though most of the union members and salaried workers in the plant had never seen him and knew little about him, they rose as one and gave a rousing standing ovation to the man who may one day be their company's chairman. Harry Pearce is back.
The pervasive practice of sealing product liability settlements from public view, even when doing so could jeopardize lives, is coming under new scrutiny as a result of last month's Firestone tire recall. The recall of 6.5 million tires came only after accidents and deaths had piled up for eight years. Many of these cases were kept out of the public eye because Bridgestone/Firestone Inc. and the Ford Motor Co.
May 25, 2000 | From Times Wire Services
Tobacco companies Brown & Williamson and Lorillard have acknowledged smoking's link to health problems, leaving industry leader Philip Morris and R.J. Reynolds on the other side of an issue that once united a monolithic industry. Liggett in 1997 was the first to break ranks and acknowledge the connection. The splintered positions were offered in opening statements this week by tobacco attorneys trying to avoid a multibillion-dollar award to 300,000 to 500,000 Florida smokers.
May 15, 2000 | Associated Press
A Florida jury that already found tobacco companies conspired to sell a dangerous product will begin this week to consider a possible punitive penalty. Anti-smoking activists are looking for a day of reckoning for an industry that has yet to pay a penny to smokers who went to trial.
April 9, 2000
Former Judge Robert Bork says "Court Movies Don't Mimic Life" (Commentary, April 5). Well, neither does his article. Bork must not know many plaintiffs' lawyers if he can show such an incredible bias against them. How can he get away with such a sweeping generality? Maybe he has not had professional contact with plaintiffs' lawyers. (Bork's background is as a professor and a judge, so I bet any personal contact with lawyers for the "little people" was rare. He probably has underlings do that.
February 1, 2000 | Bloomberg News
Toshiba Corp. won a federal judge's approval for a $2.1-billion settlement of a lawsuit that alleged the world's largest notebook computer maker intentionally sold machines with faulty floppy disk controllers. It's one of the largest product liability settlements in U.S. history and the biggest in the high-technology industry, expert witnesses in the case said.
December 22, 1999 | (Associated Press)
A Mississippi jury awarded $150 million in actual damages to five people who claimed their health problems could be traced to the controversial diet drug cocktail known as fen-phen. The jury verdict against American Home Products Inc. could kill its planned merger with Warner-Lambert Co., which has received a higher bid from Pfizer Inc. Jurors were still determining punitive damages late Tuesday. The trial, which began last month in Fayette, Miss.
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