Defective products can be a big problem in Missouri, Illinois, and the rest of the country due to the high potential for many people’s lives to be affected on a large scale. Defective products can seem especially tragic when evidence comes to light that companies knew or should have known that their products had safety defects, but they chose not to issue a safety recall in a timely fashion. Something that may seem even more tragic is the fact that big business often tries to erode the constitutional rights of injured individuals and their families to seek financial restitution in a civil court of law.
Personal injury and wrongful death laws were created to help such injured victims and their dependent family members recuperate from the damages caused through no fault of their own. Unfortunately, those who lobby for tort reform often try to perpetuate the unfair image that most lawsuits in our civil courts are frivolous and without merit, filed by individuals who are seeking to “pull one over” on the justice system. The fact of the matter, however, is that Illinois statistics show that over 70 percent of the court actions filed in that state are actually brought by businesses against other businesses (or individuals). Furthermore, the number of total civil actions initiated in Illinois has actually dropped by 26 percent over the past eight years.
It is vital that Americans retain their rights to seek civil justice in court for several reasons. First, it is important because victims should not have to pay exorbitant medical and other expenses due to an injury that someone else’s negligence caused. Second, it is important because financial awards often send a message to companies that negligence will not be tolerated, deterring other companies from engaging in such practices. Third, it is important because criminal laws cannot always hold companies or individuals responsible for negligence, but civil laws may be able to succeed in this aim.
There have been many examples of defective products hitting the headlines in the past years. Perhaps the most well-known in recent time is that of the defective GM ignition switches. A report from January of this year indicated that the death toll tied to these safety defects has reached at least 49 people as of that time. Additionally, at least 72 cases of serious injury claims have been tied to the defective switches. For those who may be unfamiliar with the defective switches, something which jars or puts too much weight on the ignition switch (such as a keychain with keys) can cause the switch to go from “run” to “accessory.” This results in power being cut from the air bags, brakes, and steering; resulting in serious accidents for many across the country.
What is worse is that evidence has suggested that GM installed at least 2.8 million vehicles—and then longer than a decade to issue any sort of safety recall. The company has set up a payment fund to reimburse confirmed cases of injuries and deaths tied to the defective switches. However, those who accept payment from this fund must give up their constitutional right to sue the company. This is a decision that each injured individual must carefully weigh when deciding whether to take whatever amount is offered them or to file their own civil lawsuit in court.
An experienced personal injury lawyer can help their clients to make this type of decision by explaining their legal rights to them and considering the specific facts of their own cases. Please consider calling our St. Louis defective products law firm today at 1-888-586-7041 to arrange a free initial meeting. We can help you decide whether you wish to pursue a safety defects case against a company whose negligence led to you or a loved one being injured or killed. You should not have to pay the price for another party’s negligence, which is exactly why our personal injury and wrongful death laws were enacted in the first place.
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Source Article: http://madisonrecord.com/arguments/268432-the-big-money-campaign-to-deny-taxpayers-constitutional-right-to-seek-justice-from-our-courts and http://www.nasdaq.com/article/gm-ignitionswitch-death-toll-rises-to-49-20150119-00455