Consumer advocate Ralph Nader, most famous for his vocal battles against the automotive industry and their lack of attention to safety, recently opened the American Museum of Tort Law in his hometown of Winsted, Connecticut. The museum has numerous exhibits and unsafe products from the past on display, including the infamous Chevrolet Corvair, McDonald’s scald-inducing coffee cup, various dangerous toys and more. The museum offers plenty of case examples that profoundly contributed to the evolution of modern consumer safety. These historic cases are responsible for a number of safety features we take for granted in automobiles and other types of products today. A recent article from the Verge detailed Nader and his triumphs in tort law.
The museum is a wonderful way of reminding the general public of the need for vigilance regarding product safety and the vital role trial lawyers play in holding companies accountable for their actions and protecting the consumer.
The fight for consumer safety is an ongoing battle. Despite the many tragic injuries and deaths, some manufacturers today continue to ignore or deny the risks built into their faulty products—that is, until their feet are held to the fire—either by attorneys in the courtroom after a tragedy has occurred, or by consumer advocacy groups who spot the danger early.
At the law firm of Eisenberg, Rothweiler, Winkler, Eisenberg & Jeck, we routinely witness examples of product safety negligence and cover-up by manufacturers. One particularly tragic case involved a man who became quadriplegic after his 1999 Acura Integra (made by Honda Motor Company) rolled over, and his seatbelt failed to prevent his head from striking the roof. The vehicle seatbelt was defectively designed, Honda failed to use a safer design alternative, and did not provide adequate warnings to consumers about the Acura’s defective seatbelt. Information uncovered by our attorneys turned the tide in favor of our severely injured client. It was discovered that during vehicle testing, Honda had determined that a seat-belted driver would strike his or her head on the Integra’s roof. They knew this risk and yet they performed no further testing or attempted to protect drivers from this hazard. The jury awarded a record-setting $55.3 million verdict for our client.
“Honda’s failure to alert the public to this hazard caused (our client) to suffer debilitating and painful injuries. This incident could and should have been avoided by a safer design that already existed. Through this verdict, we are hoping to prevent such unnecessary and devastating injuries from happening to others,” said firm senior partner and co-founder Stewart J. Eisenberg.
For more than 35 years, Eisenberg, Rothweiler, Winkler, Eisenberg & Jeck, P.C. has been helping victims in the greater Philadelphia and New Jersey regions recover compensation for their personal injuries and loss, in complex cases involving auto defect, product liability and wrongful death, as well as other practice areas. Contact us today for a free consultation at one of our offices in Philadelphia or Cherry Hill so that we can get started helping you.