The Legal Examiner Affiliate Network The Legal Examiner The Legal Examiner The Legal Examiner search feed instagram google-plus avvo phone envelope checkmark mail-reply spinner error close The Legal Examiner The Legal Examiner The Legal Examiner

Five major product liability cases in the U.S.

General Motors

It was discovered in 2014 that GM manufactured several vehicles with faulty ignition switches that could turn off during driving, disabling power steering and brakes and preventing airbags from inflating. The faulty switches have been linked to at least 13 deaths and 31 car accidents, according to Investopia.  The car manufacturer has recalled more than 26 million vehicles and set an uncapped $400 million fund to compensate for injuries and deaths.

Philip Morris

The Altria Group, or Philip Morris, in 2002 faced charges when a woman claimed the company caused her lung cancer by not properly warning her of the risks their cigarettes caused. Philip Morris eventually paid out $28 million in punitive damages

Dow Corning

Dow Corning, in 1994, agreed to pay $2 billion as part of a larger class action suit filed by customers whose silicone breast implants ruptured, causing scleroderma, injury, bodily damage and death.

Owens Corning

Owens Corning Corp. agreed in 1998 to pay $1.2 billion to settle a lawsuit claiming that asbestos used in building materials caused mesothelioma cancer and death. The product liability case involved 176,000 individuals.

General Motors

A suit seeking $4.9 billion in punitive damages was brought against GM in 1999 in a case claiming a faulty gas tank in a 1979 Chevrolet Malibu caused severe injury to six people when the gas tank exploded. GM was initially ordered in 1999 to pay $4.9 billion to the six people severely burned when the fuel tank exploded after a rear-end collision. At the time it was believed to be the largest award ever in a personal-injury lawsuit. According to the New York Times, the accident victims were severely disfigured. A judge  later cut the award to $1.2 billion. The article said trial testimony showed it would have cost GM $8.59 for a safer design, per vehicle, but the company determined it would be cheaper to settle lawsuits that would arise.