Protecting Our Communities
Automobile safety and product liability cases are critical to the safety and well being of our communities. Since the most recent Toyota acceleration problem was discovered, product liability and regulation of potentially dangerous products is once again at the forefront of everyone’s attention. An investigation revealed internal documentation that Toyota knew about the problems its cars were having and hid that from regulators and authorities. Toyota was fined $16.4 million dollars, the highest penalty ever against an auto maker.
While the fine is minimal compared to the loss of a single life, it is clear that Toyota and other manufacturers of products that don’t properly test their products, continue to choose their pocketbooks over safety.
This is not the first time that the civil justice system has held companies accountable for their actions. One of the most popular instances of a dangerous product was the Ford Pinto in the 1960’s. Litigation against one of the largest corporations at the time, Ford was held accountable for selling and manufacturing a car that they knew was not safe for the roads.
Corporations cannot and must not use our families as their crash test dummies. Cars, pharmaceuticals, machines, equipment and any other product must be safe for those who are going to use it. Proper testing must be done before any product is sold.
The American Association for Justice has provided an interesting image that depicts “What Cars Would Be Like Without a Civil Justice System.”
Automobile Safety has evolved over the past 50 years. The highlighted areas are an important indicator of where we would be without it:
- Gas Tanks
- Door Latches
- Electronic Stability Control
- Air Bags
- Illusory Park
- Tires Side Impact Protection
- Seat Belts
- Power Windows
- Roof Crush
Where would be without any of these? Read more about product liability law here.