The Cooper Firm

Jeep Grand Cherokee Again Tops Quarterly Vehicle Safety Watch List

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Jeep Grand Cherokee Again Tops Quarterly Vehicle Safety Watch List

The Safety Institute released the Quarterly Vehicle Safety Watch List this month and Jeep Grand Cherokee again took the top 2 spots. Plagued with power train issues, 2014-2015 Jeep Grand Cherokees have held the #1 and #2 positions since November 2016. The report monitors NHTSA investigations and recalls to share the vehicles with the most concerning safety issues at press time.

The powertrain problem with the Jeep Grand Cherokees correlates to the 2016 Fiat Chrysler recall of vehicles equipped with a mono-stable gear selector. This gear shift created great confusion with drivers who exited their vehicles thinking they were in the PARK position, only to have the vehicle roll away, colliding with objects and people. At first Fiat Chrysler attempted to better educate the drivers on the new gear shift when they first were investigated in 2015. After nearly 300 reported incidents of rollaway, and the high profile death of actor Anton Yelchin who was struck and killed by his 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee, Fiat Chrysler initiated a recall of over 800,000 vehicles equipped with this specific gear shifter which includes the 2014-2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee, the 2012-2014 Chrysler 300 (#3 on Watch List) and 2012-2014 Dodge Chargers.

GM’s Chevy Cobalt is a regular on this list for electrical problems stemming from faulty ignition switches discovered by the investigative work of Lance Cooper and The Cooper Firm. The 2009 Toyota Camry also remains on this quarter’s list for its unintended acceleration/speed control issues.

To view the complete list for this year and previous years, visit The Safety Institute’s website.

If you, or someone you know, have been injured by a vehicle with a reported safety defect, please contact us today.

Source: The Safety Institute Press Release

How Do I Sue a Company for a Defective Product?

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How Do I Sue a Company for a Defective Product?

Oftentimes we have clients come to us who were involved in a crash and think something happened with the car or the particular product, but they don’t know what to do first. They want to pursue a claim (or sue a company) for a defective product but they are unsure about their next steps. It’s them against a big car company or some other large company. Those are the cases where it’s particularly critical that we get contacted early by the clients so we can conduct a full investigation on their behalf. People without expertise aren’t going to know what to do as far as the evidence to secure, the engineers and experts to contact, or the investigation that needs to be done.

I’ve never had a client that’s been able to actually pursue a product liability claim that is a particular area of legal expertise where it’s always necessary to have a lawyer investigating early on to preserve the evidence and make sure the clients’ rights are protected.

You can search for recalls on products by visiting the US CPSC. To search for recalls on automobiles, visit Safercar.gov.

Learn how to file a report for an unsafe product here.

If you’ve been injured by a product, or in an auto accident, contact us today.

How Do I Know If a Product is Defective?

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How Do I Know If a Product is Defective?

If a product is involved in the process of an injury or a death, there needs to be an investigation to determine if that product was defective.

When people come to us with their case, the first thing we do is we listen. What happened? What do we know? And where can we go from here? After we listen we outline very specific steps that we can take to begin investigating their case. These are steps we’ve taken in many cases before to figure out whether the product that we know is involved caused the injury or caused the death.

The steps we outline to determine if a product is defective involves hiring experts. It involves an investigation. It involves a deep dive into the medical history and the current medical status of the injured person or the deceased. We look at the product and we ask:

  • Who are their competitors?
  • What are their competitors doing?
  • Could this have been prevented? Should it have been prevented?
  • Is there any safety device or warning that was missing?
  • Is there any type of way that the product could have been designed differently that would have completely eliminated this issue altogether?

When those answers align, we know there is a case and we pursue the company.

Just because a product hasn’t been recalled, doesn’t mean it isn’t defective. If you’ve been injured by a product, contact us today so we may begin investigating your case.

NHTSA Investigates Ford Explorer Exhaust Leaks

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NHTSA Investigates Ford Explorer Exhaust Leaks

In July 2016, the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) began investigating 2011-2015 Ford Explorers after 154 complaints were made regarding exhaust fume leaks inside the vehicles. Drivers noticed a distinct sulfur-like smell inside the car that caused concern about exposure to carbon-monoxide.

One reported instance led to a crash. Newport Beach Police Officer Brian McDowell was behind the wheel of his 2014 Ford Explorer police cruiser when he began to feel nauseous and noticed the beginning of a headache. Moments later, he passed out and crashed into a tree. He suffered a dislocated shoulder, fractured eye socket and traumatic brain injury, but retains no memory of the accident. After reading about other Ford Explorer exhaust leak reports with the NHTSA, he believes he was exposed to carbon monoxide which contributed to him losing consciousness.

According to the NHTSA, Ford issued a technical service bulletin in 2014 (TSB 14-0130), superseding a 2012 (TSB 12-2-4) service bulletin, to address seemingly related issues. Most consumers reported little to no improvement after the remedy.

If you have a later model Ford Explorer and notice the smell of exhaust while driving your vehicle, please stop driving immediately. This is an ongoing investigation so we encourage you to file a vehicle safety complaint with the NHTSA. Learn how to file a complaint here.

If you’ve been injured, contact us immediately.

 

How Do I Know If a Defective Tire Caused My Crash?

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How Do I Know If a Defective Tire Caused My Crash?

Over the past 26 years Lance Cooper has developed a particular expertise in tire defect cases. He handled his first tire defect case back in 1992 and has been passionate about this safety issue ever since. Defective tire cases are different because there is a lot that goes into the design and manufacture of a tire.

When a crash happens and there has been a tire blow out or tire tread separation, it is important that The Cooper Firm be involved early in the investigation. We need to enlist the expertise of engineers to not only inspect the damaged tire, but also inspect the car, the surrounding road scene, and everything that happened in that particular crash. From there, we can determine if a tire defect contributed to that crash. Oftentimes tire failure claims result in very bad crashes where people are catastrophically injured or perhaps have died. It’s important early on to involve The Cooper Firm for investigating potential tire defect claims.

If you or someone you know has been injured in a crash and you believe a defective tire may have been the cause, please contact us as soon as possible.

Plaintiffs Powerhouse Beasley Allen Makes a Bet on Atlanta

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Plaintiffs Powerhouse Beasley Allen Makes a Bet on Atlanta

Excerpt (Daily Report printed 2.8.17)

High-profile plaintiffs firm Beasley Allen has opened an Atlanta office, the first outside of its Alabama base.

Beasley Allen, founded in 1979, works on big cases all over the country, but its 75 lawyers have all been based in Montgomery until now. The firm tapped firm principal Chris Glover, who specializes in automotive product defect cases, to start the Atlanta office.

It has also joined forces with Marietta plaintiffs lawyer Lance Cooper for its foray into Georgia, after working with Cooper on litigation against General Motors over faulty car ignition switches. Cooper uncovered the faulty switches, which led to a massive recall of GM vehicles and national litigation.

“When we decided to come here, our very first stop was Lance’s office,” Glover said.

Cooper has become a principal at Beas­ley Allen, which is what the firm calls its partners, while also maintaining his own shop. The two firms will work on products liability cases together, both in Georgia and nationally.

Cooper said he started working with Beasley Allen on the GM ignition switch cases because of its greater resources and national capabilities. The Cooper Firm has just two lawyers, Cooper and Drew Ashby, which Cooper said is “how I want it.” While Cooper sticks to single-plaintiff suits, Beas­ley Allen also takes on class actions and multi-district litigations.

“Beasley Allen had the national outreach to work with lawyers and consumers around the country on these types of cases,” Cooper said.

The national GM litigation arose from Cooper’s representation of Ken and Beth Melton. They sued General Motors over a faulty ignition switch that they believed caused their daughter’s Chevrolet Cobalt to crash, killing her. The suit sparked 30 million car recalls and hundreds more suits around the country, including by Beasley Allen.

The Meltons settled with GM in 2013 for $5 million—a confidential figure later disclosed by GM—but Cooper re-opened the case for them the next year, alleging GM had fraudulently concealed that one of its engineers knew about the defect. Cooper partnered with Beasley Allen on the ensuing litigation and said that he handled more than 100 individual suits against GM.

GM ended up paying a $900 million penalty to resolve criminal charges for concealing the defective switch.

Cooper next joined forces with Beasley Allen on suits against Terex Corp. over alleged defects in a truck boom it manufactures. Cooper’s client Jeffrey Gaddy, a tree-trimmer, sued Terex in 2014 after the boom arm supporting the bucket he was standing in allegedly failed, sending the bucket crashing to the ground. The fall severed his spinal cord, leaving him paraplegic.

That suit, Gaddy v. Terex, is in discovery in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia. Meanwhile, Terex recalled some models of its aerial boom for inspection and replacement of any that are defective. Cooper said Beasley Allen has a pending class action for consumers who own booms that Terex has not agreed to fix.

“It’s been a good partnership. We’ve been able to help our clients and do greater public good getting companies to recall their products,” Cooper said.

Read the full story at dailyreport.com.

Print PDF of Daily Report article here.

What If I Am Hurt By A Recalled Product?

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What If I Am Hurt By A Recalled Product?

If a person has been hurt by a recalled product, the only question that we need to really answer at that point, because we know the product is defective,  is whether that specific defect caused their injury.

When people come to us who have been, or may have been, injured by a product , they often know very little about what happened, so we begin the process of investigation for them. That analysis can take quite a bit of effort and quite a bit of time. It requires hiring experts. It requires substantial analysis. It requires talking to their medical providers, whether it be doctors, nurses, even sometimes home care givers. And that whole picture is going to help us determine whether that recall and that particular defect caused their injury.

If our investigations shows that defect and that recall caused their injury, then we pursue the company.

If you or someone you know have been injured by a recalled product, please contact us today.

If a Crash is My Fault, Do I Need a Personal Injury Lawyer?

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If a crash is my fault, do I need a personal injury lawyer?

Oftentimes we’ll get calls from clients where they were the driver in a vehicle that resulted in a crash and were injured as result. Other times, the crash resulted in the injury or death of a passenger. The question that client has is, what should I do? Should I hire a lawyer to represent me? And should that lawyer specialize in personal injury?

Our response to them is to call us. Allow us to investigate the crash. Even if you were issued a citation for being at fault, there may have been something more that happened that either caused this crash, the injuries or the death to not be your fault. For example, if a seat belt didn’t work properly or an airbag didn’t work properly, even though you may have caused the crash, it’s really a defect with the product that caused the injuries. That is why it’s critical for clients, particularly in catastrophic injury and wrongful death cases, to contact our firm to make sure that we can conduct a full investigation to help them know the truth about what really happened.

If you or someone you know has been catastrophically injured as a result of an auto accident, please let us help you. Contact us today.

Why Should I Hire The Cooper Firm?

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Why Should I Hire The Cooper Firm?

Clients who have a case involving catastrophic injury or wrongful death should hire The Cooper Firm because we are committed to relentlessly pursue justice on behalf of every one of our clients.

That’s not just a slogan. It means something to all of us at The Cooper Firm.

Relentless means we will leave no stone unturned in making sure that we uncover all the evidence necessary to ensure that whoever has harmed our client is held accountable.

Pursue. We pursue it all the way through trial. We are trial lawyers and we let clients know upfront that if necessary we are prepared to go to trial and present their case to a jury in order to hold those that harmed them accountable.

And ultimately, we are about justice and making sure that justice is served in every case where our clients are harmed. Although we can’t guarantee justice for all cases, we can guarantee we will relentlessly pursue it on their behalf.

Contact us today.

If I Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer, What Will Be Expected of Me?

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If I hire a personal injury lawyer, what will be expected of me?

Oftentimes when people hire a personal injury lawyer,  they want to know what is needed of them.

The companies and individuals we sue have endless resources amounting to hundreds, thousands, and hundreds of thousands of dollars. We represent regular kinds of folks, who cannot make that kind of financial sacrifice. What we do is represent these people on a contingency fee which means they don’t have to pay anything upfront.

People don’t realize that litigation is extremely expensive. It can get into the tens of thousands of dollars, and often in our cases the hundreds of thousands of dollars. What we ask our clients to do is partner with us. If we take your case, we will advance our time and our money. If the case goes sideways for whatever reason, you don’t owe us a penny. That is our risk in the case. If we get a result for you, whether that be a jury verdict or a settlement, we will share in that recovery with you.

All we need from a client in a case is their time and attention. We will often have to answer questions on their behalf and we want to make sure those answers are absolutely correct.

If you or someone you know has been catastrophically injured, contact us today to see how we can help you.


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