Wrongful Death

Litigation Pushes Ski Boat Manufacturers to Safer Designs – Safety Research & Strategies Inc.

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The Cooper Firm In The News

Litigation Pushes Ski Boat Manufacturers to Safer Designs

By Sean Kane, Safety Research & Strategies Inc.

3 years ago a young boy lost his life while enjoying a day on the lake with his family. 7-year-old Ryan Batchelder, along with 5 other members of his family were out on Lake Rabun when their boat, a Malibu Bowrider manufactured by Malibu Boats, dipped under its own wake and took on water, tossing Ryan and another family member overboard.  To correct the flooding issue, the driver put the boat in reverse. Still in the water, Ryan became entangled with the propeller and died from drowning and loss of blood. It’s a tragic story. A story we believe should have never happened if the Malibu Bowrider had been properly designed and tested.

Sean Kane with Safety Research & Strategies Inc. has more details about this potential design flaw. Read the full investigative story here.

The Cooper Firm is currently representing the Batchelder family to investigate and identify this potential product defect. In addition to seeking justice for their son Ryan, they hope to save more families from experiencing this type of tragedy.

What does Product Liability mean?

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What does Product Liability Mean?

Product liability means you prove that a product is defective and that a defect has caused an injury or a death. It’s different than an ordinary case because you need experts, engineers, and especially reconstruction experts. You need all of these technical experts to be able to tell you:

“Yes, the product is defective.”

and

“Yes, this defect caused this accident and this injury or death.”

So, it’s a complicated area of the law which requires certain legal knowledge on behalf of the lawyers who handle those cases. It also requires an ability on behalf of those lawyers to hire the right experts to prove the case, ultimately to a jury if that’s required. In many cases, this expert presentation in a trial can cost literally hundreds of thousands of dollars because of the technology that’s needed in order to present those kinds of cases.

Have a potential product liability case? Contact us today.

What new safety features help prevent auto accidents?

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What New Safety Features Help Prevent Auto Accidents?

Car companies over the last twenty years have focused on safety features and technologies that can help prevent accidents. For example, there’s electronic stability control in cars. So, when someone begins to lose control of their car, the technology in the car keeps them under control. There’s also anti-lock brake systems in cars now. More recently you have computer technology where you have automatic braking system that if you come up to a car and you don’t recognize it, the car will brake on its own. Or when you change a lane the car will tell you, “You’re changing a lane. Get back into your lane.”

All of this technology is critical because it prevents accident. It keeps people from even needing the airbags or the seat belts because the accidents never happen. What we have found over the years is companies unfortunately don’t put that technology into the cars they should, and, so, we’ve had cases where an accident has happened when it never should have because the safety technology was not used in that car when it should’ve been used, which would’ve prevented the accident.

If you or someone you know have been catastrophically injured in an accident, please contact us today.

What is a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

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What is  a wrongful death lawsuit?

A wrongful death lawsuit is a lawsuit for the death of someone, where you are able to prove that their death was caused by someone else’s negligence. It’s different than other lawsuits because it is a family member or a guardian who is bringing the case and not the person who was injured.

Under those circumstances, the law tells us who is entitled to bring the lawsuit and what damages they can recover. For example, oftentimes if it is a wage owner, they can recover damages for their future lost wages as well as for the value of their life. It takes into account they meant to their family. All of this helps our firm in determining the value of the life.

When we take in a wrongful death lawsuit, not only are we responsible to prove someone’s negligence, often the more valuable part is to prove the value of a life. Someone will ask “how do I know what the value of a life is?” It’s our job as the experts to bring in the witnesses, including professional experts like economists, to demonstrate what the value of a life is. It takes a real expertise to handle these types of wrongful death cases because of the technical aspects of the case and the difficulty in proving them.

 

If you have lost a loved one in an accident, please 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.

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.

Another loss for Johnson & Johnson Talc Powder

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talc powder

Another loss for Johnson & Johnson Talc Powder

In October, Johnson & Johnson faced another failed lawsuit over claims their talc powder causes ovarian cancer. The jury ruled in favor of a California woman, diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2012, who was suing Johnson & Johnson for negligent conduct in the making and marketing of their talc powder. The suit alleged that Johnson & Johnson was aware of the health risks associated with frequent use of the talc powder as form of feminine hygiene.

The St. Louis jury awarded more than $70 million to the plaintiff. Earlier in 2016, two other lawsuits ruled on behalf of the plaintiffs for a combined $127 million.

Although Johnson & Johnson maintains its talcum powder is safe, there has been extensive research that suggests otherwise. Read more about the history of Johnson & Johnson talc powder and its link to ovarian cancer here.

If you or someone you know has been diagnosed with ovarian cancer and used talc powder on a regular basis for feminine hygiene, please contact us today to discuss your legal options.

NHTSA Proposes Mobile Recall Notifications

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mobile recall notices

NHTSA Proposes Mobile Recall Notifications

The NHTSA (National Highway Transportation & Safety Administration) has proposed a rule that would require automakers to include digital notifications of recall announcements. This would include sending notifications by mobile texts, phone calls and emails.

To date, recall notices or safety announcements are sent via mail. What was once an effective means of communication, the general public now rarely receives any useful mail except for perhaps wedding invitations, holiday cards, and the most exciting of them all, calls for jury duty. In an age where the majority of our communications happens at our fingertips, the faster vehicle owners can be notified of a safety issue the better.

This is exactly what the NHTSA is proposing.

It was reported that Anton Yelchin, the young actor that was crushed to death by his rolling Jeep Cherokee thought to be in the parked position, received his own recall notice in the mail  7 days after his death. Additional ways to notify vehicle owners of recalls might have allowed this message to reach him sooner. Although mailing would still be a requirement, automakers would be required to select an additional digital option to increase the likelihood of receipt by owner.

J.D. Power & Associates announced in July that nearly 45 million vehicles recalled from 2013-2015 remain unfixed. From exploding airbags, to faulty door latches and ignition switches, accidents occur every day from safety issues that have gone unnoticed or unaddressed. Hopefully, this initiative would help reduce that number. Recalled vehicles pose not just a safety threat to their drivers, but to others on the road as well.

A final ruling will be made on the NHTSA’s proposal following a 60 day comment allowance scheduled to end 10/31/2016.

If you or someone you know has been injured as a result of a safety defect on a vehicle, please contact us for a complimentary case consultation.

Chevy Facing Yet Another Round of Recalls

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Chevy is facing another round of recalls as GM announces a 289k Chevy Impala recall for faulty airbag sensor system.

The passenger sensory system is able to detect if a person is seated in the passenger seat and activate the airbag release should an accident occur. The 2009-2010 Chevy Impala models are in question as GM said the sensory system is disabled if the seat frame makes contact with the wires of the unit that contacts the sensors. Vehicle owners will be notified and dealers are committed to fixing the damaged wires for free.

This latest announcement comes as no surprise. Clearly there was a shift in focus during the first decade of the millennium with GM and the safety of consumers was not the priority. In 2003, GM recalled 1.8 million vehicles for faulty windshield wipers. In 2004, GM recalled 3.7 million vehicles for tailgates that broke when people stood on them. It wasn’t until February 2014 when GM began rolling out recalls for faulty ignition switches installed in cars from 1997-2011 that a real pattern of negligence emerged. First it was 1.37 million for the ignition switch recall, then a new ignition switch flaw expanded the recall to 2.6 million. 3 months later, a recall for faulty brake light wiring and front seat belts in pre-2010 models brought the world-wide total to 13.6 million. By June of 2014, GM had recalled nearly 30 million vehicles worldwide for vehicles manufactured a decade before the announcement. This pattern was noticed by the media, the federal government, safety regulators, and most noticeably, attorneys on behalf of clients that were injured as a result of GM’s negligence in their safety and engineering practices.

The Cooper Firm was proud to represent one of the first families willing to go the distance and prove GM was at fault for the wrongful death of their daughter, Brooke Melton. If you, or someone you know, have been injured in an accident as a result of the negligence by an auto manufacturer, we would be proud to represent you as well.

Contact us today for a complimentary case consultation


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