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$980 Million Verdict in Faulty Seatbelt Case Against Mitsubishi

Home » $980 Million Verdict in Faulty Seatbelt Case Against Mitsubishi
December 17, 2023
Edward Smith

Faulty Seatbelt Case Against Mitsubishi

A jury in Pennsylvania awarded approximately $980 million to a plaintiff in a faulty seatbelt case filed against Mitsubishi. The case was brought forward following a rollover involving a 1992 Mitsubishi 3000GT. The incident occurred in November 2017 in Buckingham Township, PA. The complaint alleges that the seat belt design was defective and did not prevent the motorist from being crushed or partially ejected in a rollover accident. The driver’s side seat belt allegedly failed to properly restrain the motorist during the rollover in 2017, causing the plaintiff to suffer a catastrophic spinal cord injury.

The plaintiff’s counsel, during the recent trial, requested the jury to focus on the seatbelt design itself and whether it failed to properly restrain the vehicle occupant through a few inches of slack in the seatbelt. The defense argued that the rollover occurred because of the plaintiff’s unsafe operation of the car, and the seatbelt met crashworthiness criteria. It took over four hours for the jury to deliberate an award and under half an hour to reach a decision on punitive damages. The jury awarded the plaintiff $980 million, including punitive damages of $800 million and compensatory damages of $180 million.

Liability and Knowledge in Product Liability Cases

Manufacturers have the responsibility of ensuring that the items they introduce to the market are safe for the general public. A manufacturer must warn consumers of any danger posed by an item’s unintended but reasonably foreseeable use or intended use. Product safety issues are generally remedied through sufficient warning labeling. There are other ways that manufacturers can fulfill this duty. The purpose of warnings is to ensure that the manufacturer makes the product safer. Furthermore, it may allow the manufacturer to face a lower risk of tort liability.

Manufacturers currently use warning signs or labels for items. This serves to meet federal guidelines and diminish liability for the manufacturer. However, not all manufacturers have the best interests of consumers at heart. Manufacturers may attempt to diminish product liability through insufficient or excessive warning labeling. Cases against manufacturers for defects in warnings may include the failure to provide sufficient instructions for the safe operation or use of an item, failure to provide sufficient warning, and failure to warn.

Manufacturers may be held liable for a product safety issue that should have been known even if they had no actual knowledge of the hazard. Manufacturers are expected to continuously monitor products for any potential safety risks. If a manufacturer is aware of a product safety issue, they must issue sufficient and timely warnings to users and owners of the product on the risk that has been discovered. Failure to do so may result in liability for the manufacturer for failing to warn consumers of product safety issues.

Strict Liability in Defective Product Cases

Product liability cases in California are filed on the basis of strict liability. Cases typically allege that a product a manufacturer has placed on the marketplace for consumer use has a design, manufacturing, or marketing defect. Under strict liability, a manufacturer may be held liable for placing a faulty item that poses an unreasonable safety risk to consumers. The burden of proof is on the plaintiff to establish through clear evidence that the item had a defect, the flawed product was the proximate cause of the injury, and the defective item poses unreasonable dangers for consumer use.

Consumers are protected from unreasonable dangers and risks of harm under product liability law. Manufacturers and other parties involved in the marketing and creating of items placed on the market must ensure that they are safe for consumer use. When they fail to do so, they may be held liable for economic and non-economic damages individuals experience because of faulty items, including medical bills, wage loss, pain and suffering, future losses, and punitive damages if applicable. Surviving family members whose loved ones were killed because of defective or unsafe item use may seek compensation for funeral costs, loss of financial support, and associated damages.

By imposing strict liability on manufacturers and other parties involved in the marketing, creating, or distributing of products, they are compelled to take the necessary measures to ensure items are safe for the general public. When an injured party retains legal counsel, they can depend on their lawyer to work diligently to counterarguments and other defenses presented by defendants that prioritize profits over consumer safety. At our personal injury law firm, we are committed to protecting our client’s rights and helping them obtain the financial compensation they need to cover current losses and future needs.

Importance of Working With an Experienced Attorney

An independent investigation is necessary to uncover the facts and circumstances of the case. Hiring the right lawyer can make all the difference in the outcome of a product liability case. An ideal law firm will have decades of experience shared among lawyers and the resources to manage the case effectively. Manufacturers have defense counsel whose duty is to dispute liability and avoid payouts. An injured party can level the playing field by enlisting the services of an experienced product liability lawyer who will use their diligence and skills in case building, negotiation, or litigation. Watch this video to learn about our law office and how we can assist you in your potential case.

Product Liability Lawyer in Sacramento

If you suffered harm from the use of an unsafe or defective product, call our legal team at for a free consultation at (916) 921-6400 or (800) 404-5400. Our experienced product liability lawyers serving Sacramento are available to review the specifics of your potential case and provide advice that is friendly and free. It can be daunting to take on an established manufacturer, but with the right attorney, you can rest assured knowing your case is in good hands. When you choose our personal injury law firm to represent you, we will build the strongest case possible to seek full compensation.

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