Even while consumers are eager for the latest and the best, the race to product launch can mean costly errors for businesses. Fast turnaround rates from conception to product launch makes for less research and development times. Consumers should take note that faster is not always better. Here are 5 lawsuits against faulty and harmful products that were filed in 2017 that you should be aware of.
- Johnson & Johnson’s baby powder.
The first case filed against Johnson & Johnson was in 2006. The plaintiff did not walk away with a monetary settlement. But this case was a milestone in that the jury confirmed a link between baby powder and ovarian cancer.Cases continue to be brought against Johnson & Johnson regarding the harmful effects of baby powder. In October 2016, a St. Louis jury awarded a woman more than $70 million in a baby powder lawsuit. Think twice before grabbing that baby powder to combat heat rash.
- Apple’s iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.
Heard of touch disease? Specifically related to iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, touch disease refers to a defect where the smartphone screen cracks when used regularly. This defect essentially render the screen useless. When users initially complained, Apple tried to charge them for replacement models instead of fixing the issue. In August 2016, three plaintiffs sued Apple for keeping the product defect a secret and for making no initial attempts to fix it. Originally filed in California, this lawsuit has been growing. Attorneys from the plaintiffs’ firm say nearly 10,000 people have since contacted them about touch disease.Apple representatives have yet to release a statement on this lawsuit.
- Samsung’s Note 7.
Smartphone manufacturers have had it rough this year. Aside from Apple’s iPhone 6 woes, Samsung Electronics Co Ltd is also facing a class action lawsuit inNewark, New Jersey. Shortly after the product launched, the Note 7 showed signs of being prone to overheating and catching fire. The company has since recalled over 2.5 million Note 7s, making this a costly error in production for Samsung. Users are asking for compensation for money paid for devices. As well as plan charges that continued before the phone manufacturer finally discontinued the Note 7. Samsung representatives have yet to release a statement on this litigation.
- L’Oréal Optimum Amla Legend No-Mix, No-Lye Relaxer
A hair relaxer that should have brought joy, instead brought tears and agony. Delicia Taylor, the plaintiff, is now suing the make up company for $5 million for damages received. The packaging had promised fuller, silkier hair. But according to Ms. Taylor, she was exposed to hair loss, breakage, scalp irritation, blisters, and burns. Ms. Taylor joins over 100,000 other women who claim L’Oréal’s hair relaxer causes hair loss.
- Toyota Lexus RX 350
A class action lawsuit has been filed in California against Toyota for faulty sunroofs. The plaintiff, Ginger Minoletti, was driving her Lexus RX 350 when she heard a cracking noise. Upon investigating, she found that the sunroof of her car had splintered. Although the glass remained within the frame.The complaint filed states that Toyota had known of this issue but had done nothing to warn consumers of this defect. Neither had the company recalled the car. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration had also received complaints about this defect. And is also allegedly investigating other automakers for sunroof defects.
The race to product launch should not mean cutting corners when it comes to consumer safety. But as seen in the above cases, product defects and safety issues abounded in 2016. One can only make assumptions as to what went wrong in the research and development stage. But we can hope that companies will take note of this year of rising lawsuits. And devote needed time and research in 2017 to making safer consumer products for all.