Archive for March, 2016

DUI Sobriety Checkpoints Preventing Alcohol-Related Accidents in Mississippi

Thursday, March 31st, 2016

Those who drive under the influence of alcohol continue to account for an unacceptable number of serious accidents resulting in injuries and fatalities involving law-abiding vehicle occupants. The average number of DUI fatalities in Mississippi continues to place our state among the top ten in the country involving drunk driving crashes. A study by 24/7 Wall Street reported that Mississippi ranked fifth in the country for highest number of drunk driving deaths per capita. While drunk driving accounts for approximately a third of traffic-related fatalities, intoxicated drivers cause a significantly higher number of driving-related deaths in Mississippi on a per mile driven basis. The substantial risk to vehicle occupants of being involved in a serious car accident with an intoxicated driver makes the use of sobriety checkpoints an appealing countermeasure for promoting vehicle safety.

However, our Mississippi auto accident lawyers recognize there are a great number of critics that believe DUI sobriety checkpoints have limited effectiveness in preventing alcohol-related car accidents. Critics of checkpoints contend that few drunk drivers are actually arrested for driving under the influence at sobriety roadblocks. Sobriety checkpoint advocates counter that this DUI enforcement tool is a mechanism for deterring potential drunk drivers. While it is probably reasonable to assume that DUI sobriety checkpoints serve as a reasonable deterrent to moderate and social drinkers, they probably have minimal impact on habitual drinkers.

Opponents of sobriety checkpoints claim that less than two percent of drivers that pass through sobriety checkpoints are actually arrested for DUI on a national basis. This contention is misleading for a couple of reasons. First, the purpose of DUI checkpoints is not to arrest drivers but rather to encourage those who might otherwise choose to drive while intoxicated to make alternative arrangements. Further, given the millions of people who pass through DUI sobriety checkpoints, even a small percentage of DUI arrest amounts to tens of thousands of DUI drivers that are removed from U.S. roadways.

Another key factor rarely considered when evaluating the effectiveness of sobriety checkpoints in promoting public safety is the fact that many motorists removed from the road do not have a valid driver’s license. Drivers who are operating a motor vehicle without a valid driver’s license may never have satisfied the requirements to obtain a license, or they might have had their driving privileges suspended or revoked because of accidents, DUI convictions, or other traffic violations. When considering the effectiveness of sobriety checkpoints, the fact that a substantial number of drivers without a valid license are removed from the road also must be considered a safety advantage. While checking to see if drivers have a valid license cannot be the focus of a sobriety checkpoint, it is a secondary benefit.

Admittedly, reasonable minds might differ on whether the economics of sobriety checkpoints makes them the most cost-effective method of preventing collisions involving intoxicated drivers. However, there can be little doubt that removing intoxicated and unlicensed driver from our roads makes others safer. If you or a loved one has been injured in a drunk driving accident in Mississippi, our law firm aggressively seeks compensation for motor vehicle accident victims. At Barrett Law, our Mississippi Car Accident Lawyer is here to help. Contact our firm today at 800-707-9577 to schedule your free consultation, so we can answer any questions you may have regarding filing your claim.

 

What Does Subrogation Mean in the Context of an Auto Accident?

Monday, March 28th, 2016

If you are involved in a car accident, you will likely hear the term “subrogation” mentioned by medical providers, insurance companies, or attorneys. While subrogation issues can be extremely complex, the term literally means that one party stands in the place of another. This principle is important when pursuing a lawsuit or insurance claim following a collision because the right to pursue a legal claim belongs to the party who suffered property damage, bodily injury, or other forms of loss. The principle of subrogation permits third parties to assert a legal claim in the place of the injured party under certain circumstances.

By way of example, a nineteen-year-old college student gets into a collision when he is T-boned by a drunk driver. If the college student decides not sue the drunk driver because he is a friend, his grandmother cannot simply bring a lawsuit because she is outraged by the intoxicated driver’s conduct. Subrogation rules permit the injured party to assign his or her rights to pursue legal remedies to another party. Effectively, the principle of subrogation permits an injury victim to empower a party to pursue a lawsuit who would not otherwise have standing to sue.

A common example of subrogation in the context of an auto accident involves medical bills. If you file a personal injury lawsuit seeking damages from the other party, medical expenses will be a component of your settlement or jury verdict. While you might recover $30,000 in medical bills from the other driver, your health insurance company can seek reimbursement from you if your insurer covered your medical bills while you were in the hospital. Put another way, you do not get to collect for medical bills from both your own health insurance company and the other driver and/or the other driver’s insurer.

The issue of subrogation also frequently arises in the context of uninsured or underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) claims. If the other driver does not have insurance or has insufficient coverage to compensate you for the full amount of your loss, you can pursue a claim against your own insurer under the UM/UIM coverage provision. When a policyholder obtains UM/UIM benefits under his or her own policy, the insurance company may pursue a lawsuit against the other driver to recover some or all of the compensation the carrier paid to its own insured. Although you are not a “real party” in this type of lawsuit between your insurance company and the negligent driver, you might have to participate as a witness by testifying in a deposition and/or at trial.

Because insurance companies often negotiate discounted rates with health care provider, our law firm can work with clients to maximize our clients’ net recovery. If your medical expenses are extensive, this negotiation of lower rates can result in valuable additional compensation to cover your living expenses and related costs following a serious accident. Our Mississippi car accident attorneys represent individual injured by careless and inattentive drivers. At Barrett Law,our Mississippi Car Accident Lawyer is here to help. Contact our firm today at 800-707-9577 to schedule your free consultation, so we can answer any questions you may have regarding filing your claim.

 

 

Mississippi BP Deepwater Horizon Claims Attorneys Outline Benefits of Recent Settlement

Friday, March 25th, 2016

The Justice Department and five states recently (in October) settled civil claims against BP for $20 billion related to the Deepwater Horizon disaster that resulted in 134 million gallons of oil being spilled into the Gulf of Mexico. The settlement provides a wide range of benefits for residents and businesses throughout the Gulf region. The company also was forced to participate in a monumental clean-up effort designed to replenish water quality, wildlife and habitat in the region. The settlement of the civil claims promises both environmental and economic benefits throughout the area impacted by the spill.

BP acquiesced to a number of other requirements. BP is required to pay $5.5 billion in financial penalties under the Clean Water Act and disburse almost $5 billion among five states that include Mississippi, Alabama, Texas, Louisiana, and Florida. The company also must pay $8.1 billion toward natural resource damage. The funds will be used for restoration projects involving fish, birds, coastal wetlands and similar natural resources.

In addition to these funds, $600 million will be paid to cover costs like state and federal reimbursement claims related to the massive oil spill. The financial settlement follows a Deepwater Horizon Natural Resources Trustees’ report that designated the devastation caused by the spill as “unprecedented” in scope. According to the report, the oil from the blown-out well was found hundreds of miles from the site of the spill. The scope of the damage is reflected by the fact that the slick substance was uncovered on over 400 square miles of the sea floor. Further, the environmentally toxic substance washed up onto over 1,300 miles of coastal shoreline throughout the Gulf Coast region. The long-term ecological impact is hard to estimate because of toxicity to mammals, fish, turtles, plankton, and birds. The oil will cause significant fatalities and disease to affected species along with impaired reproduction.

The impact on residents of the Gulf Coast has recently been highlighted by Gina McCarthy, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator, “[T]he spill drove Gulf communities into a period of painful uncertainty, forcing questions that no American family should ever have to ask: Is my food safe to eat? Is it dangerous for my kids to play near the shore? Is the air still clean to breathe? And will my businesses ever recover?

These questions by tourists and other customers of Gulf businesses reflect the lingering financial consequences for many Gulf Coast business owners. Fortunately, you might have a right to a claim for your financial loss caused by the BP Deep Horizon spill. If you have questions about your right to pursue a claim for compensation, we invite you to contact us and speak to an experienced Oil Spill Claims Attorney at Barrett Law. Our Mississippi BP Deep Horizon Claims Lawyer has successfully represented many businesses that were financially harmed by this massive spill. At Barrett Law, we are here to help. Contact our firm today at 800-707-9577 to schedule your free consultation, so we can answer any questions you may have regarding filing your claim.

 

 

 

 

Safety Tips for Avoiding Tractor-Trailer Accidents in Mississippi

Sunday, March 20th, 2016

The average tractor-trailer can weigh anywhere from 12,000-80,000 pounds. This can be as much as 25 times more than the average passenger automobile. This disparity explains why a collision between the two vehicles will usually result in far more severe injuries to occupants of a passenger car. A disproportionate number of tractor-trailer accidents result in catastrophic injuries that lead to permanent disabilities and fatalities. This makes it imperative that Gulf Coast motorists do everything in their power to avoid an accident with a tractor-trailer. Large truck collisions account for an eighth of all traffic fatalities.

The experienced Mississippi tractor-trailer attorneys at Barrett Law have been representing commercial truck accident victims throughout the Gulf Coast for over 75 years. If you or someone you love has been involved in a serious big-rig crash, our dedicated and compassionate legal team is available to assess your situation and advise you regarding your legal rights and options. We know the best possible outcome is to avoid collisions involving large trucks, so we have provided some suggestions designed to keep you out of harm’s way.

Stay out of the truck’s blind spots

Many trucks have warnings on the trailer in the form of brightly marked signs that say something like “If you can read this, you are driving too close” or “If you can read this, then I cannot see you.” Tractor-trailer drivers cannot see behind their trucks and they have limited visibility to the sides of the trailer. If you cannot see the driver or their mirrors, then there is a good chance the driver of the tractor-trailer cannot see your vehicle. When a semi-truck driver signals to change into your lane, you should back off or move over and let the driver into the lane. Motorist should avoid the risk associated with speeding up and attempting to pass the truck in this situation because the big-rig operator may not see you.

Respect that tractor-trailers are different from cars

A massive 18-wheeler that is fully loaded can be 65 feet long and weigh as much as 80,000 pounds, which means it cannot maneuver like a passenger vehicle. Tractor-trailers take time to turn, to pull over, and to slow down after the brakes are applied. These limitations of commercial trucks make it important for other motorists to keep a safe distance. If you are immediately behind or in front of these massive vehicles, it is imperative not to travel too close. When passing a big-rig, you should be very careful to promptly pass to avoid being in the blind spot along the side of the vehicle for an extended period.

Pull all the way off the road if you must stop

In addition to the risk of being sideswiped by a semi-truck if you are not pulled way off to the shoulder when stopped, you also might be hit and killed. If you have car trouble or are changing a tire, you want to get as far away from the closest lane of traffic as possible. A fatigued commercial driver can get confused and assume he or she is following moving traffic rather than approaching a stopped vehicle. The driver also might not realize how close he or she is to you and pass by too close.

Drive carefully when in bad weather conditions

When it is raining, snowing, foggy, or other factors that reduce visibility, you should be extremely cautious when driving in the vicinity of a tractor-trailer. In these types of conditions, the truck driver might experience difficulty seeing potential road hazards and stopping when an emergency arises. You should give large commercial trucks more room to maneuver.

Do not instigate “road rage” with a tractor-trailer operator

If a tractor-trailer driver engages in rude or unsafe driving practices like tailgating, you should never retaliate. A fatigued tractor-trailer operator may respond with an act of road rage, which can result in a potentially fatal trucking accident.

Mississippi motorists should exercise caution and respect around semi-trucks because it is the best way to stay safe and avoid serious trucking accidents. Our Mississippi Trucking Accident Attorney represents individual injured by unsafe truck drivers and indifferent trucking companies. At Barrett Law, we are here to help. Contact our firm today at 800-707-7577 to schedule your free consultation, so we can answer any questions you may have regarding filing your claim.

Mississippi Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Highlights Significance of Repetitive Stress Injuries

Tuesday, March 15th, 2016

The majority of Mississippi employees might recognize that they have a right to pursue a workers’ compensation claim for medical care and forfeited pay when they suffer an on-the-job injury. Although the process might seem straightforward, there are many procedural, evidentiary, and substantive complications that can disrupt, compromise, or completely derail a claim. While most people think of workplace injuries as involving the consequences of a sudden mishap like a motor vehicle collision, fall from a scaffolding, or malfunction of heavy equipment, many job-related injuries are not so immediate and clear. When a person suffers a broken arm in a fall, the cause of injury and the adverse health impacts are often apparent. However, injuries that occur over a protracted period of time pose a more significant challenge when pursuing a workers’ compensation claim.

While some people might discount the severity and debilitating nature of an RSI, these injuries can be extremely serious and lead to permanent disability. An RSI is caused by repetitive motion or exposure to heavy vibration in the workplace. If you are tasked by your employer with engaging in jobs involving a fixed posture or awkward motions for a prolonged period without adequate breaks, this can result in an RSI. Many workplace activities in a broad spectrum of industries promote repetitive motion injuries, including heavy computer work, assembly line jobs, food preparation, commercial drivers, heavy machinery use, road work employees, cleaning staff, carpentry work, and typists just to list a few examples.

A number of types of movements tend to result in an RSI like jobs that require employees to maintain an awkward posture. In other words, tasks that entail a body remaining in a different position from a natural posture, such as stooping, side-to-side movement or backward flexing of the wrist, twisting, reaching up above shoulder level, and bending. Further, employees who engage in continuous use of the same muscles promote fatigue, such as twisting one’s neck to view a poorly positioned computer monitor or constant standing in one spot.

The human body is not well suited to monotonous assembly line or desk related tasks. The muscles and joints of the body need varied movement to promote good health. Contorting the body in atypical positions or repeatedly performing the same movements can cause stress that accumulates over time causing debilitating injuries. The development of many jobs that require employees to remain in uncomfortable positions for most or all of the work day has spawned an increase in RSI claims. When workers are stooped over computers for eight hours a day, they often suffer from back problems, carpal tunnel syndrome, neck injuries, and other RSIs. Similarly, continuous repetitive motion in manufacturing plants can result in tendons and muscle issues that frequently cause chronic joint pain.

While you might have experienced an injury without any precise and obvious cause, such an injury is just as deserving of compensation as a broken bone suffered in a fall. Our Mississippi workers’ compensation lawyers have successfully represented many injured employees during our decades of representing clients. At Barrett Law, our Mississippi Workers’ Compensation Lawyer is here to help. Contact our firm today at 800-707-7577 to schedule your free consultation, so we can answer any questions you may have regarding filing your claim.

 

 

 

 

Whistleblower at Medical Device Company to Receive $51 Million for Disclosing Bribe & Kickback Scheme

Friday, March 11th, 2016

Olympus Corp. of the Americas (OCA), which is the largest distributor of endoscopes in the country, has agreed to pay over $632 million to settle criminal and civil complaints stemming from the practice of disbursing kickbacks to hospitals and doctors. The scheme was designed to bribe medical providers to use the company’s endoscopes according to a press release from the Justice Department’s Criminal Division.

The civil part of the case stems from a lawsuit filed by the former compliance officer at OCA, John Slowik, pursuant to the False Claims Act at the federal level and in multiple states. Under the Federal False Claims Act, whistleblowers are authorized to initiate a lawsuit on behalf of the federal government and share in the financial recovery. The Department of Justice elected to intervene in the case and alleged that OCA engaged in a scheme violating the Anti-Kickback Statute, which forbids payment to doctors and hospitals that induce purchases paid for by federal health care programs like Medicare. The settlement includes an admission by OCA that it engaged in practices in violation of the statute, such as providing kickbacks that motivated the submission of false claims to Medicare and Medicaid. The medical supply distributor will pay $267.3 million to the federal government and $43.5 million to various states to resolve the civil portion of the legal action. The whistleblower will receive over $51 million for his role in disclosing the wrongdoing and bringing the legal action.

The settlement of the criminal portion of the suit will result in OCA agreeing to pay an additional $312.4 million in criminal penalties. The combined civil and criminal penalties amount the largest payout under the Anti-Kickback Statute and the most substantial amount paid by a medical device company in history. The subsidiary of OCA also has agreed to pay $22.8 million to settle criminal allegations under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) in Latin America.

The criminal complaint alleged a number of specific practices that comprised the kickback/bribery scheme, which include the following:

  • Stalled a $50,000 research grant pending another medical facility’s decision to purchase OCA equipment
  • Physician in a key position at New York’s medical center being granted access to $400,000 OCA equipment for his private practice in exchange for influencing purchase of OCA equipment
  • Provision of a $5,000 grant to a hospital as an incentive to facilitate purchase of $750,000 in medical devices
  • Providing three physicians with a trip to Japan to reward the doctors for changing to OCA equipment

The Anti-Kickback Statute is designed to prevent improper relationships between medical device companies and health care providers that involve financial enticement to discount the patient’s medical needs and ignore lower cost alternatives. When such financial bribes encourage the use of overpriced medical equipment, the price of health care rises for all consumers. The recovery represents a substantial recoupment of public funds and a warning to medical equipment companies against such unethical and unlawful practices.

In addition to record financial penalties, OCA has agreed to the following conditions:

  • Implementation of a program requiring executives to forfeit up to three years of performance pay if they engage in similar misconduct.
  • Mandatory improvement of its compliance program and training
  • Board of Directors and CEO annually certifying the compliance program is functioning properly
  • Establishment of a confidential hotline for employees and patrons to report misconduct.

If you have become aware of fraud or other misconduct by your employer, our Mississippi Qui Tam Lawyer represents whistleblowers who disclose illegal and unethical conduct that depletes public funds. At Barrett Law, we are here to help. Contact our firm today at 800-707-9577 to schedule your free consultation, so we can answer any questions you may have regarding filing your claim.

 

Mississippi Qui Tam Lawyer Discusses Senate Leaders’ Attempts to Provide More Aggressive Safeguards for FBI Whistleblowers

Tuesday, March 8th, 2016

According to a report drafted by the U.S. Attorney General last year, supplemental protections for FBI whistleblowers were being considered to safeguard employees that disclose misconduct. The report specifically requested the following changes: (1) authorizing equal access for witnesses employed by the agency; (2) granting whistleblowers the right to obtain compensatory damages if they are subjected to retaliation; (3) allowing disclosures to be made to a broader range of persons. When the report was generated, leading members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, including Chuck Grassley and Ron Wyden commented positively on the recommended reforms.

Since those initial promising developments, Chuck Grassley and ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee Patrick Leahy have introduced the Federal Bureau of Investigation Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act of 2015. The proposal, which was introduced at the end of the year, broadens safeguards for employees who make protected disclosures and strengthens the processes designed to prevent retaliation against whistleblowers. The sponsors of the bill have publicly noted that the law would encourage FBI employees who learn of fraud, abuse, and waste by the FBI to come forward to protect the public. They emphasize that without adequate protections, employees might feel compelled to turn a blind eye to such improper practices out of fear of experiencing personal repercussions.

The law in needed because the Federal Whistleblower Protection Act exempts both member of the FBI and employees within the intelligence community from protection against reprisals for disclosing agency misconduct. If the bill becomes law, prospective whistleblowers would be authorized to make protected disclosures to the Office of the Inspector General at the FBI. The IG will have the authority to impose a stay of any adverse action against the employee if there is evidence to support a reasonable belief that the punitive measures were retribution for blowing the whistle on a protected disclosure. The law provides further protections for federal whistleblowers at the FBI because disputes are adjudicated by an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) rather than internally within the Department of Justice. Employees can appeal an adverse decision by the ALJ to the U.S. Court of Appeals.

Although it is premature to determine whether the bill will become law, the proposed legislation evidences a willingness by some members of Congress to offer additional protections to federal employees who disclose misconduct by the FBI. The step is particularly important because it focuses on employees of the federal government who currently have little or no protection from retaliation for disclosing fraud, waste, and abuse by the agency. The enactment of this proposed legislation would provide a powerful incentive for FBI employees who are aware of illegal activity and wrongdoing to disclose the information they have learned.

If you are an employee of the state or federal government, our law firm represents whistleblowers in both the private and public sector. At Barrett Law, we are here to help individuals who have the courage to step forward and expose such wrongdoing. Our experienced Mississippi Qui Tam Lawyer works diligently to pursue the maximum compensation for our clients. Contact our firm today at 800-707-9577 to schedule your free consultation, so we can answer any questions you may have regarding your claim.

Cranes Pose Serious Risk of Causing Fatal Mississippi Construction Accidents

Saturday, March 5th, 2016

Cranes are a fundamental piece of heavy machinery used in the construction industry. While mobile cranes constitute an essential form of heavy equipment on many building projects, they also are a leading cause of serious injury and wrongful death in construction accidents. It has been estimated that a third of all fatal construction accidents involve cranes. Though this is a significant percentage of construction industry fatalities, the number of injuries and fatalities associated with crane accidents is probably much higher because most industry statistics tend to lump cranes in with other heavy machinery. Many people underestimate the significance of the danger posed by a crane. However, there are nearly a 100,000 cranes in use and a multitude of hazards related to each, so serious crane accidents are relatively common in Mississippi and throughout the country.

Our experienced Mississippi construction accident law firm has been representing those injured by heavy machinery, including accidents involving cranes, for over three-quarters of a century. If you have been seriously injured or a loved one has been killed in a fatal crane accident in the Gulf Coast, our experienced Mississippi crane accident attorneys conduct an independent investigation of our clients’ accidents on construction projects throughout Mississippi. If you are the victim of a construction accident or you have lost a loved one in a crane accident, you may be entitled to compensation for injuries or other forms of loss.

There are many factors that can cause a crane accidents, but some of the most serious involve:

  • Any failure of lifting tackle or unanticipated rigging failure that causes a falling load
  • Employees working within the radius of a swinging cab or counterweight
  • Inadvertent rotation of the turntable
  • Crane tipping accidents related to an improperly secured load or excessively heavy load
  • Accidents related to access and egress of the crane
  • Operator error resulting from confusion regarding controls
  • Electrocution of crane operators or nearby workers when cranes contact power lines
  • Injuries to people on the ground from a moving or falling load
  • Improper assembly or disassembly resulting from inadequate communication or worker mistakes
  • Accidents involving manlifts
  • Malfunction of the crane or its component parts
  • Boom buckling

A crane is a complex piece of machinery, so these factors are only a small sampling of potential causes of Mississippi crane accidents. Specific OSHA requirements and other state and federal safety regulations are designed to mitigate the risk associated with crane use. But these regulations often fail to prevent serious crane mishaps and other construction accidents. In certain cases, OSHA regulations are ignored, which places crane operators and other construction workers at risk of serious injury or wrongful death.

If you or someone you love has been injured in a serious crane accident or you have lost someone you love in a mobile crane accident, you should seek immediate legal advice from an experience Gulf Coast construction accident attorney. We can explore the viability of a worker’s compensation claim against your employer and a personal injury lawsuit against negligent third parties. At Barrett Law, our Mississippi Construction Accident Attorney is here to help. Contact our firm today at 800-707-9577 to schedule your free consultation, so we can answer any questions you may have regarding your right to financial compensation.

 

 

 

 

Defective and Missing Airbags Can Create a False Sense of Security

Tuesday, March 1st, 2016

The majority of the time airbags operate effectively and safely. Airbags have saved almost 25,000 lives since 1970, but according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), airbags that malfunctioned accounted for the deaths of 284 people, including 180 children, between 1990 and 2007. Airbags can be defective or not installed at all. If a person suffers serious injuries or wrongful death in a car accident resulting from a missing or defective airbag, the auto accident victim may be entitled to compensation for his or her injuries. This financial compensation can entail payment for medical expenses, lost wages, impaired earning ability, compensation for pain and suffering, and other types of damages. If someone is killed by a defective airbag or an airbag that is missing, the family (estate) can often sue the manufacturer of the vehicle or faulty airbag component for wrongful death.

When faced with this scenario, it is best to contact a personal injury lawyer or a wrongful death attorney who can help evaluate your specific situation and determine your legal rights. Our experienced auto accident law firm is committed to aggressively pursuing the best interest of our clients. Our lawyers at Barrett Law are dedicated to providing exemplary legal services as part of our ongoing objective of developing a reputation as the preeminent Mississippi auto accident law firm.

A victim that has been injured in a car accident related to the failure to install an airbag or a faulty airbag can pursue damages from the manufacturer of the vehicle and/or component parts based on product liability law. If the airbag is not installed or does not properly deploy because of a design or manufacturing flaw, manufacturers can be strictly liable for the defect depending on the specific facts and circumstances.

Airbags can malfunction in a number of different ways. They can deploy with excessive force. In other situations, the timing of deployment might be an issue if they deploy too early, late, or not at all. The reasons these dangerous scenarios occur might include defects in sensors, software, inflators, outdated technology, and more. Another airbag-related problem is the failure to install airbags or failure to replace the airbag after the vehicle is repaired following a collision.

Another claim that a victim can make in a defective airbag case is a “failure to warn” contention. A manufacturer of a product has the legal responsibility to ensure that its products are safe for the public. If there are risks that cannot be removed before the product goes to the market, then the manufacturer must provide adequate warnings advising consumers of the risk and how to avoid such risk. For example, air bags can be extremely dangerous for small children, so appropriate warnings need to be provided to consumers.

A recent case in another state involved a woman in her sixties who was struck by an airbag in a low-speed collision and suffered a severed spinal cord because the airbag deployed improperly. She is now a quadriplegic. The woman sued Mitsubishi, the maker of her car and prevailed. The lawsuit included claims for defective manufacturing, defective design, and failure to provide an adequate warning under the state’s product liability law.

The court ruled in the accident victim’s favor, finding the airbag and not the collision caused her injuries, which constituted the basis of the defective manufacturing claim. The design defect claim also was established because the court found that her airbags deployed unnecessarily, too forcefully, and too late. Vehicle occupants who are injured due to a defective airbag should speak with an experienced Mississippi auto accident attorney about their options and potential litigation strategies.

Defective airbag issues affect hundreds of thousands of vehicles manufactured by many of the largest auto manufacturers. At Barrett Law, our Mississippi Car Accident Lawyer is here to help. Contact our firm today at 800-707-9577 to schedule your free consultation, so we can answer any questions you may have regarding your right to financial compensation.