South Carolina Auto Liability Case May Set New Bar For Awarding Damages
Posted on May 04, 2017 by
Carmelo B. Sammataro
Questions before the South Carolina Supreme Court could change whether negligence in causing a car accident now may be considered in awarding damages for injuries allegedly caused by a vehicle’s design flaw.
The answers to questions of state law certified in the federal products liability case Donze v. General Motors hinge on the South Carolina Supreme Court’s decision on whether comparative negligence, which apportions damages based on fault, applies in crashworthiness cases.
For years, South Carolina plaintiffs have been able to successfully argue that the circumstances of what caused an accident are irrelevant when considering liability based on crashworthiness, which is the degree to which a vehicle will protect its occupants from the effects of an accident – often referred to as the second collision.
Under the crashworthiness theory in South Carolina, a manufacturer can be held responsible for a design flaw of the vehicle that enhances or aggravates the injuries above and beyond those from the initial collision. continue reading
Take the Extra Step in Product Warnings to Protect Your Company from Liability
Posted on Mar 02, 2016 by
Carmelo B. Sammataro
For years, the assumption in South Carolina law has been that a manufacturer doesn’t have to warn about something that is obviously dangerous, such as a power saw. Do you really need to tell users to keep their hands away from spinning blades? The more challenging concept is: how do you effectively warn about a product that is beneficial when used properly, but that may have dangerous or unintended outcomes if used improperly?
A basic principle of product liability warnings is the concept of the “sophisticated user.” A professional carpenter who uses power tools in his job should be aware of the inherent dangers of a powerful, spinning cutting blade. In comparison, a skilled worker may – or may not -- be expected to appreciate the dangerous qualities of flammable or toxic substances that sometimes are integral components of the job site or the task at hand. continue reading
Protecting a Manufacturer Against a Potential Class Action
Posted on Sep 11, 2014 by
TURNER PADGET LITIGATION TEAM
Turner Padget represented the world’s largest producer of aerosol valves in a lawsuit that alleged racial harassment, race discrimination, and retaliation under various federal and state statutes in the Greenville Division of the United States District Court. continue reading