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Faulty Air Bags Trigger Historic Recall

Posted June 25, 2015 - James R. Gregory, Trial Attorney

Japan’s Takata Corporation, facing mounting pressure from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, has acknowledged a design defect in air bag components present in 34 million vehicles. The defective part, the “air bag inflator,” uses a chemical reaction to rapidly produce the nitrogen gas which inflates air bags during deployment. Faulty inflators rupture when activated, sending metal shrapnel tearing through the vehicle’s interior. So far, ten deaths have been linked to the Takata product.

Takata - Love & Safety

The recall currently underway will be the largest and most complex in U.S. history. Consumers should use the VIN Lookup Tool to ascertain whether their car will be affected by the recall. Please note the warning on the website: the recall database is not yet complete, so check back often to make sure your vehicle isn’t on the list.

Bottled Water Recalled for E. coli

Posted June 24, 2015 - James R. Gregory, Trial Attorney

Shaw’s  Natural Spring Water sold in Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont is being recalled for E.coli. There were no illnesses reported at the time of this recall, but customers who have purchased this water should not drink it as E. coli can cause serious, sometimes life-threatening, illness.

The contaminated water was bottled by Niagara Bottling and sold under the Shaw’s brand name at a number of retail stores, including Acadia, Acme, Big Y, Best Yet, 7-11, Niagara, Nature’s Place, Pricerite, Superchill, Morning Fresh, Shaws, Shoprite, Western Beef Blue and Wegman’s. The recalled products have “Best By” dates of 08DEC2016 through 16DEC2016 (December 8, 2016 through December 16, 2016).

E. coli bacteria were found in the water supply on June 10, 2015, indicating that the water may be contaminated with human or animal waste.

Young children, pregnant women, seniors and those with compromised immunes systems are at highest risk for infections from E. coli. Symptoms of an infection include diarrhea, abdominal cramps, nausea, headaches, or other symptoms.

$17.5 Million Dollar Verdict Against Geico

Posted June 17, 2015 - James R. Gregory, Trial Attorney

Willamette Week reported earlier today that a jury in Portland has awarded a historically large verdict to a Geico customer based on an allegation of improperly handling an automobile insurance claim against him.

The jury found that the insurance giant acted in bad faith when it refused to settle a lawsuit brought against policyholder Cornel Tuter, exposing him to an “excess judgement.” Under Oregon law, an insurance carrier has a duty to protect customers against big verdicts if it can reasonably do so by negotiating a settlement amount under the liability limits in the policy. In Tuter’s case, Geico declined to resolve a claim against him for $100,000, the maximum available under his auto policy. When the case went to trial, a Douglas County  jury awarded $330,000 to the person Tuter injured, leaving him on the hook for the additional $230,000.

When Tuter then sued, alleging that Geico violated its duty to him, a jury in Multnomah County agreed, and rendered the multi-million dollar verdict.

We all want to think that the insurers we trust to protect our rights are doing so diligently and with our best interests in mind, but this case proves that some carriers are willing to roll the dice with your financial future. If you feel you have been treated unfairly by an insurance company, contact us today for a free consultation.