The Ford Pinto case became infamous in the 1970’s due to a defective fuel system design that burst into flames in a collision. It is estimated between 500 and 900 burn deaths resulted from Ford’s faulty design.
Multiple lawsuits brought by those injured uncovered how the company rushed the Pinto into production in an effort to compete with the growing popularity of its competitors including the Volkswagen Beetle. This case brought to light many issues centered around a competitive market. Ford used a cost-benefit analysis over ethical concerns which ultimately defined safety to its customers an acceptable risk.
The Ford Pinto case served to send a message to automakers – if they chose to ignore safety considerations, it would be at their own financial peril.
Unfortunately, compromising safety in a competitive market is still present today. More recently, in an effort to compete with Airbus, Boeing 737 Max was rushed into the market leading Boeing to miss crucial safety risks and to underplay the need for pilot training. This competitive pressure resulted in 2 deadly crashes in less than five months.
Although the law requires businesses to use a certain level of care when putting their products out into the world, corporations all too often put profit ahead of consumer safety. Product Liability refers to the liability of any or all parties along the chain of manufacture of any product for damage caused by that product. Product liability includes design defects, manufacturing defects, and inadequate warnings. The Ford Pinto and the Boeing 737 Max are leading examples of fatal design defects.
The public’s greatest defense is access to the Courts and tort laws – laws that protect and compensate people who have been injured by unsafe or defective products.
If you or someone you know has been injured by a defective product, please contact an attorney at Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Agosto, Aziz & Stogner by calling 713-396-3964 or toll free at 800-594-4884“>1-800-594-4884.