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Wilmington NC Defective Products Law Blog

General Motors CEO admits fault and discusses dangerous product

It is rare that a large corporation, and especially its CEO, will admit liability and own up to mistakes. However, the CEO of General Motors recently did just that. North Carolina readers may be interested in learning about how the company did not appropriately identify an auto defect as a dangerous product. Now, the auto giant has admitted blame and is taking steps to protect consumers.

At the heart of the issue is a flawed ignition switch that has been linked to several deaths and injuries. If the impaired switches are accidentally bumped, it can result in the car losing power. When this happens, many safety systems within the vehicle are unable to function, such as air bags, power brakes and power steering. For reasons unknown and not explained, GM believed that the issues relating to this problem were actually a customer satisfaction problem and not a safety issue.

Delayed justice for family results in plea from drunk driver

Many families who have dealt with losing a loved one to a car accident never receive the justice they feel deserved after such a devastating loss. When a victim loses his or her life to a drunk driver, the criminal case can at times be continued for months and even years. A car accident that occurred two and a half years ago just resulted in a guilty plea, giving some peace to a North Carolina family.

On April 3, 2014, an accident occurred that took the life of a 22-year-old woman in Guilford County. According to a recent article, events began when a 46-year-old man ordered food from a Subway at around 9 p.m. After eating, the man strangely crept up and attacked a cardboard cutout in the restaurant. A call was placed to 911, and officers later confronted the patron in his SUV.

Jury awards $53 million in birth injury malpractice suit

Lawsuits involving well-known academic hospitals and brain-injured patients rarely result in a jury trial. Often, birth injury claims are settled via mediation, or in other more private ways, so as not to tarnish the reputation of a prestigious medical center. However, a recent verdict awarded millions in restitution to a mother and may give hope to readers in North Carolina who are facing similar circumstances.

In this case, a renowned medical institution was on trial because of the brain injury a boy endured during his birth. According to the lawsuit, the hospital was accused of 20 alleged missteps between the time that the boy's mother arrived at the hospital and when she gave birth to her son. The mother came to the hospital when she was 40 weeks pregnant because she felt significantly less movement from her baby.

Self-driving cars could cause spate of dangerous product suits

With the increased successes of Google's self-driving cars, more and more auto manufacturers are entering into the high-tech world of vehicles that can drive with less and less human intervention. While this is exciting new technology, debates have raged over whether this is a truly safe endeavor. With the recent death of a Tesla driver who was killed while his car was driving on Autopilot, many in North Carolina and around the country have joined in concern over what may be actually be a dangerous product.

In the first documented case of a fatality caused by a wreck while a car was in self-driving mode, a man who recently praised the technology perished. The car's cameras were unable to distinguish between a brightly lit sky and the white side of a turning 18-wheeler. According to the driver of the semi, it appeared that the driver was watching a movie during the time of the crash, which was still playing after the man passed through the truck and crashed into a telephone pole just down the road. Tesla has since said that watching a movie on the touchscreen in the car is impossible.

Serious bike accident blamed on allegedly impaired driver

Most cities throughout America have begun to change their roadways to provide more space and safety for bicyclists. Because of this, more people are using bicycles as transportation than ever before. Unfortunately, bicyclists are easy for car drivers to miss, which can result in serious consequences when an accident happens. A recent hit-and-run bicycle accident in North Carolina resulted in grave injuries to the cyclist and charges for the impaired driver who hit her.

According to authorities, a foreign exchange student was riding her bike along US-158 near Kill Devil Hills. At around 3:22 a.m., the woman was heading southbound on the road when she was struck by a car. The car appeared to stop briefly before leaving the scene of the accident.

Takata's dangerous product: When will the bleeding stop?

For several months, auto manufacturers have been recalling vehicles outfitted with defective Takata-made airbags. This dangerous product has caused multiple injuries and fatalities when deployed in certain conditions, and there is now a massive recall in effect. Those in North Carolina may be interested in the details behind this unfolding story.

A few weeks ago, eight car makers in the auth industry recalled 12 million vehicles that were manufactured with potentially hazardous airbags. This announcement was only the first of a multi-phased recall that will eventually include almost 70 million vehicles on the roads today. In total, 17 auto manufacturers are affected by this national recall.

Hit-and-run car accident fatal for North Carolina pedestrian

Accidents involving a vehicle and a pedestrian often result in catastrophic consequences. Unfortunately, it is very easy for drivers to miss seeing someone walking along the side of the road or in a crosswalk until it is too late, and this can be especially true when it is dark outside.  A recent hit-and-run car accident that happened just before dawn claimed the life of a North Carolina man.

The accident happened on May 20 before 5 a.m. According to the victim's family, the 23-year-old victim was walking on Route 211 to his job at McDonald's when he was struck by a vehicle. Officers said that the victim was thrown into the fence in front of a local school upon impact.

Fleeing North Carolina driver causes fatal motorcycle accident

More often than not, a high-speed police chase ends disastrously. Drivers who are trying to escape serious traffic tickets or DUI arrests do not consider other drivers on the road, as they are only focused on getting away. Unfortunately, a recent police chase in North Carolina resulted in a tragic fatal motorcycle accident.

Police attempted to stop a late model car on U.S. Highway 74 for traveling at 79 mph in a 55 mph zone. The driver did not stop and led police on a chase through the county. At approximately 7:15 a.m., the car's driver ran a red light on a local New Hanover County road and crashed into a motorcyclist. The motorcycle's rider was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident.

Greenville holds event to stop teen distracted driving accidents

As school is about to end for summer break, it will usher in a busy time on America's roads and highways. This will cause a substantial swell in the number of people on the roads, which will increase congestion throughout the country. It is also the time of the year that many states commence road construction projects, resulting in traffic shifts that may take some by surprise. With the additional traffic volume and changes to familiar roads, the danger of accidents due to distracted driving will increase.

A crowd of over 90 attended the Teen Safe Drivers Summit in Greenville, which aimed to educate teens and their parents about safe driving. The Summit was created due to the fact that Pitt County is one of the top 10 counties in North Carolina for teenage fatal car wrecks. Participants were able to drive golf carts while wearing goggles that were modified to simulate the way their vision could be impacted due to alcohol or drug impairment. They were also able to experience a high-speed crash via a simulator provided by the highway patrol.

North Carolina drivers may be at risk from dangerous product

Cars on the road today have a host of devices that keep drivers safe in the event of an accident. Though many manufacturers are putting out vehicles with high-tech safety mechanisms such as early warning crash alerts and even some elements that actually stop a car automatically in the event of an impending wreck, the mainstay of vehicle safety devices for years has been airbags. However, a potentially fatal airbag flaw has actually turned this ultimate safety device into a dangerous product for drivers in North Carolina and around the country who drive vehicles with Takata airbags.

The most recent story is of a teenager in Texas who died as a result of these airbags when she was involved in an otherwise small and low-speed crash. The victim was driving on a highway outside of Houston at 4:30 p.m. when her vehicle crashed into the car in front of her. The car had only minimal damage, but the airbag ruptured and impaled her neck with a metal fragment. She tragically passed away at the scene, which raises the number of deaths attributed to these airbags to 11.

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Rhine Law Firm, P.C.
1612 Military Cutoff Road Suite 300
Wilmington, NC 28403

Toll Free: 800-471-5474
Phone: 910-777-7651
Fax: 910-772-9062
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