It’s been a tough week for cell phone manufacturers and service providers. Recently, Rhode Island officially banned texting while driving, and today brings news of a product liability suit against cell phone manufacturer, Samsung, and service provider, Nextel.
In September of 2008, Linda Doyle was fatally killed in an automobile accident in Oklahoma City. Ms. Doyle was killed by a woman who ran a red light at 45 mph while talking on her cell phone. The family of Ms. Doyle has brought a product liability suit against Samsung and Nextel alleging that they marketed cell phones to drivers of automobiles while failing to adequately warn of the dangers of driving while on a cell phone.
Generally, a product liability case can be brought using one of three theories of negligence:
- The product design was defective;
- The product manufacturing was defective; or
- The product lacked adequate warning or instruction.
This lawsuit clearly falls into the latter category. Similar cases have been brought in the past and failed when the defense successfully argued that people are aware of the danger of using cell phones while driving. I feel terrible for the family but believe they have an uphill battle in this case. If cases such as this are successful, it could open the door to quite a number of liability cases against cell phone manufacturers and service providers.
My office is experienced in handling product liability cases. If you feel that you have been injured as a result of a defective product, contact our office for a free consultation.