Every year, 34 million people are injured or killed as a result of product related accidents. Such injuries are the major cause of death for people between the ages of 1 and 36…. outnumbering deaths from cancer or heart disease. The estimated cost of these injuries is $12 billion dollars annually. As Americans, we buy and use millions of products every day – at home, work, and on the go. From electronic equipment to home appliances and tools.
We trust these products to make our lives better. It may not occur to us that faulty and defective products could injure us… or even kill us. The bottom line is that manufacturers are required to make products safe.
The majority of consumers may think they are fully protected from dangerous products…. by benevolent corporations that will go out of their way to prevent injuring or killing their customers. Or they may think they are adequately protected by government regulations designed to keep unsafe products off the market. Unfortunately that is not always the case….
A good case in point is a product we all take for granted today — the automatic garage door opener. Once a luxury, the garage door opener has become a true necessity — operating in more than 35 million households across the country .A garage door is often times the largest and heaviest mechanical device in one’s home with an average weight of more than 400 pounds. Each year more than 30,000 people are injured by automatic garage doors, a large number of them small children.Garage door accidents are oftentimes catastrophic… resulting in broken bones, severe head and brain injuries, and spinal cord injuries…. and sadly even death. Many garage door accidents occur as a result of a garage door manufacturer defect, or a defective garage door protection system.
In attempt to save lives and reduce the number of adults and children who suffer catastrophic and other debilitating garage door injuries, The Consumer Product Safety Commission has required all automatic garage door systems manufactured in or after 1993 to have a built in safety reversing or automatic shut off system. This safety and accident avoidance system is designed to automatically stop and reverse the garage door when an object enters the doors path on its way to the ground.
While these systems include photoelectric sensors mounted on the garage door jambs, and pressure-sensitive sensors inserted on the bottom of the garage door, the Consumer Product Safety Commission found that 40% of them failed to work properly, and the garage doors that failed to reverse came down with enough pressure to crush a small child. More than 30,000 people a year are injured in garages and garage door related accidents
Today the INSIDER EXCLUSIVE “Goes Behind The Headlines” in “Consumer Safety Win – Defective Garage Doors”.. to examine how Victor Pribanic, Founding member of Pribanic & Pribanic LLC won a landmark court decision for his client, Ashley McAuley, in a difficult and challenging products liability case, which resulted in new consumer protection legislation.
Prior to 1992 cases like this had been tried and successfully won by these manufacturers.In order to win this case, it was necessary to find additional evidence. And Victor’s firm found it!! …..in the most unlikely of places. A Good Samaritan – A retired employee of the manufacturer …..A whistleblower who did the right thing provided extremely valuable information about the way in which the garage door was unsafely designed …
Because of that critical inside information, Victor was able to successfully settle this case against the manufacturer of the garage doors for 1) failing to install an electronic eye safety beam, which at that time was then offered at an additional cost of only $50… and 2) for defectively designing the contact reverse system. ..which should have caused the garage door, in this case, to reverse direction if it had contacted anything prior to the floor and would prevented serious injuries. The case was settled at mediation for a confidential sum.
And most importantly…..This case has resulted in important legislation. In 1992, a law was passed requiring the infrared system as a mandatory safety feature in all garage doors because of the number of deaths and injuries sustained by mostly children trapped beneath them prior to 1992. From autos and appliances to toys and tampons, civil lawsuits actually do save lives by holding manufacturers accountable for dangerous defects ignored in the name of profits
Victor Pribanic has earned the highest respect from citizens and lawyers alike…. as one of the best Trial lawyers in Pittsburgh…. In Pennsylvania….. and in the United States.His goals….. Not ONLY To get Justice for his clients…but to make sure. Products are made Safer and Manufacturers more Accountable. These successes drive him to help more people who had been harmed by Corporations who put “Profits ahead of People”.
Victor has built a substantial reputation by consistently winning cases other law firms have turned down. His amazing courtroom skills and headline grabbing success rate continue to provide his clients with the results they need……And the results they deserve.