(414) 220-9211

Arizona and Wisconsin Product Liability Lawyer

Product Liability

railroad tracksIf you or a loved one is seriously injured and you suspect that a defective product caused the accident or injuries, you should immediately consult an attorney concerning your rights, even if you don’t intend to sue. Many people who don’t initially intend to sue often change their mind months or sometimes years later, when the long-term consequences of the injury become apparent or they learn that the manufacturer of the product knew the product was defective and placed profit before safety.

In Wisconsin, product liability claims must be brought within three years of the date of injury.  In Arizona it must be brought within two years. A lawsuit for a defective product cannot usually be brought if the product has been thrown away or lost. Thus, if you believe a defective product caused an accident or injuries, you should immediately consult with an attorney and have the product stored under lock and key. It’s also vital to obtain statements from witnesses, victims and family while the incident is still fresh in their minds. Insurance companies will seek recorded statements, but such statements should not be given without the advice of an attorney.

Cabaniss Law has prosecuted and tried to verdict a wide variety of product liability cases in more than thirty states. My background as a General Motors engineer and years of trial experience are a distinct advantage to Cabaniss Law clients in product liability cases. Representative product liability case descriptions are included below, with information and documents intended to assist attorneys in the prosecution of similar cases. Cabaniss Law is committed to sharing discovery materials with other plaintiffs attorneys.

Just a sampling of successful product liability verdicts for Cabaniss Law clients would include: Petersen v. Ress Enterprises, $12.56 million for the victim of a defective tire; Abeyta v. Cessna, $2.4 million for victims of a defective fuel system; Klohn v. Yamaha, $950,000 for victim of a defective all-terrain vehicle. In addition, Cabaniss Law has achieved personal injury settlements in excess of $50 million for the victims of defective cars, motor vehicles, all-terrain vehicles and a variety of other products.

Medical Devices

New medical devices hit the market every day, often performing medical miracles. But when something goes wrong, when you are the victim of a defective medical device, the result can be serious injury or death. Medical device errors come in a variety of forms. Sometimes there is a defect in manufacturing, or poor quality control during manufacture. A medical device can have a defective design. Or perhaps the warnings or instructions issued with the medical device were in error or simply insufficient.

Personal injuries have resulted from the use of virtually every type of medical device, including: defibrillators, heart stents, pacemakers, implants, prosthetics, inhalers, feeding tubes, catheters, contraceptive devices, dialysis machines – even the smallest screw used in orthopaedic procedures. Sometimes a product has been on the market, or in your body, for a long time before the injuries are discovered. Or it may short circuit or break down in time due to a defect.

Medical device personal injuries are often caused by products you may not think of as a medical ‘device’ – for example, wheelchairs, walkers, even a heating pad. It is sometimes discovered that the manufacture was aware of the defect, but delayed taking the medical product off the market – or even concealed the defect. In those cases, punitive damages may be in order. Fault for your medical device injury can lie with anyone from the manufacturer, a testing lab, a doctor, hospital or clinic – even the retailer or medical sales representative who sold it in the first place. Sales representatives sometimes promote unsafe off-label (non-FDA-approved) uses, which is in direct violation of federal law.

Cabaniss Law has pursued and settled a variety of personal injury cases involving medical devices, including an ear syringe, the Angelchik anti-reflux prosthesis, and Intergel.

Cabaniss Law is currently pursuing a lawsuit against Blackstone Medical, Inc., alleging that it sold an untested, ineffective fusion material, Trinity Matrix Allograft, which led to a failed lumbar fusion. As a result, the victim underwent a second lumbar surgery with increased disability, which has prevented him from returning to work. Trinity Matrix Allograft is made from stem cells taken from cadavers. Blackstone takes the position that it does not have to undergo FDA testing and approval. Consequently, the safety and effectiveness of this product is unknown.

Drug Induced Injuries

All too often, the pharmaceuticals Southeastern Wisconsin residents count on to treat their medical conditions result in drug-induced personal injury and wrongful death. On TV, the Internet and other media, there are national law firms advertising to reach the victims of drug induced personal injury.

Generally known as mass tort claims, these cases are filed individually, but typically can be removed to federal court and consolidated into a single, national, multi-district litigation. Those that can be maintained in state court result in higher settlements because it is easier to prosecute an individual case in state court. Due to the large costs often associated with many drug-induced injury claims, it makes sense to bundle the issues and, usually, the manufacturers reach a global settlement with all victims.

If you or a family member have been the victim of a drug induced injury, don’t put your case into the hands of a long-distance law firm. Cabaniss Law is highly experienced with drug induced personal injury litigation, working primarily with victims of drug induced injury throughout Southeastern Wisconsin. While your case may be handled as a mass tort claim, I will personally handle your case. You will have a powerful, effective personal injury attorney you can meet with, talk to, interact with, and hold responsible for the prosecution of your case. A Milwaukee attorney who is minutes – not hundreds of miles – away.

Cabaniss Law has prosecuted actions for the victims of Fen-Phen, Baycol, Rezulin, Trasylol, and Vioxx. Though unfortunately the list is ever-growing, the following are some of the drug induced injury cases Cabaniss Law is currently pursuing:

  • Levaquin (levofloxacin) – an antibiotic that has been known to increase the risk of tendon ruptures, tendon damage and tendonitis.
  • Paxil (paroxetine) – a frequently-prescribed antidepressant, with about 25 percent of its users women of childbearing age. Studies reveal that women who took Paxil during pregnancy were 1 ½ to 2 times more likely to give birth to a child with a heart defect than those who had not.
  • Reglan – prescribed for gastroesophogeal reflux disease (GERD) and diabetic gastroparesis, as well as nausea associated with migraines or in pregnant women experiencing morning sickness. Reglan is a drug that has been associated with the neurologic disorder tardive dyskinsea.
  • Yaz – a birth control pill said to cause serious side effects in women, including deep vein thrombosis, pulmonary embolism, heart attack, menstrual clotting, stroke, bladder problems and sudden death.


Countless unsuspecting American workers were exposed to asbestos in the 20th century, and they are paying for it today with mesothelioma – a cancer that is usually found in the lining of the lungs, heart and abdomen – along with other asbestos-related diseases. Often they brought home more than a paycheck. They brought home asbestos fibers that would make family members ill, as well. Even once the dangers of asbestos became known, many companies that manufactured, distributed or used products containing asbestos neglected to protect their workers. It wasn’t until the 1970s that widespread public awareness led to the phasing out of this deadly substance.

But for many Southeast Wisconsin families, the damage was already done.

If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma or another asbestos-related disease, it’s important that you consult with an attorney experienced and knowledgeable in asbestos product liability cases as soon as possible. Cabaniss Law has been representing victims of mesothelioma for more than 25 years. I will advise you of your rights under Wisconsin’s Worker’s Compensation Act. I’ll explain the bankruptcy claims process, how to thoroughly document your asbestos exposure history, and what we need to do to maintain a successful lawsuit against the asbestos manufacturers, distributors and/or employers that are liable for your pain, suffering and financial distress. Only then can you meaningfully decide the right course for you and your family.

Cabaniss Law tried its first mesothelioma case in 1986 against EaglePicher Company, and has been aggressively representing Wisconsin victims of asbestos-related personal injuries ever since. For a free consultation, call Cabaniss Law at 414-220-9211


Trains, Planes & Vehicles

We all use commercial transportation at one time or another, whether it’s an airplane, a train, a bus, or simply a cab across town. We assume we’re in good hands, and usually we are. But accidents happen. It’s obvious that an aviation accident is never a ‘fender bender.’ Serious injury or death almost always result. A speeding mega-ton commuter train or a transit bus often injures dozens of people.

If you are injured in a mass transit accident, someone is at fault and – unless you’re driving – it’s not you. Airplane crashes, train wrecks, bus accidents, or taxicab mishaps are usually caused by the negligence of an operator or a defect in the machine itself. The failure to properly maintain the airplane, train or motor vehicle – or even the roadway or railroad tracks – could be a factor in your personal injury. There are laws that determine whether the commercial carrier is at fault. You need a personal injury attorney who knows his way around this specialized area of personal injury law. Above all, talk to an attorney before making any statements to an insurance company regarding an accident involving planes, trains and other mass transit vehicles.

Cabaniss Law represented about 40 victims of the Weyawega, Wisconsin train derailment in a trial against Wisconsin Central Railroad. The case settled confidentially at the close of trial. The evidence presented at trial established that a failed switch was not properly maintained, thus causing the derailment and a three-week evacuation of Weyawega.

In Abeyta v. Cessna, Cabaniss Law achieved a jury verdict of about $2.4 million against a pilot and Cessna Aircraft Company. Cabaniss Law established that the pilot was negligent for crashing the T-210 Cessna aircraft three of his clients were passengers in, and that Cessna’s defective fuel system resulted in a post-crash fire that burned two of the clients to death and badly burned the other.

Related Verdicts & Settlements

pdfPenley v. Ken Hooks, et al.

Mark Peterson v. Ress Enterprises, Ford Motor Co., et. al., Case No. 90-L-15224, Cook County Circuit Court, Chicago, Illinois

pdfThe National Law Journal, June 19, 1995

pdfThe Verdict – Wisconsin Academy of Trial Lawyers Summer 1995

pdfLaw Reporter – ATLA Volume 38 December 1995

pdfVerdicts Settlements Tactics – January 1996

Theresa Foster et. al. v. American Motors Corp., Case No. 83-CO-996, Rock County Circuit Court, Janesville, Wisconsin

pdfBNA Civil Trial Manual Trial Practice Series May 7 1986

Vincent Abeyta et. al. v. Cessna, Case No. 91-284-CV, Taos Judicial Distric Court, New Mexico

pdfThe Verdict – Wisconsin Academy of Trial Lawyers Summer 1994

Susan Tanych v. Yamaha Motor Co., Case No. 2:90CV68, United States District Court, District of Vermont

pdfProduct Liability Law Reporter – ATLA February 1993