Earlier this year, drivers started seeing purple lights across different highways and interstates in Florida. Then, during October, some drivers called the Florida Department of Transportation, asking if they were changed in celebration of Halloween. These purple lights, however, weren’t celebrating ghastly ghouls but were defective.
Drivers noticed that these lights would change from purple to white. The Florida Department of Transportation reported that 600 lights were defective on Interstate 4 and Interstate 95—two of Central Florida’s busiest highways. Locations where these faulty lights mostly played a role include:
- U.S. Route 17 near Lake Monroe in Seminole County
- U.S. Route 92 near Daytona
- Orange Camp Road
- State Road 472
- Dirksen Drive in Volusia County
While these purple and white lights still give drivers visibility, their not the traditional bright white lights drivers are used to and don’t give off as much power. Luckily, the Florida Department of Transportation reported that the issue was being resolved. The source of the problem appears to be the filter or bulb offered by American Electric Lighting, using Acuity Brands. These Autobahn model light heads use a white tone, and their hue changes colors when their coating gets dissolved. The supplier of these lights offered to change the lights at no additional charge.
Luckily, in this situation, it appears that these defective lights didn’t cause any issues beyond some bewilderment from drivers. But unfortunately, many faulty products or services cause harm to citizens. For example, if traffic lights change colors, there’s a good chance that car accidents will happen.
If a defective product like lights on a highway or interstate caused a car accident, a few different parties might be held liable. For starters, the government who knowingly installed such lights might be held liable as it would be their responsibility to ensure roads are correctly marked with visibility.
However, it is also possible that the lights’ manufacturer would be responsible. In the case of product liability, three elements would need to exist.
The first element is liability which would showcase that the manufacturer was negligent in designing and releasing their product and that they released the product even after knowing the harm.
The second element needed is causation. Causation means a victim can link an injury or trauma to a defective item.
Lastly, there needs to be proof of damage sustained due to the defective product. Documents that could verify damages might include medical bills or records, bills for physical therapy, missed time from work, medical prescriptions, etc.
In the case of the purple lights, it’s unclear if the manufacturer knew that the lights would change to a purple hue. However, because the lights didn’t cause any harm, nor were they found unsafe by the Florida Department of Transportation, a product liability case most likely wouldn’t stand up in court. However, when Orlando residents do experience harm due to a faulty product, they will want to contact a product liability lawyer in Orlando, FL. Give David & Philpot, P.L. a call today.