Americans are becoming addicted to their mobile devices. In turn, we’re seeing more people suffering from injuries due to their constant use of their phones, tablets, and even computers.Read More
Lawsuits continue to pour in against the all-terrain vehicle manufacturer. The suits fighting their negligent behavior when it came to solely focussing on “how fast can we make this thing go.”Read More
In the wake of the Antonio Brown helmet saga, it entices the conversation of safety amongst athletes of all levels of play. The NFL standout, refusing to wear any other helmet than his outdated Schutt Air Advantage lid, displays a lack of concern for safety. Most individuals would disagree with him. Including parents of high school and college athletes.Read More
Many have heard of the famous Johnson and Johnson marketing slogan of “No more tears” and assumed it had been a message conveyed to no more crying. However, Johnson and Johnson have brought a lot of tears to consumers over the past three decades.Read More
Before you buy your children’s Christmas gifts this year, it is important that you do your research.
According to World Against Toys Causing Harm (W.A.T.C.H), “one child is treated in U.S emergency rooms every three minutes for a toy-related injury.” In 2017, thirteen of these cases resulted in death with the victims all being under the age of twelve.
To ensure you are keeping your children and family safe this Christmas, be sure to do the following:
The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) monitors and regulates all toys on the market to ensure that products made-or imported into the United States before 1995- follow their standards.
Some of these guidelines include:
- Painted toys must use lead-free paint.
- Toys made of fabric should be labeled as flame resistant or flame retardant.
- Stuffed toys should be washable.
Avoid purchasing older toys as they may not meet current safety standards.
Between January 2017 and October 2018, an estimated 3.5 million units toys were recalled in the United States and Canada. While the CSPC provides up to date information regarding product recalls, many consumers are never notified of these updates so its imperative that you monitor these sites regularly.
Remain cautious when purchasing new toys. Defects and poor design are red flags that there is a safety concern. Carefully read any and all warning labels and look out for the letters “ASTM“. This is to let you know that the toy meets the national safety standard created by the American Society for Testing Materials.
You should also ensure that the toy you are giving your child is age appropriate. For example, toys with small parts can present an increased chocking risk for toddlers and young children.
If you believe that a toy you have purchased is unsafe or does not meet CPSC guidelines, you can call their hotline at (800) 638-CPSC.
If injured by a dangerous consumer product, you may be able to recover damages by filing a product liability lawsuit. The attorneys at Reyes, Browne & Reilley can help you get started today. Contact us now for legal help at 214-526-7900.
Manufacturers create and market hundreds of dangerous consumer products every year in the United States. In fact, each year manufacturers or the Consumer Product Safety Commission recalls 400 and 450 products. Here are seven unlikely consumer products that may cause injury or death of which you should be aware.
1. Drop Side Cribs
In 2011, the Consumer Product Safety Commission banned drop side cribs, but many of them are still being sold at garage sales or through individual sellers. Because the moveable side is droppable, the drop may result in suffocation of a baby. In fact, the cribs were associated with approximately 32 deaths since the year 2000, according to a 2012 article on ConsumerReports.org.
2. Maytag Dishwashers
While it sounds unlikely that a dishwasher could cause any significant harm, Maytag recalled 1.7 million of its dishwashers in 2010. The machines may contain faulty wiring, responsible for causing multiple fires.
Other brands also fell under the recall.
- Magic Chef
- Performa by Maytag
Another product linked to causing fires is dehumidifiers. LG dehumidifiers were subject to a recall in 2009 following 11 incidents; then LG received 16 additional reports of house fires related to the dehumidifiers. There were no injuries, but significant property damage exceeding $1 million.
Most bathrobes aren’t dangerous, but in the fall of 2009, the company Blair LLC recalled an additional 138,000 robes after 162,000 were already subject to a recall from the spring. The recall was because of the robes’ risk of flammability; nine people wearing the robes died as a result of catching fire, according to the October 2009 recall by the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
5. Freezer Gel Pack
Anyone who frequently packs to-go lunches is probably familiar with the bright blue freezer gel pack. While the packs can be great at keeping items cold, they can also be dangerous. Some of the packs contain diethylene glycol, which can be poisonous if ingested. If the freezer pack tears and starts to leak, both children and adults may be at risk of poisoning.
Many families chose a minivan as their vehicle of choice. In 2014, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave poor safety ratings in the small overlap front crash test to these models.
- Nissan Quest
- Chrysler Town & Country
- Dodge Grand Caravan
7. Easy Bake Ovens
Most parents are familiar with the popular childhood toy, Easy Bake Ovens. The ovens allow little ones to test their skills in the kitchen, resulting in big smiles and yummy treats. However, at least 77 children have suffered burn injuries from certain models of the ovens, reports DailyFinance.com. There was a recall for the ovens in 2007.
Contact a Product Liability Attorney Today
If injured by a dangerous consumer product, you may be able to recover damages by filing a product liability lawsuit. The attorneys at Reyes Browne & Reilley can help you get started today. Contact us now for legal help at 214-526-7900.
Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death and serious injury for children over one years of age, and every day an unrestrained child under the age of five is killed in a traffic crash in the United States.
The safest place for a child in a car is in a rear seat, properly buckled into a child safety seat, or a booster seat – but what type of Child Car Safety Seat should you be using?
If your child is:
- Under a Year old and less than 20 pounds, use a rear-facing infant car seat. A rear-facing infant car seat should never be placed in the front seat of a car with an airbag. The infant child seat should sit at a 45-degree angle or the angle specified on the seat. This helps keep the baby’s head from drooping forward and cutting off the airway.
- Under a Year old and less than 30 pounds, use a rear-facing convertible car seat. A rear-facing convertible car seat should never be placed in the front seat of a car with an airbag. The convertible child seat should sit at a 45-degree angle or the angle specified on the seat. This helps keep the baby’s head from drooping forward and cutting off the airway.
- Use a convertible car seat if the child is at least one year old and 20 to 40 pounds. You may turn the seat to face forward.
- At least one year old and 30 to 40 pounds, use a booster seat with a harness.
- Over 40 pounds and less than 4’9”, your child should use a booster seat but remove the harness straps. The booster seat must be used with a lap/shoulder seat belt until the child is about 4’9”.
- Over 4’9” tall, your child must use a lap/shoulder seat belt. Children younger than 13 years old should never ride in the front seat of vehicles with active passenger airbags.
On Sunday night, a self-driving car operated by Uber struck and killed a pedestrian, 49-year-old Elaine Herzberg, on North Mill Avenue in Tempe, Arizona. It appears to be the first time a self-driving car has killed a human being by force of impact. The car was traveling at 38 miles per hour.
An initial investigation by Tempe police indicated that the pedestrian might have been at fault. According to that report, Herzberg appears to have come “from the shadows,” stepping off the median into the roadway, and ending up in the path of the car while jaywalking across the street. The National Transportation Safety Board has also opened an investigation.
Likewise, it’s difficult to evaluate what this accident means for the future of autonomous cars. Crashes, injuries, and fatalities were a certainty as driverless vehicles began moving from experiment to reality.
Advocates of autonomy tend to cite overall improvements to road safety in a future of self-driving cars. Ninety-four percent of car crashes are caused by driver error, and both fully and partially autonomous cars could improve that number substantially.
Even so, crashes, injuries, and fatalities will hardly disappear when and if self-driving cars are ubiquitous. Robocars will crash into one another occasionally and, as the incident in Tempe illustrates, they will collide with pedestrians and bicyclists, too. Overall, eventually, those figures will likely number far fewer than the 37,461 people who were killed in car crashes in America in 2016.
When people get into car crashes with one another, vehicular negligence is typically the cause. Determining which party is negligent, and therefore at fault, is central to the common understanding of automotive risk. Negligence means liability, and liability translates the human failing of a vehicle operator into financial compensation—or, in some cases, criminal consequence.
Overall, there’s recognition that self-driving cars implicate the manufacturer of the vehicle more than its driver or operator. That has different implications for a company like GM, which manufactures and sells cars, than Google, which has indicated that it doesn’t have plans to make cars, only the technology that runs them. The legal scholar Bryant Walker Smith has argued that autonomous vehicles represent a shift from vehicular negligence to product liability.
On today’s roads, product liability claims arise in cases like the failure of Bridgestone/Firestone tires in the late 1990s, and the recent violent rupture of Takata airbags.
These situations represent fairly traditional examples of product liability: A company designed, manufactured, or marketed a product that didn’t do what it promised, and harmed people as a result.
The pedestrian killed by a self-driving Uber in Tempe shows that the legal implications of autonomous cars are as important, if not more so, than the technology. Read more about the possible legal action that can be taken in The Atlantic article, “Can You Sue a Robocar?”
In the late 1990s, General Motors switched airbag suppliers from the Swedish-American company Autoliv to the much cheaper Japanese supplier, Takata.
Prior to the switch, GM asked Autoliv to match the cheaper design, according to Linda Rink, who was a senior scientist at Autoliv assigned to the G.M. account at the time.
But when Autoliv’s scientists studied the Takata airbag, they found that it relied on a dangerously volatile compound in its inflater, a critical part that causes the airbag to expand.
“We just said, ‘No, we can’t do it. We’re not going to use it,’” said Robert Taylor, Autoliv’s head chemist until 2010.
Today, that compound is at the heart of the largest automotive safety recall in history. At least 14 people have been killed and more than 100 have been injured by faulty inflaters made by Takata. More than 100 million of its airbags have been installed in cars in the United States by General Motors and 16 other automakers.
“General Motors told us they were going to buy Takata’s inflaters unless we could make a cheaper one,” Ms. Rink said. Her team was told that the Takata inflaters were as much as 30 percent cheaper per module, she added, a potential savings of several dollars per airbag. “That set off a big panic on how to compete.”
Even with the record recall, deadly accidents and research critical of ammonium nitrate, Takata continues to manufacture airbags with the compound — and automakers continue to buy them. The airbags appear in the 2016 models of seven automakers, and they are also being installed in cars as replacement airbags for those being recalled.
A previous generation of airbags supplied to Nissan had the problem of deploying too forcefully and were linked to at least 40 eye injuries in the 1990s.
Takata began experimenting with alternative propellants but in the late ‘90s their inflater plant experienced a series of explosions that destroyed equipment and derailed production greatly. It was in front of this backdrop that Takata embraced the cheaper new compound, ammonium nitrate.
It was around this time the team at Autoliv was asked to study the Takata design.
“We tore the Takata airbags apart, analyzed all the fuel, identified all the ingredients,” he said. The takeaway, he said, was that when the airbag was detonated, “the gas is generated so fast, it blows the inflater to bits.”
Chris Hock, a former member of Mr. Taylor’s team, said he recalled carrying out testing on a mock ammonium nitrate inflater that produced explosive results that left his team shaken. “When we lit it off, it totally destroyed the fixture,” he said. “It turned it into shrapnel.”
These defective airbags made by Takata have been tied to 14 deaths and more than 100 injuries. The ensuing recall has turned out to be messy, confusing and frustrating for car owners.
Affected Automakers: BMW, Chrystler, Mazda, Mercedes, Volkswagen, Jaguar, Ford, Honda, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Subaru, Toyota, G.M. and Ferrari.
Reyes Browne Reilley is a Dallas, Texas, based Martindale-Hubbell AV-Rated personal injury law firm. Our Dallas defective product lawyers have a nearly combined 100 years experience representing plaintiffs in personal injury, business, and dangerous prescription drug & device litigation. Call us today for a free consult to find out more.
Thanks to: The New York Times
In what is certain to be a landmark decision, a Missouri jury has awarded the son of an African-American woman, and the woman’s estate, a total of $72 million in a wrongful death lawsuit against the pharmaceutical company Johnson and Johnson. Of the $72 million in damages, $10 million are compensatory damages going to the son and $62 million in punitive damages to the estate. The successful plaintiff’s lead attorney, Jim Onder said after the verdict that $31 million of the compensation will go to the Missouri Crime Victims’ Compensation Fund.
Ms. Fox’s attorneys claimed that an internal memorandum proved that the company knew many years ago of the link between the use of its baby powder and shower products to ovarian cancer in women and did nothing to warn consumers. After the verdict, one of the jurors, Jerome Kendrick, is quoted in the St. Louis Post Dispatch as saying “They tried to cover up and influence the boards that regulate cosmetics. They could have at least put a warning label on the box but they didn’t. They did nothing.” In addition, the Associated Press reports that a consultant to Johnson and Johnson wrote a memo to the company equating the risks of using their baby and body powders with the risks of getting cancer from smoking cigarettes stating “to ignore such risks would be denying the obvious in the face of all evidence to the contrary”. According to the company memo, the Johnson and Johnson worried about declining sales as more and more people become aware of the health risk of the product implying that a warning label would accelerate the sales decline. The memo also that the company deliberately targeted Hispanics and African Americans in their marketing strategies.
The plaintiff had been a long-term user of Johnson and Johnson’s Baby powder and Shower to Shower body powder for feminine hygiene, having used the product regularly for 35 years when she died three years ago. Her son is quoted as saying to the AP that his mother’s use of the products “became second nature, like brushing your teeth.”
In the wake of the guilty verdict against Johnson and Johnson, the company could now face an avalanche of lawsuits related to its talcum-based baby and body powder products. Before the verdict, approximately 1200 lawsuits have been filed.
Thanks to: The Washington Post
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