Articles Posted in Burn Injury

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Late last year, stories began flooding the news about Samsung’s Galaxy Note7 phone, a device that bears more resemblance to a small tablet than a smartphone. Released just last August, by October so many complaints of spontaneously exploding phones had been thrown at the company that they decided to stop all sales of the Galaxy Note7 until they could determine the cause of the fires. In the same press release, Samsung implored all users to immediately turn off their phone and send back for either a refund or for an entirely different model. What many Galaxy Note7 users likely didn’t notice was that buried at the bottom of the phone’s box was a small 16 page booklet containing a paragraph stating that users could not sue Samsung. Instead, they were agreeing to binding arbitration as a means to settle any claim of injury or death arising from use of their product.

Teen Among Many Injured By Galaxy Note7

In Illinois, Michael Taylor, 19, went to sleep with his Samsung Galaxy Note7 on the charger next to his bedside. He woke up hours later to excruciating pain in his leg and to his smartphone on fire. The phone had exploded while charging, causing severe burns to the teen’s leg. When he consulted with an attorney in an attempt to sue Samsung for his injuries, it was discovered that hidden deep in a booklet seldom read by users, Taylor had unknowingly agreed to arbitration. Without knowing it, Taylor had waived his right to a jury trial, agreed to use an arbitrator chosen by Samsung to settle his dispute, and to pay Samsung’s legal fees if the arbitrator determined Samsung was not at fault. While that same part of the booklet also states that consumers can opt out within 30 days of purchase, it is hardly likely that most consumers would read a 16 page booklet of terms and conditions. Users assume that the products they purchase are safe and that they are protected by law should an injury occur from its use.  Instead of taking true ownership for the burns suffered by Mr. Taylor, Samsung hid behind the agreement they placed in the product packaging, stating that he agreed to abide by their arbitration process to settle any grievances.

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Workplace accidents, especially those that occur in work environments that are not inherently dangerous, are all too common and tragic. They are particularly tragic because there is a common theme among these accidents of preventability. Oftentimes, these accidents occur because of the negligence of a party in charge or with some authority. In these instances, but for the negligence, the danger would have never been present and the accident never would have occurred.

Common forms of negligence in the workplace can widely vary. One example is when business operators fail to perform proper inspections of the premises. Such inspections can make business owners and operators aware of unsafe conditions and put them on notice to fix these dangers. However, a business owner cannot be willfully blind to the fact that dangerous conditions could exist but fail to attempt to discover these conditions by not having an inspection performed. Another example is when a business owner is fully aware of safe procedures to implement in the workplace but fails to require that these guidelines be followed. Lastly, a business owner may be fully aware of a dangerous condition on the premises, but neglect to attend to and fix the danger, ignore it, and continue to allow it to pose harm to others.

According to an article by Komo News, a barista died in a coffee shop explosion. The article reports that the flames overtook the shop so quickly that the barista had no chance to escape. She suffered extensive burns, which were ultimately the cause of her death. The victim had two children, who unfortunately lost their mother as a result of the accident.
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In the age of technology and information, digital products are extremely popular, and arguably often a necessity in some cases, such as phones and computers. If you take a moment and simply look around you, try to count how many pieces of technology you use on a daily or weekly basis you would be surprised.. With such a high use of digital products among the majority of people, it is imperative that these products we use in our daily lives are safe and danger free for our use. However, when companies and manufacturers fail to use the diligence and care required of them by law in making a product, consumers often suffer personal injuries. In these instances, companies can be held liable under a product liability lawsuit for failing to inspect a product for dangers, failing to warn consumers of known dangers, or failing to timely remove a dangerous product from the stream of commerce.

In a recent report by the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission the popular technology brand Apple known for the ipod, iphone, and Mac computers, has recalled some of its popular speakers. The product at issue for the recall is the Beats Pill XL Portable Wireless Speakers. They are the subject of recall for the potential of fire hazard. According to the report, the battery in the speakers can overheat, having the potential for fire to start. There are about 222,000 of these units in the United States. The Beats Pill XL portable wireless speakers are plastic, capsule-shaped speakers that are about 4 inches tall by 13 inches wide by 4 inches deep. They have a plastic mesh grille on the front and a built-in carrying handle in the back. They can be identified by the “b” logo on the grille and the “beatspillXL” inscribed on the handle. As of recently, Apple has received eight reports of the speakers overheating. One of these reports included a burn incident, where a consumer suffered burns to their fingers and damage to their desk. Consumers should immediately stop using the product.
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When we buy products, we expect that they are free from danger and safe for the use which they were intended for. That is why product liability laws and federal statutes exist. Such laws are meant to protect consumers by requiring sellers and makers of goods to adhere to safety standards. Where they fail to do so and customers suffer injury as a result, they may be found liable.

According to a report by the Consumer Product Safety Commission, Nordstrom has recalled a line of sweaters due to a burn hazard and violation of federal law. The name of the product is the Open Vest Sweater by Leith. The report describes that the sweaters fail to meet the federal flammability standard for such apparel, and poses a burn hazard to consumers who wear it. The sweaters were sold in stores and online from August 2014 through September 2014 for around $70. Consumers are urged to immediately stop wearing the sweaters and to contact Nordstrom for a full refund. The sweaters are said to be in violation of the Federal Flammability Standard.

The Flammable Fabrics Act regulates the manufacturing of highly flammable clothing. Originally passed in 1953, the Act aimed to regulate clothing and protect consumers in regards to highly flammable clothing, including brushed rayon sweaters and children’s cowboy chaps, popular products of the time. Then, in 1967, Congress amended the Act to expand it to include interior furnishings, paper, plastic, foam, and other materials that are used in apparel and home furnishings. Then, in 1972, the administration of this Act was giving to the Consumer Product Safety Commission. The CPSC now regulates standards under the Act for clothing textiles, vinyl plastic film, carpets and rugs, children’s sleepwear, and mattresses and mattress pads.
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Whether for work, studying, or leisure, most of us use a computer on a daily basis. Computers are everywhere in our lives: in our offices, in our cars on the dashboard and GPS system, and in our phones. In this modern day, computers have become entwined with how we function day to day as a community. With computers being such a significant facet of our society, they should also be safe products to use.

However, as recent news relays, that is not always the case. A recent article by the International Business Times reports that there has been a recall over a risk of burns from Hewlett-Packard power cords. The article states that there have been concerns that not only could these power cords overheat and cause burns but that the overheating also poses a fire hazard as well. As a result, Hewlett-Packard has recalled over six million power cords from the United States and Canada. This voluntary recall occurred after 29 people reported to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission that their power cords had caused burns or melted. In total there have been two claims of minor burns and 13 claims of minor property damage. The recall is specifically for the power cords named “LS-15,” which was sold with Hewlett-Packard and Compaq notebooks and mini notebooks and with AC adapter-powered accessories like docking stations. Customers have been advised to immediately stop using these cords. It is estimated that approximately 5.6 million cords will be recalled in the United States and 446,700 in Canada.
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The next time you order a hot beverage from your favorite fast food restaurant or coffee establishment, examine your cup for words cautioning you about the beverage you are going to consume being hot. In case you have never noticed these words before, they are actually a legal warning by the company to the consumer regarding a known danger of the product. By placing these words on the container, the company is warning the consumer about the temperature of the beverage. However, when temperatures of beverages and food are so hot as to become an inherent danger to the consumer by the very degree of temperature, they can be deemed more hot than reasonable, a danger to the customer, and a breach of a legal duty by the company.

According to a recent article by the Cook County Record, a lawsuit has been filed against Pepe’s Mexican Restaurant in Cook County Circuit Court for injuries caused by their chili con queso which the legal claim calls unreasonably hot. According to the lawsuit, the plaintiff picked up a carry-out order from a local Pepe’s restaurant and placed the order of chili con queso between her legs as to prevent it from tipping over. The chili con queso was inside a plastic container inside of a white paper bag. However, during the drive the queso spilled from the container, which caused the paper bag between her legs to dissolve and the hot food to soak through her jeans, burning her legs. The suit claims that the queso was so hot as to cause “redness, blistering, and bilateral partial and full thickness second and third degree burns to her right and left anterior thighs.” The burns in total covered 9.5% of her body and led to hyponatremia and significant infection, which required her to undergo surgical debridement and remedial skin graft procedures. The plaintiff claims that Pepe’s “carelessly, negligently, and recklessly,” improperly secured the container, and failed to warn her that the queso was hot enough to cause severe burns.
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The Attorney General of Illinois, The Honorable Lisa Madigan, issued an urgent request today about a dangerous product. She is calling on the Consumer Product Safety Commission to ban the sale of gel fuel products used in portable fire pots. The ceramic fire pots that use the gel fuel have been around for nearly two decades; however, more recently, they have been popularly used to create ambience and repel mosquitoes and other bugs. You have probably seen them or maybe your friends have them. Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan told reporters yesterday during a press conference at the State of Illinois building (Thompson Center) in downtown Chicago that the problem with the fuel gels is that they are usually sold in conjunction with a fire pot. These fire pots have a metal container that you pour the fuel gel into and then you ignite that fuel gel and put it outside. But, for many people, they do not think the fuel gel is lit when it actually is and they end up pouring more of the fuel gel into the fire pot. When they have done this, Madigan says, “it has horrible consequences.”

Attorney General Madigan addressed that an alarming number of people in the state of Illinois and across the country have been gel fuel victims. One of them was Chicago resident Jeff Sipple who received serious personal injuries while he was an innocent bystander at a social gathering. The Chicago personal injury lawyers were shocked to read that he was probably seven to ten feet away from the fire pot. Mr. Sipple stated that he thinks it is important for people to know that it was not somebody playing around. He was distanced from the fire pot and it burst into a ball and actually lit the left side of Mr. Sipple’s body on fire, causing serious Chicago burn injuries. Mr. Sipple explained that when he was trying to put out the fire, he also tried to stop, drop, and roll. The most haunting part of the Chicago personal injury victim‘s story is describing how hard it was to put the fire pot out. He explained that “it’s lighting the stuff that we’re touching on fire. It’s a pretty harrowing experience.” There are several manufacturers of the fuel gel on the market and Illinois Attorney General Madigan is calling on the safety commission to ban all of them immediately.

 

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Last week brought news of a new product recall as a series of fuel gels used to light candles has been pulled from shelves of a variety of stores across the country. The recall came just days after Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan had warned residents that the gel posed too high a risk of causing an Illinois burn injury. Our Chicago personal injury attorneys hope to get the word out about these potentially dangerous products.

After more reports of accidents began rolling in, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recalled the fuel gel sold by Napa Home & Garden Inc. The gels are poured into firepots and then used as candles-usually to keep away insects while outdoors in the summer. The CPSC ordered that the products be taken from shelves after receiving news of at least 37 accidents involving 23 burn injuries related to the product.

The CPSC also opened up an investigation into the matter. The product is new and only recently on shelves, and so it is important for the body to better understand the specific risks posed. The gels and firepots were previously found at a variety of stores including Bed, Bath & Beyond, Target, Meijer, and others.

The Decatur Tribune explains that after spreading news about the recall the Attorney General explained, “Illinois consumers should immediately stop using fuel gels in light of today’s recall. […] Fuel gels have proven to be extremely dangerous, in particular because consumers have been largely unaware of the product’s burn risk.”
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A local boy – only five years old – and his mother received critical personal injuries in a Chicago fire that started in the boy’s home on the South Side of the city of Chicago in the West Englewood neighborhood. The child was rescued by Chicago firefighters and taken to Comer Children’s Hospital with severe burns and smoke inhalation. He is in critical condition and was transferred to the University of Chicago Medical Center’s burn unit. His mother’s condition has since stabilized. A Chicago police officer was also treated for smoke inhalation injuries. The family reported that they had no idea what started the fire.

Burn injuries always make Chicago injury lawyers question what could have been done to prevent the injuries. According to the American Burn Association, 1.1 million burn injuries require medical attention yearly. Seriously burned patients, like the Chicago child, often need expert medical attention to deal with the long-term physical and psychological affects of their burn injuries. Our Chicago burn injury lawyers understand that goals after such injuries are to make sure that the suffering is not exacerbated by lost wages or unpaid medical bills. We have successfully handled numerous burn injury cases and recovered millions of dollars in verdicts and settlements for our clients, including a $2.3 million settlement for a family whose two young children suffered severe burns and whose third child was killed in a fire that broke out in a Chicago Housing Authority building.

Read more about the child victim’s Chicago burn injuries at Chicago Tribune.

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One of the popular Christmas presents for you this year, especially with Chicago winters, may be a pair of warm pajamas. But, be careful – one of the biggest issues with product liability is adult sleepwear flammability. And it has been for a while – so much so that in 1953, Congress created the Flammable Fabrics Act as a means of setting standards for the flammability of clothing textiles. The Act’s intent was to create a procedure for testing and determining if clothing was at risk for igniting when exposed to open flame or optimal heat, especially when worn. Almost twenty years later, in 1972, Congress created the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), which then oversaw the flammability standards. While the CPSC published and evaluated the Flammable Fabrics Act, the majority of the new language involved children’s clothing and it only mentioned very little about adult sleepwear.

The Act’s scant mentions of adult sleepwear flammability leave out a significant portion of individuals subject to potential product liability. Simple household activities can lead to clothing catching fire, especially among individuals who regularly cook. Sleepwear, which is often loose fitting, can be exposed to intense heat or flame from stovetops and ovens. And because of the lack of adequate standards for safety, adult sleepwear is commonly made from flammable materials. So, please, in order to avoid burn injuries, practice caution when working around the house near hot items or fireplaces.
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