Articles Posted in Products liability

Published on:

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.

Published on:

As any parent knows, teething feels like a phase that might never end. The constant irritability and tears have led many parents to turn to what feels like a safe, natural solution: homeopathic teething tablets. Amazon, CVS, Target, Walgreens and most major retailers used to carry at least one brand of the tablets, which claim to give parents and babies relief from the agony of teething. The Food & Drug Administration recently carried out their own laboratory studies on the tablets and found that many had high levels of belladonna, levels far surpassing what the label described. According to the FDA’s report, belladonna is a toxic substance that affects the central nervous system with inconsistent results that puts infants and children at unnecessary risk.

FDA Not as Strict on Homeopathic Medication Regulation 

It’s important to know that the FDA does have a say over homeopathic medications. The labeling, distribution, and sale of homeopathic medications is largely up to the manufacturer, distributor, and retailer and although the FDA has the ability to step in and oversee the labeling of these products, it rarely has done so. While it is unclear why the FDA finally decided to intervene, they made a strong point by urging all parents to avoid teething tablets. So strong that the products have become relatively hard to find in recent weeks. It is unclear as to whether or not news of 10 deaths and 400 teething-tablet reactions reported to the FDA were before or after the message the Administration released in late January.

Published on:

In January, the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) issued a Class I Recall for Normal Saline Flush syringes made by Nurse Assist Inc. The syringes have shown a direct link to an antibiotic-resistant bacterial infection known as Burkholderia Cepacia (B. Cepacia). According to the Centers for Disease Control, B. Cepacia is not threatening when otherwise healthy patients are infected. For those patients with compromised immune systems, the infection can develop into a severe respiratory illness, making it particularly dangerous for those who have lung diseases such as cystic fibrosis. The infection arises from soil and water exposed to B. Cepacia and spreads through person-to-person contact, making it hard to contain in healthcare environments such as hospitals and nursing homes.

Saline flush syringes are used after medication is delivered through an IV in order to keep the entry point sterile and prevent infection. The introduction of an infection such as B. Cepacia can have serious consequences.

Recall Specifics

Published on:

The Food & Drug Administration has recently issued a Class I recall for Standard Offset Cup Impactors with POM-C Handle, a device used during hip replacement surgeries and manufactured by Greatbatch Medical. These devices, used in hip replacement operations in the United States between July 30, 2004 and December 22, 2015, were found to have non-sterile parts, which can lead to serious infection and even death.  Greatbatch reported to the FDA that there were nearly 3,000 patients who had a hip replacement using one of their cup impactor devices.  To view the model numbers that are listed under the FDA’s recall notice, please click here.

How to Know If You Have a Case

As anyone who has experienced a major surgery knows, you hope for the best possible outcome and to wake up better off than when you entered the operating room. If a medical product or device fails to meet basic safety standards in a surgical environment, the impact can be life threatening.

Published on:

Ikea, the Swedish home retail giant, has agreed to pay $50 million to 3 families whose children were killed after being crushed by toppled dressers. To these families, money will never be able to replace what they have lost, but the settlement is expected to send a strong message to legislators and furniture manufacturers that parents are demanding better quality, safer furniture.

An Unsettling Statistic

According to the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission, a child dies once every 2 weeks from falling furniture or televisions. While there is no federal law requiring specific safety measures be followed in furniture production, there are voluntary national safety standards that manufacturers should follow. According to the lawsuit filed by the victims’ families, Ikea consistently refused to meet those standards and their negligence directly resulted in the death of 3 children, each 2 years old.

Published on:

Do you love eating ice cream, particularly Turkey Hill Ice Cream? If so, beware of a recent recall. Earlier last month, Turkey Hill Dairy recalled a number of its Dutch Chocolate Premium Ice Cream after it was discovered that the package possibly contained Rocky Road Ice Cream instead. It is reported that the cup of the affected packages reads “Dutch Chocolate Premium Ice Cream” and the package lid actually read “Rocky Road Premium Ice Cream.”

Why is this a big deal? Well, the packages with Rocky Road Ice Cream may contain unlisted ingredients such as almonds and eggs. These are two of the major allergens. If a person, who is allergic to these ingredients, consumes these ingredients, he or she may have a serious reaction.

Some of the affected packages were sold in Illinois, so be on the lookout. If you discover that you purchased one of the affected packages, you should either throw it away or return it to the place of purchase for a full refund. Yet, if you are not allergic to almonds or eggs, there is no safety issue in consuming this ice cream.

Published on:

Our attorneys cannot stress enough the importance of product safety. We have frequently discussed how imperative it is that manufacturers and sellers comply with product liability laws. This might be of the greatest importance though in regards to creating and selling safe children’s products. Children and babies are at an even greater risk than adults when exposed to danger and brought in harm’s way due to a dangerous product. Where adults may have some awareness of the situation and may be able to defend themselves from danger, children are completely innocent and have no reason to expect that they are in danger. In addition, with being so small and undeveloped, they are much more easily harmed than grown and strong adults.

Product safety in regards to children’s products has been in the spotlight in the news. According to a recent report by ABC, nearly 71,000 Britax brand infant car seats are being recalled. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission recently announced this recall in wake of the knowledge of the great danger these defective seats pose. According to the CPSC, there have been over 74 reports of car seat handles breaking while in use. The handles have reported to easily develop fractures and cracks while they are used. These cases of broken handles have been so serious that they have caused infants to fall from their carrier to the ground. In one instance, an infant fell to the ground and suffered an injury to the head.

Our attorneys urge our readers to please take note of the models at issue in this recall. The car seats involved in this recall are the Britax B-Safe 35 and B-Safe 35 Elite infant car seats. Consumers are advised to immediately cease use of these car seats, and to especially not use them by the handle. Reports indicate that right now these seats are only safe to use when secured in a vehicle or stroller, but that they should never be used by the handle until further notice is relayed of repairs or new parts.
Continue reading

Published on:

It is fairly easy to observe how much Americans rely on cars. Vehicles are so important to our way of life that we utilize them on a daily basis for work, school, errands, and leisure. Because they are so necessary in our lives, it is especially important that vehicles are safe to drive. This means it absolutely vital that manufacturers of vehicle use the utmost care in the design, assembly, and inspection of our vehicles. With vehicles being so high in volume throughout our country, when manufacturers are negligent in providing safe vehicles, this can easily lead to serious harm, such as death and injuries.

The International Business Times reported that a switch flaw in General Motors ignitions has caused 169 deaths. Recent personal injury settlements in civil class action lawsuits surrounding the flaw totaled over $575 million.

The report indicates that the switch flaw was in regards to small-car ignitions in particular, such as the Chevrolet Cobalt and other small cars. The flaw causes the ignition to slip out of the “on” position, which cuts power to the vehicle’s engine, steering, brakes, and air bags. In addition to the 169 deaths, several hundred other people have suffered injuries due to this flaw. This resulted in a class-action lawsuit consisting of 1,385 clients.
Continue reading

Published on:

While food poisoning and product recalls are always a call for concern, they are especially alarming when this occurs in regards to a large company and common household name. In these instances, the affected products, and by result number of potentially at risk individuals, is a significantly larger pool due to the immense size of the negligent company.

This is the exact issue and cause for concern in a recent post by the International Business Times. Kraft Heinz has recalled more than 2 million pounds of Oscar Mayer turkey bacon. This occurred after customers began reporting illnesses after consuming the product, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The article explains that the packages may expire sooner than what is inscribed on the label and could be adulterated.

There have been three varieties of turkey bacon at issue. These were produced between May 31st and August 6th. The specific products are the Oscar Mayer Selected Uncured Turkey Bacon, the Oscar Mayer Smoked Cured Turkey Chopped and Formed in the smaller size, and the Oscar Mayer Smoked Cured Turkey Chopped and Formed in the larger size. The Selects Uncured Turkey Bacon comes in 56 oz. cardboard boxes containing four plastic-wrapped packages and consists of plant number P-9070 and UPC 044700076330. The smaller size of the cured turkey comes is 36 oz. cardboard boxes with three plastic-wrapped packages with plant number P-9070 and UPC 071871548748, while the larger size comes in 48 oz. cardboard boxes with four plastic-wrapped packages and plant number P-9070 and UPC 071871548793.
Continue reading

Published on:

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.
Continue reading