Articles Posted in Product Recalls

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Those who ride in a Ford Explorer as a passenger or a driver are putting themselves at risk for carbon monoxide poisoning. Despite nearly 2,100 complaints to Ford and another 791 to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), Ford has yet to issue a recall of 1.33 million 2011-2017 Ford Explorer sport utility vehicles.

“Please help us. I have three kids and no other vehicle”

The Ford Explorer Interceptor is the most widely used police vehicle in this country, causing concern over the potential consequences police officers may suffer while operating the car. Among the complaints are a strong smell similar to burning hair that causes nausea, vomiting, headaches, light headedness, and even fainting. In July, a Massachusetts police office became disoriented and rear ended another car. He and the interior of his Ford Explorer Interceptor both tested positive for carbon monoxide. In an attempt to smooth over issues with police departments and taxpayers, Ford has sent investigators out to examine Explorer Interceptors and fix them at no cost to police departments. According to the engineer of the Explorer, post-production changes to the vehicle that involve drilling holes and other entryways for lights, sirens and electronic equipment are allowing carbon monoxide to leak into the car’s interior. Following that theory, the engineer says that civilians don’t have any reason to worry.

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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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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

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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.

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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.

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Now that the weather is getting warmer and spring is hitting Chicago, it’s about that time of year for a warm-weather favorite treat: ice cream. Soon lines will start forming on hot summer nights at neighborhood ice joint favorites. Ice cream trucks will start driving through town with their catchy jingles to alert you of their delicious treats for sale. Unfortunately a recent recall draws attention to potential food poisoning risks associated with one popular store bought ice cream brand.

According to a recent article by the New York Post. Blue Bell Creameries has issued an all-product recall for potential listeria contamination. They issued this recall after two samples of chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream tested positive for listeria, which is a potentially deadly bacteria. The recall includes ice cream, frozen yogurt, sherbet, and frozen snacks. The recall affects 23 states and international locations, including Illinois. The illness was eventually tracked to two different company locations in two different states.

The article elaborates about a rather unsettling fact: the company cannot even say how the bacteria was introduced into the facilities. This begs the question about quality of the safety regulations and oversight within the company and its production area. The most recent contamination was discovered only after a testing program was initiated by the company after the first recall. It is interesting to ponder why this testing was not already in place. Last month the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention linked the contaminated ice cream to three deaths and five illnesses occurring in more than one state. This is a serious and widespread case of foodborne illness. However, this is the first recall in the company’s 108 years of operation. Blue Bell is now implementing a new process to test all of its products before releasing them to the market. However, under product liability law, it is already the legal duty of companies and manufacturers to inspect their products to discover dangers.
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A new baby is a joy for families. There’s a brand new member of the family and a tiny life to take care of and protect. Babies require different care than grown people too, such as different sleeping schedules, different entertainment, and different food and drink. As not being fully grown and so young, they need special diets in order to receive the right nutrients and in a consistency that their tiny bodies can chew and digest. That is why there are specially made baby foods and formulas on the market and available at our local grocers. Because companies specialize in producing foods particular to the diet of a baby, we grown adults trust that the company is providing a proper nutritious and safe food since they are selling a product and calling themselves experts in that field. Unfortunately, just as instances of negligence occur in our everyday adult foods, manufacturers of baby food have been found to be negligent in their production as well. What is most unfortunate about this though is that a baby is so young and fragile that this negligence can impact them far worse than it would to an adult, and a baby is unable to communicate with language when something is wrong like an adult can.

Unfortunately, recent reports relay that Beech-Nut baby food has been recalled for glass contamination. The United States Department of Agriculture reports that Beech-Nut Nutrition is recalling approximately 1,920 pounds of baby food that may be contaminated with small pieces of glass. The food was produced on December 12, 2014, and are 4-oz. glass jars labeled as “Stage 2 Beech-Nut CLASSICS sweet potato & chicken.” The product also has the establishment number “P-68A” inside the USDA mark of inspection. The products expire in December of 2016 with product numbers “12395750815” through “12395750821.”
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Reports of present dangers in our vehicles and recalls from major manufacturers have been frequent in the news as of lately. A variety of parts have been reported as faulty or in need of recall for posing a danger to the driver and passengers. According to a recent report by NBC Chicago, BMW has joined other automakers in a recall. The automobile manufacturer has announced an expansion of its air bag recall. After demands from the U.S. government, BMW has agreed to replace the driver’s side air bags. The decision to do this recall affects 140,000 BMW 3 Series cars that were made between January 2004 and August 2006. Earlier in the year, the company also took 574,000 cars off of the market in the United States.

According to the same article, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has been urging companies to recall their older cars with air bag inflators made by Takata Corp. These air bags can explode with too much force and then spew shrapnel at drivers and passengers. There have been at least five deaths due to Takata air bag inflators. In total across all automakers, 15 million vehicles have been recalled in the United States. Initially, recalls were only done in states with high humidity because the air bag inflator propellant could burn faster than designed when exposed to prolonged airborne moisture. What that occurred, the propellant would blow apart a metal canister meant to contain the explosion.

Furthermore, the article explains that Takata has refused a request for a nationwide recall of driver’s side inflators, which are about 8 million in total. There are 10 automakers in total that use Takata driver and passenger air bags. There could be as many as 30 million vehicles nationwide with these air bags.
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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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The winter months have those of us in the Midwest with our homes shut up and sealed off from the cold. During this time of year, gone are the days of the cool fall where we could leave our windows open and enjoy the breeze. Instead, now that freezing temperatures and snow approach, the windows and doors must be sealed tight to keep out the cold. Because of little air circulation, accumulation of dust, and dry heat from furnaces, many people choose to use various forms of air purifiers, humidifiers and vaporizers to aid with the air quality and their breathing in their homes during these cold months.

However, according to a recent report by the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission, consumers need to be aware of a recent recall of Daikin Streamer air purifiers. According to the report, these air purifiers have been recalled for posing a fire hazard, which of course not only completely defeats the purpose of what the product should do for your air, but also puts consumers directly in danger of serious personal injuries. The report describes how the circuit board can overheat and cause the air purifier to catch on fire. These air purifiers have been sold from December 2010 through October 2014 for around $540 at various retailers including Goodman Manufacturing and Amazon. Consumers are urged to immediately unplug their air purifiers and discontinue use. They can also contact the Daikin company for a full refund or free replacement purifier.
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