product liability

Consumer Groups Urge Recall of Dangerous Baby Product

By Richard Console on February 8, 2012 - Comments off

Various consumer groups are on edge as the Consumer Product Safety Commission continues to avoid recalling one baby product that poses a significant hazard. The product in question is the Bumbo Baby Seats, manufactured by Bumbo International of South Africa. The seats are meant to help babies sit up before they are able to do so by themselves.

The product was recalled in 2007, but the only result of the recall was an added warning label. The initial problem was that babies were sustaining head injuries from falling out of the seats. Images of the product had illustrated the seat being placed on top of surfaces like tables. However, the seat has no safety belts so there is nothing keeping the child secured in the seat. With the recall the manufacturer along with the CPSC amended warning labels to include that the seat should only be used at ground level.

Despite the added warning label, babies are still suffering injuries as the result of this product. Back in November 2011, the CPSC addressed the concerns with a warning published on their website. The report stated that they along with the manufacturer were aware that injuries were still occurring even after the initial recall. It explained that since 2003 there have been 3,850,000 of these seats sold in the U.S. If they recognize the hazard, why are they not taking action?

Photo credit: CPSC.

According to Boston.com, a letter has been issued to the CPSC calling for action. The letter comes from several consumer groups including U.S. PIRG, Consumers Union, Public Citizen, the Consumer Federation of America, and Kids in Danger.

In the letter they stated, “Because serious injuries are occurring when this product is used as intended, and since these injuries involve an alarming number of skull fractures we have grave concerns about the safety of Bumbo International’s Baby Seat. Unlike other products intended for the same age range such as bouncers and stationary activity centers, there are no safety standards or testing requirements covering this type of product. In addition, manufacturers of similar products have made design changes to address the safety concerns associated with these types of products– a step Bumbo International has refused to take to date.”

The CPSC has an obligation to protect the public from dangerous or defective products. Most times they work in conjunction with the manufacturer when it comes to issuing recalls, but in this case it does not seem like Bumbo Intl. is willing to remove their dangerous product from the market. It is then the responsibility of the CPSC to take action on their home. It is unacceptable to allow these injuries to continue.

We here at our NJ injury law firm urge the public to boycott this product. Any parents who are allowing their children to sit in this chair should discontinue use because of the blatant hazard it poses to your child. We also urge the CPSC to stop ignoring this issue and to do what they must—recall this dangerous product.

Main photo credit: The Mommyhood Memos.

 

Consumer Reports Puts High Chair on Safety Risk List

By Staff on February 8, 2012 - Comments off

Consumer Reports has designated the Dream on Me Bistro high chair as a “Don’t Buy: Safety Risk.” Consumer Reports states that the high chair lacks key safety features designed to prevent a small child from sliding out of the seat or possibly getting entrapped and strangled during a fall. The magazine’s tests apparently showed that the Dream on Me Bistro high chair failed to meet two key points of their safety tests, which are based on the voluntary ASTM international safety standards for high chairs.

These defective products, according to Consumer Reports, lack a “passive crotch restraint,” which is a fixed post that sits between the child’s legs to prevent him or her from slipping under the tray. When this occurs, the child’s head could get caught between the tray and seat resulting in strangulation.

Read the rest »

Product Has Serious Safety Issues

Although this high chair has a five-point belt harness that can be buckled to hold a child in place, it does not have the crotch restraint, which is part of the standard. The chair also failed the “side containment” requirement. The chair has openings between the chair arms and the seat that are large enough for the child to slip out. This could cause serious injuries. Consumer Reports also found during tests other hazards such as places where children’s fingers could get pinched. Consumer Reports is advising parents who own these chairs to discard them and stop using them right away.

Injuries Caused by Children’s Products

According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), in 2010, there were an estimated 81,700 emergency department treated child injuries associated with nursery products among children under age 5. Infant carriers and car seat carriers, cribs and mattresses, strollers and high chairs were associated with about 68 percent of the injuries. Falls were the leading cause of injury and the head was the body part that was injured most frequently. Also, in the three-year period from 2006 to 2008, CPSC staff reported 304 deaths linked to nursery products among children under the age of 5.

Compensation for Victims

Product manufacturers have a responsibility to make products that are safe. If you or a loved one has been injured by a defective or a sub-standard product, you can file a products liability claim against the manufacturer seeking compensation for the damages and losses. An experienced New Jersey personal injury lawyer who has successfully handled defective product cases can help victims better understand their legal rights and options.

 

Eggs Contaminated with Listeria Recalled in New Jersey

By Staff on February 3, 2012 - Comments off

Michael Foods has issued a defective product recall for its hard-cooked eggs in brine because of a potential listeria contamination. According to a news report in The Associated Press, the company is recalling eggs in brine sold in 10- and 25-pound pails for institutional use in 34 states including New Jersey and Pennsylvania. The recalled eggs are sold under the following brand names: Columbia Valley Farms, GFS, Glenview Farms, Papetti’s, Silverbrook and Wholesome Farms.

According to a consumer alert issued by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the contaminated eggs were produced at Michael Foods’ plant in Nebraska. The products were then purchased by food distributors and manufacturers. So far, there have been no reports of illnesses connected to the eggs. However, the eggs have the potential to be tainted with a strain of the bacteria that can cause serious infections in those with weakened immune systems.

Photo Credit: ktul.com

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Symptoms of Listeria Poisoning

According to a recent report issued by the New Jersey Public Interest Research Group, New Jersey had experienced more than 60 food contamination incidents just in 2010. The recalls involved salmonella, E. coli, listeria and other food-borne contaminants. Listeria poisoning in particular can have serious consequences. The common symptoms of listeria infection include nausea, diarrhea, fever, muscle pain and dizziness. Although symptoms may seem like the flu, if the infection spreads to the nervous system more serious symptoms such as loss of balance and convulsions may surface. These infections can be devastating to pregnant women who run the risk of losing their babies.

Liability of Food Producers

Food manufacturers, producers and distributors have a responsibility to produce, store and serve the food in a safe manner. If it is determined that a victim’s illness was caused by a negligent food producer, then the company can be held liable. Injured victims can seek compensation to cover medical expenses, lost wages, cost of hospitalization, pain and suffering and other related damages. In case of a death, families of deceased victims can file a wrongful death claim seeking damages. An experienced New Jersey personal injury lawyer will be able to help victims and their families in such cases better understand their legal rights and options.

 

5 Most Dangerous Recalled Toys

By Richard Console on January 30, 2012 - Comments off

You hear it all the time; another popular toy is being recalled because of a health hazard posed to kids. There are many different reasons a toy can be recalled such as a choking hazard, fall hazard, lead paint, laceration risk, and more. Playtime should be free of hazard so that children can have fun and grow without the risk of injury. The Consumer Product Safety Commission works diligently to make sure any products that are dangerous for the consumer are removed from shelves and that the situation is remedied.

While there are numerous toy recalls each year, these five recalls are not ones we will ever forget. The large scale of the recalls in addition to the injuries that resulted landed them on this list of the most dangerous toy recalls ever.

5. Easy Bake Oven

 

Recalled: February 6, 2007

Hazard: Entrapment and burn hazard.

Injuries: Second and third-degree burns, hands getting stuck in the machine, one girl underwent a partial finger amputation as a result.

By the time the recall was issued 29 children had gotten their hands or fingers caught in the oven and there were 5 reports of burns. This version of the classic toy was meant to look more like a real oven and loaded from the front.

4. Sky Dancers

 

Recalled: June 27, 2000 and October 24, 2002

Hazard: Injury Hazard

Injuries: Eye injuries, broken teeth, mild concussions, broken ribs, and facial lacerations.

The doll had the ability to fly, you would pull the draw string and the dolls rose into the air and spun around. There was no way of controlling the movement once in the air and as a result the dolls struck many children and adults on their way down.

3. Cabbage Patch Snacktime Kids

 

Recalled: “Voluntary recall program” January 6, 1997 and May 9, 2005

Hazard: Laceration hazard.

Injuries: Fingers and hair getting caught in the doll’s mouth causing lacerations.

The doll boasted the ability to eat snacks. The idea was you would put one of the snack sticks that came with the doll into her mouth and that would trigger an internal mechanism that mimicked chewing. The danger was that there was no on off switch so anything put into the dolls mouth triggered the gears to turn there were reports of children getting their fingers caught causing injury as well as the hair becoming stuck in the doll’s mouth.

2. EZ Sales Hammocks

 

Recalled: August 8, 1996

Hazard: Strangulation and death hazard.

Injuries: Death, brain damage, and strangulation.

The mini hammocks sold by more than 10 manufacturers did not have spreader bars. When children got in or out of the hammock it could wrap around their neck and strangle them. As of the recall report there had been 12 deaths.

1. Aqua Dots

 

Recalled: November 7, 2007

Hazard: Beads coated in toxic chemical.

Injuries: Ingestion of the beads could and did result in comas, respiratory depression, dizziness, and seizures.

What seemed like a great kid’s craft quickly turned tragic when it was found that there was a chemical on the beads that mimicked the effects of a dangerous drug, GHB. There were two incidents where children fell into comas before the recall was made.

Injuries that stem from defective or dangerous products can be very serious and the responsible parties should be held accountable. If you or a loved one was injured by a defective product contact Console & Hollawell’s injury attorneys in Philadelphia. Together they will guide you through the process of getting the compensation you deserve. Be sure to check saferproducts.gov for all the latest recalls and information.

All images from CPSC.

 

Rattle Recalled Due To Choking Hazard

By Richard Console on January 25, 2012 - Comments off

Although there have been no reports of injury, the Consumer Product Safety Commission and Lee Carter Company have issued a voluntary recall of their infant rattles. Individuals who have this product should discontinue use immediately.

The CPSC reported that this rattle poses a choking hazard to infants. The handle on the rattle violates federal standards for rattles as they are small enough to fit into the child’s throat. The rattles being recalled are made of woven plastic and is multicolored. There is also a bell inside of the rattle. There is an identifying tag on the rattle’s handle that says “Lee Carter Company” and “Made in Mexico.”

These rattles were only available at specialty Mexican craft stores across the nation. They were sold between February 2001 and October 2011. Consumers should contact Lee Carter Co. for a full refund of their money. Lee Carter Company can be contacted collect at (415) 824-2004 or by visiting their website at www.leecartercompany.com.

Once again it cannot be stressed enough that these rattles should be taken away from infants immediately to avoid a dangerous situation. The CPSC said they are interested in hearing about any and all injuries that may have risen from use of this product. To report an incident with this or any other product visit www.safeproducts.gov to alert the CPSC.

Products that pose a threat to children should be taken seriously, do not risk your child’s life by ignoring this or any recall that is issued. Just because there hasn’t been any accidents reported does not mean that it cannot happen, after all nearly 7 percent of all lawsuits in the country are related to a faulty product. If you or someone you love has been hurt as a result of a defective product contact Console & Hollawell’s injury attorneys in New Jersey.

Photo credit: CPSC.

 

5 Unbelievable Lawsuits Against Beverage Companies

By Richard Console on January 17, 2012 - Comments off

It happens all the time, you open up the newspaper or go online and see that someone is yet again suing a big company. When you see that someone is suing a beverage company, it probably catches your eye—because who doesn’t want to know what happens with their favorite drink. Sometimes these lawsuits result in safer and CLEANER manufacturing and distributing of these drinks.

There have been countless lawsuits against beverage companies, and let’s face it, some of them are pretty absurd. When the guy sued Bud Light because drink it didn’t get him all the girls like in the commercials, we all knew that there was no way he would win that case. But what happens when the lawsuits do have grounds? The following lawsuits are five pretty unbelievable cases involving drink companies. To give you fair warning, number five is enough to make your stomach turn.

1. Alcoholic Energy Drinks That Kill

Photo credit: CNN.

The combination of energy drinks and alcohol seem like they would be a perfect partying combination, but it could kill you. When beverage companies such as Phusion Projects and MillerCoors began manufacturing alcoholic energy drinks they became extremely popular. Drinks like Four Loko and Sparks remove the need to take the extra effort to mix your vodka with a Red Bull. These drinks quickly became a target of many advocacy groups that warned what a dangerous combination they were, and for good reason.

Phusion, maker of Four Loko, has come under fire in the civil court system with many wrongful death suits filed against them. One such lawsuit was brought against the company by the parents of a 15-year-old boy who died after drinking two Four Lokos. The teen had consumed the drinks at a concert where staff contacted his mother because he seemed to be very drunk. The mother went to pick him up and she claims that her son was “paranoid and disoriented.” When they got home, her son ran off and was struck by an oncoming car. As reported by the Huffington Post, their suit claims that Phusion “was careless and negligent in formulating a caffeinated, alcoholic beverage that desensitized users to the symptoms of intoxication, and increases the potential for alcohol-related harm.”

Three manufacturers of alcoholic energy drinks were instructed in November 2010 by the Food and Drug Administration that their drinks were dangerous and needed to be reformulated according to Time Magazine. The FDA gave the companies only 15 days to fix the problem or face the FDA seeking to remove the drink from sale completely. The makers of Sparks and Four Loko complied and removed the caffeine from their beverages, but specialty groups are still advocating for further measures to be taken. It is no wonder, Four Loko contains almost as much alcohol in one can as there is in a six-pack of beer. According to the Huffington Post, there were already five states that had banned these drinks when the FDA made their demand.

2. Dunkin’ Donuts Coffee Too Sweet

Photo credit: Blogspot.

We all remember the infamous McDonalds hot coffee lawsuit, but in this lawsuit against Dunkin’ Donuts had nothing to do with temperature. According to a report on Philly.com, Danielle Jordan filed suit against the chain because her coffee is claimed to have caused her to slip into a diabetic coma.

On June 15, 2009 Jordan went to Dunkin’ Donuts and ordered a coffee with artificial sweetener. The coffee maker allegedly ignored this request and used regular sugar instead. Jordan, unaware that there was regular sugar in the drink, downed the coffee and suffered the consequences. Court documents state that Jordan began experiencing light-headedness, dizziness, and numbness in her arms and legs. She then had to be rushed to the hospital due to diabetic shock. She filed suit in June 2011.

A legal representative for 34 of the chains in Philadelphia was unable to comment on the specifics of the case but did made the following statement, “we encounter thousands and thousands of customers on a daily basis. We don’t provide a customer with anything they don’t request. If they request a medium coffee, they will get a medium coffee. If you fail to request a sugar substitute, we can’t read your mind. We sell doughnuts, not crystal balls.”

3. Muscle Milk, Minus the Milk

Photo credit: Pic.

This case is very odd because rather than a consumer suing the beverage company, another drink maker did! Back in 2009 Nestlé USA sued CytoSport, who manufactures the drink Muscle Milk, claiming that the name and marketing of the drink was misleading. Why was it misleading? Funny you should ask, it is deceptive because Muscle Milk does not actually contain milk.

Nestlé filed their objections to the National Advertising Division of the Council of Better Business Bureaus. Since Nestlé makes beverages that contain milk they were outraged that this drink did not contain the ingredient the name called for. CytoSport refused to participate with the NAD so they passed the problem on to the FDA.

The New York Times played devil’s advocate between the two companies asking them both to make statements on the case with the following responses:
Nestlé reported that, “Nestlé USA strongly believes in the nutritional benefits of milk. Consumers looking at Muscle Milk, marketed as a ‘Nutritional Shake,’ are likely to be misled into believing they are purchasing a flavored or supplemented milk product, when, in fact, they are purchasing a water-based product that contains no milk.”

CytoSport also had something to say about the case, telling the NYT “CytoSport’s marketing and advertising materials have made it clear — over the more than 10 years that Muscle Milk has been sold — that Muscle Milk products are high-protein nutrition products designed after one of nature’s most balanced foods: human mother’s milk.”

4. Catch This Scalding Hot Coffee

Photo credit: Mojado.

It’s the stuff of movies, the super-hip barista slides the coffee cup across the counter and it is caught perfectly without a spill by the customer. Who really does that though? One New York Starbucks employee did and it resulted in a lawsuit being slapped against the company for injuries to the customer.

Riffat Qureshi, a self-described model, was at the NYC Starbucks and when she was waiting for her drink the barista allegidlly slid the cup across the counter towards her and shouted, “Catch the cup!” She didn’t catch the cup and the hot beverage splashed all over her. Five years after the 2006 incident, she filed suit against the company seeking compensation for her burnt stomach.

The New York Post reported that Starbucks is fighting back, suing Qureshi for fraud. The coffee mogul claims that she is faking her injury. They also claim that they have testimony from her doctor that he had diagnosed Qureshi with a skin infection and it was not a burn.

5. Mice Really Love Those Green Drinks

Photo credit: Daily Mail.

The moment you have all be waiting for, the most disgusting allegations to come up against beverage companies are those involving claims that rodents were found in the drinks. First of all, YUCK! The makers of both Mountain Dew and Monster Energy Drink have been involved in these cases. The above photo is evidence from the Monster case, and needless to say, many of us will never drink out of a can again.

The Monster lawsuit all began when Vitaliy Sulzhik, 19 at the time, purchased a can of Monster at a store in Des Moines, Washington. The Huffington Post reported that the young man discovered the rodent when he was drinking the beverage and some mouse got in his mouth. After losing his lunch—like we all would—he ultimately decided to bring the can, mouse included, to his lawyer, Reed Yurchak. His lawyer then sent it off to a lab to be analyzed.

He has been battling the company for a year to no avail. Monster argued that someone must have placed the mouse in his drink after he already opened it, but according to the lab results there was no indication that the mouse was forced through the opening.

Strangely enough, in a statement released by Monster as to why this lawsuit could not possibly be true is very similar to a defense utilized by Mountain Dew in their case. The mouse couldn’t have been in the can when you opened it because it would have DISINTEGRATED by that point. EW! PepsiCo’s lawyer said that if the mouse alleged to be in a can of Mountain Dew had been in there it would not have been recognizable but would instead merely be a jellied substance.

This brings new meaning to the drinks’ slogans:
Mountain Dew, “It’ll tickle your innards.”
Monster, “Unleash the beast.”

Product liability is a serious matter. We all know that some lawsuits seem absurd but sometimes people really are harmed by these products and their manufacturers should be held accountable. Happy hydrating everyone, hope there are no furry creatures at the bottom of your beverage.

 

 

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