Recalls

A Heartbreaking Example of Car Company Negligence

By Richard Console on January 18, 2013 - Comments off

When we take our foot off the gas pedal, we expect our car to react. It should start slowing down immediately, and if it doesn’t you know something has gone horribly wrong. In a blur your heart begins to race and utter panic consumes you as your car continues to speed down the highway as though possessed. You can do nothing to stop it.

It may sound like the beginning to a Stephen King thriller: possessed cars whipping down the road of their own free will. Tragically, this scenario is fact for some owners of defective Toyota vehicles. This week, the car company has settled the first of hundreds of wrongful death and injury lawsuits, according to USA Today. Anytime a defective product causes injury or death, the survivors have the legal right to pursue compensation from the company at fault. You have no control over how a product is made and you certainly didn’t choose to become a victim. Don’t let  a company go on with business as usual while you bear the burden of their mistake.

How the Suffering Began…

In 2009, a California Highway Patrol officer and three of his family members were killed after their Toyota-made Lexus reached sped uncontrollably at 120 miles per hour, hit another vehicle, flew off a levee, rolled numerous times, and burst into flames, according to USA Today. This horrific accident garnered attention, and in 2012 the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) revealed serious defects known as “floor mat pedal entrapment” and “unintended acceleration” in Toyota vehicles.

The NHTSA discovered that Toyota had known about these defects for three years, but had neglected to report them. After the situation became public, they recalled more than 14 million vehicles for wrong-sized floor mats causing stuck accelerator pedals, as well as brake defects.

…And How It Continues

Now, hundreds of tragic reports of severe injuries and death are coming to light.

The fact that Toyota let consumers naively drive these dangerous vehicles is shameful. They should have come forward after the first incidents in 2009, and prevented the hundreds of injuries and deaths that are now being laid at their feet.  Worse, instead of admitting fault outright, USA Today reports that they will continue to defend their product at trial.

Deterring Manufacturers From Future Negligence

Unfortunately, saving lives doesn’t seem to be enough of an incentive to prompt car manufacturers to take action as soon as defects are discovered. Profits, sadly, win almost every time. The only way to keep these car giants accountable is to literally make them pay – money seems to be the only thing they respond to. Filing personal injury and wrongful death claims won’t heal the injured or bring back the lost, but they will show car manufacturers that they cannot get away with this blaring disregard for consumer safety. Furthermore, deserved compensation will help these grieving families in their time of need, accounting for their pain and suffering, potential lost income, and an uncertain future.

Massive corporations have expensive legal teams that are ready to negotiate until they’re blue in the face. Our seasoned attorneys can match their experience and their aggression. More importantly, we have the compassion your family needs at such a difficult time.

 

Car Fire Safety: When Your Ride Gets Too Hot to Handle

By Richard Console on December 6, 2012 - Comments off

Imagine that you’re cruising down the highway in your fancy new ride, breathing in that new car smell while your favorite song plays on the radio. You hear an unfamiliar chime and glance down at the dashboard to see the flash of a red light. You might see a message stating “Engine Power Reduced to Lower Temps” or a more ominous “Engine over temp, stop safely” warning. Maybe the traffic flow deters you from pulling over, or you’re so close to your destination that you think, “I can make it.” You might even believe it’s a false alarm. After all, your brand new car shouldn’t be overheating, right?

Before you know it, smoke is pouring from the hood. You can definitely smell something burning. You experience one of your worst driving nightmares as the engine catches fire.

This frightening scenario is the reason auto maker Ford just issued a recall on its 2013 Fusion and Escape models. The recall is expected to affect the owners of 73,320 Ford Escape crossover vehicles and 15,833 Ford Fusion mid-size sedans, according to USA Today.

The company isn’t being overcautious. So far, engine fires have occurred in one of the new Fusion models and 12 of the new Escape models, USA Today says. The good news is that no injuries have been reported as of yet. If you believe your car may be included in this recall, talk to your automobile dealership immediately.

The Dangers of Car Fires

Car fires are not isolated incidents, and they’re not always harmless. The National Fire Protection Association reports that in 2011 alone, 219,000 vehicle fires occurred in the United States, or one vehicle fire every 144 seconds. In these blazes, 300 people were killed and 1,190 were injured. These incidents damaged $1.4 billion worth of property.

What to Do If It Happens to You

Though drivers are aware that flammable materials, including gasoline and motor oil, are present in an automobile, drivers may not know what to do if their vehicle catches fire. Panic is a natural response, but try to stay calm. According to the National Safety Council, the first step is to get off the road immediately. To avoid causing an accident, use caution and appropriate signals when switching lanes. Once the car is parked:

  • Turn off the engine
  • Exit the vehicle quickly
  • Help other passengers out of the car, but don’t go back for other items or to try to extinguish the fire without help. Remember, even if it is “your baby,” you can replace your car and other material possessions.
  • Once you are safely away from the vehicle, call the fire department for assistance.
  • While you wait for help to arrive, make sure you keep other vehicles and onlookers as far away from the vehicle as possible.

If you have been injured in a car fire and believe that an automobile manufacturer is to blame, or if your car fire resulted from an accident caused by another person’s negligence, you need the help of skilled personal injury attorneys to recover compensation for your medical bills and other damages. Don’t suffer the consequences of a car fire alone. Call the dedicated Console & Hollawell legal team today at (800) 455-2746.

Photo Credit: Corbis Images.

 

Cheese Products Recalled for Listeria Contamination

By Staff on April 4, 2012 - Comments off

New Jersey-based El Rancho Del Sur has issued a defective product recall for some of its cheeses due to possible listeria poisoning. According to a Business Week news report, the company has announced a voluntary recall of its Fresh Cheese, Fresh Cheese in Banana Leaf and String Cheese. The products in question were distributed between February 23 and March 14 to retail stores, supermarkets and restaurants in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Consumers who have purchased these recalled products can return them to the place of purchase for a refund. In addition, customers can call the company with questions at 732-967-9265.

Deadly Food-Borne Illnesses

E. coli and salmonella are food-borne illnesses, which could result in serious personal injuries, including organ damage or even death. Listeria is a type of bacterium, which can cause an infection known as listeriosis, which can also result in serious and long-term adverse health problems. Listeria can sicken people with weakened immune systems and can cause miscarriages in pregnant women. The baby may die unexpectedly before birth or experience a life-threatening infection within the first few days of birth.

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According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the most common symptoms of Listeriosis are fever, muscle aches, nausea and diarrhea. Symptoms may begin a few days after you have eaten the contaminated food. But it may take as a long as two months before signs and symptoms begin. If the infection spreads to the nervous system, you may experience symptoms such as headache, stiffness, confusion, loss of balance and convulsions.

Liability Issues

If negligence on the part of the food manufacturer or distributor causes your illness, then those parties could be held liable for any injuries or damages caused. Those affected by listeriosis or any other type of food-borne illnesses can seek compensation for medical expenses, loss of wages, cost of hospitalization, diagnostic tests, pain and suffering, emotional distress and other damages. An experienced New Jersey personal injury lawyer will be able to advise victims and their families in such cases about their legal rights and options.

 

Tumblekins Toys Recalled for Choking and Laceration Hazard

By Richard Console on February 20, 2012 - Comments off

As if parents do not worry for their child’s safety enough already, there has been another recall of a child’s toy. Late last week the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), in conjunction with International Playthings LLC, announced the voluntary recall of several Tumblekins play sets. The toys can break into small pieces posing a threat of children choking on the small parts. Also when the toys break they can have sharp points which can cut the child.

The recall affects several of these Tumblekins sets including: the fire station, farm playset, police car, roadster, off-roader, fire truck, and the school bus. These products were sold between March 2011 and December 2011. If you own one of these toys you need to take them away from your child immediately and contact the manufacturer for a replacement toy. The can be contacted at (800) 445-8347 Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST or by email at [email protected]

It seems that it is becoming more common for these toy recalls to be made and that makes me wonder why companies are not testing their products more thoroughly before they reach the market to ensure they are safe for children. It really is imperative that these companies start enacting measures to make their products sturdier and safer. It really is upsetting that the only time these recalls seem to be made is after they have already harmed a child. In this case, there was one report of the toy breaking but thankfully there was no harm done to the child.

While it is commendable that the manufacturer acted quickly and proactively by recalling the product after only one report, because with most of these recalls you will see much higher numbers, there are still questions of what happened to cause this hazard. I am always wondering what kind of tests these toys go through before they can make it on the market in the U.S., especially with imported toys.

We are all quite aware that many of our products are manufactured abroad, in the case of these toys they were made in China. The CPSC says that they have rigorous standards in place for products that are imported, but how thoroughly are they actually tested? Do they take the toy out and actually play with it, checking to see how durable the toy is, or if any part of it could potentially be harmful to a child?

I think there should be more rigorous testing performed on products especially those that are for children. Kids do not delicately play with toys—they throw them around, bite them, smash them into other toys, and the product needs to be able to withstand that. When your child is playing you should not have to worry about them getting injured. Toys are needed to help your child grow and develop skills and they cannot be expected to do that if there is a hazardous product lurking behind every corner.

If your child has been injured because of a dangerous or defective product you are entitled to compensation. As a parent, you want nothing more than for your child to grow up safe and happy and manufacturers who produce unsafe products endanger that dream and are negligent when they place a dangerous product in the hands of your child. Contact one of the skilled Philadelphia accident lawyers at Console & Hollawell today to find out what your legal options are. Call us at (866) 778-5500 and set up your free consultation.

 

Single-Cup Coffee Makers Recalled for Burn Hazard

By Richard Console on February 15, 2012 - Comments off

The Consumer Product Safety Commission in conjunction with BSH Home Appliances Corp., have issued a voluntary recall of Tassimo Single-Cup Brewers. This recall applies to about 835,000 units in the United States.

Their coffee makers have a defect in the ‘T Disc’ which holds the coffee or tea brew cups. There is a chance that hot liquid can spray as well as hot tealeaves and coffee grounds posing a burn hazard to bystanders. There have been 140 reports of this type of incident occurring, which included 37 reports of second-degree burns and one incident involved a 10-year-old girl who sustained second-degree burns to her face and had to be hospitalized.

Consumers who own this product should discontinue use immediately. The two brewers affected by this recall are the Bosch brand name brewers as well as the Tassimo Professional brewers. The latter was only sold to hotels and food service providers who will be contacted individually by the manufacturer The Bosch consumer coffee makers in question will have one of the following model numbers: TAS100, TAS200, TAS451, TAS46, or TAS651.

  

Individuals who own one of these models should stop using it and contact Tassimo immediately for a replacement T Disc holder. Consumers can contact the manufacturer by visiting their recall website or by calling them at (866) 918-8763 between the hours of 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. eastern time Monday through Friday or from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. eastern time on Saturdays.

Whenever a recall is issued it does not matter if it is voluntary or not, all recalls should be taken seriously. The CPSC is charged with making sure that any and all consumer products do not pose a significant hazard and when a product is found to be dangerous the risk must be remedied. If you or someone you love has been injured as the result of a dangerous or defective product contact the New Jersey personal injury attorneys at Console & Hollawell. We will inform you of all of your legal rights and options and make sure that you get the compensation you deserve. Call us today at (866) 778-5500 to set up your free consultation.

Photo credit all images: CPSC.

 

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.

 

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.

 

Toys“R”Us Hosts Trade-In Event for Unsafe Products

By Richard Console on January 26, 2012 - Comments off

Toys“R”Us announced that they will once again host the Great Trade-In event at their stores. The even offers an incentive of a discount off a new product if people bring in old, potentially hazardous baby items to be disposed of. They explained that their main focus is to get goods that have been handed down out of circulation because there are good chances that these items will no longer meet accepted safety standards. In a press release from the company on Wednesday they explained that since its beginning in 2009 this event has removed nearly 600,000 unsafe products from homes.

Studies have shown that many people do not heed the warnings of product recalls and instead hang on to the item and continue using it. However, it was found that one in seven product-related injuries that occurred with a recalled product happened after the recall was issued. The company explained that they hope that this even will continue to raise public awareness about dangers of outdated, second-hand products.

Toys“R”Us chairman, Jerry Storch explained in the release that, “Toys”R”Us is committed to ensuring the safety of children, and we continue to stay at the forefront of emerging safety concerns, while offering parents and caregivers the safest products available.”
This is the sixth time the company is holding this event. The trade-in will begin on January 27 and fun through February 20 at both Toys“R”Us and Babies“R”Us locations countrywide.
Bring in the following items to receive 25 percent off certain new baby products:

  • Bassinets
  • Strollers
  • Travel systems
  • High chairs
  • Car seats
  • Cribs
  • Bouncers
  • Swings
  • Walkers
  • Kid’s beds
  • Entertainers

See the press release for a full listing of manufacturers participating in the discount. They also urge that any day care facilities or anyone who wants to exchange in bulk should contact the store before coming in.

Always check safeproducts.gov for the latest product safety recalls. If you or someone you love has been injured by a dangerous or defective product, contact on of Console & Hollawell’s injury attorneys in New Jersey.

 

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.

 

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