Recalls

Deadly Hazards in Your Home: What You Don’t Know About Product Recalls

By Richard Console on April 1, 2013 - Comments off

Toxic exposure. Biting dolls. High-powered magnets capable of obstructing or tearing through parts of the human body from the inside. Gamma-hydroxybutyrate (GHB), better known as the “date rape drug.”

They could all be in your child’s toy box.

Each year, the United States Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) recalls hundreds of dangerous products in its quest to protect consumers. Children’s products, such as toys and baby furniture, are recalled at an alarming average rate of twice per week, non-profit organization Kids in Danger reported – and this is just one of the more than 15,000 categories of products that this government agency regulates.

Jumbled toys

As a responsible parent, you know to read and follow age guides on toys and watch your children during playtime. Unfortunately, that’s not always enough to keep your child safe – and that’s why the government steps in to stop defective products from endangering your family. Photo Credit: Flickr.

Though we hear about products being recalled just about every day, the consumer product recall process remains a mystery to many Americans. We assume that the items we purchase off of store shelves have been regulated and proven safe before they ever make it into our shopping carts, much less our homes. Yet the CPSC itself reports that the injuries, deaths, and property damage caused by hazardous consumer products add up to a whopping $900,000,000,000 a year.

We Are Not As Safe As We Think We Are

Defective products aren’t part of some new trend, but instead a tragic continuation of more than a half-century of manufacturing dangerous products. Consider the following:

  • Hammocks capable of strangling infants: Though specifically designed for babies, these products killed a dozen infants between 1984 and 1995 and injured many others.

Baby Hammock

A key problem with some mini hammocks is that they didn’t have spreader bars to keep the ropes from collapsing and tangling, potentially strangling babies. Photo Credit: Flickr.

  • Baby boats that could cause your child to drown: A number of these inflatable floats manufactured from 2002 through 2008 could tear and send helpless infants plunging into the water. The CPSC received 31 complaints of such instances in which babies could have drowned (thankfully, none did). In October 2012, the manufacturer officially agreed to pay $650,000 in fines for failing to adequately inform the CPSC of the incidents – it turns out that the company knew of the danger for years but continued to produce and market the hazardous product to unsuspecting families across America. “Aqua-Leisure was aware of at least 24 consumer complaints regarding several models of inflatable baby boats since the 2001 recall but did not adequately inform the CPSC until May 2009,” the CPSC report stated.

Baby float

While it’s lucky that no infants actually drowned as a result of dangerous baby boats, it is simply inexcusable for companies like Aqua-Leisure to continue endangering children after they become aware of the problem. Photo Credit: Flickr.

  • Poisonous toys: When tested, various toys from card games to action figures contained high levels of toxic chemicals, such as lead. A 1951 science kit called the U-238 Atomic Energy Lab even included uranium, a substance known to be toxic, according to the Banned Toys Museum.

Lead soldier

Toys aren’t made from lead anymore, like this soldier, but your child’s toys may still contain unsafely high levels of these toxic chemicals. Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

  • Aggressive dolls: Doll attacks aren’t just for horror movies. In the mid-90’s, the beloved Cabbage Patch Kids made one Snacktime Doll that took a bite out of children’s fingers. The doll’s motorized mouth, which would theoretically allow it to “chew” plastic snacks, had no off switch. When young, inquisitive children put their fingers too close to the doll’s mouth, or if an older child accidentally got his or her hair too close to the opening, the doll could chew hard enough to rip hair out of a child’s scalp or injure fingers. In 1997, the manufacturer, Mattel, voluntarily recalled the toy and offered full refunds to any of the 500,000 consumers who owned the doll, the CPSC reported. Soon after, another dangerous doll was recalled. The flying Sky Dancer dolls made by Galoob Toys and Hasbro caused 150 reported injuries, such as broken teeth, facial cuts severe enough to require stitches, eye injuries, and one concussion. In June 2000, the CPSC announced that the manufacturer was recalling 8,900,000 of the toys.

cabbage patch dolls

Cabbage Patch Kids have long been favorite toys. Some have even been handed down through generations. The problems with the Snacktime Kids dolls show that even companies with good reputations may sometimes fail to anticipate safety hazards. Photo Credit: Flickr.

  • Magnets that can cause deadly internal damage: A couple little magnets can be a big deal inside the human body. The CPSC has repeatedly been forced to issue recalls on toys containing magnets. “If two or more magnets are swallowed, they can link together inside a child’s intestines and clamp onto body tissues, causing intestinal obstructions, perforations, sepsis, and death,” reported the CPSC. “Internal injury from magnets can pose serious lifelong health effects.”

magnet toys

Kringles Toys and Gifts is just one of companies that has manufactured magnetic toys that turned out to be problematic. Photo Credit: Flickr.

  • Toxic when wet: Watching your apparently healthy child get dizzy, vomit, and then slip into a coma, requiring immediate hospital care, has to be one of the most terrifying experiences a parent can imagine. In the case of some children who suffered these injuries in 2007, gamma-hydroxybutyrate (GHB) was the culprit. A toy called Aqua Dots, essentially a youngster’s craft project kit, was designed for use while wet. Unfortunately, chemicals used to make the product would become GHB if they were swallowed (which has been known to happen with young children). Due to its memory loss-inducing effects and ability to cause unconsciousness, GHB earned a reputation as a date rape drug, according to CNN. It’s so toxic that two children whose families reported severe illnesses had to be hospitalized after swallowing the beads and suffering a coma. In November 2007, the CPSC announced that the manufacturer was recalling 4,200,000 of the kits.

aqua dots

Because really, why shouldn’t we expect our children’s toys to be contaminated by toxic substances that criminals use to commit horrible crimes? Photo Credit: Flickr.

These are only a handful of the most shocking recalls. That a company could use substandard chemicals, as in the case of Aqua Dots, or knowingly continue to sell defective products, as is allegedly the case with Aqua-Leisure’s baby boats, is not just careless but completely unacceptable. As parents, our most essential duty is protecting our children. There are enough dangers in the world without having to worry about serious safety hazards hidden inside their toys.

How the Recall Process is Supposed to Work – and How it Actually Works

How do you think the process of manufacturing consumer products works? Do you think products are all tested exhaustively before you take them home to your family? Do you believe that products are only allowed to be on the store shelves after they have already been determined safe?

Unfortunately, no – not exactly.

“While plenty of products have turned out to be mediocre or inferior, some have malfunctioned so severely that catastrophe and disaster ensued,” wrote financial blog BillShrink.com.

While manufacturers are required to do some form of safety testing before putting a product on the market, that testing may not be as rigorous or consistent as we consumers would like it to be. “At this time, the Commission has not issued a regulation mandating the general requirements for a ‘reasonable testing program’ for all general use (non-children’s) consumer products,” the CPSC reported. It does, however, specify that children’s products should be tested by a third party. This requirement may offer our families some protection, but not nearly enough. The third-party tests make sure that the product is in compliance with existing laws and regulations, but they are not exhaustive procedures, and they often do not determine every possible problem that could occur.

Worried businessman

Why are companies so reluctant to issue recalls, even when they see that a product is dangerous? Perhaps because the average recall cost $540,000 as of 2006 – “twice that of the average product litigation settlement,” reported legal directory HG.org. Photo Credit: Flickr.

“Sometimes a company will find a flaw in their own internal testing,” wrote Kids in Danger. “Other times, unfortunately, it is found when a child is injured or killed.” You would like to think that as soon as even one tragic injury or death occurred because of a defective consumer product, it would be taken immediately off the market.

You would be wrong. This is the reason that we see multiple cases of serious injuries and deaths for the same products. This is the reason that hazardous products linger on the shelves and put our families at risk for years.

Lawn Dart

It’s illegal for consumers to resell or attempt to resell products that have been recalled for safety hazards, like these lawn darts. Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

“The CPSC has come under repeated criticism for failing to protect the public,” acknowledged political website AllGov.com. Because the federal agency is controlled by government funding, critics have argued that politics play a role in its activities. Additionally, the CPSC must strike the balance between allowing manufacturers to get away with making unsafe products and putting them out of business through overcautiousness. “In an increasingly dangerous world, the CPSC finds that it must walk a fine line when legislating safety,” according to WiseGeek.

In fact, in 2007, Illinois representative Bobby Rush pushed for “an investigative hearing on the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission’s sluggish response to warnings about a dangerous toy that later killed a child,” the Chicago Tribune wrote. “Consumers had warned the CPSC about the dangers of the aspirin-size magnets falling out of Magnetix toys, but the agency failed to act until after the 2005 death of a suburban Seattle toddler.” In other words, the Chicago Tribune alleged that the agency acted too late.

Magnetix

They may look harmless enough, but these Magnetix toys killed at least one child and caused internal injuries to at least 27 others, the CPSC reported. If the magnets came detached from the blocks, as happened in 1,500 reported cases, they posed a real hazard to children who might swallow them. Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

During yet another controversy in 2009, CPSC Chairman Inez Tenenbaum admitted that the federal agency “‘hasn’t been acting as quickly as it should’ on crib safety problems,” NBC News reported. In this case, too, consumers had reportedly been notifying the CPSC of the dangers of drop-side cribs for years before the agency finally took action – 110 incidents later.

Since these cases, new regulations and procedures have come into effect to help make the process of getting dangerous products off the shelf sooner rather than later with what the CPSC calls the “fast-track consumer product recall program.” In this program, “for example, procedural steps that have long been part of traditional product recall logistics are eliminated,” explained ExpertRecall.com, including “a preliminary determination investigation that can actually take several months to complete.” The new program could go a long way toward making us all safer, especially if consumers do their part by reporting incidents or suspected safety hazards to the CPSC right away.

CPSC seal

The fast-track program “speeds up the recall process and gets more dangerous products out of people’s homes, while saving manufacturers and taxpayers time and money,” ExpertRecall.com reported. Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

Why Recalls Don’t Do Enough to Protect Us

All the government protection in the world can’t help us if we don’t know how to find out about the dangers.

“Government has a role in ensuring product safety,” Popular Mechanics wrote, “but the bottom line is that a recall – whether or not the product is dangerous – is useless if nobody hears about it.” Unfortunately, this is all too commonly the case. Of all consumer products recalled for safety reasons, fewer than one-third of any individual product is ever returned, reported Today by NBC News. In many cases, the number of returned recalled products is lower than 10 percent of the total items sold. “If you happen to have bought a recalled product, chances are it may still be lurking in your home,” according to Today.

burned foot

An example: Almost 400 incidents, including burn injuries, were associated with furnaces recalled by the CPSC in February, 2012 – but 93 percent of those incidents took place after the recall was announced, according to TIME. This means that people either weren’t aware of the recall or chose to use the product anyway. Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

This is a serious issue. Many consumer products have been on the market for years before a recall occurs. They have often been sold to hundreds of thousands, or sometimes even millions, of customers. Because the CPSC regulates so many different types of products, it is at once trying to alert Americans to dangers in such big-ticket purchases as kitchen appliances and unmemorable purchases as children’s toys that cost $10 or $20. And while most households may hold onto the documentation for their dishwashers and refrigerators, you’re probably not saving the receipt for that doll for the next ten years.

recall notice stove 2009

If you registered a large appliance, like the stove that was included in this 2009 product recall, for warrantee or other purposes, you may have a notice like this sent to you in the event of a recall. When it comes to everyday purchases, though, you’re on your own – which means you might not know of a safety hazard in your home. Photo Credit: Flickr.

All this means that, once a real safety concern comes to light and the CPSC thoroughly investigates it and finally convinces the manufacturing company to issue a recall, you may not even know if you have the dangerous product in your home. Your family remains vulnerable to danger with every use. You may pass the item down through the family, so that the already defective toy, baby chair, or game is becoming consistently less well-maintained (and less reliable) and endangering new victims.

Maybe you’ll be one of the lucky ones, and never need to know about the risks. But with the health of your children and your family at stake, is it really worth the gamble?

Protect your family by being proactive. To find out about all recalls, including consumer products, visit http://www.recalls.gov/.

 

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.

 

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