Recently in Defective Products Category

May 9, 2015

IKEA Recalls More Potentially Dangerous Mattresses


Every parent knows there is nothing more worrisome than the first few nights you leave your newborn in his or her crib alone during the night while you sleep. With all the warnings about sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), or crib death, as it is sometimes called, and the news about defective cribs and baby products in general, the fear is understandable and precautions are warranted.

empty-crib-824136-m.jpgAccording to a recent article from WRAL, IKEA has recently expanded a recall of crib mattresses sold in its stores and online to parents across the county.

The first recall was made after two reports that babies became trapped between the mattresses and the ends of the cribs. It should be noted, there were no injuries in connection with these two reports. However, since there is an obvious danger to an infant being trapped by his or her mattress, the Consumer Products Safety Commission coordinated the recall with Ikea, and this involved recalling around 169,000 units from stores and homes around the nation.

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April 25, 2015

Blue Bell Creamery Recalls All Products After Listeria Outbreak


Blue Bell Creamery, maker of novelty ice cream products and traditional ice cream products, recently learned one of their scooping machines was contaminated with listeria after three people got sick. When Centers for Disease Control (CDC) determined the source of the contamination, Blue Bell Creamery agreed to voluntarily recall all of their novelty ice cream products, which consisted of pre-scooped ice cream produced using the contaminated machine.

ice-cream-dipper-584463-m.jpgThis amounted to a small percentage of Blue Bell Creamery's total sales, and the company said the recall was only out of extreme caution. Ice cream packaged in a container, which accounts for most of its products, was not at risk for contamination. Now, the company has expanded its voluntary recall to include all products.

According to a recent news article from the Wall Street Journal, this Blue Bell recall constitutes one of the broadest recalls of a product line in U.S. history, and highlights just how difficult it is to find the source of a potentially deadly strain of bacteria.

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April 23, 2015

Two-Year-Old Boy Seriously Injured in North Carolina Lawn Mower Accident


Every day, we are around equipment and machinery that could inflict serious bodily injury. Whether we are riding in car, an elevator, an escalator, or using any number tools, we are at some level of risk of suffering a serious personal injury.

Most of them time, that risk is extremely small. We trust the companies that have manufactured this equipment to take all feasible precautions to make their respective products safe. However, sometimes accidents still happen, and those accidents can have serious consequences.

mower-spindle-minus-blade-1379695-m.jpgAccording to a recent report from Time Warner Cable News Charlotte, a two-year-old boy was riding on a lawn mower operated by a family member. At some point during the ride, the boy was let down from the riding mower and got his foot caught in the blade mechanism. The lawn mower blade caused severe personal injury to the young victim's foot. Family members called 911, and EMTs arrived to provide immediate medical attention. Due to the severity of the boy's injuries, EMTs called for a medevac helicopter. After a helicopter arrived on scene, paramedics transported him to a pediatric level-one trauma center in North Carolina. The extent of his injuries is not yet known, though it is believed they were extremely severe.

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March 12, 2015

Kallal v. CIBA Vision Corp. - Contact Lens Litigation Ends


When manufacturers of products are notified of an issue with their merchandise, whether it's an inherent danger or failure of the product to work as intended, the company has a duty to notify the public. In some cases, a recall will be issued.
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Recalls in and of themselves will not excuse a company from liability for harm the product causes - even if the injury or harm occurs after the announcement of the recall. However, neither is a recall proof positive of injury. Plaintiffs still have to prove causation.

In the case of Kallal v. CIBA Vision Corp., defendant conceded it had produced and sold a defective product - contact lenses - and it had even issued a huge recall of those lenses in 2007. However, defense argued plaintiff had no grounds on which to stake an injury claim because there was no proof he'd used the defective contacts and his only proof of defect was the recall.

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February 21, 2015

McClellan v. I-Flow Corp. - Pain Pump Lawsuit Revived


When we are prescribed a medication or treatment, we have the right to presume those products or drugs are safe when used as intended, and that any inherent risks will be disclosed. shoulder1.jpg

Unfortunately, far too many pharmaceutical companies are in a great rush to get their products on the market in order to turn a profit without thoroughly testing to ensure consumer safety.

One such example has been seen with regard to so-called "pain pumps." These devices were created with the intention of speeding the healing process by delivering a direct dose of medication (usually painkillers) into areas where surgery had recently been conducted. However, problems have arisen in cases where the pain pumps were inserted directly into the joint space. Not only does it allegedly slow one's recovery, it could potentially cause permanent injury in the form of chondrolysis.

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January 30, 2015

Carolina Residents Injured by Faulty Exercise Equipment


Many people will make a New Year's resolution to begin exercising more. Exercise is supposed to improve your health. For some people, however, using exercise equipment can actually lead to serious or even fatal injuries. These problems occur when the exercise equipment malfunctions and the user gets hurt as a result. elliptical-trainers-489121-m.jpg

If faulty exercise equipment causes you injury, you may be able to make a defective product claim. A Greenville personal injury attorney can help you understand your legal options and pursue compensation from those responsible.

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December 13, 2014

Home and Vehicle Safety During the Winter Months


Changes in temperature and new winter activities should shift homeowner safety awareness. Rather than focusing on outdoor barbecues and your swimming pool, you may have to deal with winter-proofing your home to keep your family safe. While North and South Carolina don't get as cold as the northern states, storms have been known to have a potentially dangerous effect, especially for residents in higher altitudes. Snow can wreak havoc, especially in the Appalachian Mountains, and all residents, visitors, and travelers should be wary of potential risks of colder weather. Here are some tips to keep your family safe this winter season:

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Winterize your home. To make sure that your home is prepped for winter, install weather stripping, insulation, and storm windows. Water lines that run along any exterior walls should also be insulated. Before it freezes, you should clear out gutters and repair any leaks in the roof.

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July 18, 2014

Hartman v. Ebsco Indus., Inc.: A Motion for Summary Judgment in Personal Injury Cases


Our Charlotte personal injury lawyers understand that products liability cases require a thorough understanding of this ever-changing area of negligence law.

blackgun.jpgIn Hartman v. Ebsco Indus., Inc., the plaintiff was seriously injured when the muzzle-loading firearm he was loading accidently discharged, causing the patched round ball (bullet) to shoot through his hand and into his arm.

In case you are not familiar with a muzzle-loading firearm, it is a firearm where you pour black powder into the chamber, add a piece of cotton wadding, and then place a round ball of lead into the barrel. You then take a metal-tipped wooden rod called a ramrod and force the round ball down the barrel. You place a percussion cap on the gun (or use flash powder) so that the gun will fire when the hammer strikes. This was how all guns were made up until the end of the Civil War. In this case, the plaintiff was using a modern reproduction of a muzzle-loading rifle.

Muzzleloaders use black powder, which is not as volatile as modern day gun powder or pyrodex. Even if a person uses modern gun powder, he or she would need to use a shotgun primer instead of an old style percussion cap. In Hartman, the plaintiff attempted to use a shotgun primer, but the powder would not ignite. To overcome this problem, the plaintiff ordered a premade conversion kit for the rifle.

This conversion kit was manufactured by the same company that manufactured the muzzleloader. After the plaintiff installed the upgrade kit, he and his friends went to test the gun and sight the rifle. He put a primer on the gun before loading. This is considered very dangerous and is not proper procedure. He also used a more dangerous type of ammunition than instructed. While he was forcing the round ball into the barrel, it discharged causing the rod and ball to hit him.

The plaintiff filed a lawsuit against the firearm's manufacture and associated entities in which he claimed negligence. The defendants filed for summary judgment, requesting that the case be dismissed.

The grounds for dismissal were that the gun was manufactured more than 10 years ago and a state statue limited products liability to a 10-year period after the goods were placed into the stream of commerce.

Rule 56 of the Rules of Criminal Procedure controls a motion for summary judgment in North Carolina. This is a motion that states that, even if everything the plaintiff alleges is true, there is no valid case against the defendant. In Hartman, the reason was that the 10-year limitation period preventing bringing a suit.

In Hartman, the Court looked at the issue of whether a later modification of an existing product by the manufacturer would restart the 10-year period. The requirement was whether the modifications extended the useful life an existing product. Based upon testimony in the case, the court found that it only made the gun more accurate but did not extend its useful life.

Contact the Charlotte personal injury lawyers at the Lee Law Offices by calling 800-887-1965.

Additional Resources:

Hartman v. Ebsco Indus., Inc., July 10, 2014, United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit

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Mack v. Stryker - Pain Pump Maker Couldn't Have Known Risks, Court Rules, May 31, 2014


May 31, 2014

Mack v. Stryker - Pain Pump Maker Couldn't Have Known Risks, Court Rules


Those seeking compensation for injuries suffered as a result of older pain pump implants manufactured by Stryker Corp. are going to have a tougher time proving liability, following the decisions in Mack v. Stryker and Rodriguez v. Stryker, handed down by the Eight Circuit and Sixth Circuit federal appellate courts.
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The issue is not whether these devices caused harm. Certainly, there is little question they did. At issue is whether the defendant knew or should have known their device caused harm, and yet failed to warn of potential dangers.

Greenville personal injury attorneys recognize that the divided rulings will likely impact those whose implants were initiated prior to 2007. It was at this time, the courts indicated, that medical knowledge regarding the potential harm of these devices was first noted. That means those with injuries sustained post-2007 still may have a strong case for damages.

Continue reading "Mack v. Stryker - Pain Pump Maker Couldn't Have Known Risks, Court Rules" »

April 9, 2014

Hoover v. New Holland N. Am., Inc. - Post-Sale Modification Defense Not Absolute


Anytime a product causes harm to someone through its use, questions arise as to whether there was an inherent flaw or manufacturing defect in the design that is to blame.
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OurCharlotte product liability lawyers know a common defense in these cases is that of post-sale modification. That is, the defendants allege product was somehow altered in a way that was not intended by the manufacturer. Therefore, the product may have been unsafe, but the maker is absolved of liability.

But as the New York Court of Appeals ruled recently in Hoover v. New Holland N. Am., Inc., this defense is not absolute. Manufacturers do have a responsibility to anticipate potential modifications and misuse, and guard against those when they may pose a danger.

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February 9, 2014

Prescription Drug Lawsuits in Charlotte Hindered by Recent Court Rulings


Prescription drug injuries can occur when drugs are poorly made, improperly maintained, over-prescribed, wrongly distributed or have severe side effects of which the manufacturer failed to warn. pillsdrugs.jpg

Any of these could be grounds for filing a personal injury lawsuit in Charlotte.

However, a U.S. Supreme Court ruling last year has made it tougher to file suit against generic drug manufacturers. In a decision that sharply divided the court 5-4, the case of Mutual Pharmaceutical Co., Inc. v. Bartlett, resulted with the finding that generic companies couldn't be held accountable for failure to warn of potential dangers when their warning labels matched the design and language of the brand name, as approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. (Failure to warn through improper labeling is one of the most common complaints filed against generic drugmakers.) However, these same victims are not free to pursue action against name brand manufacturers when their injuries were caused by generic versions of the drug that the brand name manufacturer did not actually make.

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October 14, 2013

Cribs and Infant Injury Risks in North Carolina


A news release by the Consumer Product Safety Commission announced new standards to improve the safety of cradles and bassinets.

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There is a long history of child injury resulting from cribs and our Spartanburg child injury attorneys) are devoted to ensuring the safety of children in the Carolinas.

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February 6, 2013

South Carolina Injury Lawyers Warn of Thousands of Drug Recalls Annually


We trust in this country that when we consume prescribed or over-the-counter medication, we are taking action to improve our health. meds.jpg

But in fact, as our Rock Hill personal injury attorneys know, those medicines could end up making us sicker.

From October 2011 through March 2012, there were some 1,200 drug recalls issued in the United States. That's slightly less than the more than 1,600 drugs that were recalled the year before, but keep in mind there were just 870 medicine recalls the year before.

We reported last November in our South Carolina Personal Injury Lawyer Blog that one of these recalls involved a New England compounding pharmacy that produced injectable steroids that ended up sickening 650 people and killing at least 40.

Another recall involved the cholesterol drug Lipitor, when batches manufactured in India were found to have been contaminated with glass.

Those two recalls alone affected millions of people. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has often proven ineffective in releasing timely information about the potential risks of certain medications, as the agency often relies on manufacturers to self-report problems. Unsurprisingly, not many are eager to do so.

It's important for you as a consumer to understand too that just because a drug company has issued a recall, that firm is not free of liability if you have suffered some illness or injury as a result. Ultimately, these businesses are still responsible for the harm they cause.

As you strive to be a smart consumer, it's important to understand that there are actually three different categories of recalls - Class I, Class II and Class III.

Class I recalls are the most egregious, meaning use or consumption could result in serious harm or death. (The New England steroid recall was a Class I.)

Class II recalls are those issued when use of a drug could result in a temporarily adverse effect to your health.

Class III recalls are those in which the medicine may not have been produced according to certain standards, but it's unlikely to cause you harm.

So far this year, the FDA has announced two Class I recalls.

One of those involved a drug called Ferrous Sulfate, which is a natural iron supplement given to those with iron deficiencies. It was discovered that least one lot that was produced actually contained Meclizine HCI, which is an antihistamine that when taken in large doses has the potential to cause impaired alertness, confusion, low blood pressure, breathing trouble, coma and even death.

The second Class I recall announced so far this year involved a drug called Mitosol, a drug used to treat glaucoma, after the manufacturer alerted the FDA that some of the batches were found to have contained yeast, and were therefore possibly not sterile.

Keep in mind, though, the FDA's website might not always contain up-to-date information. If you are concerned about whether a medication you are taking may have been recalled, ask your pharmacist to confirm before you consume another dose. Most pharmacies will offer you replacement medications if the one you are taking has been recalled.

And if you have suffered some serious negative side effect as a result of taking a drug that has been recalled or that is later recalled, contact a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible, as you may be entitled to compensation for what you have endured.

Continue reading "South Carolina Injury Lawyers Warn of Thousands of Drug Recalls Annually" »

January 8, 2013

Propane Gas Grills Put You at Risk for Burn Injuries


On December 11, 2012, ESPN anchor Hannah Storm suffered first and second degree burns in an accident with a propane grill. The release of the pictures of the anchorwoman's burn injuries on Yahoo Sports draws attention to the dangers of propane grill accidents. 1383269_juicy_steaks_just_picked_up_from_a_barbecue_.jpg

Our Charlotte personal injury attorneys were glad to see that Storm has recovered after her propane grill accident and was back to hosting the Rose Parade on New Year's. We urge everyone using a propane grill to look upon Storm's accident as an important reminder of the dangers that a propane grill can present.

The Risks of Using a Propane Grill
Propane grills are a popular backyard item that many homeowners have for barbequing or cooking a quick meal. Unfortunately, propane grills are not harmless and they aren't risk free. In fact, according to the National Fire Protection Association, approximately 6,900 house fires were caused by propane grills between 2005 and 2009.

Because propane grills require a fuel source -- which normally takes the form of refillable liquid propane containers attached to the grill-- a lot can go wrong. If there is a defect in the propane fuel container or in the grill itself, a gas leak can occur, pressure can build, gas could ignite and a devastating accident could happen.

Hannah Storm was the victim of just such an accident with her propane grill. The ESPN anchor was cooking dinner on her grill when she noticed that it had gone off. She turned off the grill and re-lit the gas, causing an explosion to occur. Flames roared into her face, burning off her eyebrows, her eyelashes and half of her hair. She also suffered first-degree burns on her face and on her neck and second degree burns on her chest as she tore off her burning shirt. The explosion from the grill accident was so loud and forceful that the doors were blown off the grill and her neighbor reported that it sounded like a tree had fallen through the house roof.

Avoiding Propane Grill Accidents
Although propane grills are inherently dangerous due to the risks associated with propane, they can be used safely when appropriate precautions are taken (and when do defects are present). These precautions need to be taken not just by homeowners and individuals using grills but also by grill manufacturers and by those who manufacture, sell or refill propane tanks. In fact, it is the manufacturers and distributors who are in the best position to avoid propane grill accidents by making sure that they do not release a dangerous or defective product to unsuspecting consumers.

Consumers can do their part in staying safe by following some tips provided by the National Propane Gas Association, which include making sure to use the grill outside in a well-ventilated space; following the instructions provided by the manufacturer and always having the manuals accessible; and storing all gas cylinders outside and upright. However, these steps only go so far and can't protect users if there is a defect or problem with the grill or propane tank. As such, manufacturers and distributors are the ones who must ultimately take responsibility in ensuring the safety of propane grills for home use.

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December 21, 2012

Toy Safety Tips This Holiday Season


During the holidays, kids often receive many toys from friends or family as gifts. While this should be a joyous occasion, sometimes the influx of new products into the house creates an unintentional risk. The problem is that some of the toys coming into the home might be dangerous and may present a risk to the children who play with them.

Our Charlotte personal injury attorneys urge parents to exercise extra vigilance around the holiday and to take the necessary steps to make sure their children aren't put at risk. Learning about toy recalls, making sure that toys are age appropriate and monitoring play with new toys can all be important to help keep kids from becoming the victims of injuries caused by defective toys over the holiday season. 1076955_vibrant_gift.jpg

The Risks of Toy Injuries
The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) released a report in 2010 that indicated that toy recalls are down and that toys may no longer be linked to as many fatalities. In fact, their report seemed to present a lot of goods news for parents. It indicated, for example, that there were only 44 toy recalls in 2010. This is significantly less than the 172 toy recalls that occurred in 2008 and also reflects a small reduction from 2009 when there were 50 toys recalled. The number of deaths caused by defective toys has also been reduced- only 15 kids died in 2009 down from 24 fatalities in 2007 and 2008.

The news isn't all good though. CPSC reports indicated that there had been an increase in the number of ER visits related to toys, although many of those visits may have involved injuries caused by play with the toys and not necessarily by toy defects.

The Greensboro local Fox 8 News, however, has information for parents that may be more alarming. Fox News 8 reported that the U.S. Public Interest Research Group had released an annual Trouble in Toyland report and had found potential problems with more than 200 toys. Issues included a Dora toy guitar that exceeded permissible noise limits, for example, while a dragster car had a tiny warning label and small parts, thus creating a choking risk for children.

Protecting Your Child
The undisputed fact remains that there are still dangerous toys on the market and that the holiday season is a time when your child may be at the greatest risk since there tend to be more toys coming into the house during this season than during other times of the year.

Parents who want to protect their children should make sure that they check the CPSC website that posts up-to-date information on toy recalls and recall news. Parents should also be sure to take a close look at toys that they purchase or that are given to their children. In assessing whether a toy is appropriate to play with, parents should consider whether it is safe given the child's age and whether there are any parts or pieces of the toy that could create a risk.

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