Recently in Defective Products Category

September 30, 2015

Study: Correlation Between Product Safety and CEO Stock Options

A new study conducted by researchers at the Mendoza College of Business at Notre Dame suggests there is a noteworthy correlation between offering substantial stock options to the CEO and future product recalls.
Published in the Strategic Management Journal, the findings indicate that these stock options, which are often used by boards of directors as a way to encourage CEOs to go after high-risk initiatives, can quite often result in a higher percentage of safety problems.

From the board's standpoint, they want higher-risk initiatives that have the possibility of earning their shareholders more money. But CEOs tend to naturally be naturally more reticent to take chances. Stock option pay is one way boards try to balance this tendency.

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September 23, 2015

Newly-Uncovered Asbestos Liability Could Cost Chemical Company

When Germany-based chemical company BASF acquired a manufacturing firm nine years ago for $5 billion, it was aware that had been prior product liability cases against the company for asbestos exposure.
The smaller firm had been in the talc-mining business, and as the years wore on, those who worked in the mines, their family members and some in the public began to get sick. Some filed lawsuit once they learned that there was asbestos in the mine, which causes a number of latent diseases, primarily mesothelioma, asbestosis, COPD and lung cancer.

In the early 1980s, the company was sued by an individual who alleged they were harmed by the asbestos in the mines. During the deposition phase of the proceedings, officials with the company conceded there was asbestos in the mines. However, soon after that, before the case could go to trial, the company entered a confidential settlement agreement. The records were sealed. And from that point forward, the line from the company and its legal team was that there was no asbestos in the mines.

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September 14, 2015

$3.5 Million Product Liability Verdict Reversed

Those who work within the manufacturing industry often rely heavily on large machinery to help them do their jobs. They have a right to expect those machines were thoughtfully designed and carefully manufactured so as to keep workers who use them safe.
When that does not happen, workers usually have two options of civil remedy. The first is workers' compensation benefits. Workers file these through their employer to cover their medical costs and a portion of lost wages while they recover. Critical injuries may warrant longer-term benefits, and a death usually entitles dependent relatives to workers' compensation death benefits. Workers cannot additionally sue their employers for negligence. Workers' compensation is almost always an exclusive remedy against an employer, as well as co-workers.

The second option for recovery is third-party liability. When a work-related accident was the result of a defective or dangerous machine, careful analysis by an experienced injury lawyer can help determine whether this is a viable option. These cases are often complicated, and, as the recent case of Kirkbride v. Terex USA reveals, they can present significant challenges. But when they are successful, injured workers may have the security of lifelong financial stability, with covered medical expenses and compensation for loss of earning capacity.

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September 4, 2015

Bradley v. Ameristep Inc. - Tree Stand Injury Lawsuit to Proceed

One would think the most dangerous aspect of hunting would be the firearm. Or perhaps even the wild animals. But in fact, one of the leading causes of injury for hunters is the tree stand.
Tree stands - also sometimes referred to as "deer stands" are platforms used by hunters. They are secured to the tree in order to raise the hunter up higher for a better vantage point.

However, there are many cases every year in which a hunter falls from one of these stands, resulting in severe or sometimes even catastrophic injuries. Not all tree stand falls may be ripe for litigation. But if the reason the hunter fell has to do with a defective design of the tree stand product, compensation from the manufacturer may well be in order.

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August 17, 2015

Cooper v. Takeda Pharmaceuticals - Actos Lawsuit Decided in Plaintiff Favor

When we take medication prescribed by our doctors, we assume those products are as safe as possible and that any known risks will be disclosed so that we can make informed decisions.
Unfortunately, that isn't always the case. Pharmaceutical companies routinely market their drugs for off-label purposes, and they don't always warn of the potential dangers of this.

This was the case in Cooper v. Takeda Pharmaceuticals, where a jury in California granted $6.5 million to plaintiffs in this product liability case against the maker of the diabetes drug Actos. Despite the verdict, the judge in the case granted a judgment notwithstanding verdict in favor of defendants, after deciding to strike the testimony of plaintiffs' expert witness post-trial.

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June 23, 2015

Xarelto Lawsuit Alleges Failure to Disclose Bleeding Risks

Lawsuits against a blood-thinning drug manufacturer are piling up fast. One of the latest to join a multi-district litigation in the Eastern District of Louisiana involving so far 250 complaints pertaining to the drug Xarelto is one that alleges a host of negligence claims in her 90-count complaint. stethascope3.jpg

Among the defendants are Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical Research, Janssen Ortho LLC, Bayer Healthcare Pharmaceuticals and others.

The complaint alleges defendants manufactured Xarelto and marketed it as a safe and effective treatment in diminishing the risk of stroke and systemic embolism. However, plaintiff asserts the manufacturers became aware during drug trials that the drug increased the risk of dangerous internal bleeding. Defendants touted the benefits of the drug as outlined in a series of other studies, while failing to similarly highlight the dangers discovered in other studies - specifically the risk of gastrointestinal bleeding and and bleeding so severe it required blood transfusions.

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June 12, 2015

Dre Beats Speaker Recalled Due to Burn Hazard

In recent years, wearing large studio style headphones has become extremely popular. One of the main brands people associate with the popular trend is Dre Beats, which were first marketed by hip-hop recording artist and music producer Dr. Dre. Various recording artists, athletes, and Hollywood celebrities are using these headphones, and, as a result, these fairly expensive (around $200 to $400 a pair) headphones have been flying off the shelves of electronic stores, and Apple recently acquired the brand.

stereovision-491558-m.jpgAccording to a recent article from Sound Guys, Apple has announced it will be voluntarily recalling its Dre Beats Pill XL due to problems with "overheating." Overheating is a relative term, since there have been allegations that the units heated up to the point where people were burned, and the products actually caught on fire.

First, it should be noted, the Beats Pill XL is a pill-shaped speaker, and not a pair of headphones like the other Dre Beats products, which people actually wear on their person. While the reports have ranged from minor overheating to physical burns, Apple has stated it does not want to take any chance with regard to customer safety and has voluntarily recalled the entire run of production for this item.

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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.
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:


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