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Gair, Gair, Conason, Rubinowitz, Bloom, Hershenhorn, Steigman & Mackauf is a New York Plaintiff's personal injury law firm specializing in automobile accidents, construction accidents, medical malpractice, products liability, police misconduct and all types of New York personal injury litigation.

Articles Posted in Product Liability

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person-holding-hand-sanitizer-396233175 dangerous hand sanitizers that are being sold at major retailers such as CVS, Wallmart and others have been recalled by the FDA. The dangerous products contained methanol, also known as wood alcohol. When absorbed by the skin or swallowed, methanol can lead to severe injury such as blindness neurological damage or even death. The FDA has received several reports of consumers including children who suffered personal injury or died  after being exposed to these dangerous products.

Please check your hand sanitizer  and make sure it is not part of the list released by the FDA.

Some of the products recalled were sold under the following brands: Good Gel, Lavar 70, Saniderm, CleanCare, All-Clean and Eskbiochem. All these brands are manufactured by the same Mexican company Eskbiochem SA de CV.

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Johnson and Johnson talcThe sale of a dangerous product that has been used for years by American families and women is being discontinued in the US and in Canada. Johnson & Johnson announced yesterday that it was removing its talc based baby powder from the market. The decision to remove this product from the store shelves is coming after thousands of women sued the company claiming the powder that was tainted with asbestos was responsible for their ovarian cancer.

Johnsons & Johnson always denied the claims and announced in a statement yesterday that its decision to remove the talc baby powder from the market was based on a decline in sale that was due to changing consumer habits and a misinformation campaign about the safety of the product.

While the company  always defended publicly that the baby powder was safe, internal documents dating from as early as 1973 and produced by attorneys in lawsuits,  indicate that the company was worried about the carcinogenic effects of the product. A company official wrote in a memo “If Johnson’s Baby Powder contained asbestos at a concentration of 1 percent, how much of the cancer-causing substance might a baby inhale when dusted with the powder?”

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Happy family at homeThe Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) just released  recommendations on how families can make sure nobody gets injured by dangerous products or other hazards while staying at home during the Coronavirus crisis. The agency highlights specific hazards related to children, seniors and the whole family globally.

Fire, poisoning and drowning are among the most common causes of accidents in the house

As families are staying home, several fires erupted in New York City over the last few days. On Saturday, 6 people and a firefighter were injured in a basement fire in Brooklyn including one critically injured and another one in serious condition. This morning two people were critically injured and several others became homeless after a fire ravaged an apartment in the Bronx.
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Some hand sanitizers manufacturers are making  false and misleading claims on their label that their products kill 99.99% of illness causing germs.
Washing your hands with water and soap remains the best way to protect yourself from getting Coronavirus. However if you need to use a hand sanitizer in some instances where you can’t wash your hands please make sure that your hand sanitizer contains at least 60% of alcohol.
Hand sanitizers using benzalkonium chloride instead of alcohol  might not protect you effectively despite what they claim on their label according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Using the product might be better than not doing anything but non alcoholic hand sanitizers will not kill the germ but merely reduce its growth.
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package-delivery-1243499_640Defectives products are being sold on Amazon by third party vendors and the current Amazon policy is to decline any responsibility for defective merchandise sold by these vendors. Defective products sold on Amazon have lead to serious injuries and deaths.  A man who bought a motorcycle helmet that was out of compliance with federal safety standards died after the helmet came off in an accident.  Amazon settled the case for $5,000 and refused to accept any responsibility.

In another case, a third party seller sold a defective hover board to a family in Nashville. The defective hover board caught fire and the house burned down while two children jumped out of the window to escape death. In court papers it was proven that Amazon knew that the product was defective but didn’t prevent the third party  vendor from selling it. An appeals court ruled that under state product liability law Amazon was not the seller but allowed the plaintiff’s claim of negligence against Amazon to go to trial.

Recent decision indicates Amazon could be held liable for defective products sold by third party vendors

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ToyotaA potentially defective fuel pump in some Toyota and Lexus models manufactured between 2013 and 2018 may cause the vehicle to stop operating. The defect was previously reported in January and 700,000 were recalled at that time. Yesterday the manufacturer announced that it was expanding the recall for the same defect to a total of 1.8 million vehicles. The models recalled are:

  • 2013-2015 Model Year Lexus LS 460;
  • 2013-2014 Model Year Lexus GS 350;
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Booster-seatBooster seats are considered dangerous for children who weigh less than 40 pounds but the manufacturer of the “Big Kid” Booster seat doesn’t care. Despite several lawsuits settled with parents whose child suffered internal decapitation or traumatic brain injuries because the booster seat did not protect them adequately from side impact, the manufacturer continues to pretend its booster seat is safe for children over 30 pounds. The reason for doing so is purely motivated by profit and no regulation in the US is preventing the manufacturer to do so. In Canada where regulations are stricter the same booster seat is deemed safe for children over 40 pounds.

Evenflo executive put profit ahead of safety

A recent investigation by Propublica found that executives at Evenflo were asked several times by one of their safety engineers to stop selling their “Big Kid” booster seats to children who weighted less than 40 pounds. The engineer told executives that by raising the minimum weight to 40 pounds instead of 30 the company would align with the American Academy of Pediatrics’ recommendations and match Canadian regulations. His recommendations were vetoed by a marketing executive.

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doctors-wearing-gown-inside-room-operationHospitals all over the US are cancelling elective and non emergency surgeries as they are facing a shortage of surgical gowns after one of the main providers in the country, Cardinal Health, announced  a voluntary recall of 9.1 million defective surgical gowns.

The sterility of the gowns might have been compromised

The recall includes “AAMI Level 3 surgical gowns that have been produced in unapproved locations that did not maintain proper environmental conditions as required by law, were not registered with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and were not qualified by Cardinal Health”. The sterility of these gowns might have been compromised. Level 3 surgical gowns are commonly used in emergency rooms, in trauma cases, when inserting IVs or during arterial blood drawn. They protect hospital workers and patients from infections and illnesses.

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A lack of of FDA inspections abroad may result in unsafe drugs for patients.
60% of the drugs sold on the American market are coming from foreign countries and 80% of their ingredients are also coming from abroad manufacturing facilities.
As a result the FDA send inspectors abroad to make sure drugs are manufactured in a safe environment. In 2018, 57% of the FDA drug inspections occurred in foreign countries mostly China and India.
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Bed sleeper12 children died in the US after parents used a bed sleeper. Bed sleepers seem to be a convenient solution for parents who want to be close to their babies at night and especially for mothers during nighttime breastfeeding. However a recent article from Consumer Reports indicates that because there are no federal safety standards regulations for this category of products, they might not be safe. Some of them do feature dangerous features for young babies such as padding and soft surfaces that can lead to suffocation if the baby’s face comes in contact with them. The 12 deaths recorded between 2012 and 2018 were related to the following models:

  • The Baby Delight Snuggle Nest Infant Sleeper is responsible for the deaths of 3 children.
  • 2 children died while they were sleeping in the The SwaddleMe By Your Side Sleeper