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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dangerous sleeper recalledThe Fisher Price rock’n play sleeper is dangerous as babies not only can roll over when unrestrained but they can also suffocate or die from strangulation. A recent investigation by Consumer Reports found that at least 32 babies died in accidents that occurred while they were resting in the Rock’n Play sleeper. A few days after the investigation was published, Fisher Price announced that it was recalling all 4.7 million Rock and Play sleepers.

Rock’n Play sleepers are inclined padded sleepers that automatically rock the babies to put them asleep. The product requires the baby to be inclined on its back and to be restrained which the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) doesn’t recommend. Safe sleep guidelines from the AAP recommend that babies be put in their bed alone on their back on a firm flat mattress, free form soft bedding.

Positional Asphixia

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Texting while driving can killApple recently dodged several  product liability lawsuits from families of victims of distracted driving crashes. The lawsuits claimed that Apple not only is aware that the Iphone triggers dangerous compulsive behaviors in some individuals but that the company has the technological means to prevent such behavior when a cellphone user is driving.

Back in 2008, the company submitted a patent for a lockout mechanism that disabled certain phone functions such as texting that could interfere with safe driving when the user is behind the wheel. In the patent, Apple indicated that it was fully aware of the dangers of its product by writing: “Texting while driving has become so widespread that it is doubtful that law enforcement will have any significant effect on stopping the process”.  Later on in 2017 Apple briefly introduced a “Do not Disturb while Driving App”. The app had to be activated by the user and critics said that compulsive users would not be the one activating it.

Despite being aware of the danger of its product, Apple still hasn’t implemented any technology to protect innocent people from being killed on the road on a daily basis. So far all product litigation against the popular company has been dismissed.  One of the most recent ones involved the family of 5 year old Moriah Modisette.  Back in 2014, Moriah was in a car with her parents and her sister on a highway in Dallas when Garrett Wilhelm crashed into their car.  Moriah died and her parents and sister were injured. The investigation found that at the time of the accident Wilhem was chatting on FaceTime.

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JohnsonTo defend  against the nearly 15,0000 product liability lawsuits over its talc products, Imerys Talc America, a main supplier of talc for Johnson & Johnson, recently  announced that it filed for bankruptcy.  Most of the lawsuits against the company alleged that the company continued to supply its products while knowing that they could cause ovarian cancer or  asbestos-related mesothelioma.

The company, a subsidiary of the French company Imerys SA, is denying all accusations that the company knew that the talc powder that it supplied mainly to Johnson & Johnson could cause cancer.

However while filing for bankruptcy the company also mentioned a multibilllion-dollar verdict against Johnson $ Johnson that attracted a lot of attention from  the media.  Last July, 22 women obtained a $4.69 billion verdict against Johnson and Johnson on allegations that the talc powder they used was tainted with asbestos and caused ovarian cancer.

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CBD can be a dangerous productSome CBD products sold over the counter can be dangerous for consumers. A recent investigation by the New York NBC I-Team found that some CBD products contained dangerous amounts of lead and pesticides.
CBD or cannabinol oil is a molecule found in the cannabis flower which therapeutic properties have been tested and confirmed by scientists. CBD doesn’t make people high and clinical research includes studies of anxiety, cognition, movement disorders and pain. A version of the drug called Epidiolex has been approved by the FDA for the treatment of epilepsy disorders in children. Another version that contains CBD and THC was approved by Health Canada to treat neuropathic pain in multiple sclerosis and cancer related pain.

Over the counter CBD products are not controlled by the FDA

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This eloquent tribute to Mr. Schwab by Steven B. Prystowsky well sums up the life of this giant of the Bar. It is taken from the Eulogy Steven gave at his funeral. Mr. Schwab was the preeminent trial lawyer of his time in the defense of product liability cases. He died on February 4, 2019. We thank Steven for permitting us to post it.

TRIBUTE TO HAROLD SCHWAB

There is an old Talmudic saying:  

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US deaths from Methylene ChlorideMethylene Chloride is a dangerous product that has previously caused the death of many people. Short term exposure to methylene chloryde can cause mental confusion, nausea, vomiting , headache and death in the worst cases. In the long term, workers exposed to it can develop cancer, nervous system problems, toxicity in their kidney, liver and reproductive system.Major retailers such as Lowes and Home Depot have removed it from their shelves even before the EPA finalized a ban proposal that was published one day before President Obama left office.  In Europe the deadly chemical was pulled from general use in 2011.

Last May, Scott Pruit confirmed that the EPA was committed to finalize the proposed methylene chloride ban however last month the EPA drafted two new final rules that would ban the use of methylene chloryde to regular consumers but not to commercial operators.  Two new final rules drafted by the EPA allow the usage of the dangerous product for commercial use as long as the workers using it have been trained.  These rules that have not been made public yet but that have been sent by the EPA to the Office of Management and Budget have sparked the furor of public health advocates and and of congressional Democrats. This is a major step back compared to the proposed rule announced by the EPA during the Obama era.

Workers specialized in refinishing bathtubs are the most at risk of dying from Methylene Chloride exposure

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Production_of_cheeseA worker died after falling in a mixing machine in Orangeburg in Rockland County NY. Edwin Nunez, a 41 year old worker at the Icco cheese factory was found dead inside a mixing machine on January 15th around 10:30 am. According to the Daily Voice, Nunez was familiar with the machine. It was his regular assigned workstation.  The accident is being investigated by OSHA.

Industrial mixing machines can be dangerous and injuries and deaths related to mixing machine accidents are sadly not uncommon. In their investigation, OSHA inspectors will have to determine if the machine was installed in compliance with OSHA safety measures and if the worker was sufficiently protected from potential exposure to the machine hazards. The following factors are usually taken into consideration when evaluating employee exposure to industrial mixers:

  • Point of operation: was the employee performing his task from a safe location?
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regulatory robotAny company involved in the manufacturing of a product can be the subject to a product liability lawsuit if the product is defective and caused harm to a consumer. To protect consumers,  companies that are involved in product manufacturing have to make sure that they comply with the federal product safety requirements related to their product. While big corporate have their own legal department dealing with all these requirements, small business  most of the time don’t. In order to help them, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) just relaunched an improved version of a Regulatory Robot tool which can be found online or downloaded as smart phone app. After answering a few questions small businesses are provided a customized report of product safety information related to their product.

The new Regulatory Robot is much more efficient than its previous version according to the CPSC. While in the past small businesses had to answer 15 to 20 questions to get information, now most of them only need to answer 3 questions.

The Robot also speaks Chinese as well as some Spanish, Vietnamese and Indonesian.

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NYC Best Personal Injury Law Firm Congratulations to all our attorneys and staff for making our firm one of the Best Personal Injury Law Firms in New York. For the ninth consecutive year, Gair, Gair, Conason, Rubinowitz, Bloom, Hershenhorn, Steigman & Mackauf has been recognized by U.S. News Media Group, the publishers of U.S. News & World Report, and Best

Lawyers® as a top tier firm in the New York City Metropolitan Area for

  • Medical Malpractice Law – Plaintiffs
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le5 BODY CAMERAA potentially defective lithium-Ion battery in Vievu-brand LE-5  body camera led the NYPD to pull almost 3,000 body cameras from use.

The decision was made after one of the cameras worn by a Staten Island police officer exploded into flames.  The officer who was assigned to a midnight shift  in the 121st Precinct on the northwestern shore of Staten Island suddenly noticed smoke coming out of his body camera. Thankfully he wasn’t injured in the accident. He just had the time to remove the camera and to drop it on the ground in the precinct before it exploded and caught fire. After the incident, all officers wearing the same model of camera were instructed to immediately remove them and bring them back to their commands. The NYPD had around 15,000 cameras in use and only the Vievu LE-5 is being recalled. The previous version Vievu LE-4 which is also used by some of the police officers is not recalled. Officers who were wearing the LE-5 model will temporally work without body cameras.

CONTROVERSIAL DECISION