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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The headquarter of Philips in AmsterdamThe situation involving Philips and its decision to halt the sale of new sleep therapy and respiratory care devices in the U.S., as part of a consent decree with the FDA, raises serious concerns from a product liability perspective. This move, necessitated by significant quality issues that led to a massive recall of over 15 million devices, underscores a critical lapse in Philips’ quality control and regulatory compliance mechanisms. The revelation of such extensive quality problems not only erodes consumer trust but also exposes Philips to substantial legal and financial risks.

The consent decree, while a step toward remediation, highlights a reactive rather than proactive approach to product safety. The necessity for such an agreement reflects a failure in Philips’ internal processes to ensure the safety and efficacy of their products before they reach consumers. The impact of these failures is not trivial, considering the potential health risks to users of sleep therapy and respiratory care devices. Such situations demand rigorous scrutiny, as they can lead to severe health consequences for individuals relying on these medical devices for critical care.

The financial implications of the recall and the consent decree, including a significant provision of 363 million euros, indicate the scale of the impact on Philips’ operations. However, beyond the financial toll, there’s a broader consideration regarding the damage to the company’s reputation and the potential erosion of trust among healthcare providers and patients. This trust is paramount in the healthcare sector, where the stakes involve patient health and safety.

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Orla Baxendale lost her life due to anaphylactic shock resulting from a severe allergic reaction to a cookie manufactured by Cookies UnitedAs the legal representatives of Órla Baxendale, it is with profound sorrow and heavy hearts that we, at Gair, Gair, Conason, Rubinowitz, Bloom, Hershenhorn, Steigman & Mackauf, confirm the tragic passing of Órla Baxendale on January 11, 2024. Órla, a talented dancer, was just 25 years old when her life was cut short due to anaphylactic shock resulting from a severe allergic reaction.

Órla’s passing stemmed from an unfortunate incident involving the consumption of a cookie manufactured by Cookies United and sold by Stew Leonard’s, which contained undisclosed peanuts. This tragic oversight has led to the recall of the Vanilla Florentine Cookies from Stew Leonard’s stores in Danbury and Newington, CT, for the period of November 6 – December 31, 2023.

Preliminary investigation has revealed that Órla’s death occurred due to the gross negligence and reckless conduct of the manufacturer and/or sellers who failed to properly identify the contents of the cookie on the packaging. This failure in proper disclosure has led to this devastating yet preventable outcome.

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Some Tesla vehicles are being recalledTesla, the electric vehicle pioneer, is recalling more than 2 million vehicles in the United States. This recall comes after a thorough investigation by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) found that Tesla’s Autopilot safety system was “not sufficient to prevent driver misuse.”

The recall affects a wide range of Tesla models, including the 2012-2023 Model S, 2016-2023 Model X, 2017-2023 Model 3, and 2020-2023 Model Y, all equipped with Autosteer, a feature that Tesla describes as “traffic-aware cruise control.” According to the recall notice, in certain circumstances when Autosteer is engaged, the controls may not be sufficient to prevent driver misuse.

Autosteer is designed to maintain speed, detect lane markings, and monitor the presence of other vehicles. However, Tesla emphasizes that drivers must keep their hands on the steering wheel and be prepared to take immediate action while using the feature.

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plastic syringes can be defective
The Food and Drug Administration’s recent focus on the potential quality issues of plastic syringes manufactured in China has sent ripples through the healthcare and legal communities. As product liability and medical malpractice attorneys, we are closely monitoring this situation, which raises significant concerns about patient safety and the legal implications for manufacturers, healthcare providers, and consumers.

The FDA’s investigation was sparked by reports of quality issues with several Chinese manufacturers. The primary concerns include leaks, breakages, and the inability of these syringes to deliver the correct dose of medication. These issues are not just minor inconveniences but potential hazards that could lead to serious medical complications.

The FDA’s advice to healthcare providers and consumers to consider using non-Chinese manufactured syringes where possible highlights the gravity of the situation. For healthcare providers, this advisory necessitates a review of their supply chains and a potential shift in procurement strategies. Consumers, particularly those who rely on syringes for chronic conditions, are now faced with the additional burden of verifying the origin of their medical supplies.

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Best Law Firm in product Liability Medical Malpractice and Personal InjuryWe are delighted to announce that for the 14th consecutive year, our firm has earned a spot as a Tier 1 Firm in New York City by U.S. News – Best Lawyers® “Best Law Firms” in the following categories:

  • Personal Injury Litigation – Plaintiff
  • Medical Malpractice Litigation – Plaintiff
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Defective-Philips-Resironics-Devices-1In a startling revelation brought to light by the investigative efforts of ProPublica and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the Philips Respironics case has unveiled a disturbing narrative of corporate negligence. Over an 11-year period, this medical device manufacturer concealed mounting evidence of serious issues with its breathing machines, placing profit above patient safety.

In 2010, Philips Respironics, a renowned manufacturer of breathing machines used globally in homes and hospitals, made a pivotal decision to redesign its best-selling devices. The intention was to eliminate an annoying rattle that kept users awake at night. However, this seemingly well-intentioned decision led to a cascade of problems that has left countless individuals in distress and brought the company under intense scrutiny.

To dampen the irritating noise issue, Philips opted for an industrial foam, akin to what you might find in your sofa or mattress. Little did they know that this choice would prove catastrophic. Reports began to emerge, describing “black particles,” “dirt and dust,” and even an “oily-like” substance within the breathing machines. Users were sounding the alarm about “contamination,” signaling that something was seriously amiss.

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Best Lawyers 2024 a global triumph for our personal injury law firmIn the dynamic and ever-evolving world of law, few accomplishments resonate as profoundly as those that redefine excellence itself. Today marks a significant milestone for all of us at Gair, Gair, Conason, Rubinowitz, Bloom, Hershenhorn, Steigman & Mackauf, as we celebrate the exceptional achievements of our Managing Partner, Ben Rubinowitz who was named “Lawyer of the Year” twice by The Best Lawyers in America (2024 Edition) in “Personal Injury Law – Plaintiff in New York City” and “Product Liability Law – Plaintiff in New York City. Ben was also included in the 2024 edition of Best Lawyers® Medical Malpractice Law and Legal Malpractice Law – Plaintiffs in New York, New York.

This remarkable recognition for Ben Rubinowitz is a testament to the collective ethos of Gair, Gair, Conason, Rubinowitz, Bloom, Hershenhorn, Steigman & Mackauf. 11 other of our NYC Personal Injury Attorneys have been acknowledged in the Best Lawyers® 2024 list and the “Ones to Watch” list, exemplifying our commitment to excellence and ethical standards.

7 attorneys were named “Best Lawyers” in multiple practices:

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defective-evo-ventilatorRecent recalls by Philips have highlighted the importance of product liability and patient safety in the healthcare sector. The latest recall involves approximately 57,000 Evo ventilators due to issues with the machines’ air flow sensors.

Philips’ Respironics unit has faced a series of recalls since 2021, initially related to soundproofing foam used in its sleep apnea devices and ventilators. The Evo ventilator, designed for hospital and professional care settings, is now undergoing its second Class I recall in recent months. The recent recall, labeled as Class I by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), highlights the severity of the issue.

Reasons for Recall

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Health-Technoogy-Hazards-scaledWhile health technology is often synonymous with progress, some medical devices can be dangerous and lead to patient injury and death. Every, year the ECRI Institute compiles a list of the 10 most hazardous technologies in healthcare. This year the Top 10 health hazards are:

1. Confusing recalls of at-home medical devices

This health hazard arises from Philips’ chaotic recall of defective respirators that cost the lives of hundreds of  at home patients suffering from sleep apnea.  Between April 2021 and October 2022, the FDA received 260 reports of  patients who died while using the Philips respirator. The device was recalled but the manufacturer contacted mostly healthcare providers which were supposed to pass the information to their patients. The process was chaotic and many patients were never proprely informed. As a result, they continued to use the defective device and died. Some patients were contacted directly by the manufacturer, but the notification was unclear. The language was technological jargon that patients did not understand proprely.