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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Defective software may delay the deployment of the airbags in case of a rollover accident in the 2013-2014 model-year Escapes. Therefore Ford Motor is recalling 692,487 vehicles in North America to fix the glitch.

Ford also announced the recall of 692,744 2013-2014-MY Escapes because they may have defective handles that may prevent the doors from latching properly, posing a safety risk when the car is in motion. Dealers will inspect the door handles and re-position them if necessary.

The majority of the recalled Escapes are at risk for both problems – the air bag software glitch and the faulty door handle.

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New%20York%20Judge%20Robert%20Gerber.jpgThe GM restructuring plan approved by Judge Gerber in New York in 2009 protects the automaker from product liability lawsuits related to incidents that happened before July 10th 2009, the date when the restructuring agreement went into effect.

Yesterday GM filed a motion with the Federal Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York asking Judge Robert Gerber (picture), the United States Bankruptcy Court Judge from the Southern District of New York, who presided over the General Motors bankruptcy of June 2009, to explicitly enforce this plan by dismissing 54 cases.

The move may save GM a lot of money but it also carries some risks. A coalition of 8 class-action plaintiffs countered with a lawsuit in the same court seeking to void that part of the restructuring agreement and accusing General Motors of committing bankruptcy fraud by not disclosing potential liabilities from the faulty switch.

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When a Personal Injury Lawyer is representing a plaintiff in a Product Liability case he usually works with a team of experts including engineers who will have to demonstrate that the injuries or the death of the plaintiff were the result of a defective design in the product or a flaw in the manufacturing of the defective product.

In a perfect world manufacturers supervised by regulatory agencies would be making sure that the products they sell are not in any way defective or dangerous to consumers. In reality manufacturers tend to put profits before safety and underfunded regulatory agencies are often too weak to assume their mandate of protecting the consumer.

29 year old Brooke Melton was driving a 2005 General Motors Chevrolet Cobalt when the engine suddenly shut off causing an accident that resulted in her death.

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Babylog%20VN500.jpg The optional PS500 Power Supply Unit used with the Evita V500 and Babylog VN500 ventilators is defective and is being recalled by Dräger. The defective device may not indicate a low battery charge until the battery is totally depleted. When the battery is depleted, mechanical ventilation will stop and manual ventilation will be required until the device is connected to the main power. The company investigated the defective product after it received complaints that found that the batteries installed in the PS500 depleted much earlier than expected, although the battery indicator showed a significantly charged battery. No patient injuries have been reported so far.

For more info read the FDA press release and visit our product liability and defective products page

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1.18 million mid-sized crossovers are being recalled because a defective wiring harness of seat-mounted side airbags may prevent the side airbags from deploying. Another 303,000 full size vans are also being recalled to replace plastic material in the passenger instrument panel to meet federal head-impact crash standards for unbelted passengers and finally 63,9000 XTS models are also recalled because a brake booster pump wiring issue can lead to overheating, melting of plastic parts and a possible engine compartment fire.

Read more in Reuters

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Documents related to the product liability lawsuits against J&J’s transvaginal mesh show that Vincente Lucent, a well-known urogynocologist who was paid $800,000 over 10 years by J&J, may have influenced the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists into changing the language of the product guidelines in their bulletin and have the word “experimental” removed.

Other documents related to the product liability lawsuits also indicate that that J&J tried to influence research papers by giving $750,000 to a Swedish University that was conducting a clinical trial of a transvaginal mesh procedure. The company tried to convince the professor who was doing the trial to sign a contract that would give J&J control of the trial but the professor refused.

Read more in the Wall Street Journal

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General-Motors-Ignition-Switch.jpgAs GM is facing multiple product liability lawsuits related to the defective ignition switch and the late recall of several of its models, the Center for Auto Safety, a private watchdog group in Washington just published a review that questions the efficiency of the NHTSA in detecting the problem.
According to the review , “the examination of NHTSA’s Fatal Analysis Reporting System (FARS) reveals 303 deaths of front seat occupants in the recalled 2005-07 Cobalts and 2003-07 Ions where the airbag failed to deploy in non-rear impact crashes”.

Read more in the New York Times

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Two Summons with Notice have been filed in The New York County Supreme Court alleging that GE’s failure to properly design and maintain the Fukushima plant hurt more than 100,000 people. Lead plaintiff Mitsuru Okura demands at least $3 million per plaintiff and the second plaintiffs Sasaki Body Ltd. and Mihana Ltd are seeking $5 million in damages per class member. If successful these class actions could wipe out GE whose market capitalization is estimated at $260 billion.

Okura claims that GE’s negligence caused the explosion and the meltdown at the plant and that the radiation released from this accident caused class members “personal injury, mental anguish, emotional distress, property damage, business interruption, loss of business, loss of income, economic injuries, and ongoing long-term physical, mental and emotional health problems,”

Read more in the Court House News Service

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A defect in Chrysler’s Ready Alert Braking system is causing a diminished break pedal feel in the 2012-2013 Jeep Grand Cherokee and Dodge Durango models. The defect didn’t lead to any accidents or injuries as Chrysler pointed out that the brake function was never lost nor was it out of compliance with regulations. The recall affects more than 25,000 cars in North America.

Chrysler also announced a separate recall for its 2014 Fiat 500L model because of a glitch in the transmission software that prevents some vehicles from shifting readily out of park. No accident nor injury have been reported. The fix consists of a software update and affects a little less than 20,000 cars in North America with some 20% of them remaining on dealer lots.

Read more in the Washington Post

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Ventricular_assist_device.png4 patients died and 5 others suffered significant personal injury after Thoratec, a heart device manufacturer launched an updated version of a left ventricular assist device (LVAD), the HeartMate II LVAS, without providing sufficient information and training to patients and caregivers especially those who were originally trained on the older model.
The manufacturer issued a worldwide Urgent Medical Device Correction Letter to update its labeling and training material regarding the use of the HeartMate II® LVAS Pocket System Controller. The FDA issued a safety alert urging patients who are using the HeartMate II LVAS Pocket Controller to immediately contact their doctor for retraining and receive updated information on how to properly use the pump.

Read more in MarketWatch