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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 Tagged with defective product

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A defective moped lithium battery is at the origin of a fire that killed 9 year old Remi Fernandez in his new apartment in Queens. Remi had just moved with his parents into a new apartment located on 102nd Road near 84th Street in  Ozone Park, Queens, when a fire that was sparked by the battery of a moped charging in the apartment erupted around 2:00 am while the family was sleeping. Remi’s father suffered burn injuries as he was trying to rescue his little boy from their basement apartment. The apartment where the family had just moved in had no smoke alarm. The basement had been illegally converted into an apartment.  The rest of the building was deemed unsafe by the Department of Buildings and all residents had to be evacuated. 10 other people including a firefighter were injured and transported to the hospital to be treated.

55 fires caused by defective lithium ion batteries over the last 12 months in New York City

Fire caused by defective lithium-ion batteries are on the rise in New York City. According to the NY Daily News, there were 55 fires caused by these types of batteries in New York City between August 1st 2020 and August 1st 2021 compared to 22 for the same period a year earlier.  Sadly Remi is not the first victim to die in one of these fires. Last May in the Bronx, a 91 year old woman died and 11 people were injured in a fire sparked by a defective lithium battery in the third floor apartment of a six-story building in the Bronx. Earlier in January, a   scooter charging in the living room of a Bronx apartment was at the origin of another fire that killed one and injured 12 others.

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Ventricular_assist_device (1)Medtronic stopped the sale of the defective HeartWare Ventricular Assist Device, or HVAD last June after more than 3,000 patients died and 20,000 were injured.

Since 2011, multiple problems with the device have been reported to the Food and Drug Administration but the agency never took any decisive action to make sure the manufacturer  fixed the problems. The FDA and its Center for Devices and Radiological Health are in charge of making sure that medical devices are safe and effective for patients however as we highlighted in a previous blog, the agency policy is too accommodating with manufacturers. It has the power to seize products or to issue fines but rarely uses it.

In the case of the HeartWare Ventricular Assist Device, the FDA knew about issues with the product as early as 2011 when the product was developed by the parent company HeartWare and was seeking FDA approval. An inspector mentioned in its report that engineers were not reviewing documents fully before approving them and that the employee assigned to quality control did not have sufficient training. The company told the FDA they would take corrective actions.

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16 people were injured after a defective pedal on their peloton bike broke. Five of them required medical care such as stiches in their lower leg.  Peloton Interactive, Inc. a New York based company, received so far 120 complaints of defective pedal and announced on October 15 that it was recalling the PR70P Clip-In Pedals fitted on Peloton bikes  which were sold between July 2013 and May 2016. The potentially defective pedal has a orange logo and the name Peloton is printed in white letters next to it.  It was manufactured in Taiwan. While Peloton recommend consumers change their pedals every year, consumers who bought the PR70P Clip-In Pedals are being notified directly by the company that will let them know how they can receive free pedals with accompanying instructions on how to install them.

5,700 defective Extension Cord Splitters sold by Homerygardens at Walmart and Amazon.com recalled the same day

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MASKAre KN95 masks provided to healthcare workers reliable? The high demand of N95 masks has disrupted the usual supply chain. Therefore hospitals and other healthcare facilities had to turn to non traditional suppliers of PPE here in the US or in other countries. While things are not as bad as they used to be at the beginning of the covid-19 crisis, disruptions still occur and a lot a unscrupulous manufacturers are trying to sell counterfeit or defective products to hospitals.

When turning to non traditional suppliers how can healthcare providers make sure that they are buying masks that will protect their workers?

The ECRI institute recently published a video with recommendations form experts on how to vet a new mask supplier.  Here are the top 10 recommendations:

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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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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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one of the vehicles recalledIn April 2016, Polaris recalled a potentially defective recreational off-highway vehicle so it could be repaired. The model recalled was the Polaris RZR. The company recalled it after they received more than 160 complaints that some of the RZR models caught fire as consumers were driving. A 15 year old passenger died and 19 people reported injuries such as first, second and third degree burns.

Last December Polaris and the Consumer Product Safety Commission announced that after the repair consumers continued to report fires. These fires have caused death, serious injury and property damage. Additionally new models launched by the company in 2017 have also experienced fires.

If you, a friend or a family member owns a Polaris RZR, please stop using it and contact Polaris at 800-POLARIS or 800-765-2747 from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. CT Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. CT Saturday and Sunday or online at www.polaris.com 

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Defective Panasonic TVA potentially defective tabletop swivel stand sold with a 55-inch flat screen TV  was recently recalled by Panasonic. The Panasonic 55-inch, LED/LCD flat screen televisions with a tabletop swivel stand is a model that was sold to schools, government buildings and hotels from July 2012 through March 2014 .  The mounting screws that connect the stand to the TV can become loose and the TV can unexpectedly fall off the stand. This pose a risk of severe injury or even deaths to children.

If you see one these TVs on a swivel stand at your child’s school, at work or in a hotel please inquire if it was recalled and repaired. If it wasn’t please make sure that the  TV is detached from the stand and placed in a safe location before calling Panasonic for a free repair kit.

Panasonic indicates that so far nobody was injured.  755 models have been sold in the US and 130 in Canada. The TV is black with Panasonic printed in the front and the swivel stand is in a glossy black color and is 50 inches long. The model number for the television is TH055LRU50. It can be found on a tag on the back of the television.

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Defective Hoverboard Lazy BoardDespite the many fire accidents and injuries caused by defective lithium-ion battery packs in hoverboards, the toy remains among the most popular holiday gifts. If you or your kids own a self balancing scooter or if you are planning to buy one as a gift you should visit the Consumer  Product Safety Commission website and check on the recent Self Balancing Scooter recalls. Here are some of the most recently recalled models:

  • The Layz Board hoverboard was recently the subject of a second warning by the Consumer Product Safety Commission. According to the agency this hoverboard caused a fire on October 23, 2017, in Manchester Township, Pennsylvania, which destroyed one town home and damaged four others. The hoverboard was the object of a previous warning in May 2017 after two young girls died in a house fire caused by the Layz Board hoverboard on March 10, 2017, in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
  • Salvage World just recalled 700 Smart Balance Wheel self-balancing Scooters/Hoverboards. The battery can overheat and pose a risk of smoking, exploding or catching fire
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AirbagTakata just recalled an additional 2.7 million vehicles that may have a defective airbag. The recalls affect Ford Mazda and Nissan models from 2005 to 2012 that have a PSDI-5 PSAN airbag inflator. These types of airbags are only installed on the driver side. The PSDI-5 PSAN airbag inflators are a different type of airbag than the type of airbags recalled in the past by Takata.

The PSDI-5 PSAN airbag inflator is a desiccated inflator. Desiccated inflators contain calcium sulfate the purpose of which is to prevent the ammonium nitrate inside the airbag to deteriorate in case of humidity or high temperature. The ammonium nitrate is the most important component of the airbag. It inflates the airbag in case of  an accident. If the ammonium nitrate deteriorates, the airbag may not inflate proprely and may explode causing potential injury or death to the car driver and the passengers.

In its report to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) Takata indicates that the PSDI-5 PSAN airbag inflator posed a potential risk to the car occupants. When testing the inflator, Takata found that the amonium nitrate used to inflate the airbag was showing signs of deterioration and could lead to a breakage over time. However Takata  also indicates that so far in all the testing conducted none of the inflators tested broke off.