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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 product liability

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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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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
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Riding-mower-WikipediaAn alarming number of very young children have been seriously injured and some of them even died after someone, often a parent or a family member backed over them while riding a mower.  Most common injuries reported are amputations of hands, fingers, legs feet toes and limbs as well as mangled and ripped internal organs. In a recent article, Fair Warning, found 133 cases in court records since 2004 until now. Among them 8 of the victims died from their injuries. Another study in the American Journal of Emergency Medicine found that there was an average of 65 children injured every year in the US by riding mowers back-overs.

In the 1980ies after an epidemic of injuries related to walk-behind power mowers, The Consumer Product Safety Commission implemented mandatory safety standards for mowers but riding mowers were excluded from them. Some manufacturers propose riding mowers that can mow in reverse. These type of mowers are the most dangerous to young children. In 2003 after a rise of accidents a voluntary standard was adopted by lawn mower manufacturers. The standard requires that the blade immediately stops to spin when the mower riders back up. However the standard also allowed manufacturers to install a button that allows the driver to override the feature. Manufacturers are claiming that they installed the button at the request of their consumers who want more flexibility but safety advocates reply that the button is a good excuse for manufacturers to protect themselves from lawsuits.  However this excuse didn’t always work for the manufacturer Deere & Co. In a recent lawsuit involving a 2 year old girl whose leg was amputated after her dad backed over her while riding a Deere mower, the jury found that the mower was defective and awarded the victim $12.25 million. The jury found that Deere was responsible for 78% of the damages and put the rest of the blame on the father.

Read more in Fair Warning

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crying babyChildren and adolescents are prone to traumatic brain injuries (TBI). Among the 1.7 million patients diagnosed every year with TBI in the US, 700,000 are children below 19 year old. A recent study by Bina Ali, Bruce A Lawreence, Ted Miller from the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation and Jennifer Allision from Health Imperative in Brockton, MA that was recently published in the Official Research Journal of the International Brain Injury Association (IBIA) investigate leading consumer products and activities that can cause children and adolescents to suffer traumatic brain injury.

By analyzing data from from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System from 2010 to 2013, the searchers found that home furnishings and fixtures as well as sports and recreation products were the products most commonly associated with accidents causing TBI. Beds, stairs, floors and footballs are among the most dangerous products for children and teenager.

Toddlers and older teens most at risk of a TBI

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dangerous fake e-cigarette products are difficult to identifyDangerous vape products are flooding the US market warns New York Senator Chuck Schumer. These products are counterfeit vape pods that are compatible with the popular Juul e-cigarette devices. Juul e-cigarette devices can be bought everywhere in the US from drugstores to gas stations.  Juul says its products are helping adults to quit smoking cigarettes but at the same time the company is also heavily marketing its products to young people who never smoked before and become addicted to vaping.

HARD TO DIFFERENTIATE THE REAL FROM THE FAKE

Counterfeit Juul vape pods manufactured in China have been invading the US market.  Counterfeit are sometimes difficult to differentiate from real products  and  while the content of  the real Juul vape pods is regulated, the content of the counterfeit is obviously not and can contain higher amount of nicotine or dangerous chemicals. Therefore Juul users might be at risk of vaping toxic products without knowing it. Additionally Chinese counterfeiters are not only copying popular Juul flavors such as Mango but also creating flavor branded with names that are appealing to children such as  “juice box”, “candy cane” or “silky strawberry”. Such branding is illegal in the US.