Articles Posted in Product Liability

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It’s not just young children who may be at risk of poisoning after ingesting brightly-colored and attractively packaged laundry pods. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is increasingly coming across cases involving seniors with dementia who have swallowed these pods by mistake, causing severe injuries, and in many cases, fatalities.

Laundry detergent pods are brightly packaged and come in several shiny hues.  These qualities make them extremely endearing to children. The pods are designed to dissolve as soon as the packaging comes into contact with water. Children are naturally attracted to shiny, colorful things.

Children can be at risk of poisoning as soon as they put these pods into their mouths. In fact, the CPSC is aware of incidents involving persons who died after swallowing or ingesting these laundry detergent pods. Ingesting even one such pod could be dangerous, and even lethal.

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The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is warning about swallowing risks involving fidget spinners. The agency says that it has received at least two reports of incidents involving children who swallowed parts of the popular gadget.

Fidget spinners are all the craze. These are stress-relieving toys that are marketed as being an excellent tool to help people concentrate, maintain focus, and relieve stress and anxiety.

In one case that was reported to the CPSC, a 10-year-old girl swallowed a small piece of the toy and required surgery to have it removed from her intestine. In another case, a five-year-old boy swallowed a piece of the toy, began choking on it, and had to be rushed to the emergency department.

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Buying toys and gifts for loved ones this season?  Here are some tips to keep in mind, especially if shopping for young children.

Many popular toys come with severe injury risks, specifically the risk of eye injuries.  Injuries involving toys are far too common to ignore. The Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates that in 2014, there were approximately 251,800 injuries related to the use of toys reported to emergency rooms across the United States. That works out to approximately 500 child injuries every single day. Nearly 50% of these injuries involved children below the age of four.  And a significant 44% of those injuries involved injuries to the face and head areas.

The eyes are especially vulnerable to impact from projectiles, or sharp edges on children’s toys. These injuries can be severe, and even have permanent effects on the victim.  One study published recently in the JAMA Ophthalmology journal found that air guns, basketballs and baseballs cause approximately 50% of all sports-related eye injuries.

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Seatbelts are arguably the single most important automobile safety invention in history. However, when seatbelts are defective, there is a serious risk of injury to car occupants.

Seatbelt use across the United States is at close to all-time highs. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2015, seatbelt use across the United States reached 88.5%. That was an increase from 86.7% recorded in 2014. Although that is not believed to be a statistically significant difference, it is encouraging to note that Americans continue to buckle up even though cars now come with several high-tech safety features. The fact is that in many different types of accidents, it is the seatbelt that significantly reduces the risk of serious injuries or death.

Make sure that you and other people in your car are always buckled-up while driving. Children must not be restrained in seatbelts unless they have reached the proper age and weight.

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Everyone’s talking about the exciting new toy that has had even the Vatican horrified. Whether Santa dropped a hoverboard in your Christmas stocking, or you couldn’t resist the urge to buy one for yourself, there’s a lot to know about these very intriging, but dangerous toys.

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), hoverboards have been involved in a number of fire-related hazards. The CPSC is actively investigating reported fires and will continue to do so as new reports are made.

The agency is also testing these damaged and burned hoverboards for answers to several questions:

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Safety experts and Atlanta personal injury lawyers have been warning of the risk of child fatalities in furniture tip over accidents for many years.Last year, two toddlers were killed in furniture tip over accidents involving an IKEA dresser unit model. Now, IKEA North America is telling millions of owners of these dressers that these chests must be firmly anchored to the walls in order to prevent accidents of the type that killed the two toddlers.

IKEA has confirmed at least 14 tip over incidents that resulted in four injuries. The company says that the chest must be firmly anchored to the walls, in order to prevent injuries like these.

According to the US Consumer Product Safety Commission, one fatality involved a two-year-old boy in Pennsylvania who died in February last year, when a MALM chest of drawers fell on him. The boy was pinned to a bed, and died from his injuries. The second fatality involved a two-year-old child from Washington, who was killed in June of last year when a similar chest fell on him. According to IKEA North America, it has three other reports of child fatalities since 1989 involving tip overs of other models of chests. The company is offering free wall-mounting repair kits for 27 million dressers.

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A committee that is currently investigating car recalls linked to defective Takata airbags says that the Japanese auto parts supplier recently decided to update recall information. The updated toll from the airbags defect is now 105 injuries and 6 fatalities.

The earlier toll was 64 injuries and five fatalities linked to the malfunctioning airbag. However, since then, Takata has apparently identified at least 40 more incidents of malfunctioning airbags resulting in serious injuries, including one that resulted in at least one death.

The defect causes the airbags to shoot off potentially dangerous fragments that can seriously injure occupants in the vehicle. Occupants are at risk of serious injuries, including eye injuries, facial injuries and other injuries as a result of being hit in the face by these pieces of shrapnel.

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As we mentioned in a post back in September, 2014 has been a record year for auto recalls. And the year isn’t over yet. Approximately 14.3 million automobiles from ten different manufacturers have now been recalled for faulty air bags manufactured by Takata.

The air bags, which were installed in vehicles from 2000-2011, may explode when they inflate. The force of the explosion may shatter the air bag container, sending metal and plastic shrapnel into the driver and passenger. The problem has been linked to propellant chemicals in the air bag, and may be aggravated in high-humidity climates. As a result, there have been more widespread recalls in high-humidity areas, including Georgia. So far there have been five fatalities and over 100 injures attributed to the defective air bags. The most recent death, which sparked a new wave of recalls, was of a pregnant woman in Malaysia.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is urging owners of the affected vehicles, which include cars by Honda, Toyota, Mazda, BMW, Nissan, Mitsubishi, Subaru, Chrysler, Ford and General Motors, to act on the recalls. Car owners that have been contacted by their cars’ manufacturers should make repair arrangements with local dealerships. Consumers who have not been contacted and are concerned that their vehicles may be affected can check by their vehicle identification number (VIN) here.

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General Motor’s faulty ignition switches have been a hot topic in the news since the beginning of 2014. In February, GM recalled 800,000 vehicles due to defective ignition switches, and since then, the number has grown to 29 million vehicles recalled in North America. Vehicles affected by the defective ignition switch include the Chevy Cobalt, Chevy HHR, Pontiac Solstice, Pontiac G5, Saturn Ion, and Saturn Sky

According to GM, a heavy key ring or a “jarring event,” such as hitting a bump in the road, could cause the defective ignition switch to slip out of position, shutting off power steering and brakes, and causing the air bags to fail in a crash.

Deaths & Injuries Linked to the Faulty Switch

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2014 is turning out to be a record year for recalls. Millions of cars already have been recalled this year, most of them from the General Motors. Fresh data released by Carfax confirms that as many as 36% of all recalled cars on American roads are not repaired.

In fact, last year, the auto industry recalled more cars than it sold. In 2013, recalls were up by approximately 25%, which is the highest increase on record since 2004. One of General Motors largest recalls this year, involving more than 2.6 million vehicles, was for a defective ignition switch that has already been linked to 13 fatalities. Clearly, car recalls are not always linked to defects that are inconveniences to customers, but possibly serious defects that could actually cause car accidents involving injuries and death.

Who is to blame for this poor response to recalls? According to Carfax, there are currently at least 36 million recalled cars being operated by motorists in the United States. In many cases, people are completely unaware of the recalls, while in the remaining cases, the people have been informed of the recall, but chose not to respond anyway.