Articles Posted in Product Liability

Invokana is a type 2 diabetes medication that has many known dangerous side effects. There is a known link between the Janssen Pharmaceuticals Inc. drug with cardiovascular injuries and kidney failure. According to officials with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Invokana may also lead to decreased bone density and increased risk of bone fractures. The FDA has warned consumers of bone fracture risks when taking Invokana. But, there is new information from recent clinical trials that confirms these concerns.
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The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has announced that about 2.2 million beanbag chairs are being voluntarily recalled following the suffocation deaths of two children.

According to CPSC, the chairs have zippers that can be opened, which can allow children to crawl inside. Recently, two children -a 13-year-old boy and a 3-year-old girl – were found dead inside the beanbag chairs. The children had suffocated from inhaling the chair’s foam beads.

The industry has a voluntary standard that specifies that all zippers on beanbag chairs be disabled to prevent children from going inside of the chairs.

The chairs were manufactured by Ace Bayou and were sold for $30 to $100 before July 2013 at Amazon.com, Walmart, Bon-Ton, Meijer, Pamida, School Specialty and Wayfair. The chairs come in a variety of sizes, colors and shapes, and were manufactured in China, have tags that say “Ace Bayou Corp.”
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Retail giant Wal-Mart said that it is willing to contribute $25 million towards a proposed $161 million settlement that would settle dozens of lawsuits alleging that the Blitz USA gas cans it sold were defective and could explode.

The manufacturer of the gas cans is now bankrupt and out of business, in large part due to payouts it made to victims of the alleged explosions. Blitz was the largest manufacturer of gas cans in the nation. Wal-Mart sold millions of Blitz-made gas cans and has been named in 24 of the some 80 outstanding lawsuits.

The lawsuits allege that Blitz and Wal-Mart consciously sold a defective product and that the resulting deaths and burn injuries from the explosions were the result of a design flaw that could easily have been addressed with the addition of an inexpensive safety device called a flame arrester. A flame arrester is a piece of mesh or a disk with holes that decreases the risk of an explosion by preventing a spark or flame from entering the can.
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house fireThe product liability attorneys at Farah & Farah in Gainesville have learned that the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has announced the recall of nearly 15 million surge protectors that may pose fire and injury hazards.

The commission has received 700 complaints concerning APC 7 and 8 series SurgeArrest surge protectors. The CPSC says that the surge protectors can overheat, causing them to smoke and melt, which poses a fire hazard.

There have been 55 claims of property damage from fire and smoke. In one instance, a faulty APC surge protector allegedly was to blame for a house fire that caused $916,000 in damages. Another fire allegedly linked to a defective surge protector caused $715,000 in damages to a medical facility.

Along with property damage, there have been 13 reports of injuries allegedly linked to the defective surge protectors. The injuries range from smoke inhalation to contact burns from touching the overheated products.
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A 7-month-old Kissimmee infant has died in what may be the first fatality attributed to the ingestion of a concentrated laundry detergent packet.

The detergent packs have been controversial since they were introduced. Critics of the product claim that the small, often colorful packages look like candy to unsuspecting children. According to Consumer Reports, there have been 5,753 incidents of children 5 and younger being exposed to the ingredients inside the single-load laundry packets between January 1 and July 31 of this year. Last year, poison control centers around the country received reports of 6,231 exposures by children 5 and younger.

The Orlando Sentinel reports that the child and his mother had been staying in a shelter for battered women where the incident occurred. According to Kissimmee authorities, the shelter had handed out the detergent pods and the mother had left them in a laundry basket on a bed next to her sleeping son. She stepped away briefly and when she returned she found that the infant had ingested one of the pods and was working on a second one.
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A two-year-old girl is recovering at Tampa General Hospital after her father accidentally backed over her with a riding lawnmower. The horrific and heart-breaking accident severed both of the toddler’s legs just below the knee joints.

According to the Tampa Bay Times, unbeknownst to the father, the girl had been following him behind the mower as he drove it back to the garage. The girl’s mother saw her daughter running behind the lawnmower and signaled for her husband to stop. The husband misinterpreted the gesture and instead of stopping he put the mower in reverse – with tragic results.

The girl was flown to Tampa General and was listed in serious condition. She has already undergone two surgeries and has at least two more scheduled.

Although these kinds of accidents are rare, they occurred often enough that the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) implemented a requirement in 2003 that all new riding mowers have a feature that disables the blades when they start spinning in reverse. The Times reports that the lawnmower involved may have been an older model made before the safety requirement was in place.
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Several people have filed lawsuits against Franck’s Compounding Lab, based in Ocala, alleging that they contracted severe eye infections from a contaminated surgical eye dye that was manufactured by the lab.

Franck’s issued a recall of its Brilliant Blue G surgical dye in March of 2012 after it received several reports of eye infections linked to the dye. Almost two months later, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that the lab would be recalling all of its sterile human and veterinary products after bacterial and fungal growth were discovered at the facility.

The plaintiff’s are claiming that they suffered severe and debilitating eye injuries and, in some cases, permanent blindness after the dye was used during their eye surgery procedures in November 2011. The complaints state that the pharmacy knew or should have known that the dyes were unsafe. The suits allege negligence, failure to warn, and breach of warranty.
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From January 2003 to September of this year, bedrails were implicated in the deaths of 155 people, according to a report just issued by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). Of those who died, 126 victims were 60 or older.

For years, consumer safety advocates have been pushing federal regulators to study bedrail accidents and injuries; and although the study did not review bedrail designs for potential problems, many felt it was a good first step, The New York Times reported.

According to the study, 61 percent of bedrail deaths occurred at home, while another 25 percent occurred at nursing homes. Most of the deaths happened when a person’s neck or head got caught in the bedrails. From 2003 to 2011, some 37,000 people were injured in bedrail accidents, according to data gathered by the CPSC. Nearly half who died in bedrail incidents had medical problems such as heart disease, dementia, and Parkinson’s disease.
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In Sept. 2010, two teen cousins died in eastern Collier County after a Cooper Discoverer HT tire blew out and allegedly caused the Ford Explorer they were passengers in to careen out of control and rollover.

The families of the teens filed product liability lawsuits, alleging that Ford and Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. designed and manufactured defective products. The families also named New Life Tire Centers of Bonita Springs in the suits, claiming that the company sold them old tires that were made in 2001 just three months before the crash.

The Florida Highway Patrol reported that the teens, who were ejected from the SUV, were not wearing seatbelts at the time of the crash, but an attorney attached to one of the suits claims that Ford Explorer seat belts have been known to fail.

According to Naplesnews.com, court records reveal finger pointing all around. Ford blames the teens for not wearing seat belts, Cooper for manufacturing a defective tire, and New Life for selling an old tire that was improperly installed. Cooper blames Ford and New Life and has suggested that other vehicles may have caused the accident -not a tire blow out as claimed.
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Recently, St. Jude’s Medical removed its Riata and Riata ST defibrillator lead wires from the market after it was found the devices were coming apart inside the body and may have been responsible for shocks and shorts that led to defibrillator failures and deaths in patients.

Although the devices were removed from the market, thousands of patients still have the leads implanted since it was deemed that removing them might be more dangerous than retaining them – despite studies that suggest one in five of the devices may malfunction. According to the Wall Street Journal (WSJ), more doctors are suggesting that the leads be removed and replaced as the extent of the problems with the leads become clearer.
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