Articles Posted in Dangerous or Defective Products

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Strollers long have been a convenient way for parents to enjoy the company of their young children. However, they also have long been associated with hazards that can lead to serious injury or even death. The defective product lawyers at Miami firm of Hannon Legal Group have extensive experience in dealing with such incidents when they occur.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has issued new federal standards that require all strollers and carriages be made, tested and labeled to minimize hazards to both the parent and child. However, these standards affect only strollers that are sold after September 10, 2015. They have no effect on strollers already sold or in stores today.

The risk is still out there. CPSC staff reviewed about 1,300 safety-related reports related to children and strollers for the period from January 2008 to June 2013 and found the reports included four deaths, 14 hospitalizations and nearly 391 injuries.

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Unfortunately in our country delayed recalls or forced recalls is not a new concept. Auto accidents happen every day where drivers and passengers are needlessly injured or killed. In addition to this, some auto manufactures knowingly endanger consumers by putting defective products on the market or fail to remove defective automotive products from the market. They put profits over your safety.

General Motors (GM) is the latest vehicle manufacturer under scrutiny by safety regulators, a U.S. Attorney in Manhattan, and by U.S. House and Senate Committees for their delayed reporting and inaction.

The Center for Auto Safety released a new study referencing crash and fatality data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) Fatal Analysis Reporting System (FARS) and found that 303 deaths were reported when airbags failed to deploy in the 1.6 million compact cars recalled in February by General Motors. GM reported it only had 12 deaths in 34 crashes .

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A Miami, Florida boat accident claimed the life of a 27 year old Miami man Sunday evening when his personal water craft struck a 22 foot boat in Biscayne Bay. Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) officers are investigating the fatal boating accident in Biscayne Bay. It has not yet been determined if alcohol was involved. Miami, FL product liability lawyers know that accidents like this are usually caused by operator error or a defective product like a personal water craft that was designed without navigation lights.

FWC spokesman, Jorge Pino said that investigators think 27-year-old Carlos Alberto Fernandez, who died after his personal watercraft crashed into a boat, was going too fast in a slow-speed area and was violating the law which prohibits operating a personal watercraft at night. Fernandez was riding a black Yamaha personal watercraft on the bay when the fatal collision occurred. His friend, Jose Luis Moreno, who was also operating another watercraft nearby called for help. Fernandez, who was pronounced dead on the scene, leaves behind a wife and children.

“It’s hard enough to spot a vessel with navigational lights and proper safety equipment,” Pino said. “Now you have a black personal watercraft at night at a high rate of speed. It’s just a recipe for disaster.”

Pino stressed how important it is for boaters and those engaged in water sports to abide by safety rules. Florida has the more registered vessels than any other state in the country and reported 742 boating accidents in 2011. 22 percent of those involved some type of personal watercraft.
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Miami, Florida Defective Product lawyers know what’s at stake when you put your trust in someone else’s product. Just this week a young Connecticut husband vacationing in Broward County, Florida, watched helplessly from high above, as his wife plummeted 200 feet to her death after a defective harness broke during what should have been an exciting parasailing experience. The couple had signed up for the ride with Wave Blast Water Sports.

While still in the air, Stephen Miskell had to be reigned in before the parasailing captain could turn the boat around to tend to Stephen’s wife, who lay face down in the ocean. Kathleen Miskell, 28 years old, was declared dead shortly thereafter at Broward Health North.

The defective harness, made of Kevlar and nylon straps, is now being held as evidence by police and a grieving family will never be the same. The experienced Miami, Fl Product Liability attorneys at Hannon Legal Group encourage everyone to exercise caution in resort activities. Equipment should always be inspected for defects and worn straps and harnesses before each use.
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Miami defective product lawyers know how devestating defective child products or defective toys can be. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, 250,000 children were injured in toy-related incidents last year. 17 of those children died from toy-related injuries. Parents should be aware that some products shipped from overseas do not satisfy the rigorous safety standards applied in the United States and carry significant risks for injury.

For example, Kinder Eggs, a chocolate egg with a small toy in its center, are a particularly hazardous choking hazard. These toys are banned in the United States. Some other toys do not present such obvious risks. Some Hannah Montana backpacks and Dora the Explorer lunchboxes are imported from China and Peru. The threshold for lead in these countries is not as stringent as the United States requirement.

The World Against Toys Causing Harm or “WATCH” publishes a list of toys to avoid. Experienced in products liability cases involving toy manufacturers, the attorneys at Hannon Legal Group, P.A. urge you to be safe this holiday season and shop carefully.

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Parents rely on cribs as a safe haven – a secure place to leave babies unsupervised while they tend to other responsibilities. According to a new study published in the journal Pediatrics, cribs are not nearly as safe as we think.

Cribs, playpens and bassinets are responsible for injuries to 26 babies each day (9,500 every year) in the United States. Those figures do not take into account the approximately 100 crib-related infant deaths (“crib death“) that occur each each year.

The author of this study, Gary Smith is also the director of the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio. He says that “cribs are unique among other children’s products. Parents expect to be able to place a child in a crib and know when they walk away that child will be safe. We need to hold cribs to much higher safety standards as opposed to baby equipment you are supposed to only use with parental supervision.”

The study focused on the number of injuries in children under the age of 2 who were treated in hospital emergency rooms for crib-related injuries between 1990 and 2008. It’s authors relied on data from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission’s (CPSC) National Electronic Injury Surveillance System. Many more children are treated in doctor’s offices or urgent-care centers and those cases are not even included in the study.
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Unsafe Child Products Now Include Popular Disney, Barbie Toys

The dangers of unsafe toys and child products are a major cause for concern, especially during the holiday season. Just prior to the start of the 2009 holiday shopping season, a California-based consumer advocacy organization reported that it had commissioned scientific testing which discovered unsafe levels of lead which exceeded federal limits in popular Disney and Barbie toys, including the Tinkerbell Water Lily Necklace, Dora the Explorer Activity Tote and Barbie Bike Flair Accessory Kit.

As a result of this finding, the California Attorney General sent letters to Target, Wal-Mart and other retailers, warning them that the toys should be immediately pulled from store shelves.

These new findings of excessive lead in popular toys from some of America’s most trusted brands come approximately one year after the passage of a sweeping product safety law that set strict limits on the amounts of lead and chemicals that are allowed in products for children under 12. The law was enacted after a number of recalls for lead-tainted toys were issued in 2007, including several for Mattel that accounted for in excess of two million toys.

It’s important for parents to be aware that dangerous toys, whether tainted with lead and other harmful chemicals or defective in design are still making their way into the hands of U.S. consumers every day.
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The Florida Injury Lawyer Blog sometimes reports on out of state events which may impact Florida citizens. While this post deals with events which occurred in CVS Pharmacies in Connecticut, CVS does a significant amount of business in our state as well.

Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal announced Monday that his office has filed a law suit against CVS Pharmacy Inc., a division of CVS Caremark Corp., for allegedly selling over-the-counter drugs and other products in its stores in Connecticut which had already expired.

Blumenthal said that investigators from the AG’s office found expired over-the-counter medications as well as certain expired food and beverage items on sale in multiple CVS Pharmacy stores in Connecticut during an investigation which took place in 2008 and 2009.

The Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection cooperated with the AG’s office in filing the lawsuit.

In a statement released by the Connecticut AG’s office, Mr. Blumenthal said that “Basic business law and ethics give consumers a right to unspoiled food and safe and effective medicine.” He also pledged to “…fight for significant penalties against CVS, sending a powerful message that expiration dates must be respected. Any item past its expiration date should be off shelves, out of stores.”

Just last month, CVS agreed to pay penalties and fees totaling approximately $875,000 to end an investigation by the New York Attorney General focusing on the sale of expired products in its New York stores.

CVS agreed to implement training for it’s employees and to commit to policies and procedures designed to prevent expired products from being stocked on its shelves.

New York Attorney General Cuomo reached a similar agreement with Rite Aid Corporation which resulted in the company agreeing to pay $1.3 million and to adopt new internal policies procedures.

A CVS spokeswoman had this to say in response to the allegations in Connecticut: “[t]he health and safety of our customers is our top priority, and CVS Pharmacy has a clear product removal policy in place at all of its stores to help ensure that items are removed from store shelves before they reach their expiration dates,” the spokeswoman said. “Any unintentional deviations from this policy that are brought to the company’s attention are quickly rectified for customers. The company is fully committed to maintaining inventory management practices to prevent expired products from being sold to customers.”
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Miami, Florida – Drowning is the number one cause of death among children in Miami-Dade County. With Summer approaching, more children will be in or near swimming pools, at beaches, water parks and lakes. This increased exposure to water coincides with an increase in the number of drownings. For this reason, it is extremely important that children are taught about water safety.

The Miami-Dade Fire Department has responded to 199 drownings since January 2007. Most of those involved children under 16 years old and 32% involved children under 5 years old. In Miami, most drowning incidents occur between 11:00am and 6:00pm peaking between 3:00pm and 4:00pm. The majority of Miami drownings and near drownings occur in the Summer months from May through August. MDFR has already responded to 11 drowning incidents just since January of 2009.

Miami-Dade Fire Rescue has prepared the following list of Summer Safety Tips to help keep our children safe:

• Always think of the ocean, lakes and your pool as dangerous places.
• Always directly supervise children when they are in a pool or around any body of water. Young children can drown in just a few inches of standing water. Bathtubs and large buckets also pose a threat. Most childhood drownings occur without an adult immediately present.
• Keep a phone at poolside so you don’t have to leave the kids to answer the phone and so you can call 9-1-1 immediately in case of an emergency.
• Never assume that swimming lessons or flotation devices can completely protect a child from drowning. Don’t have a false sense of security!
• Install alarms on all doors that lead into a pool area so you will know if a door to the pool has been opened.
• Secure long hair to the head, braid it, or cover it with a cap. Long hair can get suctioned into defective pool drains and vacuum lines.
• Make sure that all family members learn how to swim and what to do if they see someone in trouble in the water.
• Have your family members learn CPR. Drowning victims have a better chance of surviving if they get assistance right away.
• Know and comply with the Florida and Miami-Dade County statutes for pool fencing and pool safety. Pool fencing has been proven to save the lives of many children.
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Nationwide Salmonella Outbreak – An investigation of peanut butter and its link to a nationwide outbreak of salmonella has expanded with the Kellogg Co. (K) voluntarily recalling sixteen of its products and federal officials confirming salmonella contamination at a facility in Georgia that ships peanut products to 85 different food companies.

Earlier this week Kellogg asked retailers to remove some of its Keebler crackers from store shelves as a precaution. However, in a statement released late Friday, the company announced that it was voluntarily recalling the crackers and other products in light of the problems in Georgia.

The salmonella outbreak has made hundreds of people in 43 states sick and killed at least six.

Kellogg’s president and CEO, David Mackay said “the actions we are taking today are in keeping with our more than 100-year commitment to providing consumers with safe, high-quality products. We apologize for this unfortunate situation.”

Included in the recall are Austin and Keebler branded Peanut Butter Sandwich Crackers, as well as some snack-size packs of Famous Amos Peanut Butter Cookies and Keebler Soft Batch Homestyle Peanut Butter Cookies.

Consumers are advised not to eat any of the products in question and to contact a doctor if they have any symptoms. The tainted products should be carefully disposed of to avoid the risk of homeless people finding and eating them.

According to the FDA, new cases are still being reported.

Although some brands have been linked to the outbreak, the FDA says the investigation is ongoing and more products may yet be recalled.

The investigation includes baked goods and other products that contain peanuts and are sold directly to consumers in addition to peanut butter. According to health officials, approximately one-third of the people who got sick had no recollection of eating peanut butter.

”The focus is on peanut butter and a wide array of products that might have peanut butter in them,” said Dr. Robert Tauxe, director of the foodborne illness division at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Officials said they are focusing not only on peanut butter, but also on peanut paste produced at a Peanut Corp. of America facility in Blakely, Ga. The inclusion of peanut paste is significant as it can be used in numerous products.

Six deaths have been linked to the outbreak by health officials in Minnesota, Virginia, Idaho and North Carolina. The exact cause of death in each case had not been determined, however, each person had salmonella when they died.

According to the CDC, typhimurium , the bacteria involved in the outbreak, is fairly common and not an unusually dangerous strain. The elderly and those with weakened immune systems are at higher risk though.

Common symptoms of salmonella include diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramps.
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