Articles Posted in Dangerous or Defective Products

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Miami, Florida – A Miami Beach aviation accident involving a Chalk’s seaplane three years ago has spawned New York and Miami, Florida product liability lawsuits. Two such lawsuits were recently filed against the manufacturer of the seaplane alleging that the Grumman Turbo Mallard seaplane was defective.

Chalk’s Ocean Airways, the former seaplane airline, and its insurance company, AIG have both sued the manufacturer of the aircraft, alleging that it’s design was dangerous and defective, causing the airplane crash that killed 20 people including the crew.

The federal court lawsuits in Miami and New York, claim that the 58-year-old seaplane manufactured by Grumman — now Northrop Grumman — was “not adequately designed for its intended purpose.”

Chalk’s attorneys claim that the airline was forced to go out of business by the defective nature of this airplane.

A spokesperson for Northrop Grumman, the Los Angeles based manufacturer, refused to comment on the lawsuits.

The Chalk’s seaplane caught fire and crashed into the water off Miami Beach on Dec. 19, 2005. The flight was bound for Bimini, a small island in the Bahamas.

In May 2007, the National Transportation Safety Board investigation determined that the plane crash was caused by the separation of the plane’s right wing. It also found that Chalk’s deficient maintenance program was also a contributing cause of the crash.

Chalk’s owner claims that the the cracks were caused by the plane’s defective design and had nothing to do with it’s maintenance program. The suit papers allege a manufacturing defect with the rivets where the wing separated from the fuselage and that they were in an area that is enclosed and cannot be inspected.

AIG paid $50 million in damages to the survivors of the crash victims. It filed a separate lawsuit against Northrop Grumman for subrogation essentially seeking reimbursement of the money it had to pay out.

In December 2005, the Federal Aviation Administration grounded all Grumman G-73 aircraft still registered in the United States until a determination could be made that the airframes were structurally sound.

No other commercial operators were still using these seaplanes. The last Mallard seaplanes were manufactured in 1951.

Chalk’s never had a fatal accident before the crash in 2005.
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Broward County, Florida – A mid-air collision of two flight school planes Saturday above the Florida Everglades left four people dead.

Investigators resumed their search for the bodies of the four people who were killed when the two aircraft collided over the Everglades in West Broward.

The aircraft, a single-engine Cessna and a twin-engine Piper, slammed into each other Saturday afternoon in an area where South Florida flight instructors regularly take students to practice.

Among those killed in the aviation accident were Stuart Brown, a flight instructor, Bryan Sax, of Colorado, and Edson Jefferson, a pilot from Miramar.

The fourth victim has not yet been identified.

The Cessna took off from North Perry Airport in Pembroke Pines and the Piper took off from Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.

”From what I understand, radar shows the two air-crafts merging,” Eric Alleyne, an aviation safety inspector with the National Transportation Safety Board, said of the midair collision. “Right now we need to get the aircraft out and see what we are actually dealing with.”

The radar data will be important in figuring out what caused the plane crash.

Police used air-boats to reach the crash site.

Police had not released the identity of the victims, but three were identified by friends and relatives.

25 year old Brown, a flight instructor from Pembroke Pines and his student, 30 year old Jefferson from Miramar were on board the Cessna.

37 year old Sax of Aspen Colorado, the student and one unidentified person believed to be a flight instructor with Airline Transport Professionals Corp. of Wilmington, Del. were on board the Piper.

One relative was understandably upset.

”We just want rescuers to get the bodies out of that swamp as soon as possible; that’s our main concern now,” said Brown’s aunt Sharon Burton-Lofton of New York.

Meg Fensome, vice president of the Pelican Flight Training Center at North Perry Airport, confirmed that Brown was the instructor killed along with a student aboard the school’s Cessna.

She declined to release any more information for now.
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Two infant deaths have prompted a massive crib recall. The recall of cribs made by Delta Enterprises is being called the largest crib recall in U.S. history. The cribs pose an entrapment and suffocation hazard to infants. For more information, contact the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).

China has had more than its share of dangerous, defective products making news lately. Now dangerous, defective Chinese-made cribs are said to pose the risk of entrapment and strangulation which can lead to infant brain damage or death. Already at least two infant deaths are being attributed to the recalled cribs so far.

New York-based Delta Enterprises recalled almost 1.6 million cribs manufactured in China, Indonesia and Taiwan after it said two babies died. No other details were made available.

Following the announcement by Delta Enterprise Corp. that it was issuing a massive crib recall following the deaths of two infants, the CPSC is considering changing its rules covering crib defects. According to an agency spokesperson, the CPSC was prompted to consider rule changes after its Early Warning System identified issues with the durability of cribs, especially those with drop sides that can disengage and lead to entrapment and strangulation hazards.

The crib recall is one of the largest ever initiated in the U.S. and follows another recall of 2,000 Chinese-made portable cribs which was issued by the CPSC just last week. Those cribs made by Playkids USA of Brooklyn, New York were recalled following the death of a 5-month-old infant. The baby died due to suffocation in August after becoming entrapped between the mattress and the drop side rail of the convertible crib.

This latest recall comes about a year after a massive recall of Mattel toys manufactured in China which were tainted with lead.

More recently, milk contaminated with melamine killed at least four children and prompted Chinese-made products to be pulled from shelves around the world. Tens of thousands of children fell ill with kidney stones.

In August, defective Simplicity bassinets were also recalled after they were implicated in the deaths of two children.

Prior to the August recall of dangerous bassinets, Simplicity recalled 1 million cribs in September 2007. Until this announcement by Delta, last year’s Simplicity recall was the largest crib recall in US history.
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Broward County, Florida – a Fort Lauderdale car accident sent one vehicle plowing into a group of pedestrians standing at a bus stop this morning. Four of them were injured and had to be transported by Fire Rescue to Broward General Medical Center for emergency medical treatment.

It all started when a car ran a red light on U.S. 1 at the intersection with N.E. Fourth Street around 10:30 am. Fort Lauderdale police said after running the red light, the car was hit by a County bus which pushed it into another car and then into a bus stop.

The names of the drivers and victims were not yet released.

An experienced Florida personal injury lawyer would first look to hold the driver who caused the crash responsible. However, when investigating a Florida automobile accident case, several issues must be addressed. The vehicle or vehicles involved would need to be inspected to make sure the accident wasn’t caused in part by defective or poorly maintained brakes or some other defective automotive component part.

Some auto accidents are caused by a defective seat back which can cause a driver to lose control if it breaks. The harm caused by some car accidents is compounded when a defective fuel tank results in a fire and causes burn injuries or a design defect causes a vehicle to roll over. If a defective product or component part played a role in causing the accident, a Florida product liability case could be brought in addition to the automobile negligence claim.

Additionally, if it is determined that the offending driver was intoxicated, it is possible, in some circumstances, to bring a claim against the person or establishment that served alcohol to the drunk driver.

Where an accident victim dies as a result of the accident, the Florida wrongful death statute would apply to the case.
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Miami, Florida. – A multi – car accident in the southbound lanes of Florida’s Turnpike in West Miami-Dade left two people injured according to Florida Highway Patrol.

Investigators said the auto accident, which occurred near Southwest 8th Street involved a total of three cars.

One of the vehicles involved in the crash flipped over and struck a light pole. The driver had to be extricated from the car after the light pole fell on it.

That driver was airlifted to Ryder Trauma Center at Jackson Memorial Hospital, officials said.

Another person was taken to the hospital by ambulance with minor injuries.
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Miami, Florida – Two workers were seriously injured in a construction site accident Tuesday afternoon when they fell down an elevator shaft in Miami-Dade County.

According to Fire Rescue officials, the accident happened in a building under construction at Southwest 84th Avenue and Eighth Street.

The victims were working on a suspended cart inside the elevator shaft when the cables broke. Officials said the men fell four stories.

The men were transported to Ryder Trauma Center for emergency medical treatment.

The cause of the accident is still under investigation at this time although, the accident could have been the result of negligent maintenance of the cart and cables, or it could have been the result of a defective product.

Contractors have a duty to maintain their equipment in a reasonably safe condition and can, in some instances, be held liable when they fail to do so.

Additionally, product manufacturers have a duty to make sure that when their product is sold to the public it is safe and suitable for its intended use. When a manufacturer fails to design or manufacture its products safely and in conformity with applicable standards or fails to adequately warn of foreseeable harm, they can be held liable under product liability laws.
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Florida — Accidental drownings pose the single biggest threat to young children in Florida. Parents are urged to keep their children in sight at all times around water this summer. Authorities say that losing sight of your children for even a moment around water could result in disaster.

These warnings come in the wake of two drownings in residential pools in Manatee County.
In one case, a mother found her 3-year-old boy at the bottom of their backyard pool. Another discovered her 11-month-old girl floating in a pool.

According to Florida’s Department of Health, drowning is the second leading cause of accidental death in children ages 1 to 14 in the state and the leading cause of death in children ages 1 – 4.

While Florida leads the nation in child drowning deaths, in 2006, thirty-eight drowning deaths were reported in Miami-Dade County alone. Those statistics only reflect drowning deaths. Many more people, usually children, suffer catastrophic injuries such as cerebral anoxia or hypoxia (brain damage) each year as a result of near drowning incidents.

Many people have also suffered crippling spinal cord injuries from diving into pools, lakes or canals with inadequate warnings or which were not adequately maintained.

Accidental drownings may occur in lakes, canals, oceans, swimming pools, hot tubs / spas and even in bath tubs. Many drownings occur because of defective pool pumps or drains which can result in suction entrapment or because of poorly maintained fences or gates.

The phrase “suction entrapment” refers to the situation where a bather, usually a child, becomes stuck to a pool drain and held under water by the increased suction that is created when a drain is blocked by the bather’s body, hair or clothing. The force of that suction is often strong enough to hold an adult under water; however, it is usually children who fall victim to suction entrapment. Spa and hot tub drains pose the same risk. Suction entrapment incidents are generally caused by defective pool pumps, aging, broken, loose or missing drain covers and poorly designed pools.

There are several safety tips that, if followed can help prevent accidental drownings. They include:

1). Pool fences – Four-sided isolation fencing, at least five feet high with self-closing and self-latching gates, should be installed around home pools and spas. Fencing should completely surround swimming pools or spas and prevent direct access from a house or yard.

2). Never leave a child unsupervised in or around any body of water, even for a moment.

3). Enroll children in swimming lessons taught by a certified instructor, but don’t assume swimming lessons make your child “drown proof.”

4). Never dive into water less than nine feet deep.

5). Always wear a U.S. Coast Guard-approved personal floatation device (“PFD”) or life jacket when boating, near open bodies of water or when participating in any water sports. Air-filled swimming aids, such as “water wings,” are not considered safety devices and are not substitutes for PFDs.

6). Make use of pool alarms which sound an alert when someone enters the water.
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Miami, Florida – The number of child drownings and near drownings in South Florida increases dramatically each year during the Summer. Now that school is almost out, more kids will spend a greater amount of time in and around swimming pools. That makes summer vacation one of the most dangerous times for children.

South Florida has always had one of the highest child drownings rates in the country. ”It’s the No. 1 killer of young kids in South Florida,” said Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Lt. Eddy Ballester, speaking about accidental drownings. “We have that dubious distinction of suffering more tragedies than anywhere else in the country.”

Child drownings, however, can be prevented. Most child drownings occur in backyard swimming pools. And most of those accidents can be avoided by following a few important safety tips including:

• Teach kids how to swim or at least survive in the water.

• Use pool fences, pool alarms, self-closing and self-latching gates and alarms on doors to make sure toddlers don’t get into the pool when you aren’t watching.

• Don’t let children play near a pool without adult supervision.

• Parents should tell their kids to take breaks every so often and when they get swimming lessons, they need to practice.

”Just like a designated driver, you need to have a designated pool watcher,” Ballester said.
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Tamarac, Florida – A rollover car accident in the southbound lanes of Florida’s Turnpike left a 74 year old Davie man in critical condition.

According to Florida Highway Patrol spokesman Lt. Roger Reyes, Luis Cease was airlifted by Fire Rescue to Broward General Medical Center in Fort Lauderdale after his car rolled over and crashed into a wall.

The automobile accident occurred in the late afternoon when William Thompson, 54, of Miami Beach, attempted to change lanes near the West Commercial Boulevard exit and veered too close to Cease’s 2003 Hyundai. When Cease tried to avoid a collision, his car rolled over and struck a wall.

The Turnpike exit at Commercial Boulevard along with both southbound and northbound lanes were closed for a time to make room for the Broward Sheriff Fire Rescue helicopter to land, Reyes said.

While tragedies like this are very often the result of careless driving on our highways – a growing problem that effects too many families, sometimes an automobile rolls over due to a defective design.
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FORT MYERS, FLORIDA : According to the Florida Highway Patrol, 46 year old Georges Pameni was killed in a tractor trailer accident when the truck he was driving collided with another tractor trailer on I-75 yesterday.

Georges Pameni, of Marietta, Georgia was driving his tractor trailer north on I-75. Truck driver, Steven Miller, 49, of Estero was also northbound on I-75.

Apparently, a load of stone was dropped on the Bayshore Road overpass by a dump truck. While that lane was being cleaned up, it was closed and traffic was being diverted into another lane.

The Florida personal injury lawyers at Hannon Legal Group recently represented the family of a truck driver in a wrongful death case when their loved one was killed in a tractor trailer accident. Our injury attorneys have handled numerous cases involving truck accidents where a thorough knowledge of the Federal laws regulating truckers helped secure a significant award for the survivors. In this case, experienced injury lawyers would investigate the trucking company and driver of the dump truck that caused the road closure. It is likely that they created a dangerous condition that contributed to cause the crash.
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