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Articles Posted in Defective Products

A recent study conducted by the Environmental Working Group, a not-for-profit think tank, revealed cosmetics marketed to black women are more likely to contain possibly harmful ingredients, as compared to those marketed to the general

The analysis explored the listed ingredients in some 1,180 beauty and personal care products sold to black customers. Of the products on that list, less than one quarter received good scores in a rating system developed by the researchers to measure potentially dangerous ingredients. Compare this to beauty products marketed to the general public, in which 40 percent received good scores.

About 1 in 12 products marketed to black women was ranked “highly hazardous.” Similar figures existed for products marketed to the general public, but the disparity with regard to the “good” – i.e., “safe” – products suggests black women have far fewer options when it comes to beauty products that aren’t linked to cancer, hormone disruption, developmental and reproductive damage, infections, allergies and other adverse health effects.  Continue reading

Over the course of five years, electronics retail giant Best Buy sold hundreds of recalled products to customers off store shelves and online – a violation of federal law, as well as a serious risk to unwitting customers. shopping cart

Now, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has announced the imposition of a $3.8 million penalty to settle those charges. The recalled products sold – approximately 600 in all between September 2010 and October 2015 – included cameras, computers and washing machines.

Officials say it appeared there was some type of break down in communication and procedure at the firm, which failed in its duty to implement policies and procedures that would allow staffers to quickly and accurately identify recalled products, quarantine them and then prevent sales. Although the settlement is not an admission of guilt, a representative from the company released an e-mail statement expressing regret that any of products it sold were under recall. He conceded that there were a number of recalled items sold, but insisted it was a “small number.” Still, he added, selling even one recalled product is one too many.  Continue reading

The manufacturer and distributors of blood-thinning drug Xarelto are, as of this juncture, facing more than 9,000 personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits – and more are continuing to pile up. pills

Defendants Bayer AG (a German company) and distributor Janssen Pharmaceuticals (a U.S. company that is a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson) are accused of failing to adequately warn the public of the possible danger associated with the drug. Many of those who have filed lawsuits alleged the drug caused them to suffer severe bleeding in their intestines or brain, resulting in severe side effects that ranged from hospitalization to death.

A U.S. District Court in Louisiana is overseeing a multi-district litigation that involves more than 7,000 cases. Of those, four are slated to be heard in the next 12 months. The outcome of these so-called bellwhether cases will determine whether defendants are likely to settle future cases (because it’s unlikely defense will prevail) or whether they will continue to fight the litigation. Those four bellwhether cases stem from cases in Louisiana, Texas and Mississippi. In addition to those 7,000 pending cases, there are another 1,000 Xarelto lawsuits pending in a Delaware multi-district litigation and another 1,000 before a state court in Pennsylvania. Continue reading

A federal lawsuit filed against Mexican fast-food chain Chipotle by its shareholders alleges that company leaders failed in their response to a series of food-borne illness outbreaks that sickened customers across the country. This lawsuit was filed by shareholders who accuse the top company brass of unjust enrichment while making a series of missteps. The company’s two co-CEOs earned $14 million each last year. They and eight other executives are named in the lawsuit, according to The Denver Post.foodplate

Although this particular lawsuit focuses on the alleged business failures of the firm and its leaders – not the 500-plus people who were actually sickened in these E. Coli outbreaks – the filing does shed light on the company’s reportedly poor food safety procedures and lacking response once serious problems were exposed. The company’s stock lost nearly half of its value from the time the outbreaks become public in August 2015 (when shares were at $757) to just last week (when shares were at $395). In addition to seeking monetary damages for shareholders, plaintiffs are demanding better internal policies that will ensure the company complies with food safety laws in the future.

The company operates nearly 2,000 restaurants in the U.S. and has more than a dozen abroad. The company last year and into this year was embroiled in a food safety scandal after hundreds of people got sick. One of those cases, referenced in this lawsuit, was a norovirus outbreak in Washington state. The company has never publicly acknowledged that particular outbreak, in which it is alleged a supervisor ordered a sick worker to come in to work – even though she was sick – unless she could find a replacement. The worker spent four hours on the clock, vomiting. This, a state health inspector later noted, was “the smoking gun” in the outbreak that ensued, causing at least 234 people who dined at the restaurant to become sick with acute gastrointestinal illness. Continue reading

Two major recalls have been issued involving products made by Swedish company IKEA, a leading global home furnishings provider with more than 300 stores globally.teddybear

These recalls could prompt a flood of product liability lawsuits against the company, particularly given the fact that at least one has led to multiple child deaths.

The first involves more 29 million chests and dressers sold in the U.S. and another 7 million sold in Canada. The children’s chests and dressers involved in the recall are higher than 23.5 inches, while the adult chests and dressers are higher than 29.5 inches. The problem is these furniture pieces aren’t stable if they aren’t properly anchored to the wall, which could result in a major tip-over and entrapment hazard that poses a high risk of serious injury or death to children. Tragically, that’s exactly what’s happened, at least three times that we know of.

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), the first known incident occurred in February 2014, when a 2-year-old Pennsylvania boy died after a 6-drawer IKEA dresser tipped offer and trapped him against his own bed. Then in June that same year, a nearly-2-year-old boy in Washington state died after he was trapped by a 3-drawer IKEA chest that had tipped over. Continue reading

Robotic surgery has become increasingly commonplace in recent years, with robotic surgery centers in Miami, Coconut Creek, Fort Lauderdale, Tampa and more. robot

Robotically-assisted surgery has been around since the 1980s, with manufacturers insisting such procedures can be carried out with greater precision and control. The surgeon is relieved of stress, tension and fatigue, particularly during longer operations. In addition to stamina, robots can be incredibly steady and precise.

But, they are not without flaws. Take for example the da Vinci surgical system, manufactured by Intuitive Surgical. It’s been used in nearly 2 million surgeries across the globe and in more than 1,400 hospitals in the U.S. Most often, it’s used for cancer procedures, removal of gallbladders and hysterectomies. However, there have been a number of cases in which the systems reportedly fail or don’t work exactly as intended. There are some reports of the machines not properly releasing human tissue. In other cases, faulty surgical tips caused injuries.  Continue reading

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit has ruled a gun manufacturer operating as an instrumentality of the Republic of Argentina is not immune from product liability litigation under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA).

The statute protects foreign governments (and by proxy, those serving on behalf of them, from tort litigation. However, in Rote v. Zel Custom Manufacturing, LLC, the appeals court decided that the design and manufacture of a product for sale amounts to “commercial activity,” which is one of the exceptions under the act. It doesn’t matter that the entity/foreign state had minimal contacts in the U.S. because the state’s action had a direct effect here.

The case involves an allegedly defective round of ammunition, which resulted in serious injury to the right hand of plaintiff.  Continue reading

Reports of hoverboard injuries and fires continue to amass. New York and Boston have banned the devices from subways, buses, trains and stations. They are also banned on airlines.fire1

Recently, two children in Nashville almost died and their home burned to the ground in January after the self-balancing scooter caught fire.  They had been trapped in the house, but were ultimately rescued. A 12-year-old in New York suffered severe smoke inhalation and his house was destroyed after the $400 device burst into flames while he was in bed. In Massachusetts, a child was riding a hoverboard in the living room when the device suddenly started smoking and burst into flames.

Now, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has issued a stern warning to manufacturers and distributors of the device, and a number of retailers have halted sales as a result.  Continue reading

If a car accident is caused or exacerbated by a defective vehicle or faulty auto part, those who are injured may be able to claim damages from the manufacturer, dealer or repair shop. tiretread

Critical to these claims is expert witness testimony. To assert a claim for a defective product – whether its for negligence or strict liability – the plaintiff has to show:

  • A defect was present in the product;
  • The defect caused the injuries asserted in the complaint;
  • The defect existed at the time the retailer or supplier parted with possession of the product.

Almost always, this requires an expert. In the recent case of Lesnik v. Duval Ford, the Florida First District Court of Appeals considered whether a trial court rightly omitted plaintiff’s expert witness testimony, thus resulting in dismissal of his case. Though not all justices agreed, the case was ultimately decided in favor of the defendant. Continue reading

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