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Articles Posted in Defective Products

Pain-Suffering-PI-blog-300x200When a person is injured as the result of another person’s negligence, their recourse is to seek damages for pain and suffering through a personal injury claim. However, “pain and suffering’ is subjective and difficult to quantify so, how are personal injury settlements calculated?

Determining a fair compensation requires looking at a number of factors, including the extent of medical bills incurred, the length of the expected recovery period, potential loss wages during that recovery period, and the emotional toll such injuries may take. While many of these factors will vary on a case-by-case basis, there are formulas that can help you gauge whether the settlement being offered is a fair one. To learn more read, “How To Determine The value of Pain and Suffering for Personal Injury Claims.”

Quality Control stamp signifies a product has been tested for safety before being sold to consumersMost consumers assume that before a product hits the store’s shelf it has been tested and has met established safety standards. Not necessarily.

According to a recent Consumer Reports article, the Consumer Protection Safety Commission oversees some 15,000 product categories; however, only about 70 of those categories are required to meet a mandatory safety standard, meaning they must comply with federally established safety requirements. The rest of the product categories are subject to voluntary, rather than mandatory, safety standards. Manufacturers of these products sometimes comply with the voluntary standards and sometimes they do not.

One way consumers can protect themselves against purchasing hazardous protects is to read the product label, although the references on these labels may not be clear. For explanations of some of the more common references and other ways you can tell if a product has been vetted, read “Is This Safe to Buy? How Dangerous Products Get—and Stay—on the Market.”

baby_food_contaminiation_AdobeStock_84134860-300x214Parents take the responsibility for protecting their children seriously in everything they do from baby-proofing their homes to carefully choosing age-appropriate clothes and toys. But what about when it comes to food? Most parents today rely, at least in part, on prepackaged baby foods and may be surprised to learn that, in addition to pureed carrots, peas, applesauce and the like, some baby foods on the market today also contain toxic elements like arsenic and lead.

A U.S. House of Representatives subcommittee report recently revealed the existence of surprisingly high levels of heavy metals like arsenic and lead in some baby foods made and sold by various baby food manufacturers. This report prompted the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to issue a statement announcing its plans to limit the levels of heavy metals contained in baby foods and reminding baby food companies of their responsibility to consider the health dangers these elements pose. Some people are asking if the FDA’s actions are enough. Read “FDA Pledges to Take Action on Heavy Metals in Baby Food” to learn more.

hand_sanitizer_AdobeStock_327266102-300x169Frequent and thorough handwashing is one of the activities said to be an important step in helping prevent the spread of COVID-19. And when you don’t have access to soap and water, using a hand sanitizer is the next best thing — or is it?

While hand sanitizers may help stop the spread of germs, it has been reported that certain hand sanitizers contain potentially life-threatening chemicals which can be harmful when ingested or absorbed through the skin. Initially, consumers were warned to avoid hand sanitizers containing methanol. More recently, that list was expanded to also include those that contained 1-propanol.

For more details on what to look for – or avoid – when shopping for your hand sanitizers, read “FDA warns about new hand sanitizer ingredient, expands list of dangerous products to 149.”

infant-sleeper-recall-400-06394336d-300x214A recall of inclined infant sleepers earlier this year illustrates the need for parents to not only heed the recall warnings themselves, but also to make sure their children’s caretakers are doing likewise.

In early April, the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) issued a recall affecting some 5 million Fisher-Price Rock ‘n Play Sleepers and another approximately 700,000 similar inclined sleepers from Kids II after the products had been linked to more than 50 infant deaths. Yet, despite the recall, some daycare centers were found to still be using these sleepers.

The recall system in this country puts the burden on consumers to make sure they receive alerts about recalls and product defects. Registering the products upon purchase will ensure receipt of recall information, but this doesn’t help consumers or daycare centers that use secondhand equipment. Until the method for issuing recall notices is revised, parents are urged to keep the lines of communication with their children’s caregivers open. For more information regarding this issue read, “Dangerous Fisher-Price and Kids II Infant Sleepers Still Used in Day Care Centers.”

cosmetics-warning-400-06517381d-300x200Do you know what’s in the cosmetics you or your children are using? Many people probably don’t take the time to investigate the ingredients in their cosmetics unless they experience some kind of reaction to a particular product. Even if you don’t have a visible reaction, though, your cosmetics could contain unsafe ingredients that could cause injury or illness over the long-term.

The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has urged Congress to update rules regarding cosmetics safety after issuing an alert advising consumers against using three cosmetics products sold through Claire’s Stores Inc. after tests showed these products contained asbestos, a recognized cancer-causing agent. The accessories company has disputed these claims. To learn more read, “FDA Warns of Asbestos in Claire’s Cosmetics; Company Disputes Claim.”

toy-car-recall-400-05686527d-200x300Children love playing with cars, especially ones they can “drive” themselves. Toy vehicles present children with a great introduction to the rules of the road and the importance of mechanical upkeep. As adult drivers, we’re familiar with vehicle recalls for everything from airbags to tires and any number of other mechanical defects that could lead to injury. While some defects are more serious than others, adult drivers know the best response to a recall is to get the vehicle to the dealer or mechanic as soon as possible for repairs. That’s another lesson children can learn from one of the most recent recalls currently making the news.

Fisher-Price recently recalled thousands of one of its Barbie trademarked vehicles due to a faulty pedal. According to reports, the car continues to run even after the gas pedal has been released. Fortunately, no injuries have been reported as of yet due to this defect, but the toy manufacturer is urging parents to take the car away from their children until repairs can be made. For more details and information on how to have your child’s Barbie car repaired, read “Fisher-Price recalls 44,000 Barbie toy electric cars over faulty pedal.”

Defective products lawsuit; photo of white powder puff and talcum powder on black surfaceA Missouri jury recently ordered pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson to pay $4.14 billion in punitive damages to 22 defendants who claimed use of the company’s talc products led to their development of ovarian cancer. This comes on top of an award of $550 million in compensatory damages, for a grand total of $4.69 billion ordered by that jury, making this the 6th largest jury verdict in U.S. history in a defective products case.

This is the latest in a series of cases against J&J claiming a correlation between extended use of the company’s talc products, including baby powder, and ovarian cancer. A small number of those cases, including the Missouri case cited above, contend that the company’s talc products are contaminated with asbestos, a known carcinogen.

A spokesperson for the company stated that J&J, which has been successful in getting past verdicts related to this issue reversed, plans to appeal this latest verdict on grounds that it was the result of a “fundamentally unfair process.” To learn more about this ongoing court battle, read “Johnson & Johnson told to pay $4.7 billion in baby powder case.”

toy-safety-400-06429095d-300x207Could the toys on your child’s holiday wish list be hiding the risk for potential injury? Before you fulfill those wishes, you might want to check out this year’s “Top 10 Worst Toy” list issued by the consumer safety group, World Against Toys Causing Harm, also known as WATCH.

This group has been issuing such lists for more than 40 years to alert consumers to the potential hazards hidden in some of the season’s “must-have” toys. Conversely, an industry trade group known as The Toy Association has criticized WATCH for failing to test the toys on its lists and needlessly scaring parents.

According to The Toy Association, toys must meet stringent safety requirements before they can be sold in the U.S.  WATCH, however, questions the adequacy of these standards, noting a high number of recalls. To learn more about this safety debate and to see which toys made this year’s list, read “Safety Group Unveils Top 10 Worst Toy List for 2017.”

food-processor-recall-400-07820538d-200x300Conair Corp. last month recalled about eight million Cuisinart brand food processors just as home cooks were putting the machines to work chopping, grating and mixing food in preparation for the Christmas and Hanukkah holidays. The recall, which involves the stainless steel riveted blades in Cuisinart food processors sold nationwide between July 1996 and December 2015, came after the company received more than 65 complaints from consumers who found pieces of broken blades in food that had been processed with these machines. About 30 of those complaints included reports of cuts to the mouth and tooth injuries.

The sheer number of machines affected makes this one of the three largest appliance recalls ever in America. Consumers were urged to stop using their food processors and contact Cuisinart for a replacement blade. However the timing of the recall, coupled with the fact that homemakers could have had the food processors in their kitchens for more than 20 years, caused some consumers to decide to keep a careful eye on their holiday food preparation rather than participate in the recall. If you own a Cuisinart food processor and want to see if it is affected by this recall, read “8M Cuisinart Food Processors Recalled Over Laceration Hazard.”

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