Articles Posted in Product Liability

Owners of 2009, 2010, and 2011 Mercury Marquis, Ford Crown Victoria, and Lincoln Town Car vehicles are reporting a dangerous fire hazard.

At issue is an electrical wiring problem in the both the passenger and driver side vanity mirrors that can lead to electrical components heating to such a temperature that they burn and melt the vehicle’s sun visor and the material surrounding it.

In fact, one driver reports that they suffered second to third degree burns due to the melting components falling from above while driving after the driver’s side vanity mirror light began to burn.

Is a car with no airbags safer than a car with faulty airbags? Japanese automakers believe so, according to Huffington Post.

Following a massive airbag recall of millions of vehicles with potential airbag malfunction problems, auto makers in Japan advised they will turn off the airbags in the affected vehicles.

Drivers can bring the recalled vehicles back to the dealer and have the airbags “turned off” until the replacement part is ready. This action is meant as a temporary remedy to a defect that can cause some airbags to rupture in the event of a crash and shoot shrapnel at drivers and passengers.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a warning letter to Stryker Corp due to a quality systems-related issue at the Portage, Michigan facility – where products from Stryker’s Instruments are produced – and the company’s marketing of unapproved medical devices including the Neptune Waste Management system.

Stryker issued a Class 1 recall of the Neptune system in June 2012, weeks before it also recalled the Stryker Rejuvenate and ABG II metal-on-metal hip implants after the devices were showing substantial rates of hip implant failure. The Neptune system, which collects surgical waste fluids and evacuates smoke during clinical procedures, was causing severe injuries, one of which resulted in death.

Stryker received the warning in response to its marketing products without adequate regulatory approval and failing to inform the FDA about the product recall.

What happens when a drug that you have been prescribed by your doctor has been recalled and nobody bothered to tell you?

You’re not alone. It’s a frequent occurrence, one that has a potential quality-of-life altering impact.

Every year dozens of pharmaceutical drugs are recalled because of numerous reasons but adverse side effects and contamination seem to be the most prevalent reasons.

Who’s minding the store? Why aren’t pharmacists and doctors paying attention? It’s quite possible they are not being alerted as the two notification systems – the FDA and MedWatch have a 20 to 40 percent failure rate.

According to a new study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, the FDA fails to effectively report as many as 40 percent or more of all Class I drug recalls. And is it only the FDA’s responsibility or are the drug manufacturers at fault too?
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Take an informal survey of friends and family who have had hip implants. Ask what brand of hip implant do they have? Most likely blank stares will be the answer. Some may know metal on metal, metal on polyethylene, or metal on ceramic hip replacements, but most will be unaware of the brand or model.

You can jog their memories with Stryker, DePuy, Zimmer, Pinnacle, Biomet, and Wright among others though no recollection comes to mind. Yet, if you ask what brand of contact lenses or dental adhesive they use – brands easily roll off the tongue. Why so? Perhaps, brand recognition occurs because the contact lenses or dental adhesive packaging is personally handled and rests in the medicine cabinet.

Would a patient who has had a hip implant actually know the brand? Would you know the difference between primary acetabular components and primary femoral components? The answer is most likely no, unless you have reviewed your complex medical records.

So, as hip replacement patients, when you hear on TV or read on online about all the hip implant complications, what can you do?

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SimplyThick is a thickening agent given at medical centers to help manage difficulties prematurely-born infants have with swallowing. This agent is typically added to breast milk and infant formula to help premature babies swallow and keep their food down. As of June 4, 2011, Simply Thick LLC recalled their products that were manufactured at their Georgia plant because of the presence of harmful bacteria that could prove injurious to infants. The FDA reports that some bottles of SimplyThick cause necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC), a serious infection which can result in death.

After two reports of a possible link between the defective product and NEC, the FDA began an investigation. There have been 15 cases of NEC and two deaths involving premature babies. Parents and hospitals have been encouraged to stop using SimplyThick until the investigation is complete.

Manufacturers of products that put lives in danger should be held accountable. These product manufacturers have a legal and moral obligation to produce safe products. That responsibility multiplies when it involves a vulnerable section of the population such as infants, the elderly or those who are already ill. If you or a loved one has been affected by a defective product, please contact an experienced products liability lawyer in Philadelphia to obtain more information about pursuing your legal rights.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) reports that eight manufacturers have recalled about 1 million defective pool drain covers because of a possible entrapment hazard for swimmers. According to the CPSC, the recalled pool drain covers were made by A&A, AquaStar, Color Match, Custom Molded Products, Hayward Pool Products, Pentair Water Pool & Spa, Rising Dragon and Waterway.

The massive recall was issued because the drain covers “were incorrectly rated to handle the flow of water through the cover.” This issue results in potential dangers to people swimming near the drain. Defective drain covers can pose significant hazards. For example, toes, feet and fingers can become trapped and hair can become tangled in faulty drain covers, thereby causing swimmers to become entrapped. This can lead to near-drowning or drowning incidents as well. So far, no injuries or fatalities have been linked to the recalled products.

According to recently released swimming pool accident statistics by CPSC, there were 55 drowning accidents and 63 near-drowning incidents in 29 states in the first five months of 2011. The report also states that 96 percent of victims who are seriously injured in submersion incidents will die as a result of their injuries. Also, 72 percent of submersion victims die the same day and another 24 percent of them pass away within a week of the incident. The high fatality rate in such submersion cases is due to the potential for severe brain damage when oxygen to the brain is cut off.

SaferCar.gov reports that General Motors Inc. has announced a recall of certain 2009-2010 Cadillac CTS sedans.

The recall includes 44,147 vehicles and was initiated due to a condition which may cause the wax finish on the vehicle’s rear suspension toe link jam nuts to permit the nuts to loosen. If the nuts loosen, this could result in a clanging sound. If the noise is ignored or unnoticed, the toe link could separate and allow the rear wheel to turn inwards or outwards. According to the manufacturer, if this occurs, a driver may experience unexpected changes with the handling of the vehicle. This could lead to loss of vehicle control and increase the possibility of an accident occurring.

Owners of the recalled cars are instructed to take their vehicle to a dealer, where the wax residue from the rear suspension toe link will be cleaned. Additionally, two new jam nuts will be installed to prevent loosening, and if necessary, the rear suspension toe link may be entirely replaced. All services will be done free of charge.

Bloomberg reports that Pfizer Inc. was recently ordered to pay $142.1 million in damages to Kaiser Foundation Hospitals and Kaiser Foundation Health Plan Inc. for violating United States laws regarding racketeering that relate to the company’s marketing of Neurontin.

Pfizer is the largest drug manufacturer in the world, and a jury in Boston found that the company illegally promoted Neurontin for “unapproved uses.” Under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act of 1970 (RICO), the judge tripled the $47.3 million award from the jury, bringing the total to $142.1 million, but denied Kaiser’s request for the $76 million in interest on the award.

Neurontin was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 1993 for epilepsy. Officials from Kaiser alleged they were deceived by Pfizer to believe that the drug could also effectively treat bipolar disorder and migraines. Kaiser also claimed it was forced to pay more than $90 million more for the drug than it should have.

In a recent October issue of The Legal Intelligencer, Larry E. Coben discussed spinal cord and brain injuries in depth, as well as design defects in motor vehicles and helmets that allow such catastrophic injuries to occur in his article “Representing the Catastrophically Injured, Part I.” Coben has represented individuals who have been catastrophically injured or killed nationwide for over 35 years. He is also a shareholder and attorney with Anapol Weiss.

The severity of head injuries is directly dependent on the rate, direction, and peak of acceleration of the brain and the head. While most head injuries occur in mere seconds, their impact can last a lifetime.

Motorists typically suffer spinal cord and brain injuries related to four aspects of car design:

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