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b2ap3_thumbnail_johnson.jpgA bedroom mirror reflects a young woman, hand on her arm, facing a worn teddy bear and plastic bottle of Johnson’s baby powder. The 1980s advertisement claims “It’s a feeling you never outgrow. The powder that kept you feeling soft as a baby keeps you feeling soft today. Johnson’s baby powder. It’s the softest powder there is.” Alleged “softness” aside, recent studies have shown genital use of powder is linked with 44 percent higher risk for ovarian cancer.

 

A number of lawsuits against Johnson & Johnson have brought the cancerous risks of talc (the main ingredient in Johnson’s Baby Powder) to the public’s attention. 49 year-old Deane Berg of Sioux Falls, S.D., an everyday user of the product for over 30 years, understood the talcum powder as the probable cause of her advanced ovarian cancer almost immediately.

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Takata airbag injury, Chicago auto defect lawyersDefective Takata airbags, which caused one of the biggest automotive recalls in history, were linked to 10 deaths and more than 100 injuries. Exploding on impact, the defective airbags sent metal shrapnel flying throughout the car and at its occupants. But, until now, no one really understood why. Scientists say they now have the answer.

A Multi-Faceted Problem

According to NPR, ten automobile manufacturing companies banded together and hired a team of rocket scientists so they could better understand what exactly had caused the airbag problems. What they found was not just one contributing factor, but several. Exposure to humidity, problems with both the manufacturing and design, and the use of a volatile chemical known as ammonium nitrate are all to blame, the scientists say.

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cough syrup recall, Chicago product liability attorneyA cough syrup distributed by Master Herbs, Inc. is being recalled because it contains undisclosed morphine. Made in China, the licorice cough syrup was distributed in 100 ml bottles at Chinese grocery stores in California, New Jersey, Hawaii, Illinois, Ohio, and Nevada. Although to date, no one has reported being harmed by the medication, the implications are highly concerning, particularly for those that may have an oversensitivity to morphine.

Side Effects of Morphine

Morphine, which is a powerful narcotic, can cause a battery of adverse effects, ranging from stomach cramps to respiratory problems and death. Those that suffer from oversensitivity are especially prone to severe and potentially fatal side effects. Although, typically, symptoms subside, those that are suffering from respiratory distress, severe allergic reaction, or other potentially fatal symptoms should seek immediate medical attention.

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dangerous toys, Holiday toys, Chicago product liability attorney‘Tis the season for remote control cars, bicycles, action figures, kitchen sets, and so much more. But how many of the toys that are purchased this holiday season present a real danger to children? World Against Toys Causing Harm (WATCH) has recently given their list of the top 10 most dangerous toys of the season, but there may be many more.

Toy Safety Requirements

According to the Toy Industry Association, every toy sold on shelves in America undergoes some of the strictest safety requirements in the world. Some are even said to go through 100 different safety tests, standards, and certifications conducted by independent, federally approved testing labs. Yet countless toys have made it through the purported filtering system, only to cause injury or death, and then be recalled after the fact. And, even though the Toy Industry Association says that WATCH does not actually test the toys it names, parents are left to wonder just how safe the toys really are.

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FDA recall, scope cleaning machine, Chicago personal injury lawyersDoctors and surgeons rely heavily on medical devices to ensure patient safety. Unfortunately, there is an alarming number of defective medical devices out there. When physicians learn the truth, they are often disturbed and upset, but it is the patients who pay the ultimate price—with their health, their wellbeing, and sometimes even their lives. Such may be the case with the FDA’s recent recalls on nearly 2,800 Custom Ultrasonics machines.

Custom Ultrasonics’ Previous Bar from the FDA

Trusted by hospitals and medical clinics throughout the United States, Custom Ultrasonics’ endoscope reprocessing devices are intended to kill the bacteria and microorganisms found on flexible endoscopes after a procedure, enabling safe re-use of the expensive and important medical equipment.

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tort reforms, Chicago product recall attorneysThere was a time when corporations cared about their products and the effect they had on the general population. It was a time when companies worked hard to prevent the distribution of defective products; when the system failed and a defect did make its way to the public, the issue was quickly rectified. In some ways, it is an indication of just how much values have changed over the years, but it is an even stronger indication of how the decisions made by lawmakers, legislators, and courts have diminished the sense of accountability for large corporations.

Punitive Damages and Corporate Accountability

Punitive damages and corporate accountability go hand-in-hand because, when a corporation has the fear of being hit with damages above and beyond just the typical damages, they are less likely to gamble with the lives of their consumers. But punitive damages have become nearly non-existent, with some states placing caps on the amounts and others doing away with them altogether. As a result, corporations have begun to weigh the cost of continuing to produce defective products against the cost of correcting the problem or pulling the product altogether.

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asbestos in crayons, Chicago product liability attorneyThe public has feared asbestos for quite some time, and for good reason. It has been linked to a number of serious conditions, and it is thought to kill up to 15,000 Americans every year. Yet this carcinogen was recently found in crayons and other items marketed to children.

The Truth About Asbestos

Most people assume that asbestos has been banned and that it is a problem of the past. Unfortunately, this could not be further from the truth; asbestos can be found in products used by the general public on a daily basis.

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Dodge Challenger, Takata recall, Chicago defective car parts lawyerDodge Challengers have recently been added to the ever-growing list of Takata airbag recalls. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) says that the Challengers were “inadvertently excluded” from the original recall list submitted to the NHTSA. The FCA also stated it was not until an audit on July 6 that they realized the 88,346 Dodge Challengers, manufactured between September 2007 and October 2010, had Takata airbags.

The Japanese-manufactured airbags contain a propellant that can degrade over time from moisture exposure. Even in a low-speed impact, the airbags can deploy with such excessive force that they self-destruct and shoot shrapnel into the passenger compartment. Over the last decade, they have been traced back to eight deaths and more than 100 injuries.

Takata’s Failures in Morality

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Takata apology, Chicago product liability lawyersThe Takata airbag recall has not gotten better in the months since it started. More vehicles have been added to the recall list and more deaths have been linked to defective Takata airbags. A national recall started in November 2014, but Takata is just now apologizing for the deaths and injuries their defective airbags have caused. Is their apology too late for some consumers and automotive companies though?

An apology and deep bow from Takata’s chief executive, Shigehisa Takada, cannot bring back those who have died to their family members or heal the injuries the defective car part has caused many consumers. With the timeline for fixing all the recalled airbags growing with the increase in cars added to the recall, Fiat Chrysler informed the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation it will no longer use Takata inflators in replacement of driver’s side airbags in its cars. It is looking at other alternatives to fix the defective part.

The Senate Committee has been going through all the documents Takata gave them and has released a report stating Takata has stopped performing safety audits. In the report, citing internal emails, the committee wrote that Takata may have been able to prevent this recall if it had proper safety and auditing committees in place to check that the correct protocols were being followed. This neglect on Takata’s part that there was no safety committee in place is troubling.

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Takata airbag recall death, Chicago personal injury lawyerAn eighth death has been linked to the recalled airbags from Takata Corp. of Japan. A Los Angeles woman suffered neck and head injuries when the Honda civic she was driving crashed and the airbag deployed, sending shrapnel flying into the body of the car and the victim. This death has become more prevalent in the ongoing recall because the car being driven was a rental car.

The Honda civic the victim was driving had previously been recalled in 2009 and the owner of the vehicle had been notified four times, according to Honda, about the recall and that the vehicle needed repaired. Mark Rosekind, the administrator of the Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), stated, “The fact that this was a rental vehicle that had not been remedied is more evidence for why we are seeking author to prohibit sale or rental of any vehicle with an open safety recall.”

Rental car companies should be held to the same standards as car dealerships when vehicles receive recalls. Renting a car to a consumer when the company knows there is a recall is a product liability case. Currently, only dealerships are required to repair recalled vehicles and defective car parts before they can sell the car. Rental car companies should also be required to take a recalled vehicle out of their rotation until the defective part is fixed.

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furniture chair recall, Chicago product liability attorneys

When you search for Big Lots online, their description says, “Find surprises in every aisle, every day at Big Lots!” What if that surprise is falling and injuring yourself in the store on a piece of furniture they are selling? That is the case with several customers who tried out a hanging chair in Big Lots stores. Companies who sell the recalled product and the manufacturers who make the product have a responsibility to the consumer to ensure product liability on the recalled product.

Big Lots is recalling approximately 16,000 egg-shaped hanging chairs. The chairs are made from brown plastic and are in a wicker, mesh pattern with a red cushion. The chair hangs from a metal, U-shaped base and pole. When consumers tried out the product, they reported tipped over and swing beyond the base of the chair. This caused the chair to fall off the pole.

Big Lots has issued a recall for all the chairs, but what will happen in the future? When consumers purchase furniture, there is an expectation that the piece of furniture or furniture set they are purchasing is going to be safe. Consumers should not have to be concerned if their furniture is going to fall apart or injure them. They should be able to take comfort in knowing the product they are purchasing is safe. Unfortunately, this is not always the case.

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ignition switch recall, Chicago car defect attorneyThe National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) released reports stating the investigation into General Motors (GM) ignition switch defect was not thorough. The ignition switch defect has been connected with over 100 deaths. The GM ignition switch recall is the fourth largest defective car parts recall in history, with over 800,000 vehicles recalled.

GM knew about the defective switch as far back as 2004, but did not start recalling any vehicles until 2014. In the past year, NHTSA has taken no responsibility for any of its own actions in the investigation into the defective parts. Families who believe they did not do enough now have a small peace of mind when they announced they trusted but did not verify the information GM was sending them and failed to use its authority to hold GM accountable.

NHTSA allowed GM to conduct their own investigation into the ignition switch defect and did not verify any information they were given from GM with their own investigation or follow up questions. They took GM’s word that everything was being executed as it should be and was being taken care of. NHTSA failed to do its part to protect consumers and push for a recall sooner and holding the company accountable.

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dialysis recall, Illinois product liability lawyerThere are many people who rely on dialysis treatments to survive. What happens when a dialysis patient receives a recalled treatment solution? That is the question about 160 patients at the Dialysis Clinic in American Samoa had to answer. A batch of recalled dialysis treatment solution was sent to the only dialysis treatment center on the island.

American Samoa is a group of islands about halfway between Hawaii and New Zealand and is an American territory. Due to its distant location, the airport and port in Pago Pago are the main transportation outlets for goods coming onto the island. This can delay shipments if weather is bad or goods are unavailable.

The liquid bicarbonate concentrate used in a three-stream hemodialysis machine to administer the solution was recalled. The Dialysis Clinic did not receive word about the recall before administering some of the recalled products to patients for a day and half after the shipment was received. The manufacturer, Fresenius Medical Care Rental Therapies Group, sent out an emergency shipment, but it will take several days to arrive. This caused the clinic to close down until the shipment was received.

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zimmer knee implant recallZimmer voluntarily started recalling their Persona Trabecular Metal Tibial Plate knee replacement system in March. The Federal Drug Administration (FDA) issued a Class II recall for all makes and sizes. Companies are responsible for providing product liability for any product they produce and sell.

The FDA Class II Recalls are an intermediate level of concern. There is no immediate danger of death or serious injury, but there is still a possibility if the product’s use is continued. There are also still health and safety concerns. The FDA works with the manufacturer to help patients affected by the product recall to ensure the product is taken off the market as soon as possible.

In the case of Zimmer, they started recalling their Persona Trabecular Metal Tibial Plate system on their own, but not fast enough for the FDA. Complaints started increasing concerning implants loosening and causing complications. Over 11,500 devices are affected by the recall. The Persona system is not the first recall Zimmer has experienced. Two other products they have produced in the past have recently been recalled and taken off the market for similar complaints of the devices loosening. How can a company continue to be trusted to produce products if their products continue to be recalled for similar issues among different devices?

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Chicago defective product lawyerThe Takata airbag recall has been unfolding since October, starting with a massive recall that affected 11 car companies. The Takata recall was already setting records for the amount of companies it affected with the recall. On May 19, Takata nearly doubled the recall amount and now affects approximately 34 million vehicles. It is now the largest automotive recall in history.

With the recall almost doubling, it may take years to replace the airbags that are being recalled. New processing procedures and airbags have to be produced and then shipped to dealers for replacement. Implementing a new process for producing the airbags may require modifying machines, training employees, and the other procedures to ensure their product is safe. This can take time to implement, making consumers who have to have their airbags replaced wait even longer. Takata and the car companies have a product liability responsibility to the consumer to ensure their products are safe to use.

While the National Highways Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Takata will not have all the vehicles affected for a few weeks at least, of the 11 companies affected by the recall, Honda has been affected the most. Reports have been reviewed about if Honda knew about the defects before the recall was issued and did not report it to the NHTSA, but Honda has started looking into other companies for replacing the airbags. The solution is coming a little too late for some consumers who have already been affected by the defect, including families who have lost family members due to the defective airbags.

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surgical staple recall, Chicago Illinois product liability lawyerWhen the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) issues a recall, it is classified into one of three classes: Class I, II, or III. A Class I recall is the most serious recall the FDA issues. The TigerPaw II system recall has been classified as a Class I recall and patients who have had the system used during heart surgery should immediately speak with their surgeon. Patients who have had the staples used during surgery may also want to consider contacting a product liability attorney to talk about compensation from Maquet Medical Systems, the maker of the TigerPaw II system, for a product liability case.

The TigerPaw II system is a surgical staple used to close tissue in the left atrial appendage of the heart. It has been reported to cause tearing and bleeding in the heart tissue due to not closing completely. The FDA recall affects all TigerPaw II systems, which is over 4,000 TigerPaw II systems. They recommend the staples be immediately removed, quarantined, and replaced.

When the FDA classifies a recall as a Class I it is because there is a  strong likelihood that the product will cause serious adverse health consequences or death if use of the product continues. Maquet Medical Systems received 51 reports of adverse side effects and one death associated with the TigerPaw II system between April 2013 and March 2015.

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Zofran and pregnancy, Chicago product liability lawyerMany pregnant women experience morning sickness during their pregnancies. Some experience nausea so severe they are unable to function. Most of those women may have been prescribed a drug called Zofran to help with their morning sickness. The problem with Zofran is that it is has not been labeled for use in pregnant women. It is supposed to be used for cancer patients. So why is GlaxoSmithKline allowing their product to be prescribed to women who are pregnant if they have not tested the effects of Zofran on pregnant women? It is medical malpractice to allow their defective drug to continue to be prescribed for uses it is not approved for.

Separate studies have shown a possible link to the use of Zofran in pregnant women in their first trimester and birth defects in their children. Multiple lawsuits filed against GlaxoSmithKline stated Zofran caused birth defects or wrongful deaths after using the drug, that the company marketed the drug to pregnant women without approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and produced a defective drug. The FDA approved the drug for use in cancer patients during and after treatments and surgeries. It has not been tested for side effects in pregnant women.

This is not the first time Zofran and GlaxoSmithKline have been the subject of a lawsuit for illegal promotion of drugs. The company paid $3 billion as part of the legal settlement in 2012 after federal charges were brought against the company. The company is now being sued by families for specific allegations in relation to the use and misrepresentation of their marketing for Zofran.

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Harley Davidson recall, Chicago motorcycle accident liability lawyerMany motorcyclists ride their motorcycles all year, while some only ride during the months of good weather. No matter when they rider take out their motorcycles, they want to know their motorcycle is safe to ride. A recent recall of some Harley-Davidson motorcycles puts some owners at risk. Motorcycle manufacturers have a responsibility to motorcycle owners affected by the recall to ensure the defective motorcycle part gets replaced or fixed so the owner is not in an accident because of the defective part.

The recall includes almost 46,000 motorcycles built between April and October 2014. It affects 13 models built in that time frame. The defect is caused by a chemical reaction in the clutch master cylinder that may cause gas bubbles to form. The gas bubbles can lead to the loss of clutch lift.

This means the plates may not fully engage even if the rider pulls the clutch completely and may cause the affected models clutch to move and cause the motorcycle to go forward while it is in gear and running. This defect has caused over 20 injuries to motorcyclists and their passengers. Motorcycles parked for extended periods of time are more likely to be affected by the defect, but Harley-Davidson stated it may also affect motorcycles that are ridden on a regular basis.

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Graco carseat recall, Chicago product liability law firmIn the largest car seat recall in U.S. history, Graco is being fined for not disclosing defects in over six million car seats. Defects in children’s car seats are a safety hazard and a product liability. Parents put their confidence in the car seat manufacturers to ensure that the car seats are safe and reliable. Knowing about a defect and not alerting consumers in a timely manner is a product liability and the manufacturer should be held responsible.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) started an investigation in December 2014 due to a high volume of complaints that the latch on their car seats are too hard to unlatch. The defect has been connected with one death in California and has stemmed over 6,000 complaints.

NHTSA reported that Graco knew about the defect and were slow to tell consumers and recall their car seats. Federal regulations state manufacturers are required to report defects within five days of discovering them. They fined Graco $3 million to be paid immediately to the U.S. Treasury and are required to pay $7 million if they do not spend the same amount over the next five years to improve the safety of their car seats.

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bmw motorcycle recall, Chicago auto parts liability lawyerMany motorcyclists are passionate, not only about the type of motorcycle they ride, but also about their safety. What happens when motorcyclists’ safety are put in jeopardy by the company who produced their bike because of a defective part? The motorcycle manufacturer who produced the parts is responsible for product liability if there is a defective part. Motorcyclists should not have to be concerned about having their motorcycle breaking while they are riding due to a part on their bike breaking.

BMW is recalling over 40,000 motorcycles of different models and years due to a rear wheel flange defect. The defect can cause the flange to crack if the rear tire mounting bolts are tightened too much. The crack can cause the rear wheel to come loose from the bike, increasing instability in the motorcycle and likelihood of a crash.

The recall is affecting 16 of BMW’s motorcycle models. BMW expects the recall to begin in April, but that is not guaranteed. BMW plans to notify customers affected by the recall. For some motorcyclists, riding is their only means of transportation though. If they are unable to ride their motorcycle, they may lose their job or suffer from an accident if they have to continue to ride their motorcycle because it is the only vehicle they own. Neither option is acceptable. BMW motorcycle owners are able to input their VIN number into BMW’s Safety Recalls page to see if their bike is affected this recall or any other through BMW.

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