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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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defective vehicles, Chrysler recalls vehicles, Chicago Defective Car Parts LawyerIn the midst of the Takata airbag recalls, which now includes more than 30 million vehicles, Chrysler has announced a recall on more than 11 million defective vehicles; only this one has nothing to do with Takata. In fact, this recall has nothing to do with airbags at all. It does pose a safety hazard to Chrysler owners, however, and the public deserves to know the truth.

Formal Recall Started with Software Issues

Recalls initially started after a published a story on Chrysler’s Uconnect dashboard computers. Security researchers reportedly hacked into the system of a Jeep and wirelessly took over its dashboard functions, transmission, steering, and brakes.

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Takata airbag recall list, Illinois product liability lawyerEight deaths and over 100 injuries have been linked to defective Takata airbags. As a result, more than 30 million vehicles from 10 different manufacturers have been recalled. Consumer Report recently released an exhaustive list of those vehicles, as well as some tips for those affected.

Which Vehicles are Being Recalled and Why?

Toyota, Subaru, Nissan, Mitsubishi, Mazda, Honda, General Motors, Ford, Chrysler, and BMW all have models on the Takata airbag recall list. Most of them were manufactured between 2002 and 2008, but some models have been expanded to 2014. (A comprehensive list of the specific models and years of vehicles being recalled are listed at Consumer Report.)

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Mazda airbag recall, Chicago auto defect lawyersThe Takata recall is not a new subject, but Mazda’s new recall is. In addition to recalling the Takata airbags, Mazda announced they are recalling inflators made by Takata. Mazda is taking steps to replace the defective car parts to ensure consumers who bought their vehicles are safe on the road.

Mazda is recalling almost 445,000 vehicles with dual driver side front airbag. They said the front driver side airbag is more susceptible to moisture and other influences that may cause the inflator to rupture over time. If the inflator ruptures, in the event of a crash and the airbag deploying, the inflator will send metal shards into the inside of the vehicle. Mazda vehicles affected include 2003-2008 Mazda 6 models, 2004-2008 Mazda R-8 models, and 2006-2007 Mazdaspeed 6 models.

Consumers who believe their vehicle has been impacted by the recall can enter their Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) into the SaferCar.gov website. The website was created by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). They note that with the large number of vehicles being recalled it can take several days to get all the VINs of affected vehicles into the system and to check back to make sure your vehicle is not on the recall list.

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Mazda Takata recall, Chicago product liability lawyersThe Takata airbag recall has affected ten car companies and over 30 million vehicles. Mazda announced they are adding an additional 540,000 older vehicles to the recall list. With Takata airbags being used in almost every automotive manufacturer, many are left to wonder if their vehicle will be added to the recall list. Automotive companies and Takata are responsible for the product liability of the defective airbags.

Consumers only have two options with this recall. They can choose to not drive their vehicle until the defective airbag is replaced or they can take the chance and hope they do not get into an accident where the airbag will deploy, possibly killing or injuring themselves or their passengers. Neither option is acceptable and in most cases consumers have no other option that to continue to drive their cars with the defective airbag.

Takata and investigators have not been able to determine which inflator in the airbag design is the cause of the problem. Reports are now saying it is multiple causes. This is an unsatisfactory answer to the largest recall in automotive history. If the company that designed the defective airbag and independent researchers cannot fix the design, consumers are being put at risk longer because the defective airbag will take longer to be replaced.

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black decker lawnmower recall, Chicago product liability attorneyWhen companies receive reports and supporting evidence of safety hazards for a product they produce, they have a 24-hour window in which they are supposed to report it to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). Not doing so can cause other consumers using the product to injure themselves due to the defect. Black & Decker did not comply with the requirement to report the safety defect for allegedly 11 years. They have a responsibility to consumers to report safety defects immediately and compensate them for product liability.

This will be the fifth time Black & Decker has been fined for not reporting safety hazards to consumers immediately concerning their products. The company is being required to pay a $1.575 million civil penalty to settle the allegations.

The products in question this time are two electric lawn mowers. Consumers reported that the lawn mower models would turn back on after the handle was released and the safety key removed. In some cases, the lawn mower would run for hours after it had originally been turned off and it had restarted on its own. The defect in the products has caused several injuries and the company had received over 100 reports.

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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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Takata airbag recall lawyer, Chicago product liability attorneyHonda announced it is adding nearly 105,000 more vehicles to the recall list it began last year over reports of potentially deadly airbags. The automaker’s recall now includes 5.5 millions vehicles sold under the Honda or Acura brands in the United States. Ten other auto manufacturers have also been forced to recall a combined 11.5 million vehicles equipped with possibly defective airbags, all products of the same auto parts supplier.

Recall Timeline

In October 2014, 11 automakers announced the recall of more than 14 million vehicle sold with airbags manufactured by Japanese part maker Takata. Less than month later, The New York Times carried a report that Takata was aware nearly ten years ago that some of the company’s airbags could possibly explode, putting a driver at risk from flying metal debris. The report claims that rather than notifying safety officials, Takata tested potential fixes and redesigns, then scrapped the program and scrubbed the data. Regulatory filings from the company do not acknowledge any such testing until 2008, when the first airbag rupture-related recall was initiated.

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pulmonary embolism, Cook IVC, Chicago product liability lawyerCook Inferior Vena Cava (IVC) filters have been found to be ineffective at stopping blood clots in many cases. Cook IVC filters are designed to stop blood clots traveling to the lungs through a small device inserted into the vein.

The filters are used in patients at risk of having the veins or arteries in their lungs blocked by blood clots, a condition known as a pulmonary embolism. Companies that produce products that cause consumers serious injury or death are held responsible for product liability, the legal responsibility the company incurs for producing or selling a faulty product.

The Cook IVC filter is the oldest filter approved for use and designed to be removed after 12 weeks or the risk of a pulmonary embolism has passed. An investigation into the filters found that serious complications could arise from use or prolonged use of IVC filters, including:

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herbal supplement product liability, Chicago personal injury lawyerIn an independent test by the New York State Attorney General’s office, it was found that four major retailers’ name brand herbal supplements did not contain the herbs listed. Instead, the supplements contained filler ingredients, some of which may cause allergic reactions.  Mislabeling products is considered a product liability issue. For example, if you are allergic to an ingredient in the product or you have an adverse side effect because it is not labeled correctly, the product manufacturer is responsible for compensating you, the consumer.

The New York State Attorney General’s office sent Wal-Mart, Walgreen’s, GNC, and Target a “Cease and Desist Notification” to pull the named products in the notification off their shelves and explain their process about how they verify the ingredients on the labels of the listed supplements. The tests found that four out of five products did not contain any of the herbs listed on their labels. The tests did find fillers, such as wheat, asparagus, powered rice, and house plants, in the supplements.

Supplements are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) like prescription medications are. They are not required to go through the same rigorous testing that prescriptions are before they are sold to consumers. Supplement regulation is based on an honor system that operates with the understanding that the manufacturer is being truthful about what ingredients are in the product and the labeling on the product is true.

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Posted on in Product Liability

Takata airbag recalls, Chicago product liability lawyerWith 7.8 million U.S. vehicles affected by the recent Takata airbag recall, many people are wondering if their vehicle is affected by the recall and if it is safe to drive. Airbags can deploy, even in low-impact crashes, causing injuries and damage. If your vehicle is affected by the defective airbags, you may be at risk if your airbags deploy and may have a product liability case against the manufacturer.

In light of all the recent rolling recalls, people are also wondering who knew about the defects before the recalls started happening. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) issues recalls based on accident, individual, and car manufacturer reports. They did not start investigating Takata airbag defects and issuing recalls until 2009. Alleged evidence from Honda and Takata state they both knew as early as 2004 that there was a defect in the airbags.

In addition to Honda and Takata allegedly knowing about the defects, they did not notify NHTSA about the defects. At a hearing before the House Committee of Energy and Commerce, a Takata executive, Hiroshi Shimizu, would not clearly answer if the airbags were defective, but did apologize for the deaths and injuries.

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OtisMed recall, knee replacement liability, Chicago injury attorneyThe OtisKnee device, made by OtisMed Corporation, was not approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to be used in knee replacement surgeries. The OtisKnee devices were not proven to be safe or effective. OtisMed Corporation distributed and marketed the OtisKnee and is responsible for product liability and the injuries patients have been caused due to the defective product.

“The OtisKnee device was used by surgeons performing total knee arthroplasty, known as knee replacement surgery. OtisMed advertised the cutting guide as a tool to assist surgeons in making accurate bone cuts specific to individual patients’ anatomy based on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) performed prior to surgery,” according to the FDA’s statement about the OtisKnee, following a lengthy investigation.

The OtisKnee device was marketed to surgeons as a means to match the size and placement of the implant to an individual’s normal knee alignment. It was supposed to allow surgeons to be able to keep more of the patient’s bone and ligaments, which meant a quicker recovery and greater range of motion. Patients claimed their recovery was longer and many have had to undergo a second knee replacement surgery to remove the defective product, more bone, and have a new implant placed in their knee, costing them more recovery time and more medical expenses.

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Takata airbag recall, Chicago product liability attorneyTakata airbags, used in many major car companies, are being recalled following reports of metal shards piercing victims’ faces and necks after the airbags deployed in accidents. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has released a consumer advisory listing vehicle makes, models, and years affected by the recall.

Takata airbags are manufactured and sold by Takata Corporation of Japan to many car companies throughout the world. Those companies that have issued recalls are BMW, Chrysler, Ford, General Motors, Honda, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Subaru, and Toyota, affecting over 7.8 million vehicles.

The NHTSA is urging car owners who own vehicles from the affected companies to check their VIN number to see if their vehicle is included in the recall. If your car is included in the recall, contact your car manufacturer for replacement details. The defective Takata airbags are linked to four deaths and over 100 injuries in accidents where the recalled airbag deployed, sometimes shooting metal shards into the inside of the car, caused by a potentially deteriorated propellant that ruptured the inflator housing.

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energy drink dangers, product liability attorney in ChicagoOver the past few years, concerns and controversy have been linked to energy drinks and the dangers that have been reported in adults, but now Health Day has published a new study that discusses young children, under the age of six, who are also at risk when they consume these products. The study reported data from 55 separate poison control centers over a three-year period, resulting in conclusive statistics that revealed 40 percent of reports to poison control centers in the U.S. involved children in this age range.

Although energy drinks are typically marketed to teenagers and young adults, the national poison control data system has linked these reports to children’s unintentional exposure to the beverages. Over 50 percent of these reported cases included serious health incidents such as heart problems and seizures.

The study clearly shows the availability and level of exposure that young children have to these beverages. Canned energy drinks that contain herbal ingredients plus caffeine can be labeled as dietary supplements without evaluation of health safety by the FDA. As a result, people may then be given inaccurate or incorrect product information about the amount of caffeine they are consuming, especially if the company chooses not to disclose the specific amount of caffeine per drink.

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medical device recall, medical product liability lawyerIn an executive summary of its Medical Device Recall Report, the FDA revealed that the annual number of recalls increased by a staggering 97 percent from 2003 to 2012. Over the past decade, the complexity of medical device recalls increased and 1,190 recalls were reported in 2012, almost double the amount in 2003. Manufacturers maintain product liability for devices they market and have a responsibility to the public to alert of any potential hazards.

The FDA categorizes recalls into one of three classes. Class II recalls reflected the most significant increase in the recall report with a reported 1,043 recalls in 2012, up from 460 a decade ago.

The largest single-day recall occurred last August when Customed, a surgical kit provider out of Puerto Rico, recalled 233 of its products due to sterility issues. Other medical device recalls, such as metal-on-metal hip implants, have led to thousands of patients being affected and billions of dollars in lawsuits against its manufacturers.

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transvaginal mesh, Illinois product liability lawyerWomen who suffer from stress urinary incontinence (SUI) or pelvic organ prolapse (POP) may be implanted with transvaginal mesh (TVM), a medical device that gives added support when weakened or damaged tissue is being repaired. According to statistics, up to 70,000 women have this medical device implanted each year, illustrating a reliance on TVM to correct certain medical problems.

However, the American Association for Justice reported the impact of dangerous medical devices such as these in 2013 and noted that there were early detections of problems linked to TVM even during its rising popularity in the early 2000s. TVM has been known to cause:

  • Bleeding;
  • Infection;
  • Pain;
  • Erosion or hardening of the device; and
  • Difficulty in removal of the device.

Additional surgeries are required to repair complications with mesh erosion and still do not solidify a guaranteed resolution to the adverse effects originally caused by TVM. These procedures mean costly hospital stays, prolonged medical care, and a diminished quality of life for a medical device that the FDA said did not necessarily improve post-surgical outcomes in many cases.

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toy related injuries, Illinois product liability lawyerThe most active retail months are barely over and toy manufacturers have generated billions upon billions in revenue worldwide. The estimated cost for toy production is over two billion dollars in the United States alone as last reported in 2010. It is a booming industry that may be growing faster than safety officials can monitor.

Toys have evolved over time to include detailed parts and extra gadgets that require additional testing for their safety. They are packaged with age limit recommendations to keep babies and toddlers from choking on small pieces, but there are also unforeseen hazards in toys manufactured today which include:

  • Asbestos;
  • Carcinogens;
  • Lead; and
  • Product defectiveness.

The American Association for Justice reports a 54 percent increase of toy-related injuries from 1999-2008 ranging from choking to amputations to asphyxiation. The number of toys hitting the market largely outnumber the resources for inspection and safety tests available via the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).

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Chicago medical device recall lawyerPatients rely on hospitals to ensure that safety protocols and education for medical staff are current and privy to any changes regarding medical device recalls. For over 45 years, ECRI has helped in this effort by focusing on improved patient care by studying the effectiveness of medical products, procedures, and processes. Based on an article published by Modern Healthcare, ECRI experts reveal certain hospitals are failing to update their medical device recall programs to meet today’s standards.

Over 1,000 medical device recalls were reported by the Food and Drug Administration in 2012, a figure almost doubling the number reported nearly a decade previous. The number and complexity of recalls have increased over the years, which carries concerns regarding hospital efficiency in tracking its defective products.

A Medical Equipment Management Plan issued by the Joint Commission has issued standards for hospitals to:

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Chicago airbag recall lawyerHonda has become the first and only automotive company thus far to meet the demand from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to repair vehicles nationwide after the recent recall of Takata airbags.

Previously, the recall for airbags were limited to high-humidity states only. An increase in humidity was found to cause the airbags to inflate too fast, leading to an explosion, which caused shrapnel to spew out.

According to a report, Honda is expanding its repairs to over 2.6 million for a total of 5.4 million vehicles. The following models are included in this expansion:

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