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car recalled, Illinois product liability lawyerIn recent years, the number of cars recalled has increased. The recalls range from small issues, such as a mislabeled sticker or when a durability test found that a spring wears out prematurely, to large recalls, like Takata airbags that can possibly explode and spray shrapnel in the driver’s or passenger’s face, causing serious injury or death. When there is a defect with a vehicle, product, or one part of a vehicle, it is a product liability. The manufacturer is responsible for fixing the defect and compensating the affected parties.

A recall can start one of two ways: the manufacturer initiates the recall voluntarily or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) orders the manufacturer to recall a vehicle. Recalls are initiated when there is a safety related defect in the vehicle or a piece of equipment in the vehicle or when the vehicle or a piece of equipment does not meet federal standards.

Safety defects are defined in the United States Code for Motor Vehicle Safety as any problem that exists or arises in a vehicle or in equipment in the vehicle that creates a safety problem, exists or arises in a group of vehicles from the same design or manufacturer, or in a piece of equipment in a group of vehicles. The BMW motorcycles and Honda recalls are examples of safety-related recalls. BMW recalled over 40,000 motorcycles due to a defect in the rear wheel flange that can cause the back tire to come off. Honda knew about the Takata airbag defect but did not notify consumers in a timely manner, which resulted in several deaths.

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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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zimmer knee recall, Chicago medical device liability attorneyWhen a patient undergoes surgery of any kind, they expect that they will be able to recover and move on with their life. Having to undergo surgery again because of a defective product, like Zimmer’s Persona Trabecular Metal Tibial Plate knee placement, is not in their plans. Going through recovery the first time for a knee replacement is hard enough. Having to endure through it again is unacceptable and the company who designed the defective product is responsible for product liability.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a Class 2 recall on the product. This means that while the Persona knee replacement is used it may cause temporary or medically reversible adverse health consequences. The recall affects all sizes and lots of Persona knee replacement products for both the left and right knees.

The Persona Trabecular Metal Tibial Plate knee replacements were meant to be used without cement and still adhere to the bone. Complaints from patients found that the knee replacement became loose or caused radiolucent lines or gaps between the bone and knee replacement. The gaps can fill with fluid or debris and cause more health issues. In all cases, patients complained of increased pain and some cited increased immobility.

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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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reusable medical devices, Chicago medical malpractice lawyerReusable medical devices, like the duodenoscope, have led to deaths due to not being able to sterilize them sufficiently. Why does it take so long to update sterilization standards for reusable medical devices? This is a cause for concern, but the new standards are not required to be used on existing products on the market, even though that is where the concern and problems began. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is only requiring new products to adhere to new rules, stricter guidelines, and more testing.

Multiple deaths and infections, starting as early as 2012, have been linked to a deadly bacterial infection caused by a deodenoscope that was not completely sterilized because of the small crevices in the scope and the internal tubing. A duodenoscope is a device that is used to diagnose and treat diseases in the liver, gallbladder, and pancreas. It is inserted through a patient’s throat while they are being given general anesthesia and it continues down through the stomach to the point where the stomach and small intestines meet.

Due to the recent death of two people in a Los Angeles hospital being linked to contracting this deadly bacterium through reusable devices, the FDA is asking manufacturers to prove their products can be sterilized, including the small crevices where bacteria can live. Since the FDA is only requiring new market products to be held to higher standards though, it may take a while before they are practiced with current products in the market. This can lead to more deaths or injuries to patients.

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right to compensation, Chicago medical malpractice attorneysWhen a doctor, medical staff, hospital, or nursing home is negligent or makes a mistake that causes injury or death to a patient it is called medical malpractice. The patient or patient’s family deserves the maximum compensation for the mistake or negligence. A new provision of a bill recently passed by the House of Representatives would protect the doctors and hospitals instead of the patient and their family.

If signed into law, the provision would put a limit on the amount of compensation victims of medical malpractice would be able to collect. The belief is that limiting the compensation will lower spending in the healthcare system. Texas already has a law that limits compensation to $250,000 per year, but it has not cut spending in the healthcare system. A study showed that spending per patient increased.

This provision does not benefit the patients. It benefits doctors, hospitals, and the healthcare system. It would prohibit the use of federal guidelines for the quality of care standards to be used in medical malpractice cases. This means if the doctor or hospital was negligent or caused you or a family member an injury or death, the quality of care guidelines would not be admissible in court to show the negligence.

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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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superbug product liability, Chicago personal injury lawyerIn the last several months, two hospitals in California have reported outbreaks of what officials are referring to as the CRE superbug. At Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles, two patients died after being infected and five others continue to receive treatment. Medical officials have reached out to nearly 180 additional patients who may have been exposed at the facility. The outbreak has been traced to a particular medical device, which federal regulators are, so far, reluctant to pull from the market.

Carbapanem-resistant enterobacteriaceae, or CRE, is a bacterial pathogen which can cause infections resistant to most antibiotic treatment. Certain bacteria, such as E. coli,  which are common to the human digestive system, can evolve and become carbapanem-resistant, resulting in strains of CRE potentially producing infections that are very difficult to treat. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) acknowledges the dangers inherent to CRE infections and has reported that the superbug may be fatal in up to 50 percent of infected patients.

Each of the infected UCLA patients had undergone a relatively minor endoscopic procedure utilizing a device known as a duodenoscope. More than half a million patients each year have similar procedures done with the device, which is an imaging tool used to detect and diagnose issues in the upper small intestines, gall bladder, and pancreas. A particular duodensoscope at UCLA, however, was found to be the source of the CRE exposure, according hospital officials. A subsequent CRE outbreak at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, also in Los Angeles, is currently being investigated to confirm that a similar device was to blame.

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truck driver texting, Chicago personal injury lawyerDistracted driving is becoming one of the most cited causes for motor vehicle accidents in the United States with the increased use of cellphones while driving. More than nine people are killed and more than 1,153 people are injured each day in accidents caused by distracted driving. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulates all drivers involved in interstate commerce or intrastate transportation of hazardous materials and inter- and intrastate Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) drivers. FMCSA describes commercial drivers as those who operate buses and large trucks, such as single unit trucks or tractor-trailer trucks. These drivers make up approximately 5.6 million drivers in the United States.

With so many commercial vehicle drivers on the roadways, FMCSA banned the use of texting for commercial truck drivers in 2010 to help prevent distracted driving. Companies are not allowed to require commercial drivers to text or call from their cell phones while driving.

The FMCSA regulations prohibit text messaging, reaching for or holding a cell phone in their hand or making phone calls that require the driver to push more than one button while they are operating commercial vehicles. If commercial drivers are found to be breaking the regulations, they can be fined up to $2,750 and have their CDL revoked for multiple offenses. The company the driver works for may also be fined up to $11,000.

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takata airbag recall, Chicago IL Product Liability LawyerRecalls of Takata airbags started as early as 2008.  Takata and Honda allegedly both knew about the recalls as early as 2004. Why did the major recall from the National Highway Traffic-Safety Administration (NHTSA) not start until October of last year? Why are so many vehicles still on the road and not getting the necessary replacement they need?

Takata has indicated that they do not expect to have enough new airbags produced to cover the amount of recalled vehicles until late 2015. This is not an acceptable rate of replacement for a mandatory recall that has affected over 7.8 million vehicles from 10 car manufacturers.

The 10 manufacturers affected by the Takata recall have contracted with Orbital ATK to conduct their own tests on the defective airbags. Orbital ATK is a defense and aerospace firm that provides products to the United States, its allies, and government contractors. They were chosen by the 10 manufacturers for their expertise in the field of engineering and the ability to move the investigation into the defective airbags forward.

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Takata airbag recall fines, Chicago personal injury attorneyThe United States is fining Takata Corporation, a Tokyo, Japan based company that manufactures airbags, $14,000 each day due to non-compliance in the investigation into their faulty airbags. Late last year, the National Highway Traffic-Safety Administration (NHTSA) initiated a product recall on vehicles using Takata airbags. The company is responsible for covering product liability to consumers affected by the recall.

With over 7.8 million vehicles affected by the recall, Transportation Secretary Anthony Fox said Takata will be fined each day they do not comply with the investigation and withhold documentation and other materials necessary for the investigation.

Takata gave NHTSA 2.4 million pages of documentation but did not give any guidance or explanation as to what information is in the documents. Employees have to sift through the pages, wasting time, money, and resources that could be spent on other claims and the investigation, to find information they need for the investigation. It is also delaying being able to accurately fix and recall all affected vehicles.

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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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Xarelto side effects, drug makers, Chicago product liability attorneyDrug manufacturers have to put drugs through testing before they are approved for use by consumers. But what happens when adverse side effects start appearing in patients using the drug because information given to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) was incomplete? Eventually the drug may be pulled off the shelf, but patients who used the drug become a statistic to be used for further tests. Patients should not be another defective drug product liability statistic for pharmaceutical companies.

study by the Institute for Safe Medication Practices revealed that drug manufacturers often do not file complete, basic reports about adverse side effects with the FDA. Just over 50 percent of the reports filed did not meet the basic reporting standard, which should contain age, gender, and an event date.

Throughout the years, “blockbuster drugs” have been approved by the FDA, and then later pulled off the shelves, but not before the cost of lives or life-altering side effects were paid. A blockbuster drug is one that:

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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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Xarelto prescription side effects, Chicago product liability lawyerHave you or a loved one been prescribed Xarelto and experienced adverse side effects, such as stroke, hemorrhaging, or even death? If so, you are not alone. Reports of undesirable side effects are on the rise.

Xarelto is often prescribed to help reduce the risk of stroke or blood clots due to Atrial Fibrillation or after a hip or knee replacement surgery. It may also be prescribed to treat Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT).

Last year, the FDA sent a warning letter to Johnson & Johnson, Inc. for false and misleading representation minimizing the risks associated with taking Xarelto in WebMD magazine advertisement. Johnson & Johnson, Inc. minimized the risk of pathological bleeding, hemorrhaging, and severe hypersensitivity to patients. The company falsely led readers to believe the side effects of using Xarelto were minimal at best.

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nursing home guardianship debts, Chicago nursing home neglect lawyerIt is a difficult decision to make to move a family member into a nursing home. After going through the steps to find the best facility to ensure the family member gets the care and attention needed, sometimes families may be shocked if they receive a petition from the nursing home for guardianship over their family member. The Illinois Nursing Home Care Act is written to protect the rights of the elderly in nursing homes and reduce the possibility of abuse and neglect, including management of their finances.

After a family member has moved into a nursing home, services begin to be billed to the spouse, family member, or guardian, sometimes reaching thousands of dollars each month. Those who question the cost above the original stated cost can quickly accumulate debt they did not account for. If they refuse to pay the overage until they see the statement of services or Medicaid has paid their portion, the amount owed to the nursing home continue to increase. This may lead the nursing home to file a petition for guardianship to collect debts for the resident.

It is the responsibility of the party filing the petition to provide proof that a guardianship is needed; after it has been clearly demonstrated the person in question is unable to make their own decisions.

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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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