Some products are dangerous because they are defective.
According to a recent news story from the Morning Call, Samsung has just issued a major recall on 34 models of their top-selling washing machines. The reason for the recall is that a defect in these 3 million units sold (all top-loading washers) can cause the drum to lose balance. The drum is the large spinning basket that holds the clothing in the washing machine.
When the drums become unbalanced, it can cause the washing machines to start to vibrate excessively. While this just seems like it would be annoying and not dangerous, the vibration becomes so excessive that the top of the washing machine can actually separate from the bottom and come flying off. There have already been more than 730 injuries reported, including shoulder injuries and at least one broken jaw. Continue reading
We are constantly reminded that we should make sure there are working smoke alarms in our home and to test them and change the batteries on a regular basis. In some towns, members of the local fire department will even go door-to-door to provide this warning and to offer to come and test any smoke detectors. They will typically use a can of spray that is designed to set off a smoke alarm if it is working properly, since the machines are designed to detect the particulate matter in the smoke.
In addition to the smoke alarms, we are also warned that it is a good idea to also have a carbon monoxide detector in our homes, though often you can buy one detector that detects both smoke and elevated levels of carbon monoxide. These devices can save the life of you and your family if they are working properly, and that is why it is so important to not only have them, but to test them. Continue reading
By now, most people have heard that Samsung’s release of the Galaxy Note 7 smartphone did not exactly go as planned. Problems started when users were reporting their phones were spontaneously bursting into flames or completely exploding. As if this was not bad enough, there were reports of them exploding on airplanes, which caused even more concern. The company has claimed there was a problem with the batteries that were made by a third party and has agreed to recall all of the phones sold to consumers to replace them with a device that features a safe battery.
According to a recent news article from NPR, there are now more questions being raised about not only the safety of these products, but also in the transparency of the recall process – or more accurately, the lack of transparency. The problem is the company claimed the issue was not the device itself, which Samsung manufactured, but rather with the batteries, made by a third party. However, that seems to not be the case, considering Samsung has switched battery suppliers and the combustion continues. Continue reading
In Hosford v. BRK Brands, Inc., a case from the Alabama Supreme Court, a four-year-old girl was killed in fire in her family’s mobile home in May 2011. Her mother and other surviving family members filed a personal injury lawsuit with a wrongful death claim against the maker of the two smoke detectors that were installed in the home at the time of her tragic death.
They made various claims that are common in products liability cases, such as failure to warn, negligence and claims of wantonness. Failure to warn of a known danger is one of the more common claims, because it is an allegation the maker of a particular product was aware or should have been aware of a certain type of danger when the product was being used for its intended purpose and failed to warn the plaintiff of that potential danger. Continue reading
There are many different brands of deodorant on the market, and some work better for some people than others. Most have tried a product that caused a little bit of irritation or a minor rash at some point in their lives, but it is rarely a very serious issue. However, according to a recent news feature from WEARTV, this is not always the case.
Consumers have filed a class action lawsuit against Proctor & Gamble, which is the maker of Old Spice deodorant. According to the complaint filed in federal court, thousands of users of P&G products have suffered chemical burns and serious rashes that literally cause the skin to fall off victims’ armpits after using the product. Continue reading
We have been hearing a lot about led poisoning in connection with the environmental disaster and public health crisis in Flint, Michigan as result of the poisoned water supply that has been discovered. However, Flint is not the only place where lead is a problem. In some cases, lead poisoning can be a result of contaminated water, and in other cases, it can be the result of a defective or dangerous product that contains lead or lead-based paint.
While lead poisoning can harm individuals of any age, children are often the most a risk. The reason for this is because the lead particles enter a patient’s bloodstream at a young age when the brain and nervous system is still being developed, and this can result in serious developmental disorders and learning disorders. A recent article from The Atlantic deals with this issue. In that article, the lead poisoning is a result of a potential case of widespread lead contamination in Newark, New Jersey schools. Continue reading
The China-based Gree Electric Appliances Inc. and its partners have agreed to pay a $15.45 million civil penalty after U.S. regulators alleged the company’s dehumidifiers posed a fire and burn risk to consumers and the company failed to warn them or take immediate action to remedy the problem.
Gree manufactured and sold some 2.5 million dehumidifiers at big name stores throughout the country under more than a dozen different brand names. But when the company learned that its units were posting a fire and burn risk, it failed consumers and regulators on several fronts. Among those:
- The company intentionally failed to report a defect and the unreasonable risk of severe injury to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) right away within 24 hours as required under federal law.
- The company intentionally misrepresented key facts to investigators with CPSC as they were delving into the reported issues.
- The company sold these products indicating they were UL safety certified, despite the fact it was known these products did not meet the basic UL flammability standards.
The devices were sold under highly-recognized brand names, such as GE, Kenmore, Frigidaire and Soleus Air. Continue reading
While the Nestle Corporation is most well known for its many sweets – chocolate and candy products like a Nestle Crunch bar – the company is also major producer of other food items. Many of these goods are sold in the freezer aisle, including DiGiorno pizzas, Stouffer’s frozen dinners and Lean Cuisine frozen meals.
At any given time, there are millions of units of frozen food manufactured by Nestle in supermarkets across the country. According to a recent news feature from AOL, the company has issued a massive recall that is affecting around 3 million units of product all containing spinach. This is not the first recall involving spinach, but normally a spinach recall involves the fear of listeria or E. coli bacteria. Continue reading
Tort reform advocates argue Americans are too litigious and aim for limitations on the rights of consumers to sue. Clauses built into consumer product purchase agreements limiting class action rights and mandating arbitration are some of many ways in which companies aim to limit the litigation they are exposed to. News stories are also released purporting to show frivolous lawsuits in order to raise suspicions about the legitimacy of claims based on product defects- even though the facts often show these lawsuits are not actually frivolous at all.
Consumer advocate Ralph Nader is fighting back against the misconceptions that are being pushed by big business. In a recent interview published in Parade Magazine, Nader argued there are actually not enough cases being brought to hold manufacturers accountable when they cause harm to the public.
Injured Victims are Not Bringing Enough Product Liability Lawsuits