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Dangerous or Defective Products Archives

Dangerous Drug Combinations are Flying Under the Radar

People who have experience taking medications will vividly remember physicians or pharmacists detailing the precautions that need to be taken with these medications. People receive instructions about which foods to avoid and to avoid drinking alcohol while taking the medications because of the dangerous side effects that can result from certain interactions.

Legal liability for medication errors that cause injury or death

We all rely on medical providers to carry out their duty to follow accepted standards of professional care to keep us healthy and safe. Unfortunately, when a doctor, nurse, pharmacist or other medical personnel breaches that duty in the prescribing or administration of a drug, a medication error may cause severe injury or death.

Unreported Auto Defects Are a Threat to Driver Safety

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration requires automakers to pass along claims of car defects from consumers. By gathering this information, the NHTSA can spot trends and determine when a mandatory recall should be initiated. While the laws requiring defect reporting are more than a decade old, the system still falls short of expectations.

A Call for Tighter Regulation

A scandal uncovered by one agency has led another to consider cracking down on the auto industry. The Environmental Protection Agency recently discovered that Volkwagen carefully engineered software to skirt U.S. emissions standards. VW diesel vehicles were programmed to run differently when being tested than during normal operation. After an EPA investigation, Volkswagen could be fined billions of dollars for its actions. The head of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration suggested that the actions of VW's executives demonstrate the need for tighter regulation in the realm of safety.

Rise in Large Verdicts in Defective Product Cases

For 10 years, there were no jury verdicts of $1 billion or more in cases involving defective products. In 2014, that trend stopped with several verdicts exceeding that total. Some have tied the absence of large verdicts from 2004 to last year to extensive lobbying efforts by "tort reform" groups. Others suggest that the gap was due to the settlement of the major class action lawsuits against the tobacco industry. Whatever the reason, the return of larger jury verdicts has an impact on the makers of consumer goods and the victims of injuries and illnesses caused by product defects.

Legislators Call for Changes at the NHTSA

President Obama is expected to name a new permanent chief for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in the next two weeks. Three U.S. senators have called for the President to use the opportunity to make substantial changes to the NHTSA and its practices. They want the NHTSA to reform its safety mission and make changes to the way it approaches safety defects.

NHTSA Defends Recall Actions

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has come under fire for its actions concerning the recalls of GM vehicles with defective ignition switches and the vehicles containing Takata air bags. Critics have suggested that the NHTSA has moved too slowly or taken limited action in addressing serious auto defects. NHTSA leaders recently responded with a defense of the work done by the agency in furthering traffic safety.

Toyota Issues New Worldwide Recall over Airbag Defect

Toyota recently announced a second worldwide recall of vehicles with defective airbags. The problem is that the passenger-side airbag has a defective inflator that, if cracked, could allow metal fragments to get into the compartment, potentially causing injuries when the airbag inflates. The defect could also leave the instrument panel with "thermal damage." Toyota said that the company had not been notified of any injuries or deaths linked to the defective airbags.

Small Portion of Product Recall to Be Funded by Buckyballs Founder

Much has been said in the last few years about the dangers posed by magnets in toys and other products available to children. As we discussed in a previous post, children have ingested these powerful magnets, which can become connected in the body and cause serious tissue damage. According to federal regulators, various kinds of small magnets have been swallowed by more than 1,000 children, many of whom required major surgery.

Cholesterol and Diabetes Drugs Recalled over Mistaken Bottling

As consumers and patients, we rely on product manufacturers and distributors to ensure that products are reasonably safe and properly labeled. Unfortunately, when companies fail in this regard, defective products can have devastating consequences. People who have been affected by a dangerous product need to be aware of their right to hold the responsible party accountable.

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