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.
Legislators want to know why General Motors declined to fix deadly auto defects that were allowed to go to market for a decade. So far, an ongoing investigation has linked 13 deaths to defective ignition switches in a variety of GM models.
The National Electronic Injury Surveillance System database houses information regarding emergency department visits by children less than 18 years of age. A new study using that database has determined that a child is injured in an inflatable bounce house, castle, moonwalk or other inflatable device every 46 minutes nationwide. The author of the study is calling for stricter guidelines as to when and how these devices can be safely used, if ever. Injuries caused by such devices are 15 times more common now than they were in 1995.
The Eddie Bauer Sling & Hip Carrier is the subject of a wrongful death lawsuit filed last week in Cook County Court. The plaintiffs believe that the defective product caused their newborn daughter to suffocate while her father carried her. The family has named the retailer that sold the sling, as well as the manufacturers of the product in the suit. By holding these businesses accountable for the tragic result of the dangerous product, they may be able to protect others from similar harm.
The Food and Drug Administration has only approved one over-the-counter drug. But now a consumer advocacy group is asking the FDA to ban the sale of the drug Alli and its more potent prescription counterpart Xenical. The group has cited numerous reports of medical problems from people who are using the drugs, and believes that the pharmaceuticals are dangerous.
When you go to the store you expect that what you buy - whether it's a new appliance, a new tool, a new toy for your children - is safe if used as intended. You may not give much thought to where the product was made or how many companies had a part in producing, packaging and moving the product from the factory to the store shelf. If you use the product and find out it's defective, or if the defective product causes injury to you or a family member, you expect the corporation that sold the product to pay for the harm it caused.
A Wisconsin manufacturer of baby wipes, medical pads and other products closed down its plant this week when U.S. Marshals arrived with orders to seize the dangerous products. The investigation was triggered by the discovery of bacterial contamination in some of their products. Food and Drug Administration officials had asked the company to voluntarily shut down last week, before the Marshals showed up at the factory.
New data has prompted the Food and Drug Administration to warn of an increased risk of cleft palette or cleft lip in infants born to mothers who are taking Topamax during the first trimester of pregnancy. Infants exposed to the drug during the first trimester are several times more likely to develop an oral cleft birth defect.
A recent study found that the same chemicals and heavy metals that have been banned in children's toys are still appearing in home improvement products such as floorings and wall coverings. The researchers focused on heavy metals such as lead and cadium as well as phthalates. These compounds can have negative medical consequences including learning disabilities, early onset of puberty, and birth defects.
New Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker has introduced a proposal which would make it more difficult for parties injured by defective products to recover damages in court. It would require that a plaintiff be able to prove exactly which part of the supply chain, the manufacturer, distributor or retailer, was responsible for the defect which caused the injury.