Category Archives: Products Liability

National Safe Toys and Gifts Month

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The weather is getting cooler in Florida and it’s beginning to feel like the holidays.  As we begin to think about family gatherings, football games, and gifts for the children, please take a few minutes to consider toy and gift safety before you head to the store or visit your favorite online retailer.  In the spirit of holiday safety, Goldman & Daszkal, P.A. is helping spread the word that December is National Safe Toys and Gifts Month.

Consumer Product Safety Commission

From thousands of toy-related injuries each year to millions of recalled toys, we all need to be vigilant with the toys we choose and allow our children to play with.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is leading the way to help make toys safe for our children.

In the last few years, they have created and enforced limits on toxic chemicals such as lead and phthalates in toys.  The CPSC is also requiring toy testing by third party, independent laboratories to help prevent dangerous toys from entering the United States.

As parents and grandparents, aunts and uncles, we need to boost our own efforts to ensure the toys our loved ones play with are safe.  Here are some important tips for family members and friends with young children or for those shopping for gifts for children.

  1. Inspect all Toys Prior to Play

Inspect all toys to ensure they are appropriate for the child’s age, developmental stage and skill level.

  • Avoid giving children toys with ropes, chains, sharp edges, magnets, heating elements, or buttons that can easily be detached and swallowed.
  • Insist that children wear properly-fitted helmets and safety gear when riding on toys, skateboards, ripsticks, or skates.
  • Manage battery access, installation, and charging away from children. Follow the instructions and keep these away from children as they can cause burns.  
  1. Avoid Choking Hazards

Young children explore the world by putting objects in their mouths.  Small toys or parts of toys can be a prime target for a young child’s curiosity.  Keep small toys and parts away to prevent choking.

  • After opening gifts, remove all plastic film and packaging and place in a garbage or recycling bin that children cannot access.
  • Deflated or broken balloons are a choking hazard for young children. Immediately throw away any deflated or broken balloons in a receptacle that children cannot access.
  • Some activity sets use high-powered magnets. These are particularly dangerous for children and should always be kept away.
  • Be cautious with toy jewelry and other painted toys that may contain lead. Check out the CPSC lead website for more information.
  1. Get Notified!

Sign up at the CPSC website to receive information on recalled toys.  Click here or go to https://www.cpsc.gov/.

Once you’ve reviewed these safety tips, you’ll be ready to head out to the stores or log on to your computer and find the perfect, safe gifts.  But before you go, share these important tips with your family and friends using the links below.

Goldman & Daszkal, P.A.

Since 1990, Goldman & Daszkal, P.A. has provided reputable legal representation to people throughout the state of Florida.  The firm has helped thousands of individuals recover compensation from motor vehicle and boating accidents, slip and fall accidents, product defect and liability cases, pharmacy errors, and negligent security cases to cover medical expenses, pay bills, take care of their families, and return to work.  Goldman & Daszkal, P.A. can help you get the relief you need to start living your life again after a serious injury.  For a free and confidential consultation, contact Goldman & Daszkal, P.A., at (954) 428-9333.

 

Defective Products – Product Liability – Everyday Kitchen Household Items

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Calphalon Knife Recall

In February of this year, Calphalon recalled 2 million knives after receiving over thousands of consumer complaints.  Several consumers suffered lacerations and over 3,000 complained of the sharp steel blades breaking off during use.  Calphalon announced a massive recall of chef, carving, paring, santoku, and utility knives manufactured in China and sold through retailers in the U.S. and Canada.  Calphalon urged consumers to stop using the recalled knives, and the company set up a procedure for consumers to return the faulty knives and receive replacements.

Defective Kitchen Products

While products such as knives, toaster ovens, and coffee makers are designed to make our lives easier and more comfortable, they can become dangerous when they are defective.  Defective products in the kitchen and throughout the home have the potential to cause serious injuries to consumers.

The companies that manufacture and sell these products have the moral responsibility and legal obligation to ensure the products are safe for use by consumers.  When a product is defective, it may be due to flawed product design or to lack of quality control in the manufacturing process.

Common, everyday household kitchen products that can be dangerous if defective include dishwashers, toaster ovens, microwaves, refrigerators, stoves, toxic cleaning products, fire alarms, as well as knives, food processors, and other small appliances.

Product Liability Cases

When products malfunction and cause injury to the consumer,  the company that produced and/or sold the defective product may be held liable.  In fact, if the company is found negligent and liable in a product liability claim, the company may be required to compensate the consumer for injuries including medical expenses, lost wages,  and pain and suffering.

Product liability claims can be intricate and often require expert testimony and technical expertise to understand the design, manufacturing, and quality control for the product.  The product liability claim will need to prove that the product was either poorly designed, flawed in the manufacturing process, or that the instructions and warnings were incomplete.  An experienced attorney can determine the best way to prove your case and provide you with fair compensation.

If you sustained an injury due to a defective product, please stop using the product immediately and seek medical attention if necessary.  If you believe you have a product liability case,  contact a reputable attorney to guide and manage the legal process.  Be sure to save the product, a copy of any incident reports completed by first responders, and any medical reports related to the injuries.

Goldman & Daszkal, P.A.

Since 1990, Goldman & Daszkal, P.A. has provided reputable legal representation to people throughout the state of Florida.  The firm has helped thousands of individuals recover compensation from motor vehicle and boating accidents, slip and fall accidents, product defect and liability cases, pharmacy errors, and negligent security cases to cover medical expenses, pay bills, take care of their families, and return to work.  Goldman & Daszkal, P.A. can help you get the relief you need to start living your life again after a serious injury.  For a free and confidential consultation, contact Goldman & Daszkal, P.A., at (954) 428-9333.

 

News Update: Toy Safety for the Holidays

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Toy Safety

The holiday season is approaching and new toy advertisements are appearing by the dozens on television, computers, tablets, and smart phones, in the newspaper, and in the catalogs mailed to your home.  Children can’t wait to get the “hottest” toys for the holiday season, and adults are more than happy to oblige, even if it’s only to see the expression on the child’s face when they open the gift.

But when you select a toy for your child, are you taking time to determine 1) if these toys are safe,  and  2)  if they are age-appropriate? 

In many cases, the answer to these questions is no.  We assume that if it’s being sold in our local Toys”R”Us or online through Amazon or other e-retailers, it’s safe and appropriate for our child.  But that’s not always the case.  Did you know that more than 250,000 children were rushed to the emergency room for injuries related to toys in 2014?[1]  Injuries sustained were caused by toys ranging from non-motorized scooters to marbles to balls.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) works to ensure toys are safe, but parents and guardians need to read labels, follow toy recalls, and be aware of general safety hazards with certain types of toys.  Follow the tips below to reduce the risk of your child suffering an injury.

General Toy Safety Tips

  • Read toy labels and only purchase toys that are appropriate for age and developmental level. Toys that are designed for older children can pose safety hazards to younger ones.
  • For children age seven and under, stay away from toys that have sharp edges and protruding parts.
  • Dispose of any plastic wrapping immediately after opening to avoid suffocation hazards.
  • Make sure your child wears appropriate protective eyewear when playing sports.
  • Avoid purchasing toys that use heating elements for children under eight years old.
  • If you are purchasing art supplies, make sure to select non-toxic products.
  • Stay updated with toy recalls. Visit https://www.cpsc.gov/ and sign up to receive recalls.
  • Be very cautious with toy jewelry and other painted toys that children may put in their mouths. These toys may contain lead which is a health hazard.  Antique toys and imported toys are more likely to have lead.  To reduce your child’s risk, review the toy in detail and check the CPSC lead website for more information.

Toddler Toy Safety Tips

  • For toddlers who love to put things in their mouth, avoid exposing them to toys with detachable parts or pieces small enough to swallow. Choking on small toy pieces is a serious hazard.  Take care to ensure older siblings play with their toys in areas separate from toddlers.
  • Make sure that the toy is well-constructed. Don’t risk purchasing a toy with small eyes that may fall off and end up in your child’s mouth.
  • Avoid balloons for toddlers because balloons can burst in their faces.
  • Keep small balls and toys away that could even remotely fit in toddlers’ mouths. You can measure by testing whether the object fits inside of an empty paper towel roll.  If it does, keep it away.
  • Prevent strangulation by making sure that any baby mobile, toy, doll, or doll clothing has strings or ribbons shorter than five inches.
  • If you see a rash around your child’s mouth, eyes, or hands after playing with a toy, confiscate the toy and contact your doctor immediately. These symptoms may be due to a latex reaction.

As a well-informed toy shopper this holiday season, you can enjoy watching your child’s delight when he or she opens the special gift and you can feel confident that he or she will be safe playing with it.

Goldman & Daszkal, P.A.

Since 1990, Goldman & Daszkal, P.A. has provided reputable legal representation to people throughout Palm Beach, Broward, and Miami-Dade Counties.  The firm has helped thousands of individuals recover compensation from motor vehicle and boating accidents, slip and fall accidents, product defect and liability cases, pharmacy errors, and negligent security cases to cover medical expenses, pay bills, take care of their families, and return to work.  Goldman & Daszkal, P.A. can help you get the relief you need to start living your life again after a serious injury.  For a free and confidential consultation, contact Goldman & Daszkal, P.A., at (954) 428-9333.

 

[1] https://www.cpsc.gov/s3fs-public/pdfs/ToyReport2014.pdf

Defective Vehicles: Faulty Air Bags & Key Ignitions

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Wrecked car with opened airbags after accident

Wrecked car with opened airbags after accident

In 2014, General Motors (GM), recalled over 30 million cars and trucks.  The recalls were issued for a number of reasons, including defective vehicles with faulty designs of side airbags and defective exhaust parts that can overheat, sparking a fire.  However, the most notorious GM recall affected over 2.5 million cars and was caused by an ignition switch design flaw that was tied to over 50 deaths and thousands of serious injuries.  Engineers concluded that a design problem could cause the ignition switch to move from the “run” to the “off” position while the car was moving.  If the ignition went into the “off” position, the power steering would turn off and disabled the airbags, causing the unsuspecting driver to lose control of the car.

GM has faced multiple class action lawsuits related to the faulty ignition switch and GM’s alleged knowledge of the problem.  More specifically, these lawsuits allege that GM waited several years after the problem was detected before initiating a recall.  If GM would have alerted vehicle owners right away, it could have prevented numerous injuries and deaths connected to the ignition problem.

Since 2014, GM has replaced millions of faulty components including ignition switches in affected vehicles.  The company also set aside over $600 million for victims, although this is unlikely to provide the proper compensation for victims.  Affected individuals have the right to file personal injury lawsuits for medical and hospital expenses, past and future lost earnings due to injuries, pain and suffering, and punitive damages in the case of egregious wrongdoing.

Automobile manufacturers are legally obligated to manufacture and sell vehicles free from any known defects.  If a defect is detected, it must be corrected quickly and completely. If a company withholds critical safety information or  circumvents government safety guidelines by selling a vehicle with known defects, the manufacturer can and should be held liable for injuries or death linked to the vehicle defects.

Visit www.safercar.gov, a NHTSA website, to check if your car has been included in a recall.  You will simply need the VIN number of your vehicle.  If your vehicle has been recalled, promptly contact the dealer and schedule a service appointment.  If your vehicle is part of the GM recall, remove any extra weight from the ignition key (extra keys, special key chains, etc.) prior to driving the vehicle.

If you or a family member has suffered injuries or death related to a faulty component in a vehicle or a recalled car or truck, Goldman & Daszkal, P.A.  can help.

Goldman & Daszkal, P.A.

Since 1990, Goldman & Daszkal, P.A. has provided reputable legal representation to people throughout Palm Beach, Broward, and Miami-Dade Counties.  The firm has helped thousands of individuals recover compensation from motor vehicle and boating accidents, slip and fall accidents, product defect and liability cases, pharmacy errors, and negligent security cases to cover medical expenses, pay bills, take care of their families, and return to work.  Goldman & Daszkal, P.A. can help you get the relief you need to start living your life again after a serious injury.  For a free and confidential consultation, contact Goldman & Daszkal, P.A., at (954) 428-9333.

e-Cigarettes, Hoverboards & Product Liability

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electronic cigarette

Electronic cigarettes (e-Cigarettes) are becoming more popular across the U.S., particularly with young people.  Recent studies have shown a rise in the use of e-cigarettes by high school students.  Additionally, the American Lung Association noted that the use of e-cigarettes is surpassing that of traditional cigarettes.

On the surface, e-cigarettes appear to be safer than traditional cigarettes.  However, a closer look at e-cigarettes shows a dangerous product with increased incidents over the last several months.  Even more concerning is that unlike traditional cigarettes, e-cigarettes have not been regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

e-Cigarette Dangers

To begin with, e-cigarette aerosol is not simply harmless water vapor. E-cigarettes use lithium-ion batteries to deliver liquid nicotine in vapor form.  This liquid may be mixed with other chemicals, flavorings, and coloring agents.  Several of the chemicals found in e-cigarettes are carcinogenic.

Another problem with e-cigarettes is that the active ingredient, nicotine, is unsafe and highly addictive.  Exposure to nicotine during pregnancy harms the  fetus; nicotine use during adolescence is associated with memory and attention deficits.  Secondhand aerosol that is exhaled by e-cigarette users is potentially harmful to the health of others.

In addition, e-cigarettes can overheat or malfunction, causing explosions, fires, and serious injuries.    According to a report from NBC News by Herb Weisbaum, hospitals have seen an increased number of e-cigarette burns, particularly third-degree burns requiring skin grafts.  The article also notes that temperatures below 50 or above 115 degrees can cause the lithium-ion batteries to malfunction, causing the flammable battery parts to explode.  The cheaper e-cigarettes manufactured in China are more likely to have manufacturing defects and greater potential to explode.[1]

Beginning in August, 2016, new FDA regulations will require all e-cigarette manufacturers to begin registering with the FDA.  However, the deadline for registration is 2018 and the 500 brands will continue in the marketplace until the FDA reviews each.  Without full evaluation by the FDA, it’s not clear which chemicals may be used in the nicotine liquid or how e-cigarettes may affect the health of e-cigarette users now or in the long-term.

Hoverboard Injuries

Hoverboards

The problem with lithium-ion batteries is not limited to e-cigarettes.  Poorly designed or malfunctioning lithium-ion batteries or chargers used in hoverboards have also caused numerous explosions, injuring people as well as destroying property.  According to a February 20, 2016 USA Today article, hoverboards have caused over 50 fires in the U.S. with over $2 million in property damage.  [2]

Dangerous e-cigarette, hoverboard, and lithium-ion battery manufacturers need to be held responsible for their negligence. If you or a family member have suffered an injury from an electronic cigarette, a hoverboard, or another defective product, Goldman & Daszkal, P.A.  can help.   The manufacturer can be held liable for injuries and damages and you or your family members may be entitled to compensation.

Goldman & Daszkal, P.A.

Since 1990, Goldman & Daszkal, P.A. has provided reputable legal representation to people throughout Palm Beach, Broward, and Miami-Dade Counties.  The firm has helped thousands of individuals recover compensation from motor vehicle and boating accidents, slip and fall accidents, product defect and liability cases, pharmacy errors, and negligent security cases to cover medical expenses, pay bills, take care of their families, and return to work.  Goldman & Daszkal, P.A. can help you get the relief you need to start living your life again after a serious injury.  For a free and confidential consultation, contact Goldman & Daszkal, P.A., at (954) 428-9333.

[1] http://www.nbcnews.com/business/consumer/what-s-causing-some-e-cigarette-batteries-explode-n533516

[2] http://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/news/2016/02/19/hoverboards-fire-safety-consumer-product-safety-commission-recall-seize-impound/80607978/

Toyota Motor Recall of 2.77 Million Cars Worldwide

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An auto manufacturer or dealer may be liable for injuries caused by faulty or defective products. The law identifies three general kinds of defects. A design defect refers to a flaw in the plans or designs for a vehicle or part that renders it entirely unfit for its intended use. A manufacturing defect refers to an error during the production or assembly of a vehicle or part that prevents it from functioning as it should. A marketing defect involves a product advertised for an improper and potentially dangerous use. Manufacturers are liable for injuries and other damages caused by defects that they know or should know about.
Recently, Toyota Motor recalled 2.77 million of their cars throughout the world for problems with their water pumps and for a defect in their steering shafts that could lead to faulty steering. In the United States alone, 670,000 Toyota cars are being recalled for the steering shaft defect. U.S. models that are affected include the Prius hybrid, Corolla, and Wish that were produced between 2000 to 2011 in Japan and between 2000 to 2009 overseas. This most recent recall is in addition to their recall of 7.43 million cars a month earlier. That recall was for a faulty power-window switch which posed the risk of fire.
Auto manufacturers recall their vehicles when they identify a problem, but accidents and injuries still occur. The manufacturer could be liable if a defect caused an accident.

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South Floridians Beware! Defective Toilet Part Causes Toilets to Expolode Posing Risk for Serious Injury

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260967_toilet.jpg
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and Health Canada have ordered Flushmate to recall its “Flushmate III Pressure-Assisted Flushing System.” The faulty pressure system can shatter the tank of the toilet, causing impact or laceration wounds to their unsuspecting patrons. All “Flushmate III Pressure-Assisted Flushing Systems” manufactured between October 1997 and February 2008 pose the risk of exploding. Just because you installed your Flushmate system after 2008 doesn’t mean that you’re in the clear. Your system may have had a shelf life well beyond its manufacture date, since these systems were sold already inside toilets and sold separately at big-box hardware stores such as Home Depot and Lowes. Toilets that carried this Flushmate system include: American Standard, Crane, Kohler, Eljer, Mansfield, St. Thomas and Gerber. Approximately 2.3 million toilets in the United States are affected by this recall.
Consumers have been urged to immediately turn off their water supply and determine if their toilets are impacted by this recall. The recalled “Flushmate III Pressure-Assisted Flushing System” is made of black plastic and is rectangular in shape. The date code/serial number is 16 characters long and can be found on the label located on top of the Flushmate vessel. If you want to decipher it yourself: the first six numbers are the date code, which begin at 101497 (which stands for October 14, 1997–the first date of recalled items) and continue through 022908 (which stands for February 29, 2008–the last date of recalled items). If you don’t want to go through the trouble of figuring it out yourself, you can visit Flushmate’s website here and plug in the serial numbers to the toilets that you think may be impacted by this recall. If your toilet is affected, call Flushmate’s toll free number (800) 303-5123 to request your free repair kit.
At this time, there have been 304 documented complaints of Flushmate systems exploding and 14 pending claims from people suffering “impact or laceration injuries.” Aside from being held liable for property damage, Flushmate faces very probable liability for injuries caused by their exploding vessels. This is because every person or business involved in the supply chain of a product, from the product’s initial design until its arrival in the consumer’s hands, has a duty to provide a product that is reasonably safe for its intended use. Any unreasonably dangerous defect that causes an injury, provided that the consumer used the product according to the manufacturer’s or supplier’s specifications, could make the manufacturer or supplier liable for any harm or injuries they cause. Product liability claims usually involve a “strict liability” standard. This means that an injured person can recover damages from a manufacturer or supplier without proving actual negligence on the part of the manufacturer or supplier.

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