Lack of Consumer Response Prompts Unusual Re-announcement of Recall of Dehumidifiers That Have Caused More Than One Million Dollars in Property Damage

Initially recalled in December of 2009, yesterday LG Electronics Tianjin Appliance Co., in cooperation with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), urged consumers to check if they have Goldstar or Comfort-Aire dehumidifiers.

The firm is re-announcing the recall of these dangerous products because only two percent of the 98,000 consumers who purchased these units have received a free repair, which means that consumers and their property remain at serious risk. The power connector for the dehumidifiers compressor can short circuit, posing fire and burn hazards to consumers and their property. The initial recall followed eleven incidents, including four significant … Read the rest

Car Roofs Getting Much Safer According to Insurance Institute for Highway Safety Tests

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s TOP SAFETY PICK award recognizes vehicles that do the best job of protecting people in front, side, rollover, and rear crashes based on good ratings in Institute tests. The winners offer a higher level of protection than federal safety standards require.

Last year the Institute toughened criteria for TOP SAFETY PICK by adding a requirement that all qualifiers must earn a good rating for performance in a roof strength test to assess protection in a rollover crash. This toughened criteria lead manufacturers to improve roof strength so that whereas at the beginning of the … Read the rest

Plaintiff’s Hard Drive Off-Limits to Defendant in Wrongful Death Case Alleging Medical Malpractice/Product Liability/Negligent Training and Supervision

The plaintiffs in DeRiggi v. Krischen, 20753/08, NYLJ 1202476938011, at *1 (Sup., Nassau Decided December 17, 2010) sought to recover for the wrongful death of Patricia DeRiggi, who died at the age of 30 during percutaneous disk decompression surgery, an out-patient procedure used to treat lower back pain.

Plaintiffs allege that Mrs. DeRiggi’s left common iliac vein was perforated twice during the surgery resulting in an intra-abdominal hemorrhage and death. They also allege that the defendants HydroCision and/or New York Spinal Implants, the manufacturer and/or distributor of the Spine Jet HydroDisectomy System used in the procedure, were negligent … Read the rest

In the Immortal Words of Ralph Kramden: “Whoa, what a surprise!”

We recently wrote about the efforts of the chairman of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commision (CPSC), Nancy Nord, to oppose a Senate bill that would increase the budget and authority of the Commission to regulate consumer products such as children’s toys. It seemed more than a little odd that the government official in charge of protecting consumers would oppose legislation designed to improve product safety. Now a review of internal CPSC documents by The Washington Post reveals that since 2002 Chairman Nord, as well as her predecessor, Hal Stratton, have enjoyed nearly 30 trips totaling nearly $60,000.00 that were … Read the rest

Medtronic Urges Doctors to Stop Using Defibrillator Leads After Linking Five Deaths to Breaks in Them

The nation’s largest maker of implanted heart devices, Medtronic, said yesterday that it was voluntarily urging doctors to stop using a family of leads known as the Sprint Fidelis, a crucial component in its most recent implantable defibrillator models, because the leads break too often.

Medtronic told doctors to stop using the Sprint Fidelis wires after linking five deaths to breaks in them. The company said the Fidelis wires failed slightly more often than the thicker wires they were meant to replace. A lead is a wire that connects the heart to a defibrillator, a device implanted near the shoulder … Read the rest

Lead Paint Prompts Mattel to Recall Nearly 1 Million Toys

Mattel is recalling 967,000 toys, including 83 products featuring Sesame Street and Nickelodeon characters, because the products are covered in lead paint. The products are sold in retailers including Wal-Mart, Target and Toys “R” Us.

More than 300,000 tainted toys, which include Elmo Tub Sub, the Dora the Explorer Backpack, and the Giggle Gabber, and may have a date code from 109-7LF to 187-7LF, have been bought by consumers in the United States. The toys were manufactured in a factory in China, whose factories have recently been sources of poisonous pet food, dangerous car tires, and lead paint on Thomas … Read the rest

FDA’s Rule Pre-empting State Law Failure-to-Warn Claim is Rejected

On July 3rd, the Vioxx multidistrict litigation court held that the Food and Drug Administrations (FDA)’s rule preempting state products liability law suits against drug companies in failure-to-warn claims is not persuasive. The court also stated that FDA cannot assume that Congress intended to override the long-standing presumption against preempting state law.

The court’s ruling is a victory for consumers injured by medicines that they claim are inaccurately labeled. Though issued in litigation pertaining to Vioxx, the ruling may also end up being applied to Avandia as cases are brought and move forward.

The FDA’s preemption theory is found in … Read the rest