Product Liability

FDA loophole leads to approval of defective products

If you are like most New York consumers, you probably assume that a Food and Drug Administration-approved product has been properly tested and is now considered safe. Unfortunately, that is not always the case. For example, about 90 percent of the medical products and devices that are on the market have been approved by the FDA through the agency’s 510(k) process.

But under a loophole in that process, a product that is ‘substantially equivalent’ to one that has previously been approved by the FDA must also be approved, automatically, no questions asked. Because this is the case even when that earlier product has been recalled or has otherwise been shown to be harmful, the loophole results in many defective products making their way to the market. To remedy this dangerous situation, a number of federal lawmakers are currently working to pass a law which would effectively close that loophole. Continue reading


Electric cigarette manufacturer could face product liability suit

Manufacturers of dangerous or defective products are responsible for the injuries caused when the product malfunctions. Such injuries include those caused by a fire or a chemical explosion.

Electric cigarettes are plastic imitation cigarettes, designed to generate a nicotine mist when inhaled, much like a real cigarette. These devices are widely used among as many as 2.5 million Americans in New York City and around the country. Continue reading


HP fails to recall batteries one year after found to be defective

If a New York company manufactures a defective product and then fails to report it to authorities after learning that the product is defective, they could be subject to federal sanctions and injured parties could seek compensation. Hewlett Packard, a major computer company, learned that some of its lithium-ion batteries were defective to the point where the batteries could cause injury.

In fact, a study by the company was completed in 2007, but it waited a year to notify the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission about the problems. According to the study, faulty batteries could overheat and cause a fire. They were sold with laptops, as separate accessories or as parts for those computers. Continue reading


Old Construction Accident Eventually Leads Man Into Homelessness

A man who once owned his own construction business was forced to live on the streets and in shelters, according to this story out of Billings, Montana. Stephan Larsen, 52, has reportedly never dealt with such hard luck, a former home owner and business owner, he misses being able to work.

Though a divorce forced him to move his construction operation in the pursuit of business, it was an old injury from a forklift accident that eventually caused him to stop working. What was once an inconvenient back pain became unbearable in his age.

He ended up sleeping at a Rescue Mission where he had formerly worked and found employees. A friend there eventually helped him into a housing program. But his injury still plagued him.

Requiring both knee and back surgery, Larsen was finally able to collect disability and get medical care with government assistance. Now, about thirty years after his forklift accident, he is scheduled to get the first surgery.

“I don’t want to be disabled,” says Larsen. “After the surgery is all done, I want to go back to school. I have too much time on my hands sitting around the apartment.”

Larsen’s case is not an unusual one. Though construction/work site accidents rarely lead to homelessness, it is possible, and they often lead to financial hardships and even the inability to work.

When you are hurt on the job, you may initially be sent to the doctor and be told by your employer that everything will be taken care of. But many people are surprised when their supervisor or a worker’s compensation representative starts urging them to finish treatment, basically to suck-it-up and get back to work.

Make no mistake, even if you enjoy your job and the people you work for, they are running a business, and the primary interest of any business is making, not spending money.

Being injured on the job can present unique frustrations as your job is the one who should be made to pay for any safety oversights or negligence. But it’s you, as the patient and employee, that are often made to feel like the situation is your fault.

An experienced personal injury attorney from Omrani & Taub, P.C., can help. We are dedicated to seeking justice for our clients. We know what you are going through as we’ve represented many clients in similar situations.

If you’ve been hurt on the job, you can’t wait 30 years to seek relief. By then, it may be too late.


Mix-up at pill plant could impact health of New York consumers

A pharmaceutical company has become concerned about potential product liability that may result from the mix-up of several of its prescription pain pills and over-the counter medicines. This story is worth paying attention to because the underlying facts could affect the healths of New York residents.

Novartis, the Swiss pharmaceutical company, operates a drug manufacturing plant in Nebraska. That plant was shut down last week as a result of numerous complaints that mistakes had been made with respect to several of the products made at the facility. Continue reading


Specific Build-A-Bears may not be so snuggly, declared a hazard

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is a governmental agency that helps to protect the public from the unreasonable risk of injury or death that could result from dangerous products released into the stream of commerce.

The Build-A-Bear experience has become very popular amongst young children who love the brightly lit store filled with sensory stimulating bold colors and soft and snuggly stuffed bears. Children in New York and across the nation especially love the part of the experience where they can design and create their own bear. Some of those bears may not be as comforting as originally thought after a recall of the Colorful Hears Teddy Bears line was announced. Continue reading


Risk of bacterial infection prompts tampon recall

New York personal injury attorneys familiar with product liability cases took note recently that certain types of Kotex tampons have been recalled as an “unsafe product” because there may be danger to users from bacteria that may be contained in some of the plastic tubing used for packaging the tampons.

Persons with compromised health and immune system problems — such as HIV positive women — may be at higher risk of a dangerous infection from using those tampons. The recall clearly illustrates the efforts of Kimberly-Clark to mitigate possible repercussions from that product defect. Continue reading


Chantix may increase risk of suicide in New York smokers trying to quit

Giving up cigarette smoking is one of the hardest things a person can do. Smokers will try just about anything that may help them break the nicotine addiction, but only 3 percent manage to quit for six months or more. Unfortunately, one smoking cessation aid may be more harmful to a smoker’s health than smoking, and some New York physicians have suggested that a  cessation pharmaceutical may be adangerous product.

One research study has shown that the smoking cessation drug Chantix raises the risk of suicide and depression eight times higher than products such as the nicotine patch. Researchers recommended that smokers only try Chantix when it is clear that other treatments had failed. Even then, only 10 percent of smokers who take Chantix quit smoking for at least a year. Continue reading


Pharmaceutical settlement shows how great injury costs can be

A recent agreement made by GlaxoSmithKline illustrates the depth of damages that can arise from personal injury lawsuits over defective products and failure to warn consumers. According to the New York Times, this agreement stipulates that the company will pay $3 billion to settle allegations of illegal drug marketing and fraud against Medicaid.

This is the largest pharmaceutical settlement to date, breaking previous records of $2.3 billion and $1.4 million settlements. The product that was the focus of this lawsuit is the drug Avandia and the company’s methods of marketing it to doctors. Also under legal scrutiny by the U.S. Justice Department were the company’s alleged manipulation of research. Continue reading


American Academy of Pediatricians declares bumper pads dangerous

Infants are not only the most valuable thing in our lives, but they are also the most vulnerable. They cannot take care of themselves or understand their surroundings. Infants rely on their parents to take care of them and prevent harm from coming to them.

Even the most careful parent cannot protect their children from an unknown harm that could result from a dangerous or unsafe product. For years, bumper pads have been placed in infant cribs under the assumption that they helped prevent harm. The American Academy of Pediatricians declared bumper pads dangerous in their most recently published safety guidelines. Continue reading


Nordica USA pays $214,000 penalty, continues to deny withholding defect

Dangerous products should not be placed on consumer shelves at all. They should not ever enter into the stream of commerce where they could cause injury to a purchaser. We all know that mistakes do happen, and that sometimes a dangerous product does make its way into the mainstream population.

When this happens and the manufacturer becomes aware of the defective product, it is their duty to make the consumer aware that the product could cause them harm. Longtime ski-maker Nordica USA agreed to settle allegations that the company was aware of a defect in one model of skis that could cause serious injury to the user. Continue reading


Impala owners sue GM in New York over faulty suspension

Three owners of model 2007-08 Chevrolet Impala sedans are suing General Motors Corp. for failing to repair rear-end suspension problems that the company fixed for the version of the Impala used by law enforcement agencies. The suit, filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York in New York City, is the second filed by owners of that Impala model. GM, now known as General Motors Co., said it is not the manufacturer’s responsibility because the current incarnation of the company was created after General Motors Corp., now known as Motors Liquidation Corp., filed for bankruptcy in 2009 as a condition for receiving federal bailout funds and cannot be held liable for “old” GM’s design issues. The Impala owners said the repairs on the police Impalas were equal to a “silent recall.” The lawsuit states that the rear-end suspension problems leads to drivers burning through tires, a dangerous safety issue, and wants faulty suspension rods replaced. Continue reading