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
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
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
We all know the process for product development: an inventor has an idea, they design the product, someone produces it, someone distributes it and another person sells it. Although products are fairly heavily tested for safety in this day and age, any mistake during the process could lead to serious injury for a consumer.
When a car is manufactured, it is especially important that there are no errors in production. Even one defective motor vehicle part could lead to serious personal injury or even death. Honda announced this month that they would be recalling approximately 310,773 Honda Pilots beginning on October 3, 2011 due to a defective seatbelt. Continue reading
Defective products injure thousands of people in New York each year. You should know how to avoid getting injured and what to do if you are injured. Earlier this year a number of laptop battery manufacturers expanded their recalls of defective batteries. Serious burns can be sustained due to exploding batteries. This is a bigger issue than most people realize. Today, more than ever, we rely on batteries to keep us connected to our lives and our work.
Do you get frustrated when your cell phone or laptop runs out of juice?
Sure you do. You miss calls, cannot check your emails, you’re disconnected and you lose precious time. It is always important to keep your batteries charged and properly maintained. Each type of battery has different ways to ensure longevity and healthy use so be sure to refer to your user manual for that important bit of information.
Exploding batteries are not a myth…
Although batteries are designed to operate in a wide range of conditions they can fail at certain temperatures and altitudes. Defective batteries, however, may spontaneously explode or burst into flames, even under normal conditions. This is not a myth, it happens all over the world, and it can happen to anyone, anytime. You must always take extra precautions to avoid getting skin burns to the thighs, knees, hands and even your eyes and face, from a defective battery.
- Check with your device manufacturer to verify if there has been a battery recall issued for your specific device:
o Dell - http://www.dellbatteryprogram.com
o Toshiba - http://www.bxinfo.toshiba.com
o Nokia - http://batteryreplacement.nokia.com
o Check with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission
o Check with http://www.saferproducts.gov
- Never use a laptop while wearing shorts or in direct contact with your skin. Try to use an additional barrier between the device and your body whenever possible.
- Never use your battery-operated device outside of its recommended parameters.
- Never use a battery-operated device if it has come in contact with any liquid, chemical, fire or extreme heat.
- Do not place batteries or devices in direct sunlight.
- Replace worn-out or old batteries as recommended by the device manufacturer.
That worst case scenario…
If you or someone you know gets burned or injured from a defective or exploding battery seek emergency medical attention immediately. The scarring or lasting effects of a burn can be minimized by getting to a burn center or treating the burn appropriately and quickly. Contact the fire department if there is a flame or continued smoke coming from the device or battery.
Once the danger has been eliminated, hold on to any evidence you can, take pictures of the defective product, the injuries and the surroundings, place the defective product in a plastic container and hold on to it.
Get professional, legal help…
Contact an attorney, as soon as possible after the incident. Do not contact the manufacturer on your own, they will only try and minimize their responsibility. The law office of Omrani & Taub, P.C. has experienced personal injury attorneys who are acutely aware of the laws and intricacies involved in recovering compensation for current injuries as well as future pain and suffering sustained from defective products. To speak to an experienced attorney who can fight for your rights call Omrani & Taub at 212-529-7848 (that’s the famous 212-LAW-SUIT).