Articles Posted in Product Liability

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The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced today that Evenflo has issued a voluntary recall of some 18,000 child booster seats. The recalled child safety products go by the name of Maestro Combination Booster Seats. The recall was initiated after the child safety seats developed troubling cracks during certain laboratory tests simulating high impact front end collisions. The recall notice states that these types of accidents may cause a crack at the front of the seat adjacent to the harness adjuster causing inadequate restraint of the child and increasing the risk of injury. The NHTSA has determined that the seats fail to conform to the structural integrity requirements of the motor vehicle safety standards.

The recall specifically targets some 13,792 booster seats with model numbers beginning with “310”. These seats were reportedly manufactured between November 24, 2009, and April 9, 2010. Additionally, about 5,000 Canadian units have been recalled and removed from shelves. Evenflo is providing owners of the at-risk booster seats with a reinforcement plate along with repair instructions. The company has indicated that children under 40 lbs should not be placed in the seat without a repair bracket installed. The reinforcement kits can be obtained by calling 1-800-233-5921.

If you are an Illinois parent, you should be sure to check your child’s safety seat to ensure that it is not one of the at-risk products. Manufacture and design defects can lead to very serious injuries. If you would like to speak with a Chicago lawyer regarding a defective product, please click here.

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The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (“CPSC”) announced Monday that nearly 1.2 million U.S. cribs are to be recalled following four infant suffocations. The cribs are manufactured by Stork Craft Manufacturing and some carry the Fisher Price logo. The at-risk cribs were manufactured and distributed between January 1993 and October 2009 and were sold at retailers such as Sears and Wal-Mart. The recall reportedly involved drop-side cribs which are equipped with a sliding side that allows parents to more easily use the cribs. These drop sides have shown a propensity to detach from the crib causing infants to get stuck between the crib and the mattress. The CPSC has reported at least four infant fatalities arising out of the use of the cribs.

The Stork Craft cribs reportedly have a hardware deficiency which can break or deform after use. When the part malfunctions the crib’s sliding side becomes detached from the crib creating a dangerous gap where an infant can become trapped. The cribs have also had problems related to assembly mistakes by crib owners. When the drop side is installed upside down it is susceptible to malfunction. Stork Craft has made a repair kit available which converts the drop side into a permanently static crib. The CPSC is urging parents to stop using the cribs immediately unless the drop side repair kit has been installed.

Manufacturers in Illinois and throughout the United States are required to produce safe products or otherwise provide adequate warning for unsafe features. If you have any questions about the safety of dropside cribs or would like to speak to an attorney, please click here.

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A 13 year old Chicago boy was killed Saturday night following a deadly car accident in Hanover Park, IL. According to Illinois State Police Sgt. Michael Myhre, the car accident occurred when a minivan travelling west on the Elgin-O’Hare expressway lost control and left the roadway around 6:00 p.m. According to reports, a 13 year-old male passenger was ejected through the window of the vehicle during the crash. The boy was killed when the vehicle subsequently rolled over on top of him. The vehicle finally came to rest just east of the Lake Street exit on the Chicago expressway.

The driver of the minivan has been identified as 32 year-old Marissa Vega of the 2600 block of West Crystal Street in Chicago, IL. Police have identified Ms. Vega as the mother of the deceased boy. The vehicle passengers have been identified as 61 year-old Nimia Vega of the 3200 block of West Wabansia St. in Chicago; 33 year-old Victor Vega of the 2600 block of West Crystal St. in Chicago; and 53 year-old Antonio Flores of the 3200 block of West Wabansia St. The name of the deceased boy has not been released by Chicago police. All of the crash victims were taken to St. Alexius Medical Center in Hoffman Estates with non-life-threatening injuries. The cause of the accident is still under investigation.

If the death of the boy was caused by a defective seatbelt or automobile prone to rollover, the family of the victim may have a claim against the manufacturer. If you have any questions related to rollover car accidents or would otherwise like to speak with an attorney, please click here.

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A nationwide pistachio nut recall has been linked to several sellers in Illinois. The recall has been connected to a California processor. The company, Setton Pistachio of Terra Bella, has recalled its entire 2008 crop after several types of salmonella were found by Kraft foods – a customer of Terra Bella. Kraft reported its findings to the Food and Drug Administration on March 24th. The California Department of Public Health is investigating nuts processed at Setton Farms. Setton Farms is reportedly the second largest pistachio processor in the United States.

The pistachios were sent to about three dozen wholesalers throughout the country who repackaged and resold the nuts. Illinois retailers that carry the nuts include Kroger, Dominick’s, and the Georgia Nut Company. The voluntary recall of the nuts includes:

• Bulk or custom packaged Deluxe Mixed Nuts with shelled pistachios purchased at Georgia Nut stores in Skokie, IL, and Glenview, IL • Bulk or custom packaged Dry Roasted Shelled Pistachios purchased at Georgia Nut retail stores in Skokie, IL, and Glenview, IL, and from the company’s website • Mixed Nuts Deluxe Roasted and Salted Bulk with shelled pistachios purchased in bulk bins at Dominick’s finer foods in the metro Chicago area from December 10, 2008, through March 25, 2009 • Private Selection Shelled Pistachios sold in 10-oz containers “sell by” date of 12/13/09, 12/14/09, 1/14/10, 2/10/10, 2/11/10 and 3/23/10 sold in the Kroger Co.’s family of stores in Illinois
Salmonella infection can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections – particularly in children and the elderly. Salmonella infections are characterized by fever, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain. If you have reason to believe that you or a loved one may be infected with salmonella, you should go to the doctor immediately. Salmonella can only be diagnosed through a stool test.
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A Chicago Tribune investigation has uncovered disturbing data regarding the safety of infant car seats. The probe revealed government reports showing that nearly half of child car seats failed crash tests. These reports were never publicized leaving even some manufacturers in the dark. According to the Tribune, one crash test video showed a car seat flying off its base and smashing a baby dummy into the back of a driver’s seat. This potentially defective car seat was one of thirty one out of a total of sixty seats tested that either flew off base or exceeded other injury limits in frontal collisions. Parents are left to wonder if the child seats in their cars are defective and what might happen in a real car accident. The car seat test results were found buried in reports from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) conducted to evaluate 2008 vehicle safety and not car seat safety.

The investigation highlights how little information is currently available to Illinois parents regarding car seat safety. Child car seats do not currently come with any sort of safety rating giving parents no way to determine seat safety. For example, two of the most expensive car seats actually had the poorest crash test results. Safety seats are also designed in such a manner that certain seats fit better with certain car models. This information is also not readily available to the consumer. New Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood responded to the safety seat exposure last Friday ordering a “complete top to bottom review of child safety seat regulations.” LaHood also asked that the NHTSA make crash test results more readily available to consumers so that Illinois parents can make informed decisions when purchasing car seats. While the tests were described as research, the results for two seats were so disturbing that the government instituted recalls. The infant seat exposed in the above mentioned crash video was not recalled. Around 7,000 children were injured and 63 killed in crashes while strapped into infant safety seats in 2007.
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Ralcorp Frozen Bakery Products has recalled several brands of peanut butter cookies sold in Wal-Mart locations throughout suburban Chicago joining the nationwide peanut butter recall. More specifically, the baked goods supplier has recalled Wal-Mart bakery brands of peanut butter cookies, peanut butter no-bake cookies and peanut butter fudge no-bake cookies. Ralcorp joins the South Bend Chocolate Co. in Northwest Indiana which has already recalled several peanut butter based candies. The Illinois and Northwest Indiana recalls came only a day after the Food and Drug Administration advised consumers to stay away from cookies, cakes, ice cream and other foods containing peanut butter. Health officials have targeted peanut paste and peanut butter produced at a facility owned by Peanut Corp. The facility, located in Blakely, Georgia, produces peanut butter and peanut paste that is not directly available to consumers. The peanut paste, which is derived from roasted peanuts, is nationally distributed to institutions and food companies throughout the U.S. for use in cakes, cookies, and other food products. According to the Associated Press, at least 85 companies had purchased peanut products from the Georgia plant, and 30 had been urged to run their own tests for bacteria.

The defective peanut butter has been implicated in a 43-state salmonella outbreak which has been linked to as many as six deaths. About 20% of those who have become ill as a result of defective peanut butter consumption have been hospitalized. Salmonella symptoms include diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps beginning around 12 to 72 hours after infection. Most of those infected recover within seven days without further complications.
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Stork Baby Cribs and the Consumer Product Safety Commission (“CSPC”) announced the voluntary recall of more that 1,000,000 baby cribs in the United States and Canada last Wednesday January 14, 2009. The cribs, which were manufactured by Stork Craft Manufacturing Inc. of British Columbia, were made in Canada, China, and Indonesia. The baby crib recall is the result of ten reported incidents in which crib support brackets failed. In one reported occurrence, a young child was trapped between the mattress and side rail of a Stork crib. The baby cribs were sold from May 2000 through January 2009 at J.C. Penney, K-Mart, and other retail outlets in Illinois and around the country. The defective cribs were also sold online at amazon.com, babiesrus.com, Costco.com, and walmart.com. Similar Stork Crib failures have been reported in Canada according to Health Canada, the Canadian health care agency. Consumers should stop using the cribs immediately and contact Stork Craft for a free replacement kit containing a new mattress support and brackets.

The troubling defect in the baby cribs causes the metal mattress support to crack and break. When the bracket is compromised the mattress collapses, thereby creating a gap where a child could get trapped and suffocate. There has been one reported entrapment related injury from the defective cribs to date. The CPSC urges all parents and caregivers to cease using the recalled Stork cribs. In order to fully ensure child safety, Illinois parents should regularly inspect baby cribs for loose, broken, or missing hardware.
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If you’ve been injured by a dangerous consumer product, it’s usually not hard to recover compensation for your injuries.

Defective or dangerous products are the cause of many thousands of injuries every year. The set of laws that covers who is responsible for defective and dangerous products — called “product liability” — is different from ordinary injury liability law, and sometimes makes it easier for an injured person to recover damages.

Strict Liability Defined

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Chicago Attorney Joseph Klest has handled many products liability cases related to food and defective drugs in Cook County, Lake County, Will County, DuPage County, and elsewhere in Illinois for over 25 years. He knows how to properly investigate your case and he will zealously pursue your claim or lawsuit so that you obtain the maximum recovery possible.

Food and Products Liability Cases
Attorney Joseph Klest has successfully represented injury clients that have become sick, injured, or died because the food that they purchased was not properly prepared or processed. He is knowledgeable about the standards regarding food that restaurant owners, processing factories, grocery stories, and food distributors have to uphold.

If a food item is not properly processed, the person eating the food can get sick or die. Bacterial infections, salmonella, E coli, and other kinds of food poisoning are just some of the illnesses that can result because a food processing company did not properly process the food or the food handlers at a restaurant forgot to wash their hands or clean the restaurant kitchen.

Canned goods, baby food, meat, poultry, fish, packaged foods, processed juices, and food served in restaurants must be free from contamination by toxins, other chemicals, and foreign objects (such as broken glass or body parts) if people are going to eat them.

It is the responsibility of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), food manufacturers, food processing plants, grocery store owners, and restaurant owners to ensure that the food that they prepare, serve, or sell will not cause anyone to become sick or die. Otherwise, the injured party could have grounds to file a personal injury claim or wrongful death lawsuit against any liable parties.

Drugs in Products Liability Cases
The FDA is entrusted with the responsibility of approving all pharmaceutical drugs before they are allowed into the marketplace. However, there are instances when the manufacturer of an FDA-approved drug manages to downplay the potential side effects or neglects to perform enough tests to ensure the drug’s safety.

Allowing a pharmaceutical drug that is improperly labeled, does not come with the proper instructions or warnings, or has serious yet unannounced side effects into the marketplace can be very dangerous for users that are relying on the drug to get healthy or help them stay alive.

The dangers of a prescription medication might not become known until some of its users become ill. A recall may be issued, but by then, hundreds of thousands of people may have already gotten sick, injured, or died. Unexpected and unwanted side effects from defective or dangerous drugs include organ damage, chronic depression, blindness, heart attacks, and wrongful death.

Here is a list of some prescription drugs that have caused injury to people:

* Ambien * Dietary supplements * Paxil * Prozac * Viagra * Zicam * Propulsid * Baycol * Trasylol * Zoloft * Ortho Evra Patch * ACE Inhibitors * Bextra * Aredia * Accutane * Fen Phen * Crestor * Zyprexa * Meridia * Seroquel * Mifeprex * Metabolife * Zelnorm
You have the right to personal injury compensation if you have been injured or become ill from taking prescription medication, herbal supplements, over-the-counter drugs, herbal supplements, or vitamins.
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There are many kinds of machinery that come with a high risk of injury-especially when operated incorrectly. A worker that is injured while handling machinery at work is usually eligible for benefits under workers’ compensation law. This does not, however, prevent him or her from suing third parties, such as machinery manufacturers, designers, or suppliers.

Machinery manufacturers, suppliers, and designers are responsible for making sure that the tools and machines that they produce are not defective or place people at high risk of death or injury when used correctly. Joseph Klest, Attorney at Law, is a Chicago personal injury law firm that can pursue claims against negligent third parties. Chicago Injury Attorney Joseph Klest represents clients throughout Will County, Lake County, DuPage County, Cook County, and the rest of Illinois.

Injuries caused by defective machinery and tools can be catastrophic and often permanent. They can include severed or amputated limbs, disfigurement, paralysis, traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, blindness, or serious burns.