Wesley Smithart

32 posts

Wesley Smithart is a part-time intern for Beasley Allen Law Firm in Montgomery, Alabama. As a senior at Huntingdon College majoring in both Religion and Communication Studies, Wesley serves as her college’s Student Government Association President. Wesley’s posts focus on mass torts, environmental topics, and recalls. In her free time, she studies for the Law School Admissions Test, as she plans to attend Law School in the Fall of 2015.

Meltons honored for courage in pursuing justice for victims of GM ignition switch defect

On April 30, the Georgia Trial Lawyers Association (GTLA) honored Ken and Beth Melton, the couple whose daughter’s death led to the recall of millions of General Motors (GM) vehicles, with the Courageous Pursuit of Justice Award. The Meltons’ investigation of their daughter’s car crash revealed an ignition switch defect that caused her 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt to slip out of the “on” position, forcing her to run into another vehicle. The GM ignition switch defect turned out to be a widespread problem that the automaker was aware of and hid for more than a decade. In 2013, the Meltons sued GM over ... Read More

FCA recalls 703,000 vehicles due to faulty ignition switches

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) recently issued a recall for more than 702,578 minivans and SUVs for faulty ignition switches, specifically their Dodge Grand Caravan, Dodge Journey and Chrysler Town & Country vehicles. According to FCA, rough road conditions can cause the ignition switch to move into the “off” or “accessory” position while driving. This problem can unexpectedly turn off the engine or disable the airbags, power steering and power braking. FCA has recalled many vehicles for the same issue in the past. Specifically, this recall affects 2008-2010 Dodge Grand Caravan and Chrysler Town & Country vehicles, as well as 2009 and 2010 Dodge ... Read More

Honda urges consumers to fix Takata airbags immediately

Honda plans to launch a multi-million dollar ad campaign to urge owners of Honda and Acura automobiles with possibly defective Takata airbags to have them fixed as soon as possible. Honda and nine other automakers have recalled millions of affected vehicles. The airbags, manufactured by Takata, a Japanese manufacturer, are at risk of tearing loose from their mountings and blasting shrapnel into the passenger compartment. Five deaths have been tied to the faulty airbags, specifically within Honda vehicles. Honda’s ad campaign will urge “Honda and Acura owners to immediately check for open recalls and safety improvement campaigns, and to take ... Read More

Fuel leak concerns lead to another Volkswagen recall

The Audi S4, A7, Volkswagen Touareg, and Porsche Panamera S Hybrid (all vehicles under the Volkswagen Group umbrella), have been recalled for similar fuel system issues. Owners of 2011-2012 Audi S4, S5, or Q7, 2012 A6, 2012-2013 A7, 2012 Volkswagen Touareg Hybrid, 2011-2012 Porsche Cayenne S Hybrid, and Panamera S Hybrid should take note of these upcoming recall announcements: Certain 2011-2013 Audi models from with 3.0- liter engine and one Volkswagen model have been recalled because of a possible leak in the fuel injection system that can occur as a result of “production tolerance issues” and vehicle vibrations, which may ... Read More

Kia Forte sedans recalled for fire risk

Beginning Feb. 24, 2015, Kia will recall 87,000 Forte sedans from the 2014 model year due to a potential fire risk. In some 2014 Forte sedans, the cooling system’s radiator fan resistor may overheat and melt, increasing the risk of fire. The defect affects vehicles equipped with both 1.8- liter and 2.0- liter inline- four engines. In early 2014, the resistor was identified as the possible culprit in at least two fires that were reported. No accidents or injuries were reported, and no additional incidents have been reported since June 2014. Kia will notify owners affected by the recall, urging ... Read More

Stadium Seats Recalled Due to Injury Risk

As football season draws to an end and bowl game season approaches, GCI Outdoor announced a recall of about 6,000 BleacherBack stadium seats that were sold from January 2013 to August 2014. The backrest of the seats can fail, posing a risk of injury. GCI Outdoor has received one report of backrest support failure, causing the consumer to fall from bleachers, injuring their neck and back. The stadium seats recalled are made of a powder-coated steel frame, stitched fabric backrest, and fabric-covered padded bottom. The backrest has a mesh pocket on the back side, and the seat bottom has a strap ... Read More

Fuel Leak Risk Causes Worldwide Recall of 470,000 Nissan Vehicles

Nissan recently issued a recall covering about 470,000 cars and SUVs worldwide to fix a problem that may cause fuel leaks. 134,000 of these recalled vehicles are in the United States, specifically Nissan’s Juke SUV from the 2012 through 2014 model years, the Infiniti M56 and QX56 from 2012 and 2013, and the Infiniti QX70 and QX80 SUVs from 2014 and 2015. U.S. safety regulators report that a fuel pressure sensor may not have been tightened properly in production. This mistake could lead to a fuel leak over time due to heat and vibration, increasing the risk of a fire. ... Read More

Americans’ Top Crime Worry: Credit-Card Hacking

According to a Gallup survey released this month, Americans fear credit-card hacking more than any other crime, including violent crimes. As more information is released about cyber breaches in major retail organizations across the country, American consumer anxiety rises about the crime that is affecting tens of millions of customers. According to the surveys, 69 percent of Americans now frequently or occasionally worry about their credit card information being hacked from stores. The Gallup research group was asked about other crimes such as home burglary, school violence, mugging, terrorism, sexual assault, and murder, yet still chose credit-card hacking as their ... Read More

Spa Drain Covers Recalled Due to Risk of Entrapment

Waterway Plastics issued a recall for about 26,000 spa drain suction covers after they received 70 reports of drain covers detaching, posing an entrapment hazard to customers. The spa drain coveres recalled are the Waterway Plastics Designer Pro Series suction covers. They were installed in select spas manufactured by Catalina Spas, Four Winds Spas, Dimension One Spas, and Sunrise Spas from June 2011 to June 2013. The round covers are black and silver, showing the model number 640-52XX S printed on top of the outside edge of the plastic. The covers are installed on the following models: Sunrise Spas Series: ... Read More

Family of Professional Figure Skater Blames Baby Powder for Ovarian Cancer

Three years ago, 50-year-old professional figure skater and mother Shawn Blaes died following a battle with ovarian cancer. According to her husband, Blaes habitually relied on “Johnson’s Baby Powder” to stay “dry and comfortable” when skating for almost 40 years. A lawsuit filed by her husband claims that the talcum powder, manufactured by Johnson & Johnson, caused her devastating cancer. He believes that the company has known about the dangers of its product for 30 years. Blaes’ lawsuit is one of many individual lawsuits filed around the nation recently concerning the relationship between talcum powder and ovarian cancer. Additionally, a class ... Read More