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Product Liability 211 articles

Dangerous Trash Cans Get Chinese Manufacturer $1 Million Penalty

Federal regulators ordered a Chinese manufacturer to pay a $1 million penalty for failing to report defective trash cans that pose a laceration hazard. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) imposed the fine on EKO Development of Guangzhou, China, and its U.S. unit EKO USA in a 3-2 vote. According to the CPSC, 367,000 of the defective EKO trash cans were sold exclusively at Costco Wholesale stores throughout the U.S. The EKO Sensible Eco Living Trash Cans pose an “unreasonable risk of injury,” the CPSC said, because they have a black plastic collar on the receptacle opening that could ... Read More

Lawsuit blames defective fuel regulator for fatal Army helicopter crash

The families of two U.S. soldiers involved in an Army helicopter crash in Afghanistan in 2013 have filed a lawsuit against the manufacturer of the aircraft’s engine control unit, alleging the digital part failed to send enough fuel to the engine, which resulted in loss of engine power during flight. Army Chief Warrant Officer 3 James Groves III, 37, was killed when the Kiowa Warrior OH-58D helicopter he was piloting crashed on March 16, 2013. Co-pilot 1st Lt. Jonathon K. Kohl, 25, received severe trauma to his head and spine and now lives in a Germantown, Md., rehabilitation facility where he has a ... Read More

Too many U.S. drivers neglectful of proper tire pressure, study finds

“Tires are the Rodney Dangerfield of cars — they get no respect,” Dan Zielinski of the Rubber Manufacturers Association (RMA) told TheStreet.com. “They always look round and black no matter what shape they’re in, so people say: ‘Oh, they look OK.” According to TheStreet.com, a recent test conducted by the RMA of about 3,300 vehicles in 26 cities across the U.S. found that only 9 percent of drivers had all four tires inflated to the proper levels. Improperly inflated tires can cause blowouts and other dangerous problems, whether they are underinflated or overinflated. The study also found that 69 percent ... Read More

DEA introduces new drug take-back program to combat prescription drug abuse

A new Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) rule aims to combat a growing epidemic of prescription drug addiction and abuse by authorizing pharmacies, hospitals, clinics, and others to serve as drop-off sites for unused prescription medications. Attorney General Eric Holder said that the new regulation will help save lives and protect families from the dangers of prescription drug misuse. In 2011, unintentional prescription drug overdoses accounted for more than half of the 41,300 drug overdose deaths in the U.S. Prescription opioids, which are increasingly prescribed for pain relief, are particularly addictive and likely to be abused. Opioid pain killer overdose caused ... Read More

Federal jury hits Ethicon transvaginal mesh with $3.27 million verdict

Jo Huskey had no idea the turn her life would take after having a 30-minute procedure to implant Ethicon’s transvaginal mesh device in her body to correct urinary incontinence. Plaintiffs attorneys and their witnesses painted a picture for jurors of how the defectively designed device could erode into tissue and puncture neighboring organs causing serious complications from excruciating pain and incontinence to bleeding and infections. The jury responded with a $3.27 million verdict against Johnson & Johnson subsidiary Ethicon, finding the bladder sling was defectively designed and the company failed to warn the public of the potential risks. The product ... Read More

Hundreds of Risperdal gynecomastia lawsuits filed in Philadelphia court

About 700 product liability lawsuits involving the antipsychotic Risperdal have been filed in Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas alleging use of the drug caused boys and young men to develop breasts, a condition referred to as gynecomastia. Many of the plaintiffs allege their conditions are so bad that they need a mastectomy, liposuction and other surgical intervention to remove the breast tissue caused by the drug. Risperdal, also known as risperidone, is approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat adults and children with bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and irritability with autism. It is frequently prescribed off-label for other ... Read More

Federal court holds Chinese drywall companies in contempt for ignoring U.S. litigation

China’s state-owned drywall manufacturers have abandoned litigation in the U.S. involving thousands of American homeowners who sued the companies over allegedly toxic and corrosive drywall they claim has damaged their homes and their health. In addition to not responding to the multidistrict litigation (MDL) in a Louisiana federal court, Taishan Gypsum Co. Ltd. and other gypsum manufacturers owned by the Chinese government’s Assets Supervision and Administration Commission ignored a $2.7 million default judgment against them in 2010. U.S. District Judge Eldon Fallon held Taishan in civil and criminal contempt on July 17 for its refusal to appear in court to ... Read More

Honda stripping customers of legal recourse in event of ‘exploding airbag’ injury

Anyone who wants to buy certain used 2001-2011 Honda and Acura vehicles at a Honda dealership will now be required to sign a document agreeing to let Honda off the hook in the event the vehicle’s airbag explodes, maiming or killing the vehicle’s occupants. Honda is one of several carmakers recalling vehicles over faulty airbags made by Japanese supplier Takata. These airbags have the potential to explode even in very low-impact bumps, such as a fender bender, due to a faulty moisture-sensitive inflator that can cause the airbag to burst into the vehicle cabin with excessive force. And the word ... Read More

Listeria testing triggers nationwide recall of walnuts and hummus

Just days after Walmart settled 23 civil claims with families of victims harmed by a deadly listeria outbreak linked to cantaloupe, two more U.S. food manufacturers have issued recalls after finding listeria in their products. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said that one recall involves walnuts from St. Louis, Missouri-based Sherman Produce Company. The company said it is recalling 241 cases of bulk walnuts after routine sampling detected the bacteria. The other recall involves Lansal Inc., a Massachusetts processed foods manufacturer that is commonly known as “Hot Mama’s Foods.” The company said it is voluntarily recalling hummus and ... Read More

Jensen Farms cantaloupe victims reach settlement with Walmart

Walmart agreed this week to settle nearly two dozen lawsuits filed by families of victims who died in a 2011 listeria outbreak that killed 33 people and was traced by federal health officials to cantaloupe grown by Colorado-based Jensen Farms. The terms of the settlement remain confidential, but it resolves all 23 claims against Walmart, which sold the tainted cantaloupe in several states, including Colorado, New Mexico, Wyoming, Montana and Nebraska. The plaintiffs have reached settlements with a few other smaller retailers, but the lawsuits will proceed against Kroger grocery chain, food safety auditor The Primus Group, and Frontera Produce, ... Read More