Articles Posted in Defective Products

Pottery Barn has issued a safety recall for tens of thousands of dolls that present a strangulation hazard for young children. According to a recent release by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), Pottery Barn has recalled a total of 81,000 dolls in the United States because they have loops that can fit around a child’s neck posing a strangulation hazard. The soft dolls are sold under the following names: Chloe, Sophie, and Audrey. They were sold at Pottery Barn Kids stores nationwide for $40 between July 2006 and April 2011. There are no reported injuries, but a 21-month old child was found with the loop of yarn around her neck.

There are a number of ways that a product may cause harm. Children are particularly vulnerable to dangerous and defective products. Small parts in toys pose a choking hazard. Items with large strings or ropes, such as blinds or shades, can cause a strangulation injury. Toys that break can cause laceration injuries or even fingertip amputations.

Manufacturers who make such dangerous or defective products, or fail to properly warn consumers about the dangers posed by these products, can be held civilly liable for the injuries and damages they cause. A product liability claim is a civil lawsuit that allows a consumer to hold a negligent product manufacturer financially accountable for losses such as medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

Evenflo Company, Inc. reported to the Office of Defects Investigation, a division of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), on October 12 a defect in their Maestro Combination Booster Seats. Their report resulted in the company voluntarily recalling 13,792 child restraint systems on October 15. The defective child products will immediately be removed from store shelves, and Evenflo will provide consumers a free reinforcement plate for the booster seat.

The recall affects products with model numbers beginning with 310. The defective child products were built between November 2009 and April 2010.

In the event of a high-impact vehicle collision, it is possible for a crack to occur at the front of the booster seat, preventing sufficient restraint of the child. Injuries or death may occur.

Auto accident victims who claim they have been injured as a result of auto product defects in New Jersey and across the nation from Chrysler and General Motors vehicles are being left high and dry because of the auto makers’ bankruptcy filings. According to this news report, consumers and consumer advocates are outraged that auto makers, that are being financed by tax payers, are throwing “consumer safety protections out the window.”

The bankruptcy of Chrysler and GM has led to new complications, particularly with regard to product liability lawsuits. According to several consumer advocates, the car companies will back up their warranties for auto parts, but will not take responsibility for personal injuries caused by defective auto parts. So, for example, if your brakes are bad, they’ll fix them. But if you crash and get seriously injured because of defective brakes, then your auto maker (Chrysler or GM) won’t be held liable for that.

Auto product defects are more common than we know or hear about every day. Thousands of auto accidents occur nationwide and in New Jersey because of defective auto products such as tires, airbags, seatbelts, seatbacks, engines and steering. Defective design of a vehicle can also cause catastrophic injuries or deaths in an auto accident.
Continue reading

Two Johnson & Johnson subsidiaries –one of them New Jersey-based — that manufacture and distribute a painkilling skin patch have been ordered to pay about $16.6 million to the family of 38-year-old Janice DiCosolo, who died from a drug overdose while using the product. According to this Associated Press news report, DiCosolo, a mother of three, died because the patch delivered a fatal dose of its main ingredient, which is a powerful narcotic pain reliever called fentanyl. A jury arrived at this wrongful death verdict following a three-week trial.

The wrongful death lawsuit filed by DiCosolo’s family claimed that the two Johnson & Johnson subsidiaries knew about the Duragesic patch that leaked fentanyl in doses large enough to kill patients. But the companies did nothing about this dangerous and defective pharmaceutical product. Company officials say they are looking into appealing this jury verdict and maintain that their product is not defective.

Wrongful death claims are filed in New Jersey by members of a deceased person’s family, particularly if the fatal injuries have been caused because of someone’s negligence or wrongdoing. In this case, the companies in question marketed and sold the pain patches knowing about their defective and dangerous nature, and that was enough to convince this jury of the companies’ negligence and wrongdoing.