Articles Posted in Defective Products and Product Liability

On December 22, 2009, the Consumer Product Safety Commission announced that approximately 8,500 Polaris All-Terrain Vehicles (Sportsman ATVs) manufactured between January and August 2009 and sold between February 2009 through November 2009 were voluntarily recalled by Polaris Industries, Inc. . Polaris has received 19 reports of incidents involving the loss of steering control in the 2009-2010 Sportsman ATVs after the front suspension ball joint stem separated from the steering knuckle. The following models are included in the recall:

2009 Sportsman XP 550
2009 Sportsman XP 550 EPS
2010 Sportsman 550
2010 Sportsman X2 550
2010 Sportsman Touring 550
2009/2010 Sportsman XP 850
2009/2010 Sportsman XP850 EPS
2010 Sportsman Touring 850

The Consumer Product Safety Commission warns consumers to immediately stop using the recalled Polaris Sportsman ATVs and to contact their local Polaris dealer to determine if your model and VIN number are included in this recall and to schedule a free repair. Polaris is supposed to be directly contacting registered owners about the recall. For additional information about the Polaris ATV recall, you can contact Polaris at (888) 704-5290 or visit the company’s Web site.

Baton Rouge, Louisiana personal injury attorney, Scott Andrews, warns consumers not to wait until after the hunting season to get their recalled Polaris ATV repaired because the risk of injury and death is too great: “I have had numerous clients over the years call me after being injured by a defective recalled product and they tell me that they received notice of the recall, but had not gotten the defective product repaired yet when the accident happened. Return the product or get it repaired–do not use the defective product.”
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Dollar Tree Stores, Inc., in cooperation with the Consumer Product Safety Commission, voluntarily recalled approximately 204,000 Tool Bench Utility Knives sold at Dollar Tree, Dollar Bill$, Greenbacks and Deal$ stores nationwide between April 2009 and October 2009. While Dollar Tree has only received one complaint of injury, the utility knife’s blade can slide past the blade support during use, posing a laceration hazard to users. Therefore, users should stop using recalled knives immediately and return them to the store where purchased for a refund.

The recalled utility knives were made in China and distributed by Greenbriar International, Inc. The knife is black or gray and is about 6 inches long and 1 ¼ inches wide. The package includes an extra blade. “Tool Bench Utility Knife” is printed on the front of the product’s packaging. “975942,” date code “93” and “UPC 639277759429” are printed on the back of the packaging.

Contact Dollar Tree Stores for additional information.
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The Consumer Product Safety Commission announced that Watts Regulator Company voluntary recalled about 900 one inch 140X-9 Temperature and Pressure Relief Valves sold through distributors nationwide from October 2006 through July 2009 for between $250 and $280. The valves were typically sold as replacement parts for large water heaters used in commercial locations and large homes. The relief valve can fail to reduce pressure and avert failure or rupture of the water heater tank and associated valves, posing rupture and burn hazard to consumers and their property. Consumers and users should immediately contact Watts Regulator to schedule a free repair or to obtain more information.
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The Proctor & Gamble Company voluntarily recalled approximately 700,000 Vicks Dayquil Cold & Flu 24-Count Bonus Pack Liquicaps (UPC#: 3 23900 01087 1) sold nationwide in drug stores, grocery stores and other retail establishments between September 2008 and December 2009. The cold and flu medicine contains acetaminophen and is not in child-resistant packaging and lacks the statement, “This Package for Households Without Young Children,” as required by the Poison Prevention Packaging Act. The recalled Vicks Dayquil Liquicaps could cause serious health problems or death to a child if several of the capsules are swallowed. The recalled Vicks Dayquil Liquicaps should be kept out of the reach of children. Consumers and users should contact Procter & Gamble for more information.
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Around 26,000 defective log splitters manufactured from November 2008 through October 2009 by MTD Products Inc. of Cleveland Ohio, have been voluntarily recalled by the manufacturer in cooperation with the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission. The reason for the recall is that the control handle of the log splitter could fail to automatically return to the neutral position as it should and could fail to stop the splitting wedge from moving forward, posing an amputation risk to a user’s hands and fingers.

The recalled log splitters were sold at Home Depot, Lowe’s, Sears, Walmart, hardware stores and by independent dealers from November 2008 through October 2009. Go to the Consumer Product Safety Commission website for a complete list of the log splitter brand names and model numbers included in the log splitter recall.

This is an especially bad time of the year in Louisiana for a defective log splitter to be in the stream of commerce. As a young boy, Baton Rouge, Louisiana injury attorney, Scott Andrews, has vivid recollections of splitting fire wood for the North Louisiana winters, and was especially excited when his father would come home with a log splitter to ease the work load. Scott Andrews reminds consumers to “stop using the recalled log splitters immediately and to contact the manufacturer for further instructions.” Injury attorney Andrews also reminds injured consumers that if a finger is traumatically amputated, it can be reimplanted if the amputated finger is taken to the hospital in a timely and proper manner.
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Baton Rouge, Louisiana attorney, Paul H. Dué, was selected by his peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America ® 2010 for the sixteenth straight year (1995-2010), this time in the fields of Personal Injury Litigation and Products Liability. (Copyright 2010 by Woodward/White, Inc., of Aiken, S.C.). Inclusion in Best Lawyers ® is based on an exhaustive peer-review survey in which more than 32,000 attorneys cast almost two million votes on the legal abilities of other lawyers in their specialties. Lawyers are not required or allowed to pay a fee to be listed for inclusion in Best Lawyers ®.
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Two adults and thirteen children were riding in a mini-van on Interstate 10 in Ascension Parish, Louisiana, around mid-night on November 28, 2009, when a tire blew out, causing the mini-van to strike a box truck in the adjacent lane. The mini-van rolled over several times, ejecting the thirteen unrestrained children. The driver and five of the children are confirmed dead.

This is a terrible tragedy and our hearts and prayers go out to the families of all involved. If the Ford/Firestone rollover/blow-out litigation taught us anything, it is that tire blow-outs and vehicle roll-overs are a dangerous, and often fatal, combination. A properly designed and manufactured tire should not blow-out unless the tire suffers impact damage or has been improperly installed, inflated or maintained. And, a vehicle that sustains a tire blow-out should not rollover under expected and reasonable evasive maneuvers. Any time a tire-blow occurs and a death or serious injury occurs, the tire and vehicle should be preserved so that failure analysis can be conducted. Without the tire and vehicle, it is virtually impossible to determine the cause of the blow-out and rollover, and any legal rights the victims might have against the tire and vehicle manufacturer may be lost.
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The Consumer Product Safety Commission announced the recall of millions of Stork Craft drop-side cribs on November 23, 2009, following reports of one hundred ten drop-side detachments and four infant deaths. The CPSC determined that a gap can be created between the mattress and the drop-side rail when a piece of the claw on the lower right side of the drop-side rail breaks, allowing the claw to disengage from the lower right side t-rail of the crib.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission determined that at least one Louisiana baby’s death has been caused by mechanical asphyxia that occurred when he was trapped in a gap between the drop-side rail and the crib’s mattress. The Louisiana baby’s parents filed suit against the crib manufacturer in the United States District Court for the Western District of Louisiana in Lafayette, Louisiana.

The CPSC reminds parents not to use any crib with missing, broken, or loose parts, and to not try to repair any side of the crib, especially with tape, wire or rope.
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The 200 foot boom of a crane collapsed onto a fabrication shop at Elevated Boats, Inc. in Houma, Louisiana, killing one man and injuring another on November 17, 2009. The collapse occurred when the steel base of the crane ripped and detached while the crane operator was moving a 30 ton weight from the flat bed of an 18 wheeler. The accident remains under investigation by OSHA.

A crane collapse is usually caused by operator error, defective design of the crane or a component part, or improper maintenance. When injured or killed on-the-job by a crane collapse in Louisiana, worker’s compensation is often the exclusive remedy for the injured or killed worker. However, if the crane or a component part is defective, or if the crane was improperly maintained or negligently operated by a contractor or other third-person who is not considered an employer or co-employee, a claim may be made outside of the worker’s compensation scheme. And, when an on-the-job crane collapse in Louisiana is covered by the Jones Act or General Maritime Law, a claim for injury or death can sometimes even be made against an employer or co-employee.
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On October 28, 2009, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced that about 610,000 Halloween themed flashlights manufactured in China and sold exclusively at Target stores from August 2009-September 2009 have been recalled. The $1 “Mini Flashlights (3 Pack)” with key rings and the $2.50 “Flashlight with Stencil” can overheat and melt, posing a burn hazard. To avoid injury, consumers should stop using the flashlights immediately and return them to any Target store for a full refund. For additional information, contact Target at (800) 440-0680 between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. or visit www.target.com.

According to the American Burn Association, 500,000 people seek medical treatment each year for burn injuries. Each year approximately 3,500 deaths are caused by residential fires and 500 deaths result from other sources such as motor vehicle and aircraft crashes, contact with electricity and chemicals or hot liquids and substances.
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