Although there has not been a significant number of cases in New Jersey and most states, with zero total deaths, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has announced a recall of four varieties of fresh, whole papayas after two separate shipments were found to contain the Salmonella Agona virus. According to FDA officials, the latest recall is solid evidence in support of its efforts to increase the sampling of papayas that are imported into the United States.
Last month, a New Jersey food importer announced a recall of approximately 6,000 pounds of imported ham products after several samples tested positive for Listeria monogytogenes. If consumed, the Listeria bacteria could cause consumers to become infected with Listeriosis.
When a man alerted local newspapers that he discovered a dead mouse inside a bag of Dole salad mix, he said that his motivation in doing so not to gain money or notoriety, but to warn the public and spur an investigation by state and federal officials. Although the man will likely not file a products liability lawsuit against Dole, he is reportedly working with the company in hopes that it will examine its practices to ensure that such an incident does not take place again.
When pharmaceutical manufacturer Bayer came out with Yaz, the drug was heavily marketed as a revolution in birth control, providing the same medicinal benefits with significantly less side effects. However, what the company failed to mention was one new danger of the drug: an increased risk of serious injury and death due to stroke, heart attack, and pulmonary embolism.
Pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson has won the dubious honor of being named the most sued company in New Jersey for 2010. The company defended 63 lawsuits in the state last year, the majority of which were products liability lawsuits based on the harmful side effects of Johnson & Johnson medication. Other companies near the top of the most sued list range from pharmaceutical companies such as Merck and Bristol-Meyers Squibb, retailers such as Wal-Mart, and large banks and mortgage lenders.
On October 11, 2006, New York Yankees pitcher Cory Lidle departed the Teterboro Airport in New Jersey with his flight instructor, hoping to see the sights of New York from a different perspective. But the flight ended in tragedy after the plane spun out of control and crashed into a high-rise condominium building in New York's Upper East Side. Both 34-year-old Lidle and his 26-year-old flight instructor were killed on impact.
Ford has issued a recall of over one million F-150 pickup trucks after mass reports of injuries from random, unwarranted airbag deployment. In February, Ford recalled 150,000 trucks, but the automaker resisted government efforts to expand the voluntary recall. However, receiving mass public criticism for its handling of the Toyota sudden acceleration issues, the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration was not willing to allow Ford to handle the airbag defects on its own terms.
In February 2008, a woman underwent an elective hysterectomy at a Navy medical center. Not long after the procedure, she began to feel severe pain and discomfort in her abdomen, which was not an expected side effect of the procedure. She returned to the medical center several times, complaining of pain and pressure, but her symptoms were neither seriously investigated nor treated. In July 2009, more than one year after she had been experiencing pain, an emergency room doctor finally ordered a CT scan. The scan showed a foreign object in the woman's pelvis, which was later found to be a piece of a medical instrument used during the hysterectomy.
The purchase and use of fireworks is illegal in New Jersey and border state Pennsylvania. However, the explosives are a large part of the Fourth of July celebrations of people in both states. This is partially because of an ambiguity in Pennsylvania law that allows fireworks to be sold in the state if the buyer immediately takes them across the Pennsylvania border and into a neighboring state.
In November, the Food and Drug Administration issued letters to four manufacturers of caffeinated alcoholic drinks after receiving an onslaught of complaints from consumers. In the letters, the FDA warned the manufacturers that their products were unsafe, and that they were likely to cause injury and other lasting harm to consumers. After receiving the letter, Phusion Projects, which made the controversial caffeinated alcohol drink Four Loko, removed the caffeine from its beverage, although the company continues to maintain that combining alcohol and caffeine is safe.