Ten years ago, New Jersey metalworker Robert Nicastro was operating a shearing machine at his job at Curcio Scrap Metal. Suddenly, his right hand slipped into the path of the machine's blade, which sliced through four of his fingers. Since then, the now-59-year-old has undergone eight surgeries on his hand and has lost multiple fingers.
After millions of recalled vehicles and several years of increased costs and bad press, Toyota executives believed that they finally had reason to celebrate with the release of a NASA study declaring that Toyota vehicles did not have electronic defects that caused sudden acceleration. Last week, however, the tables turned as Toyota announced yet another recall of more than 2 million additional vehicles.
After two reported strangulation deaths in the past year, infant product manufacturer Summer Infant has announced a voluntary recall of approximately 2 million video baby monitors. The potential strangulation problem was first reported by the Consumer Product Safety Commission in October after receiving at least seven reports of strangulation since 2004. The company says that the defective products were sold at major retailers between 2003 and 2011.
"Fixodent - and forget it!" The well-known slogan for Fixodent denture cream is meant to imply that the cream allows users to go about their lives without constant worry about their dentures. However, for Mark Jacoby, whose debilitating nerve damage has confined him to a wheelchair, the slogan has taken on a whole new meaning. "Well, apparently I can't forget it because it took a lot away from me," he said. Jacoby believes that his nerve damage and resulting disability is due to Fixodent's high zinc content, and he is not alone. Several former Fixodent users have filed a class action products liability lawsuit against Fixodent's manufacturer, Proctor & Gamble, alleging that the denture cream is responsible for their health problems.
As snow blankets New Jersey and surrounding states yet again during this record-breaking winter, New Jersey residents and state officials once more find themselves dealing with snow removal, flight cancellations, slippery roads and sidewalks, and any of the many headaches that come with heavy snowfall. With a newly announced defective product recall, however, one additional consideration has now been added to the list for Ford Windstar owners.
In recent months, health care product manufacturer Johnson & Johnson has been the subject of multiple recalls and products liability lawsuits after numerous complaints about several of the company's products ranging from children's pain relievers to birth control medication to artificial hips. Because of these seemingly continual product malfunctions, it hardly even seems newsworthy when a new Johnson & Johnson recall is announced. However, the importance of the items manufactured by the company - medication, infant and child care products, health care necessities - it is important to continue to pay attention when Johnson & Johnson announces yet another recall, as it did late last week.
Earlier this week, we wrote about Johnson & Johnson unit DePuy Orthopaedics and the contention that its A.S.R. hip replacement implant is a defective product. When the A.S.R. was introduced, it was promoted as a major breakthrough, and as an implant that would last much longer than similar products. When the allegations were first brought against DePuy, the company maintained its self-promotion, claiming that surgical mistake was behind patients' pain and injury, not the product itself. Recently, however, DePuy announced that it is phasing out the A.S.R. device, but not for safety reasons. Instead, the company claims that lagging sales are behind the recall.
Over the last year, health care product manufacturer Johnson & Johnson has come under scrutiny after multiple allegations of injuries caused by various products. On this blog alone, we have written about the harm reportedly caused by the birth control patch and children's over-the-counter cold medicines, both of which have given rise to products liability litigation. Recently, a new controversy has risen after claims that an artificial replacement hip manufactured by DePuy Orthopaedics, a unit of Johnson & Johnson, was not only failing, but causing serious and lasting harm to patients.
It appears that Toyota's legal troubles will not end anytime soon. In September, just over one year after a tragic car accident took the lives of an off-duty police officer and three of his family members, Toyota settled a lawsuit with the family of the deceased. Although the details of the settlement were kept under wraps for several months, it was recently revealed that Toyota agreed to pay the family $10 million.
Last month, we wrote about the potential dangers that lurk in toys and other holiday gifts intended for children. As previously discussed, Congress in 2009 strengthened consumer protection against potentially dangerous or defective products with the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act. However, according to a new report by the United States Public Interest Research Group, there are many toys on store shelves that have found ways around federal regulations, and a surprising number that violate the laws altogether. Knowledge and awareness, the group advises, is the key to keeping your child safe this holiday season.