Articles Posted in News & Information

By now, you may have already heard about the DePuy ASR Hip Replacement product recall. If you are one of the unfortunate recipients of this defective product, you may be left wondering what to do next.

Within 5 years of receiving a DePuy Hip Resurfacing system, it’s reported that 12-13% of patients need to have revision surgery to correct the damage. If you’ve been experiencing pain, malalignment, infection, dislocation or bone fracture, there’s a good chance that you fall within the category of recipients necessitating correctional surgery.

Because the poorly designed piece exhibits a dangerous amount of friction between the two metal components, tiny fragments of chromium and cobalt ions are released into your body’s soft tissue.

Allreds Design is recalling about 900 sets of baby bracelets and pacifier clips because they contain high levels of lead, according to a news report in The company issued this defective product recall after getting a report of a 10-month-old child who ingested lead from these bracelets and was being treated by a physician for elevated lead levels. Lead can be extremely toxic if ingested by young children and in serious cases, can cause lifelong adverse health effects such as brain damage.

This product defect recall includes Allreds Design brand baby bracelets and pacifier clips sold in sizes 0 to 6 months, 1 to 4 years and 4 to 8 years of age. The baby bracelets and crystal and plastic beads come in various colors with a metal clasp. The items were sold by resale stores and other retailers nationwide from June 2008 through December 2008 for about $5. These items were manufactured in the United States. If you have these defective products in your home, Seattle injury lawyer Kirk Bernard advises that you take them away from your children right away and contact Allreds Design for details about how to get a replacement bracelet or pacifier clip.
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The Washington State Liquor Control Board has issued citations to two Spokane bars in connection with a DUI car crash in December, which resulted in three deaths. According to an Associated Press news report, the driver who caused the head-on collision was “over-served” at the downtown Spokane bars – The Lion’s Lair and the BLVD. Officials say they want the BLVD’s license suspended for a month and are asking for a five-day suspension or a fine against the Lion’s Lair. The drunk driver apparently drove west in the eastbound lanes of the Interstate 90 in Spokane. The drunk driver, as well as two people in the other car, were killed in the collision.

This news, interestingly enough, comes around the same time as when Men’s Health and USA Today released a study listing Spokane 51st among the “Drunkest Cities” in the United States. In fact, Spokane ranked higher than Seattle on this list. By assisting drunk driving accident victims, Seattle auto accident lawyers are working to help lower the city’s ranking as the 64th drunkest city in the United States.
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A pedestrian was critically injured in a Spokane car accident in the South Hill area, according to a KXLY news report. The injury collision occurred at the intersection of 10th and Oak where the victim was hit by a car. The driver of the car fled the scene of the crash. The victim was taken to a local hospital. The pedestrian is believed to have sustained life-threatening injuries. The suspect’s vehicle has been described as a light brown or blue sedan with a loud muffler.

As a Seattle car accident attorney, Kirk Bernard understands the serious consequences of hit-and-run accidents. Leaving the scene of an auto collision is a serious crime in Washington State and is punishable by jail time. According to the Revised Code of Washington Section 46.52.020: “A driver of any vehicle involved in an accident resulting in the injury to or death of any person or involving striking the body of a deceased person shall immediately stop such vehicle at the scene of such accident or as close thereto as possible but shall then forthwith return to, and in every event remain at, the scene of such accident until he or she has fulfilled the requirements of subsection (3) of this section; every such stop shall be made without obstructing traffic more than is necessary.”
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Toyota has recalled more than 8.5 million vehicles over auto product defects – primarily sticky gas pedals, defective floor mats that can slip and jam the accelerator, and brake issues. Based on news reports, outside experts even speculate that electromagnetic interference may have caused several incidents of unintended acceleration in recalled Toyota models. Now, the auto maker is facing a government inquiry over whether it tried to delay or avoid a recall in the first place.

Parents of a Seattle resident are one of many who are asking questions about how and why their son died. According to a KOMO News report, like many injured victims or grieving families, the bereaved parents are wondering whether sudden acceleration caused by a sticky gas pedal in the victim’s Toyota Tundra may have caused the fatal car accident on Oct. 17, 2007. The crash occurred when the pickup truck inexplicably crashed head-on into a tree.

Recently this victim’s parents found out that his Tundra was on the recall list as well. They now rightly believe that had Toyota paid attention to the problem, recalled the vehicles and fixed the defects, their son would have been alive.

Toyota’s recall comes too late for those in situations similar to this family’s. It is too little too late for those who have suffered catastrophic injuries potentially as a result of the unintended acceleration problem. It is too late for those drivers who have been sent to prison because their car went out of control and injured or killed someone. Seattle personal injury attorneys understand that there have been several car accident cases nationwide where drivers tried convincing juries that it was not them, but their car that was to blame. But no one believed them. Some of those cases are now being reviewed by local prosecutors in different parts of the country.
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State Farm Insurance Company officials are saying that they alerted federal safety regulators as early as 2007 about an increase in reports of unintended or sudden acceleration in Toyota vehicles. According to a news report, State Farm insurance said it noticed a rise in reports of such acceleration in Toyotas and notified the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The federal agency in fact received warnings about sudden acceleration in Toyotas as early as 2003. It is not clear whether the agency completely missed these warning signs. That is an issue congressional investigators are exploring.

Toyota, over the recent months, has recalled over 8 million vehicles for faulty gas pedals and floor mats, which are believed to have caused the sudden acceleration problems. Most recently, the auto maker recalled about 437,000 Prius and Lexus hybrid vehicles worldwide to fix a braking problem caused by a software glitch. The auto maker also stopped producing and selling eight vehicle models including the top-selling Corolla and Camry models. Federal officials said they are also looking into complaints from Corolla owners about steering problems. So far, consumers and Seattle personal injury attorneys are shocked by the fact that NHTSA has received 80 complaints from drivers of 2009 and 2010 Corollas.
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Federal auto safety regulators have now launched an official investigation into possible vehicle defects, this time involving the power steering in 2009 and 2010 Toyota Corollas. According to a news report in USA Today, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has been getting complaints from Toyota Corolla drivers that they cannot hold the steering straight going down the highway. So far, NHTSA has received 168 complaints, including reports of eight crashes, involving this vehicle defect. NHTSA has opened a preliminary evaluation to determine whether it needs to take a closer look at steering problems in the Corolla and also, the Matrix models, which are quite similar to the Corolla. Much to the shock of consumers and Seattle auto product liability attorneys, about 500,000 vehicles could be involved in this investigation.

If this results in a recall, it certainly would not be Toyota’s first in recent months. In fact, the number of vehicles that were recently recalled by the Japanese auto maker adds up to more than 8.5 million. That includes vehicles that were recalled for defective gas pedals, floor mats and brakes. Toyota also suspended production and sales of eight different models of vehicles including the Corolla, until all the defective vehicles can be fixed. Government officials are also looking into whether Toyota officials issued these recalls in a timely manner. Meanwhile, the company is also facing a slew of lawsuits over the unintended acceleration caused by the gas pedal and mat defects.
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The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is warning consumers about defective cribs, which have been responsible for three infant deaths. According to an Associated Press news report, the federal safety agency is recalling 500,000 drop-side cribs, manufactured by Generation 2 Worldwide and ChildESIGNS. The plastic hardware on these cribs can break and allow the drop side to detach, creating a space where the child can become entrapped and suffocated. Also, the mattress supports in these cribs can break away from the crib frames creating a gap where children can suffocate.

CPSC has received three reports of children who died after getting trapped and being suffocated in these defective cribs. The victims were an 8-month-old boy from Ohio who died in June 2007; a 6-month-old boy from Indiana who suffocated in a crib and died in October 2003; and another 6-month-old boy from Virginia who died in September 2002 after two missing screws allowed the lower drop-side track of his crib to pull away from the headboard post. These cribs were sold at retailers nationwide including Buy Buy Baby, Kmart and Wal-Mart.

Several consumers and Seattle products liability attorneys are aware of the fact that more than 5 million cribs have been recalled over the last few years because of similar defects and hazards. Almost all of these recalled cribs were drop-side cribs. These cribs were recalled because when the drop-sides detached, an entrapment and suffocation hazard was created. Inferior parts and poor quality control have also contributed to these product defects.
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Troopers and tow truck drivers in Washington State are supporting a bill that creates “emergency zones” which they believe will protect them and other first responders who help stranded motorists on the state’s highways. According to a news report in King 5 News, 23 Washington State Patrol vehicles were hit in 2009 on the side of the state’s highways. Under the proposed law, drivers who are caught speeding within 200 feet of a vehicle that has flashing lights – police cars, tow trucks or ambulances – would receive citations for double the standard speeding amount.

The new law, if passed, would also require drivers to move out of the far right lane as long as it is safe. Also, drivers who operate their vehicles recklessly in those zones could face a $5,000 fine and lose their license for two months. It is not known yet when this law would go into effect. However, Washington State Patrol officials would be responsible for educating and informing drivers about the law before they start writing out these citations.

As a Seattle auto accident lawyer, I’m absolutely in support of this law. This law is necessary to keep these first responders, who are the first to get to the scene of an accident on the highway, safe and secure so they can do their jobs. Anyone who has had their vehicle break down on the highway knows that it can be a very scary place. A lot of times, motorists are negligent, driving recklessly or simply not paying attention to their surroundings.
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So far, Toyota has recalled more than 7 million vehicles over faulty gas pedals and floor mats. The auto maker has also stopped production and sales of eight models, including its top-selling Camry and Corolla models. The first Toyota recall was issued last year after an auto accident in California killed a highway patrol officer and three members of his family. The officer was in a loaner Lexus and the defective floor mat in the car allegedly caused the accelerator pedal to become jammed. The car accelerated out of control at 120 mph, crashed, and caused four fatalities.

Toyota officials say they have come up with a fix for the gas pedals, which has been approved by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The problem with the gas pedals was that the pedal mechanism could become worn and harder to depress or it could get stuck in a partially depressed position, thus causing sudden or unintended acceleration.

Toyota engineers have been working to insert a spacer in the pedal mechanism in order to increase the tension in a spring and reduce the risk of the gas pedal sticking or staying down. The auto maker has also come under quite a bit of criticism for failing to act quickly on unexpected acceleration issues related to the faulty floor mats. Federal officials say Toyota has known about the problem with the mats since 2007 and has still done nothing to fix it.
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