October 1, 2010

Hip Replacement Surgeons Received Kickbacks From DePuy Orthopaedics

With each day that goes by, news regarding the DePuy hip replacement recall continues to get worse and worse. Victim's have been contacting asr hip replacement attorneys and sharing their horror stories regarding their hip implants. Aside from excruciating pain, they've also had to deal with lost wages, physical and emotional trauma. The original hip replacement is already a major ordeal for patients to go through, but the revisional surgery requires an even more extensive operation with a lengthy healing period.

To make matters worse, new information has surfaced indicating that Johnson and Johnson, Depuy's parent company, had issued millions of dollars to orthopaedic surgeons in exchange for promoting their products. These surgeons then touted the products in medical journals and half of them failed to disclose their financial relationship with the manufacturers. Unfortunately, this is a common practice in the health care industry. In 2007, five of the major orthopaedic device manufacturers disbursed nearly $250 million in payments to surgeons.

Now, Johnson & Johnson is engaged in yet another public relations nightmare, bringing their product recall total to 11 in 2010. Considering that these defective hip replacements were implanted into almost 100,000 patients worldwide, you can bet the company is facing a multi-billion dollar class action lawsuit put together by hip replacement attorneys. DePuy announced that the revision rate is 1 in every 8 patients, but I wouldn't be surprised if that number skyrockets as more and more victims come forward and demand the compensation they rightfully deserve.

September 7, 2010

DePuy ASR Hip Replacement Recall

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.

This can compromise the success of the revision surgery so if your surgeon is concerned about this, they should perform a metal ion test beforehand. By performing an ultrasound or MRI scan, soft tissue damage can be visible.

DePuy has agreed to pay what they consider to be reasonable costs for patient evaluation, treatment, and even revision if necessary. They intend to reimburse patients for their medical bills and out of pocket expenses.

As a Seattle personal injury lawyer my firm has extensive experience with product liability cases and I know that dealing with the manufacturer can be a lengthy, complicated process. That's where the experience of a hip recall attorney fighting on your behalf can be essential to recovering the compensation you deserve.

March 26, 2010

Baby Bracelets Recalled for High Lead Levels

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 Consumeraffairs.com. 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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March 2, 2010

Seattle Toyota Auto Accident Victim's Case Raises Questions

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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February 23, 2010

Reports of Toyota Corolla Steering Problems Trigger Federal Investigation

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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February 17, 2010

500,000 Defective Cribs Recalled after Infant Deaths

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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February 9, 2010

Toyota to Fix Defective Gas Pedals

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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February 5, 2010

Kirk Bernard Explains How to Choose a Safe Car Seat for your Child

You could be left agonizing for days about the right car seat for your little one. After all, it is the car seat, which you count on to protect one of your most precious family members. So, how do you select a secure car seat that will not break the bank and keep your child safe and comfortable? Here are the top five questions you can ask yourself to help pick that perfect car seat:

  1. Is it easy to install? - If it looks too complicated, it's not the car seat for you. You need a car seat that is easy to install CORRECTLY. If you do not install the seat properly, your baby may not be secure. You also need to look for a base that you can permanently install in the car. After that, all you'll need to do is settle the seat securely into the base and buckle up your child. Life is busy enough with a little one around. Keep it simple.

  2. Are there adequate restraints? - Remember that you need to look for an infant seat with a five-point safety harness. The straps – one for each shoulder, one for each thigh and one between your baby's legs – are more adjustable and therefore safer for an infant. Car seats with plastic shields or T-bar restraints should be avoided.

  3. Are the belts easily adjustable? - Do not buy seats that require you to adjust the buckle from the back of the seats. Buy one that will allow you to easily adjust the belt from the front.

  4. Does it have a LATCH system? - The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) requires that all child safety seats be compatible with a LATCH system, which is short for Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children. This system enables you to attach the seat directly to the vehicle instead of using the seatbelt to secure it.

  5. How easily can it be kept clean? : Although this is not a safety issue, you want to make sure that car seats come with pad covers you can remove and wash easily. Let's face it, babies are messy. And finally, you want to buy a well-padded seat with good head support so baby has a comfortable ride. That way, so will you!

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February 4, 2010

Cadmium Contamination: Children's Necklaces Sold at Wal-Mart Recalled

About 55,000 children's necklaces sold at Wal-Mart stores are being recalled because they contain high levels of cadmium, according to a news report in consumeraffairs.com. Cadmium is a toxic metal listed high on the U.S. Centers for Disease Control's (CDC) list of substances most harmful to the environment. Cadmium is toxic when ingested by young children and can cause several adverse health effects including brain, kidney, lung and bone damage.

These defective products, which were manufactured in China, were sold exclusively in Wal-Mart retail stores across the country from November 2009 through January 2010 for about $5. The recalled jewelry is in the shape of a metal crown or frog pendant on a metal link chain necklace in a crown hinged box. If you have one of these necklaces at home, please take it away from your child and return the product to Wal-Mart to obtain a full refund.

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January 26, 2010

Defective Cribs Recalled for Fall and Entrapment Hazard

Caramia is issuing a product defect recall for about 1,000 "Diane" drop-side cribs. According to a news report in Consumeraffairs.com, the slats on these recalled cribs' drop side can detach from the top and bottom rails posing fall and entrapment hazards to young children. So far, the company has received 18 reports of the slats detaching. No injuries or fatalities have been reported yet as a result of these product defects.

These cribs were manufactured in Slovenia from September 2002 and June 2004 and sold at Buy Buy Baby and other children's products and mass merchandise stores nationwide. They were sold for between $240 and $370. If you have one of these cribs in your home, preschool or childcare facility, please stop using them and call the company to receive a free replacement drop side.

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January 13, 2010

Defective Gas Grills Recalled for Fire Hazard

Master Forge brand grills sold at Lowe's stores have been recalled because of a product defect, which can apparently cause fires. According to a news article in Consumer Reports, the flexible rubber hose on the LP gas tank can come in contact with the burner box, causing the hose to melt and rupture when the grill is lit. So far, Sagittarius Sporting Grills has recalled 10,000 of these Master Forge five-burner gas grills. The firm is aware of two complaints, and so far, no injuries have been reported. These defective gas grills were imported from China by LG Sourcing and sold and Lowe's stores from September to November of 2009 for about $500. Those who have these gas grills at home are asked to stop using them immediately and contact the company for a free repair kit.

Recently, many brands of gas grills manufactured in or imported from China have been recalled for these types of fire hazards. Some of the recalled models of gas grills have caused injuries and property damage. These are product defects, which have the potential to cause serious burn injuries and even death. Seattle personal injury attorneys are available to help when product manufacturers put defective or substandard products on the market without proper quality control. Those injured by such products may be able to hold negligent manufacturers responsible for resulting injuries or fatalities.

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January 7, 2010

Auto Recall for Range Rover Vehicles Involves Airbag Defects

Jaguar Land Rover North America is recalling 4,001 Land Rover and Range Rover vehicles because of possible airbag defects, which might prevent the front passenger airbag from deploying in the event of a car accident. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), these affected 2010 Range Rover models may experience airbag lamp illumination on the instrument cluster. The NHTSA report states: “This warning lamp may clear on each subsequent ignition cycle. The passenger airbag will be disabled when the airbag warning lamp is illuminated as a result of this defect and the passenger airbag warning disable lamp in the overhead console will also illuminate.”

The deployment of the passenger side airbag may fail to occur in case of a car accident. This could cause devastating personal injuries and even death to the passenger. When this recall begins, Land Rover dealers will update the vehicles' restraint control module with the integrated diagnostics system tool with updated software.

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December 30, 2009

Defective Car Seat Carriers Recalled for Fall Hazard

Dorel Juvenile Group Inc. has issued a product defect recall for about 447,000 baby car seat carriers after many reports of the child restraint handle coming loose and infants falling and getting injured. According to an Associated Press news report, at least three infants have been injured. They have sustained bumps, bruises and even head injuries. The Indiana-based manufacturer of the car seats has also gotten 77 reports of the child restraint handle fully or partially coming off the products.

This recall involves several brands of car seats, commonly sold in retail outlets, including Safety 1st, Cosco, Eddie Bauer and Disney. The defective car seat carriers were sold at department and children's product stores all over the United States from January 2008 to December 2009. This recall is being conducted by Dorel, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).

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December 24, 2009

Toyota, Lexus and Ford Models Get Most Sudden Acceleration Complaints

A Consumer Reports analysis of a federal safety complaints database is showing that more than 40 percent of sudden acceleration complaints involve Toyota and Lexus models. According to a recent news report, the study looked at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's (NHTSA) safety complaints database, which apparently also found Ford standing out with a significant number of complaints relating to sudden acceleration.

Consumer Reports analyzed all 5,916 reports on 2008 models and identified 166 cases in which the complaint described unintended, sudden acceleration that the driver could not control. A fatal car accident in San Diego which killed a California Highway Patrol officer and three members of his family led Toyota and NHTSA to issue a safety advisory on floor-mat entrapment. Toyota is also preparing for a massive recall involving 4 million vehicles to modify gas pedals and make other changes to remedy potential sudden acceleration problems. Consumer Reports' research found that sudden acceleration incidents were distributed over 22 brands with 47 complaints about Toyota models and five about Lexus vehicles.

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December 8, 2009

Perfect Flame Grills Recalled for Product Defects that Pose Fire Hazard

A defective product recall has been issued for more than 600,000 Perfect Flame SLG Series gas grills, which were sold exclusively at Lowe's stores. According to a news report in Consumeraffairs.com, the gas burners on these grills can deteriorate causing irregular flames and the lids of some models can catch fire posing a serious fire and burn injury hazard to users. So far, LG Sourcing has received about 40 reports of fires as a result of this product defect and about 23 lids catching fire. There was also one report of an eye injury that required surgery and 21 incidents of burn injuries to consumers' hands, arms or face.

The recalled grills are the SLG series Perfect Flame brand outdoor propane or natural gas grills, which are painted black or gray metal. The products, which were manufactured in China, were sold at Lowe's retail outlets nationwide between September 2005 through May 2009 for between $200 and $500. Consumers who own these defective grills are asked to stop using the products and contact LG Sourcing to get a free replacement burner and depending on the model, a free replacement lid.

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December 3, 2009

Roast Beef Recall Extends to Washington

As trusting consumers, we expect the food products we buy to be free of any substance or ingredient that may cause us harm, illness, or injury. When a food product’s labeling fails to include an important ingredient that many individuals are allegoric to, such as soy, it may be subject to a recall.

According to a Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) report by the United States Department of Agriculture issued on November 4, 2009, Curly’s Food, Inc., has recalled an estimated 12,181 pounds of roast beef deli products. This recall is due to the deli products being accidentally mislabeled in that they contain an allergen – soy. Apparently, the mislabeling issue was revealed after a product check by Curly’s Food, Inc.

Based on the report, the roast beef deli products were made on October 5 and 12, 2009, and were circulated to retail-type delicatessens and Department of Defense Commissaries in Washington and 14 other U.S. states. The report on the recalled product states the following about the product: “Cases containing two (2) various size weight deli-faced pieces of "Healthy Ones, Medium Cooked Roast Beef, 97% Fat Free, No Fillers, No Artificial Flavors, Lower Sodium" in vacuum packaged bags. Each package bears a use by date of "01/03/2010" or "01/10/2010," a case code of "30900-17856" as well as the establishment number "EST. 15878" inside the USDA mark of inspection.”

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November 25, 2009

Stork Craft Crib Recall Largest In U.S. History

The Consumer Product Safety Commission has announced a recall of potentially dangerous cribs, the largest crib recall in the history of the United States. The CPSC is advising consumers to stop using The Stork Craft drop-down-side crib because it poses a serious strangulation risk to infants. Approximately 2.1 million of the cribs have been sold and are in use.

The move follows the news that 4 infants have died of suffocation after becoming entrapped in the crib’s drop down sides. There have also been at least 110 incidents in the United States and Canada when the drop-down sides of the cribs became detached, which resulted in dozens of babies either becoming entrapped between the side and the crib frame, or falling out of the crib altogether.

Drop down side cribs have a track record for injuring infants. Nearly 5 million cribs have been recalled over the past two years and the CPSC has discussed banning dropdown sides all together. Adding to the danger in this particular case is the fact that parts used to create the cribs are easily broken, missing, or misassembled. For instance, the crib's drop-side could come off its tracks and create a "hazardous gap which can lead to infant entrapment and suffocation."

Stork Craft has released a toll-free number for consumers to call, or to order a free repair kit: (877) 274-0277.

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November 19, 2009

Flammable Robes Recalled, Linked to Nine Deaths

The connection between nine deaths and extremely flammable women’s robes has instigated a recall by Blair LLC. According to a kfoxtv.com report, a Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announcement stated that four additional reports of death linked to the full-length women’s chenille robes have been reported to Blair LLC of Warren, PA since June. Because of this, the company has expanded its recall to incorporate additional products imported from the Pakistani manufacturer. The recall now includes more chenille robes and three other chenille products, all made by A-One Textile & Towel, of Karachi, Pakistan.

What has been quite unnerving to consumers is that these dangerous robes were initially recalled in April by Blair after it discovered that three robes caught fire, including one incident in which a consumer suffered second-degree burns. Considering that the robes fail to meet federal flammability standards, they present great risk of serious burns to anyone who wears the garments while exposed to an open flame, such as a stove in the kitchen. Most of the reported deaths linked to the full-length robes took place when the victims were wearing the robes while cooking. A CPSC spokesman said that the victims were mainly in their 70s and 80s.

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November 11, 2009

Kirk Bernard's Survival Guide to Handling Foodborne Illness

A recent ArticleBase post by Kirk Bernard discusses the Seattle personal injury attorney’s survival guide to handling foodborne illness. Foodborne illness may result from product liability issues and forms of negligence, such as a food product being contaminated from poor handling during manufacturing or a food product containing E. coli bacteria or any other harmful substance. However, there are several precautions people can implement in their own homes to help prevent foodborne illness. The article addresses five main steps that you must take to keep you and your family safe from foodborne illness.

Learn more about how to protect yourself from foodborne illness by reading the entire article.

October 7, 2009

Johnson & Johnson's Voluntary Recall of Infants' and Children's Liquid Tylenol

A recent komonews.com article reported that the McNeil unit of Johnson & Johnson has issued a voluntary recall of 57 lots of liquid Tylenol products, intended for use on infants and children, due to a plausible bacterial contamination. Many parents are shocked to learn that the reputable company revealed that a B. cepacia bacterium was found in a portion of raw material that went unused in the finished product.

Although no bacteria were discovered in the finished product that reached consumers, Johnson & Johnson decided to recall the products as a precautionary measure after consulting with the Food and Drug Administration. As skilled Seattle product liability attorneys, we believe it is better to be safe than sorry in instances such as these, especially when the lives of infants and young children are involved.

According to the report, the recalled products were manufactured between April and June and are made-up of almost two dozen varieties that include Infants’ Tylenol Grape Suspension Drops ¼ oz., Children’s Tylenol Suspension 4 oz. Grape, and Children’s Tylenol Plus Cold/Allergy 4 oz. Bubble Gum. Despite there being a very slim chance that any medical events will take place since the bacterium was not present in the finished products, the company released the following statement: "It was decided, as a precaution, to recall all product that utilized any of the raw material manufactured at the same time as the raw material that tested positive for the bacteria.”

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June 15, 2009

Tests Show Higher Risk for Small Cars in Crashes

The website latimes.com reported in an article on April 14, 2009 that the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has recently published the results of a series of crash tests. The Institute crashed a Honda Fit into a Honda Accord, a Smart ForTwo into a Mercedes C-Class, and a Toyota Yaris into a Toyota Camry each at 40 miles per hour. Test results showed that small cars may be more efficient but your safety is definitely compromised. The vehicles were tested in “offset” crashes in which the cars do not crash head on; instead, the collisions are made to simulate the type of collision that would occur during an auto accident if a car had veered over the center line where the damage can easily break into the passenger compartment. The institute believes that the cars sustained enough damage that their occupants would also have suffered moderate to serious injuries.

Adrian Lund, president of the Arlington, Virginia based institute said, “Though much safer than they were a few years ago, minicars as a group do a comparatively poor job of protecting people in crashes, simply because they're smaller and lighter. In collisions with bigger vehicles, the forces acting on the smaller ones are higher, and there's less distance from the front of a small car to the occupant compartment to 'ride down' the impact. These and other factors increase injury likelihood."

Dave Schembri, president of Smart’s U.S. operations said the tests were an example of “rare and extreme” accidents. The Smart ForTwo meets or exceeds all U.S. government crash-test standards. The other manufactures released similar statements.

Everyday trusting consumers use a variety of products, such as automobiles, electronics and medications, and do not think of the harmful effects that those products may have on them. If companies produce dangerous or faulty products, they can cause serious bodily injury or even death to innocent victims. A product manufacturer assumes responsibility regarding the consumer. The public has the right to expect that a manufacturer will produce a safe product built with the highest quality materials available.

If you have been seriously injured in an car accident in Seattle, the Bernard Law Group can help you determine if the manufacture was at fault. They have been representing the victims of wrongdoing for years. Their team of devoted Washington defective product attorneys represents those persons who have suffered monetary loss, serious injury, personal loss and future damages due to negligence, including but not limited to, recalled products, auto product liability. Please call 1-800-418-8282 for a free consultation.

March 12, 2009

Washington Bill Seeks A Ban On Novelty Lighters

The seattletimes.com website reported in a story on January 20, 2009 that State Senator Claudia Kauffman was sponsoring the senate version of bill SB 5011 that would ban Novelty lighters to prevent personal injury in Seattle.

Kauffman said, “It’s really to stave off any potential dangers that are out there for youth in such a confusing manner.”

One lighter that particularly struck Kauffman as dangerous was one shaped like a miniature camera. Kauffman said, “you put it up to your eye, and the flame comes out the top, and these lighters are displayed at the front counter of any convenience store.”

Joe Meinecke, public educator with the Tacoma Fire Department can attest personally to the dangers of these novelty lighters. As a matter of fact, he owns one shaped like a miniature gun and refers to it as his $50,000 lighter. The reason for this name is because that is the total sum of damage it caused to a Tacoma family’s home when a four year old played with it and set a couch on fire. Meinecke now uses it as a prop in his fire safety lessons with children and families.

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