Articles Posted in Consumer Law

IKEA has agreed to pay $46 million to settle a wrongful death lawsuit brought by the parents of a California toddler who was crushed to death after a popular dresser model which had been recalled tipped over. According to the article, the model had been recalled after “at least five other children were killed.” An IKEA spokeswoman said, “While no settlement can alter the tragic events that brought us here, for the sake of the family and all involved, we’re grateful that this litigation has reached a resolution…We remain committed to working proactively and collaboratively to address this very important home safety issue. Again, we offer our deepest condolences.” The New York Times reports that IKEA initially offered free wall-anchoring kits to try and resolve the issue with the product, before ultimately issuing a recall in June 2016.

The 70-pound Malm dresser had been the subject of a safety recall when it tipped over on Jozef Dudek, killing the 2-year-old. Eight children are known to have died when Ikea furniture tipped over. The discount furniture chain recalled a total of 29 million chests and dressers, including 8 million MALM dressers, in 2016.

Our law firm represents children injured by dangerous products like this Ikea dresser, call today for a free consultation.

The listing on Amazon described it as a “4 in 1 Baby car seat and Stroller” and featured images of a popular brand called Doona, including a photo of the US President’s daughter, Ivanka Trump, with hers. Listed for $299, this copycat  was $200 cheaper than a real Doona. It was also potentially dangerous for children.

The car seat broke into pieces in a  30 mph crash test commissioned by CNN, failing to meet the basic standards set by US regulators. Video of the test shows the toddler dummy twisting as the car seat fractures and slides forward, with plastic pieces that have broken off it flying through the air. In an identical crash test scenario, an authentic Doona met federal requirements, with the car seat remaining in one piece and in place around the dummy.

Dr. Alisa Baer, a pediatrician and nationally certified child passenger safety instructor, reviewed the test results and said in a real crash such a car seat failure could put a child in “grave danger,” and lead to injuries to a child’s chest, neck or head, including a traumatic brain injury.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has listed several recalled items from children’s toys to popular household products that might be gifted or re-gifted this holiday season.

The products below have been recalled due to safety or ineffectiveness reasons.

Hallmark Frosted balsam jar candles

The FDA has identified this as a Class I recall, the most serious type of recall.  Use of these devices may cause serious injuries or death.

Recalled Product

  • Medfusion® 4000 Syringe Pump with Firmware Version 1.7.0

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has announced a settlement agreement with Mercedes Benz USA worth $20 million over how the company has handled vehicle recalls.

Regulators charge the company of not complying with the Motor Vehicle Safety Act by not notifying consumers or reporting vehicle safety defects in a timely fashion. The company is also accused of not maintaining a functioning vehicle information number (VIN) recall lookup system, which consumers often use to see if there are any recalls associated with their vehicle.

“Safety is NHTSA’s top priority, and the agency’s reporting requirements help ensure that consumers are protected and given important information about how to get recalls repaired,” said James Owens, NHTSA’s acting administrator. “These laws are critical to ensure NHTSA’s ability to provide oversight, and we expect manufacturers to follow their legal obligations to the agency and to consumers in carrying out safety recalls.

General Motors Co said on Thursday it is issuing recalls for more than 900,000 vehicles worldwide in two separate campaigns to address brake software issues and fire risks.

The largest U.S. automaker is recalling more than 550,000 2019 light-duty Chevrolet Silverado 1500, Cadillac CT6 and GMC Sierra 1500 vehicles due to a potential software glitch that could disable vehicle brake systems and notifications.

The error, which GM said was rare, may result in the vehicle’s electronic stability control or anti-lock brake system becoming disabled. GM said the vehicle’s diagnostic system will not illuminate the instrument cluster alert. Dealers will reflash the software to address the issue.

U of Phoenix agrees to cancel $141 million in student loan debt

The deal, announced Tuesday, settles a dispute over an ad campaign the for-profit college unrolled in 2012.The University of Phoenix and its parent company have agreed to pay $50 million in cash and cancel $141 million in student debt to settle allegations of deceptive advertisement brought by the Federal Trade Commission.

The deal, announced Tuesday, settles a dispute over an ad campaign the for-profit college unrolled in 2012 touting partnerships with companies including Microsoft, Twitter and Adobe. It suggested the school worked with those companies to create job opportunities for students, even though there was no such agreement, investigators found.

In the late 1990s, pharmaceutical companies reassured the medical community that patients would not become addicted to opioid pain relievers and healthcare providers began to prescribe them at greater rates.  Increased prescription of opioid medications led to widespread misuse of both prescription and non-prescription opioids before it became clear that these medications could indeed be highly addictive.

A lawsuit was filed by the State of Oklahoma for what became “the opioid crisis” plaguing the nation. Several other states and municipalities have followed suit.

Following a seven-week trial this summer, Judge Thad Balkman ruled Johnson & Johnson and its subsidiaries helped fuel the opioid crisis with an aggressive and misleading marketing campaign that overstated how effective the drugs were for treating chronic pain and understated the risk of addiction. Oklahoma Attorney General prosecuted the lawsuit arguing that opioid overdoses killed 4,653 people in Oklahoma from 2007 to 2017.  The trial led to the judge ordering consumer products giant Johnson & Johnson to pay $572 million to help address the state’s opioid crisis. The judge then reduced the amount to $465 million.

Reuters  reports that Johnson & Johnson CEO Alex Gorsky “declined to appear at a U.S. congressional hearing set for Tuesday on the safety of the company’s Baby Powder and other talc-based cosmetics.” However, J&J spokesman Ernie Knewitz said that the House of Representatives Subcommittee on Economic and Consumer Policy rejected J&J’s offers to send a talc testing expert or a consumer products executive. Members of the House are disappointed in Gorsky’s lack of cooperation with regards to the products believed to contain asbestos.

“Gorsky has played a lead role in J&J’s efforts to reassure consumers and investors that its talc powders are safe and asbestos free. Last year, he issued a statement vouching for the safety of the products after a jury issued a $4.69 billion verdict in favor of 22 women who sued over allegations their ovarian cancers were caused by J&J powders.”

CNN  reported in continuing coverage that new research from NIH indicates that “permanent hair dye and chemical hair straightener use was linked to a higher risk of breast cancer” and that “the risk is more than six times higher for black women.” The study “followed 46,709 women, all part of the Sister Study, a National Institute of Environmental Health cohort of women whose sisters had been diagnosed with breast cancer.” and “found that, overall, women who said they used permanent hair dye in the year before enrolling in the study were 9% more likely to develop breast cancer when compared with women who did not.” The findings were published last Wednesday in the International Journal of Cancer.

“The study doesn’t pinpoint which of the chemicals caused the damage, but makes some suggestions: Some aromatic amines, chemicals also found in tobacco smoke and industrial byproducts, disrupt the endocrine system, and some dyes have been found to induce tumors in rats’ mammary glands.” The results were higher in Black Women percentage wise than White Women.

Contact Information