Faulty Child Locks Leads to Recall

Ford has recalled certain 2013 models due to a potential failure of their child safety locks. The cars involved are Focus, C-Max, and Escape models. The recall includes 5,675 cars - adults may think they child safety lock is engaged, but due to its faulty manufacturing, a child may still be able to open the car door from inside the vehicle.

In a document filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the car maker said the child locks on the left rear door of some vehicles were improperly made. The locks may not engage when drivers or other adults try to activate them. As a result the driver may think the child lock is engaged when it is not. Read more


Numerous Recalls - Jan 31

The end of January not only brought the first month of 2013 to a close but also meant numerous recalls being announced by the CPSC.

Triaminic and Theraflu products were recalled due their lack of child resistant packaging.

These child-resistant caps can fail to function properly and enable the cap to be removed by a child with the tamper-evident seal in place, posing a risk of unintentional ingestion and poisoning.


Megafood Daily One Supplements manufactured by FoodState also was recalled due to lack of child resistant packaging.

The packaging is not child-resistant as required by the Poison Prevention Packaging Act.

Nanospheres Magnetic Desk Toys made by Kringles Toys and Gifts, and Magnet Balls Manipulative Magnet Sets made by SCS Direct and both sold exclusively by Amazon.com, was recalled due to the hazard magnet indigestion poses for children. If two or more magnets are ingested they can link together causing severe damage or perforation to the intestines.

World Imports issued a recall to their bunks beds due to a safety violation.

The openings between the metal rails of the end structures are greater than allowed in the standard and pose a risk of entrapment or asphyxiation hazard.

The recall of the beds extended to approximately 8,600 units.

To see all recent recalls visit the CPSC website.


CPSC Sues Star Networks

The CPSC filed a complaint against Star Networks USA out of Fairfield, NJ. The CPSC alleged that Magnicube Magnet Balls and Magnet Cubes are defectively designed and the packaging pose a danger to the public.

High-powered magnets are a safety risk to children - toddler through teen. An increasing number of incidents reported to CPSC indicate that children are swallowing these magnets and the injuries are serious.

When two or more magnets are swallowed, they attract to each other internally. Many incidents have resulted in surgeries to remove the magnets. When a magnet has to be removed surgically, it also can require repairing the child's damaged stomach and intestines.

If you suspect magnets have been swallowed:

Seek immediate medical attention
Medical symptoms to watch for are: abdominal pains, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.
In X-rays, multiple magnetic pieces may appear as a single object.


The CPSC states that Star Networks failed to issue a recall.

In response to a request from CPSC staff in July 2012, 11 firms, including Star Networks, voluntarily agreed to stop selling similar products. CPSC staff called upon these firms to cease the manufacture, importation, distribution, and sale of high-powered, manipulative magnetic products after young children and teenagers swallowed multiple magnets, which connected inside their gastrointestinal tracts and caused internal injuries requiring surgery.

Star Networks chose not to comply with the voluntary recall and resumed sale of the products in November.

Death Prompts Recall

Peg Perego is recalling 223,000 strollers due to a risk of strangulation. The recall follows the death of a 6 month old boy from California whose head became entrapped between the seat and the tray. A 7 month old girl from NY also became entrapped when her head was stuck between the seat and the tray in 2006.

The strollers involved are older.


The recall involves two different older versions of the Peg Perego strollers, Venezia and Pliko-P3, manufactured between January 2004 and September 2007, in a variety of colors. They were manufactured prior to the existence of the January 2008 voluntary industry standard which addresses the height of the opening between the stroller's tray and the seat bottom. The voluntary standard requires larger stroller openings that prevent infant entrapment and strangulation hazards.

Only strollers that have a child tray with one cup holder are part of this recall. Strollers with a bumper bar in front of the child or a tray with two cup holders are not included in this recall.

To read the entire notice from the CPSC click here.

Kolcraft has also announced a recall of approximately 5600 strollers after receiving reports of the front wheel assembly breaking which can pose a fall hazard. To read the notice click here.

The front wheel assembly can break, posing a fall hazard to the child in the stroller. In addition, for strollers manufactured in January and February 2012, the nuts that hold the stroller's basket support screws in place can detach. Detached nuts can pose a choking hazard to young children.

The recall involves the Contours Options LT Tandem strollers with model number ZT012.


Kiddieland Recall Disney-Branded Trikes

Kiddieland Toys Limited has issued a recall of approximately 12,000 Disney Fairies Plastic Racing Trikes. The plastic figurines protrude from the handle bars presenting a danger to children if they were to fall on them.

This recall involves the Disney-branded Fairies Plastic Racing Trike. The trike is green and purple with a white seat and yellow wheels. On top of the handlebar, there is a Tinkerbell figure and three other rotating fairy figures. "Disney Fairies" is printed on the label in front of the trike just below the handlebar. More


More drop-side cribs recalled

Approximately 22,000 full size and portable drop-side cribs were recalled by Dream on Me, Inc. The hazard has been posted on the cpsc's website:

Full-Size Cribs: The drop-side rail hardware can break or fail, allowing the drop side to detach from the crib. When the drop-side rail partially detaches, it creates a space between the drop side and the crib mattress. An infant or toddler's body can become entrapped in the space, which can lead to strangulation and/or suffocation. A child can also fall out of the crib.
Portable Cribs: The drop-side rail hardware can break or fail, allowing the drop side to detach from the crib or fall unexpectedly. In addition, the portable crib mattress support hardware and the drop-side release latch can break easily, and the slats can loosen or break and detach from the crib. Children can also cut themselves on exposed hardware inside the cribs.


Thus far there have been 69 incidents reported. To view a list of the affected models click here.

If you or your child has suffered an injury due to a product defect or from negligence of another, protect your legal rights. Contact the Law Office of D. Hardison Wood at 919.233.0520.

Police warn of defect in gun

This past week a little boy in Raleigh was accidentally shot by a pellet gun. The child's grandfather was checking to ensure the safety was on, and by accident hit the trigger. The pellet apparently went the the child's eye and lodged in his brain. He died from his injuries. Following his death the Raleigh Police are warning about a defect in the gun.

The boy's grandfather, Daniel Henry, was shooting at squirrels outside and placed his pellet gun at the foot of the stairs when he came back inside, the family said. As Ty-Rion was coming downstairs, Henry checked to make sure the gun's safety latch was on, and he accidentally hit the trigger, shooting the boy.
Lt. Andy Murr of the Raleigh Police Department said the safety on the pellet gun is immediately in front of the trigger. Several manufacturers have a similar design, Murr said, and police want to make the public aware of the issue. Other guns have safety latches in different places, he said. (Read the story here)


It seems very dangerous to place the safety in such close proximity to the trigger. It would appear that there are safer alternative designs, especially if other guns have their safety latches placed elsewhere.

If you or a loved one has been a victim of personal injury due to a product defect contact the Law Office of D. Hardison Wood at 919.233.0520. Let's discuss your legal options.

Child Seat Recall

Dorel Juvenile Group (DJG) has announce a recall of child restraint systems including infant, convertible and booster. They were sold as stand alones as well as part of a travel system. Those affected by the recall appear to be manufactured between May 1, 2008 and April 30, 2009. The harness locking does not always return to a locked position leaving the child vulnerable to serious injury in the event of a car crash. To read the entire notice and the model numbers click here.

Evenflo recalls Child Seats

Evenflo is recalling over 13,000 Maestro car restraint systems. These seats to do not comply with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 213.

In this instance a crack may form at the front of the restrain system near the harness adjuster causing the child to be inadequately protected and harnessed.



If you or your child have suffered personal injuries contact the Law Office of D. Hardison Wood at 919-233-0520.

Trampoline Dangers

Now that spring has sprung and we find ourselves outdoors more, one very popular activity is "jumping on a trampoline". While it is fun, it can be very dangerous.

In 2009, an estimated 98,000 people were treated in emergency rooms for trampoline-related injuries. Eight-two percent of the injured were children under age 15.

"I call them quad machines," trampoline safety expert Marc Rabinoff said of trampolines. "It can turn you into a quadriplegic in four seconds."

While there are warnings with regard to trampolines, such as only one person at a time and children under 6 should not be allowed to jump, some insurance companies will no longer cover trampoline incidents.

Insurance companies call trampolines an "attractive nuisance" and recommend that homeowners fence their yards if they have one.

Some insurance companies do not cover trampolines. That means that in the case of an accident or injury, the homeowner could be liable to pay for it.

Read the full story

If you or your child has suffered a personal injury please contact us at 1-877-829-7211 or email us at contact@hardisonwood.com


Children Medication Recalled

The FDA has said that the plant where  children's medications such as Tylenol, Infant's tylenol, motrin, and other children's over-the-counter medication lacked quality controlwhich allowed bacteria to contaminate the medications.

"The findings are serious," said Deborah M. Autor, a senior official at the Food and Drug Administration, which documented 20 problems at the Fort Washington, Pa., plant owned by McNeil Consumer Healthcare, a division of Johnson & Johnson. She said the agency is weighing whether to take action against McNeil, pending the completion of its investigation.

The company recalled 43 over-the-counter pediatric medications.  There have been several consumer complaints dating from June 2009 to as late as last month reporting black specs in the medication. The company ignored these complaints and failed to investigate and resolve the problem.

Although, they are saying chances of serious harm are "remote" - these drugs need to be pulled immediately and their use ceased.

Federal officials cautioned that the chances for serious harm from the recalled drugs are "remote," but FDA Commissioner Margaret A. Hamburg said parents and caregivers should immediately stop using the medicines. Generic versions are a safe alternative, Hamburg said. A list of recalled products and information about refunds is available on McNeil's Web site. Read the story here

If your child has been injured, contact us at 1-877-829-7211.

Flammable Fabrics - Still a Danger?

Throughout a typical day, the fears and worries a parent must encounter can become innumerable. Once the kids have been settled into bed for the night, parents should be able to have some sense of relief that their children are sleeping safely and soundly in their beds. Unfortunately, that is not always the case. Sometimes the very fabrics our children are sleeping in have the potential to endanger their lives.

In the 1970s, and prior, the number of children dying from their pajamas catching on fire was a major problem. Legislation was then passed to make fire standards mandatory for children’s sleepwear. These standards are supposed to keep flammable sleepwear for children off the market. However, there are still cases that slip through from time to time, such as the recent recall of about 7,000 pajamas from Little Miss Matched Girls Pajama Sets in December of last year.


How do I know if my child’s pajamas are safe?

The most important thing is to check the label on your child’s pajamas. If the label says “Flammable”, “Inflammable”, or “Combustible”, the garment will burn quickly and easily. If the label says “Non-flammable”, “Non-combustible”, or “Fireproof”, the garment will not burn. If the label says “Fire resistant”, “Fire retardant”, “Flame resistant”, or “Flame retardant”, the garment will be slow to ignite, slow to burn, and may even extinguish itself if the source of heat is removed. Loose fitting pajamas will catch fire more easily than ones that have a more snug fit. Also be sure to read the care label on your child’s pajamas. Some detergents and fabric softeners can cause build-up on the fabric, decreasing the level of fire resistance the garment was originally made with. Always follow care instructions carefully.

What should I do if my child’s clothes catch on fire?

Take action immediately. Wasted seconds can add significantly to the level of injury sustained by fire. Tell your child to STOP, DROP and ROLL. Most children have learned this method in school. Its always a good idea to practice it at home as well, as soon as your child is old enough to understand what it means. If your child is too young to roll on his or her own, use a wool blanket or coat to cover your child and smother the fire out. Remove your child’s clothing, except in places where it may be stuck to the skin. If you are inside a burning building, be sure to get everyone out immediately. Then call 911.

For more information on fabric flammability, and facts that could keep your family safe, please visit this website.

At the law offices of D. Hardison Wood, we are committed to protecting and fighting for the safety and legal rights of children. If your child has suffered injury as a result of unsafe, flammable pajamas or other fabrics, please contact our office at your earliest convenience, as you may have a claim against the manufacturer. Contact us today at 1-877-829-7211.

Exercise Equipment and Children

For any child, exercise equipment looks like fun. While an adult may dread the sight of a treadmill, to a child, it’s a playground. It is only when tragic accidents happen that we begin to pay more attention to hazards that may otherwise remain unnoticed in the home.

The heartbreaking death of Mike Tyson’s daughter is just one example of the risks that exercise machines pose. Just last year, four-year-old Exodus was found by her older brother, hanging by a cord on a treadmill in the Tyson home. She died at the hospital the next day.

The truth is, accidents like that of Mike Tyson’s daughter are not uncommon. An estimated 25,000 children are injured on exercise equipment each year. Some of the most common injuries are contusions, amputations, fractures and friction burns, some of which have required skin grafting and plastic surgery to repair. However, children are not the only ones subject to injury when it comes to exercise equipment. These machines can be dangerous, not only because of a child’s curiosity, but also because of defective parts and poor manufacturing. Many times these dangers remain unseen until an accident occurs.

How Can I Keep My Child Safe?

There’s no need to throw your treadmill out with the trash. There are many things you can do to keep your exercise equipment in the home, and keep your children safe at the same time.

- Have a room or an area in your home that is specifically used for exercise equipment. Make this area off limits for your children. Lock the door to the exercise room when you are not using it. Some have even purchased a child fence to put around their exercise area. This will work for small children, but as they grow older, a small fence will not keep children out.

-Turn off and unplug your exercise equipment when you are not using it.

-Some exercise machines can be folded and stored under beds or other compact places. If possible, take the time to store your exercise equipment in a safe place. This eliminates the possibility for children to climb and play on the equipment.

-Some exercise equipment has a safety key or cord that automatically turns the machine off when it is pulled. Find a way to remove or reposition this cord when you are not working out so that small hands cannot reach it.

-Don’t leave resistance bands or jump ropes hanging off the side of your exercise machine. Any hanging cords can pose a threat to your child.

-Don’t let your children play near the equipment when you are working out. But also remember to keep your children in sight.

-Don’t wear headphones if you are working out and your children are at home. You may not be able to hear them if they get close to the equipment. It is common for small children to come up behind their parent on a treadmill and get their hand or finger caught in the belt.

-Store weights in a place where your child cannot play with them.

-Be sure your stationary bike has a chain guard to prevent small fingers from getting caught.

-Try to time your workouts during your child’s naps, before they wake up in the morning, or after they go to sleep at night. This eliminates the need to worry if your child is getting too close to the exercise equipment or not.

-As your children get older, teach them the dangers of exercise equipment and the reasons why you insist that they don’t climb and play on the machines. If you choose to let your older child or teenager use your exercise equipment, do so with care and only under your supervision.

Sometimes, despite our best precautions, accidents still happen. Many times these accidents are no fault of our own. At the law offices of D. Hardison Wood, we have represented many people, both children and adults, who have suffered injuries due to malfunctioning or defective exercise machines. We are committed to protecting the legal rights of anyone who has been harmed by dangerous products. If you or your child have been injured, we’d like to help. Please call us today about your potential case.


Graco Recall

Graco has recalled approximately 1.2 million Harmony High Chairs due to a fall risk. According to the bulletin posted by the CPSC

The screws holding the front legs of the high chair can loosen and fall out and/or the plastic bracket on the rear legs can crack causing the high chair to become unstable and tip over unexpectedly. This poses a fall hazard to children.

This particular chair was manufactured from 2003 through 2009, so it is very important for all those who have this type of chair check their model numbers. Check Here

If your child has been injured due to a defective product, please contact us to discuss your child's potential legal claim.

The LATCH System

Car seats have come a long way since the first sack and string models in 1898. It wasn’t until the 1930s that a car seat similar to today’s child restraint system was designed. In the 1960s and 1970s, more emphasis began to be put on child safety in vehicles and the importance of using car seats when traveling with children. And with car accidents being the number one killer of children, improvements are still needed.

In 1999, the LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children) system was established. This system is governed by Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards 225, making it possible for child restraint systems to be installed more effectively and easily, thereby increasing child safety. All new vehicles must now be LATCH equipped, as well as all new car seats.

The LATCH system is comprised of two lower anchors and one upper anchor in the vehicle. The two lower anchors are round, rod-like bars hidden in the seat cushion. The upper anchor is a ring-like device, attached to the back of the rear seat. On the CRS itself, you will find clips that hook or snap onto the lower anchors and a hook or clamp that attaches to the upper anchor. Once all three anchors are attached, the belts connected to each should be tightened for maximum safety.

For more information on the LATCH system, visit these websites:

For the LATCH system to be effective, it is imperative that the child restraint system be put in the vehicle correctly. Whether you are heading out on a long road trip with the family or just down the street to soccer practice, the safety of your child depends on a correctly installed car seat.

For information on how to correctly install your LATCH car seat, click here:





If you are interested in finding out more about the NHTSA National Standardized Child Passenger Safety certification course, visit this website:


For car safety tips and other tips for traveling with children, please visit these websites, and share them with anyone who will be responsible for traveling with or transporting your children by motor vehicle.



If you have been affected by a faulty child seat or any other injury and would like to discuss your potential legal claim please contact our office at 1-877-829-7211.


Cosco CRS Recall

A recall has been issued for Cosco Child Restraint Systems manufactured by Dorel Juvenile Group. The units under this recall were manufactured from March 15 to August 1, 2002. There are 54,400 units that could potentially be affected, so please be sure to check the model number on your child’s CRS if you have purchased a Cosco car seat or booster seat.

The model numbers included in this recall can be found here.

These models were found to have webbing on the harnesses that was not strong enough to withstand significant exposure to sunlight. The webbing, if exposed to substantial amounts of sunlight, may degrade to the point that it is no longer able to provide adequate protection to a child in the event of a collision.

This safety recall is expected to begin on or about February 2, 2010. Dorel Juvenile Group will be contacting all owners who have registered their CRS, and will send replacement kits, along with instructions, free of charge.

Owners may call Dorel Juvenile Group toll free at 1-866-690-2539. You may also call the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236, 1-800-424-9153, or visit www.safercar.gov.

If your child has been injured as a result of this defective child restraint system, please call our office at 1-877-829-7211 to discuss your potential claim.



Booster Seat Safety

Car accidents are the greatest risk to a child’s life. Each year, 250,000 children are injured in car accidents in the US alone. Car accidents are reportedly the number one cause of death in children ranging from 2 to 14 years of age. 

Booster seats have proven to significantly reduce the number of car accident injuries and fatalities among children, and according to National Highway Traffic Safety Association’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System, the numbers have been steadily declining since 1997. Correct installation and proper use of booster seats can help to reduce the numbers further, and keep our children safe.

In North Carolina, the law states that children must use booster seats until they are 8 years old and weigh at least 80 pounds. The penalty for not having your child properly restrained is $25. This, of course, is no comparison to the price that would be paid if a child were found unrestrained at the time of an accident.

The North Carolina Child Passenger Safety Law can be viewed here.


A short summary of the law can be viewed here.


For Frequently Asked Questions about the NC Child Passenger Safety Law, go here.


If your child has been injured in a car accident or as a result of a faulty booster seat, please call the law offices of D. Hardison Wood at 1-877-829-7211.



Window Shade Recall

The CPSC issued ten recalls today involving window shades/roman shades/roll up shades. These recalls were prompted by the risk of strangulation to children. A repair kit is supposed to be available to those who have these products in their homes and you should request one immediately. The CPSC is recommending that you inspect your home and ensure that you do not have accesible cords from these shades in the front, on the side or back. DO NOT place a crib,child's bed or other furniture near these blinds. Make all loose cords completely inaccesible. Install devices to keep the cord taut. There have been 5 deaths and 16 near stranglations of children from these Roman shades since 2006 and 3 deaths from from roll-up blinds since 2001.

A list of the all the recalls is below:

1. Window Covering Safety Council Recalls to Repair All Roman and Roll-Up Blinds Due to Risk of Strangulation, http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml10/10073.html

2. Near Strangulations of Child Prompts Recall to Repair Roman Shades and Roll-Up Blinds by JCPenney, http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml10/10066.html

3. Risk of Strangulation Prompts Recall to Repair Roll-Up Blinds and Roman Shades by Walmart, http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml10/10067.html

4. Strangulation Death of a Child Prompts Recall to Repair Roman Shades by All Strong Industry, http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml10/10068.html

5. Risk of Strangulation Prompts Recall to Repair Roll-Up Blinds by Lotus & Windoware: Sold Exclusively at Ace Hardware and Big Lots, http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml10/10069.html

6. Risk of Strangulation Prompts Recall to Repair Matchstick Roll-Up Shades by International Merchandise; Sold Exclusively at Big Lots, http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml10/10070.html

7. Near Strangulation Prompts Recall to Repair Roman and Roller Shades Sold at Pottery Barn, Pottery Barn Kids, and PBTeens, http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml10/10071.html

8. Risk of Strangulation Prompts Recall of Roman Shades; Sold Exclusively at West Elm, http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml10/10072.html

9. Risk of Strangulation Prompts Recall of Roman Shades by Draper Inc., http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml10/10074.html

10. Near Strangulation of Children Prompts Recall of Roman Shades by Louis Hornick & Co. Sold at Ross Stores, http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml10/10075.html

If your child has been injured due to a product defect, call our office immediately.

Even Flo Recall

Approximately 3728 Even Flo First Choice Infant Restraint systems, model 3604098, are being recalled. They were manufactured between January and September 2009. They fail to meet the federal requirements for labels on child restraint systems. As with all child restraints systems, there are required labels that must remain on the restraint seat always. Those labels must include information to register the seat, NHTSA information, and certification the seat complies with federal safety standards.

If your child has been injured due to a failed child restraint system, please contact our office to discuss your matter.

Maclaren Strollers Recalled

Approximately one million Maclaren strollers have been recalled after 12 reports of children's finger tips being amputated on a hinge found on the strollers. The recall involves both the single and double umbrella strollers sold between 1999 and 2009.

The models involved are Volo, Triumph, Quest Sport, Quest Mod, Techno XT, TechnoXLR, Twin Triumph, Twin Techno, and Easy Traveller.

Should you have been injured by a product such as this, please contact our firm immediately to discuss your potential claim at 1-877-829-7211.



CPSC Recalls Wooden Playsets, Travel Mugs, Microwaves

The CPSC issued several recalls on November 5th.

Adventure Playsets recalled about 275,000 (n the US) wooden playsets. The plastic coated lumbar on the horizontal ladder (aka. the monkey bar/swing beam) can weaken over time due to the rotting whitewood thus resulting in a serious fall hazard.

Description: This recall involves wooden play sets with swings, slides and ladders. Each set has an overhead monkey bar ladder that acts as both the monkey bar and swing beam, and an end ladder coated with cranberry or green plastic. The instruction manual has the name "Adventure Playsets" and one of the following model numbers printed on the cover.

Durango 1-AP016 and 1- AP018

Yukon 1-AP052

Tacoma 1- AP017 and 1-AP051

El Dorado 1-AP016

Bellevue 1-AP048, and 1-AP012

Dakota 1- AP046

Sherwood 1-AP049

Sedona 1- AP002

Ventura 1-AP008

Madison 1- AP006 and 1-AP015

Belmont 1-AP003  

Note: The Bellevue,Tacoma and Durango swing sets were previously recalled due to detaching frames and a fall hazard.

Sold at: Walmart, Toys R Us, Academy Sports, Menards, and Mill stores nationwide, and online at Walmart.com, ToyRUs.com, Willygoat.com and through the DMSI catalog from January 2004 through December 2007 for between $300 and $600.


The Life is Good Company recalled approximately 15,000 Newbury travel mugs. They can become excessively hot and burn the users. There have already been three reports of excessively hot mugs and one suffered a burn to the hand.

SamsungT Over-the-range microwaves have been recalled due to a shock hazard.. This recall involves about 43,000 units. If an installation bolt comes into contact with an electrical component found inside the microwave, and the microwave is plugged into an ungrounded outlet, a shock hazard may present itself.





MADD CEO tapped to head NHTSA

President Obama has asked Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) CEO, Charles Hurley to be the next administrator of NHTSA. The White House said that in addition to is work on drunk driving issues, Hurley has also an extensive background working on air bag, seat belt teen driving and child passenger safety  issues. All of which are very near and dear to our law firm. We focus on all areas of products liability, including child safety, air bag non deployment, car fires, roof crush, roll overs, and more.

The American Association for Justice (AAJ) has already is looking to the new administrator and NHTSA to address roof crush issues sooner rather than later.

The current roof standard has been in place since 1973, before SUVs were a common mode of consumer transportation. The roof crush standard addresses the safety of vehicles’ roofs to withstand pressure when involved in rollover accidents.

NHTSA was required to deliver a roof crush standard to Congress by July 1, 2008, but was ordered by Congress to strengthen their proposed rule because it did not significantly reduce loss of life and prevent injury.  NHTSA asked for an extension until December 15, 2008, and then revised the date for issuing the final rule to April 30, 2009.


Peanut Recalls and Salmonella

The fall out from the peanut and peanut product recalls seems to keep growing each day. Apparently there has been a link found between the Georgia company involved with the nationwide salmonella outbreak and schools in three states.

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Agriculture Department shipped possibly contaminated peanut butter and other foods to schools in at least three states under a contract with the Georgia company blamed for a nationwide salmonella outbreak.

The government abruptly suspended all business with the company Thursday, as officials defended their efforts to halt the outbreak that has sickened at least 575 people in 43 states. At least eight have died. It's become one of the largest food recalls ever, including more than 1,300 products.

The potentially contaminated products went to school free lunch programs in California, Minnesota and Idaho in 2007, the Department of Agriculture said Friday. Peanut butter and roasted peanuts processed by the Peanut Corp. of America were sent to the schools.


In addition, WRAL recently reported that the Cary, NC based Kellogg Co.'s Austin Quality Foods has been linked to the Salmonella issues.

Tests have determined that one sample of peanut butter paste from a Cary cracker factory contains the same strain of salmonella that has sickened hundreds of people nationwide in recent weeks, officials said Monday.

Inspectors with the state Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services took 50 samples from the Kellogg Co.'s Austin Quality Foods plant in Cary, which uses peanut butter from the Georgia plant. All but one tested negative for salmonella.

The tainted sample came from a Sept. 19 peanut butter shipment, which should help federal investigators pinpoint the time frame of the contamination at the Georgia plant, said Joe Reardon, food and drug protection director for the department.

Unfortunately as each day passes, it seems there are additional product recalls indicating how wide spread the contamination really is. If you have been adversely affected, and would like to discuss your matter, please contact our office at 919-677-0144.

Pool Drain Issues

Awhile ago we had blogged about pool drains and the serious safety issues involving the drains and children. There are new safety standards regarding these drains. According to an article today, the president, David Lionetti, of Shoreline Pools in Connecticut has been charged with manslaughter after a 6 year-old boy drowned following being sucked into the drain. The police state that he:
"recklessly caused the death" of Zachary Cohn by failing to have his company install mandated safety devices in the pool the company built for the boy's family. Police alleged the safety devices would have prevented the boy's death.
In addition, the child's family has filed their own civil suit, alleges that
the pool violated safety code requirements designed in response to the rash of similar cases around the country.
The article can be read here. Pool drains can be a serious hazard. If you have been adversely affected and would like to speak about your matter, please do not hesitate to contact our firm.

Pool and Spa Drains

I was recently watching a television segment on the news regarding pool and spa drains. The story discussed how children can become entrapped in the drains, causing their intestines to essentially be sucked out due to the force of the drains. It is absolutely shocking the enormous injuries these old-styled drains can cause and the enormous strength they have.

Tje CPSC released a report and statement on May 21, 2008.
A new federal pool and spa safety law was signed by the President on December 19, 2007. The Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act requires that by December 19, 2008, all public pools and spas have safety drain covers, and in certain circumstances, an anti-entrapment system. The goal of the law is to improve the safety of all pools and spas by increasing the use of layers of protection and promoting uninterrupted supervision to prevent child drownings and entrapments.
The entire report may be read here.

Toy Cell Phone Recalled

CPSC announced that  Kids Station Toys has recalled about 1 million chit and chat toy cell phones. The toy can break apart causing a serious choking hazard for children. It should be noted that the phones with a visible screw on the hinge are not included. Read the notice here.

If you or your family have been negatively affected by a defective product and would like to discuss your matter please contact us at 1-877-829-7211.

Toyota Highlander Recall

Seat belts can save your life if they work. 90,000 2008 Toyota Highlanders and Toyota Highlander hybrids are being recalled due to the fact that the seat belts' locking mechanisms failing.
The locking mechanism on the seat belts apparently cannot secure properly when certain rear-facing child safety seats are used, which could cause the child seats to move, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported on Friday. Read More
If you have been affected by a seat belt failure or any other mechanism defect, please report it the NHTSA. If our law firm can be of  any assistance please do not hesitate to  contact us.

Magnet Ingestion

The CPSC put out a safety alert on the  harmful  results form ingesting magnets. Through  our child safety litigation work, we have learned of the many hazards of magnetic toys. Magnets, not just those  found in  toys, can be a real danger. Read the  safety alert here.

Kyle David Miller Foundation - Car Seat Safety

Our children and their  safety is something about which we care deeply. That is why our law firm involves itself in various types of litigation involving child safety. Awhile back we were touched by a video we saw on youtube about a young boy, Kyle David Miller (see here). He unfortunately was killed in a car crash. He was not in a five point harness, but rather a booster seat which utilized the car's seat belt. When we personally saw the video, our family was driven to find a booster seat for our children that had a five point harness. We realized that the booster seat we were using, which used our car's seat belt, was not securing our children the way they needed. We have since learned that there has been a foundation set up in  memory of Kyle which collects money in order to buy 5 point harness seats for children up to 80 lbs. who otherwise would not have access to them. Check  out the video and website to learn more  about the foundation. 

ATV Stats

It seems that  555 people, which includes over 100 children, died in all terrain vehicle (ATV) accidents in 2006. Officials have said that they expect the number to increase as more hospitals and coroners report information. The Consumer Product Safety Commission also published in their annual report that and additional 146,600 people have been treated in emergency rooms for their  ATV-related injuries of which more than a quarter were children.
Consumer groups and parents who have lost children in crashes have complained for years about the safety of the popular off-road vehicles.
The industry contends it's not the ATV but the driver that's the problem. "ATVs have never been shown to be an unsafe product, but there have been bad decisions made by people sitting on the seat," said Mike Mount, a spokesman for the California-based Specialty Vehicle Institute of America.

Toy recalls

Here we are  again discussing the numerous toy recalls and child items that have occurred over the past few  weeks.  The Family Dollar Store recalled Halloween pails due to  unsafe levels of lead paint. Jo-Ann stores recalled children's toy garden tools also due to the  unsafe levels of lead paint. Fisher Price  has now added the Go Diego Go boats to their recall list, again  due to the  unsafe levels of lead paint.  Dollar Tree stores recalled children's jewelry for....yes....lead paint hazards. Good grief...with the number of children's items that have been placed in the marketplace and have needed to be recalled due  to safety issues... it is just a  matter of time before we start to really  learn the number of children  affected whether through actual toy litigation or other means. But something  needs to be done.  It is nearly impossible to buy a child a toy without worrying if somehow the product you just purchased contains unsafe levels of lead, or  to fear that somehow it was a toy that was actually included in the recall but happened to somehow  miss being pulled from the shelf for some reason.  It is a terrible feeling as a parent to constantly  be  unsure if what you are giving your child could in fact hurt them. Brands that were once "trusted" aren't any longer. It is truly unnerving.

Car Seat vs. Booster Seat

Recently, I overheard a conversation which reminded me about the importance of this question of car seat versus a booster seat.  As I waited for my daughter during one of her after school activities I heard  a group of mothers and fathers discussing the fact that they were switching their children to the booster seats that use the car's seat belt rather than a five  point harness.  They were discussing that this was a change they needed to make because when they pick their children up from school through the car  pool lane, it is  too difficult to find a  place to park the car, get out and buckle their children into their five point harnessed car seats.  (The car pool lane is utilized by most preschools and schools where we live.  Basically, the  parents line up in their vehicles, and the children are called up as their  parent's vehicle approaches.  The child gets in and the parent drives off).  They were talking about how much easier it  is  now that their children can get in and  buckle themselves.  We had thought the same  thing, putting  our daughter in one of those boosters, until we  learned about the number of children who are either injured or die in crashes because they slipped out of their booster seat/seat belt because, those  lap/shoulder belts in the cars (the  ones used in conjunction with the booster seats) are made for people with  a minimum weight  of 80-100lbs. We switched back to a booster  seat with a five point harness. We just taught our daughter how to buckle herself into her harness.  So we  can go through the  car pool lane  with no  issue. It truly is a huge safety issue that parents should be aware of before switching car seats. The following video is  just  another reminder:

Starbucks Cups Recalled

From toys to cups....
The US Consumer Product  Safety Commission  issued  a  press release today involving children's plastic cups form Starbucks.

Hazard: If the cup is dropped, the colorful face on the cup can break off and leave small parts or sharp exposed edges that can pose a choking or laceration hazard to young children.

Incidents/Injuries: Starbucks has received seven reports of the cups breaking, including two reports in which a child began to choke on a broken piece. No injuries have been reported.

Read the  whole release here

Kolcraft Recall-Play Yard

Today the US  Consumer  Product Safety Commission announced a recall  involving Kolcraft play yards after a 10 month old died.
CPSC received a report of a 10-month old boy who strangled on the changing table’s restraint strap that was hanging down into Kolcraft’s “Sesame Beginnings” Travel Play Yard where the child was located.
These play yards were sold from 2001 to 2007. What is terribly frightening is to speculate the number of households  that  have these play yards  since they have been on the market for  several years.  I  know our household has one, as do "the grandparents".  Please read the announcement here and make  sure if you have one,  you  remove the  changing  pad/cradle area when your child is  in the  play yard.

Crib Recall

Approximately 1 million simplicity  cribs were recalled earlier this week.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is announcing today a voluntary recall with Simplicity Inc., of Reading, Pa., of about 1 million cribs. The drop-side can detach from the crib, which can create a dangerous gap and lead to the entrapment and suffocation of infants. CPSC is aware of two deaths in Simplicity manufactured cribs with older style hardware, including a 9-month-old child and a 6-month-old child, where the drop-side was installed upside down. CPSC is also aware of seven infant entrapments and 55 incidents in these cribs.

What is most frustrating about this recall  to  me, is that the first death occurred over  two and a half years ago. It appears that two deaths occurred with older hardware, and a third death  has  now occurred with  the  newer hardware.  The question arises...what took so long to have this investigated? Read the announcement here.

Dorel Juvenile Group- Car Seat Recall

On August 30, 2007 some Dorel Juvenile Group  (DJG) issued a recall which may affect a potential 1,267,978 units.
Here is a summary as reported:

COSCO: ALPHA OMEGA, ALPHA OMEGA ELITE, MODELS 22150, 22155, 22180, 22269; EDDIE BAUER: 3-IN-1, DELUXE 3-IN-1, DELUXE CONVERTIBLE, MODELS 22450, 22451, 22452, 22453, 22740, 22750, 22755, 22756, 22757, 22770; SAFETY 1ST: ALPHA ELITE, ALPHA OMEGA, ALPHA OMEGA ELITE, INTERA, ENSPIRA, MODELS 22151, 22450, 22451, 22452, 22453, 22455, 22460, 22470, 22480, 22740, 22481, CHILD RESTRAINT SYSTEMS MANUFACTURED DURING NOVEMBER 2003 THROUGH DECEMBER 2005. THE HARNESS ADJUSTMENT STRAP CAN LOOSEN WHILE IN USE.