Tuesday, December 26, 2006

62,400 Chrysler Cars Recalled

Chrysler is recalling 62,400 of its vehicles after discovering that the braking system may not work. The cars included in the recall are the 2007 Chrysler Sebring, Chrysler 300, Jeep Commander, Jeep Compass, Jeep Grand Cherokee, Jeep Liberty, Jeep Wrangler, Dodge Nitro, Dodge Magnum, Dodge Charger and Dodge Caliber vehicles. Owners of the cars will be informed in February as to whether they need to take their car to a Chrysler dealer for inspection.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Emerson Ceiling Fans Recalled

4,000 ceiling fans are being recalled by Emerson Electric Co. after it was discovered that the blades are not secure. The brackets that hold the fan blades can break, causing the fan to detach and possibly injure people in the vicinity. One report has already been made of a fan hitting a consumer on the head. The recalled fans have a 60-inch diameter and come in seven types of finish.

"BABYBJORN" Feeding Spoons Recalled

33,000 "BABYBJORN" Feeding Spoons have been recalled after reports that the spoons could pose as a choking hazard for children. The recall was issued after the discovery that the soft plastic tip on the spoon can loosen and break off after extended use. No injuries have been reported as yet. Consumers are advised to return the spoons to BabySwede LLC for a full refund.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Makers of Vioxx May Owe Unpaid Taxes

Pharmaceutical company Merck has been sent a notice by the Canadian government for $2 billion Merck owes in unpaid taxes on a portion of profits from popular asthma drug Singulair. Revenue Canada is seeking an amount based on a federal tax rate of 22 per cent, and includes interest and a penalty. There is a risk that the cost will escalate if the Quebec government also demands its share of unpaid taxes, which total $1 billion. Merck Frosst employs 1,600 workers in Canada, including 1,100 in Montreal. This isn't the first time Merck has received notice for unpaid taxes - last December (05) Merck Frosst's parent company received a tax bill from the U.S. Internal Revenue Service totaling $2.3 billion.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Recall Issued for Wal-Mart Mugs

A recall has been issued for 70,000 Wal-Mart Holiday Time Christmas Mug Gift Sets after warnings that the buttons on the characters could pose a choking hazard to young children. The mugs all have a stuffed Christmas-themed character in them, measuring seven inches tall with red and green buttons. Consumers are advised to return the gift set to their nearest Wal-Mart for a full refund

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Faberware Fruit Slicers Recalled

200,000 Farberware Classic Series fruit slicers and corers are being recalled after the discovery that the blade could come apart from the plastic handle, causing cuts to fingers and hands. Manufacturer Lifetime Brands has already received 34 reports of the blade coming loose, and nine reports of the blades causing injury to consumers. Consumers are advised to return the slicers to Lifetime Brands Inc. for a full refund.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Recall Issued For Wal-Mart Christmas Beagles

A recall has been issued for 56,000 Wal-Mart "Holiday Time" stuffed Christmas beagles after warnings that the red pom-poms attached to the toy could pose a choking hazard. The toy, which was sold exclusively in Wal-Mart stores, is a seven inches tall and five inches long brown and white beagle wearing a red scarf and hat, a green wreath, with pom-poms attached to its mouth. Consumers are advised to return the toy to their nearest Wal-Mart for a full refund.

Friday, December 8, 2006

Volkswagen Passat's Recalled

62,000 Passat sedans and wagons in the United States and Canada and 300,000 worldwide are being recalled due to potential problems with wiper motors and braking in cold weather. The 2005 and 2006 models can potentially develop a fuel leak and a power brake vacuum line could fracture at low temperatures on some models. Volkswagen insists there is no danger of total brake failure, and that the faults will take an hour per vehicle to fix

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Mattel Recalls Magnetic Toys

A recall notice has been issued for Mattel's Polly Pocket magnetic toys following reports that three children ended up in hospital after swallowing small parts in the toys. The children were all hospitalized for intestinal perforations. As a result, Mattel is recalling 2.4 million sets. The recalled products include: Polly Pocket Polly Place Hangin' Out House; Polly Pocket Polly Place Treetop Clubhouse; Polly Pocket Spa Day; Polly Pocket Polly Place Totally Tiki Diner; Polly Pocket Quik-Clik Boutique; Polly Pocket Quik-Clik City Pretty Playset; Polly Pocket Quik-Clik Sporty Style Playset; and Polly Pocket Totally Zen Playset.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Mattel Recalls Magnetic Toys

A recall notice has been issued for Mattel's Polly Pocket magnetic toys following reports that three children ended up in hospital after swallowing small parts in the toys. The children were all hospitalized for intestinal perforations. As a result, Mattel is recalling 2.4 million sets. The recalled products include: Polly Pocket Polly Place Hangin' Out House; Polly Pocket Polly Place Treetop Clubhouse; Polly Pocket Spa Day; Polly Pocket Polly Place Totally Tiki Diner; Polly Pocket Quik-Clik Boutique; Polly Pocket Quik-Clik City Pretty Playset; Polly Pocket Quik-Clik Sporty Style Playset; and Polly Pocket Totally Zen Playset.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Contact Lens Solution Recalled

18 lots of Complete (R) MoisturePLUS multipurpose contact lens care solution and Active Packs have been recalled by the FDA. The solution has been discovered to be contaminated with bacteria that can cause eye infections and microbial keratitis. Consumers are advised to stop using the solution immediately.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Silicone Breast Implants Extremely Dangerous?

The director of the Public Citizen's Health Research Group has criticized the FDA's decision to allow silicone to be used in breast implants once again. Dr Sidney Wolfe says: "Public Citizen has opposed the use of silicone gel breast implants since the fall of 1988, when we petitioned the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to ban them after receiving numerous documents from FDA scientists concerned about their safety. "In terms of adverse safety and health information known at the time of approval “ such as high rates of rupture, the need for repeat surgery and clear evidence of lymph node infiltration and damage by leaked silicone – silicone gel breast implants are the most defective medical device ever approved by the FDA. The approval makes a mockery of the legal standard that requires “reasonable assurance of safety. "It is a terrible reminder of the double standard for women versus men that the FDA has not approved silicone gel testicular implants because of the inadequacy of clinical trials on these devices. (Saline breast implants and testicular implants have been approved by the FDA.) "This approval of such a defective medical device raises again the larger issue of the poor leadership and dangerously poor performance of the FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health (CDRH). Recent examples of this include the large number of defibrillator and pacemaker recalls, primarily the fault of manufacturers such as Guidant but abetted by the lack of FDA promptness, and the approval of the vagus nerve stimulator for depression despite the opposition of dozens of FDA staffers because it lacked evidence of effectiveness. "We will certainly be urging thorough congressional investigations and hearings on this lack of assertion of regulatory authority by the FDA’s CDRH."

Monday, November 13, 2006

Woman Sues Merck for Causing Pulmonary Embolism

A woman has filed suit against pharmaceutical company Merck in what is the latest in a long line of personal injury lawsuits concerning drug Vioxx. Dessie Nichols alleges that Vioxx was responsible for caused her pulmonary embolism four years ago and is seeking punitive damages. The suit filed at Kanawha Circuit Court accuses Merck with negligence, products liability, fraud, breach of express and implied warranties, negligent misrepresentation and unjust enrichment. The complaint says, "Despite the efforts of numerous healthcare professionals, Merck managed to hide the fact that Vioxx significantly increased the risk of thromboembolic adverse events, such as heart attacks and strokes, until it recalled the drug in Sept. 2004. "Had Plaintiff been aware of any of the now-apparent risks and dangers of Vioxx, Plaintiff would not have taken the drug."

11 Million Acetaminophen Bottles Recalled

Perrigo Co. (PRGO), a major manufacturer of store-brand acetaminophen, have issued a recall for 11 million bottles of the painkiller after the discovery that hundreds of bottles may be contaminated with metal fragments (09NOV06). The metal fragments were discovered when the company was performing quality control checks. According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), 200 caplets were found, ranging from extremely tiny to a third of an inch in size. There have been no reports of injuries or illness at this time.

Wednesday, November 1, 2006

Hospital Worker Causes $116 Million Malpractice Verdict

A jury has awarded $116 million in medical malpractice suit to a man who was left a paraplegic after being misdiagnosed by an unlicensed hospital worker. Allan Navarro was admitted to University Community Hospital Carrollwood campus in 2000 (09AUG00) after suffering nausea, double vision, headaches and unsteadiness. After being examined by what turned out to be an unlicensed hospital worker, he was diagnosed as having sinusitis and sent home. Navarro continued to suffer from brain swelling before being admitted to the emergency room 20 hours later to be treated for a stroke. The ruling may be the largest medical malpractice verdict in Florida's history.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Ford To Recall 145,000 Cars

Ford Motor Co. is recalling over 139,000 2005 model-year Ford Five Hundred, Mercury Montego sedans and 2005-2006 model-year freestar minivans as a result of dangerous faults in the cars' design. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the vehicles could have faulty side door latches that allow water in to the car. There are also serious risks that the car door could open while the vehicle is in motion, as well as danger of the latch mechanism freezing up in cold weather. Ford have already recalled over 6,000 of their 2006 Escape hybrid sport utility vehicles due to faults with the vehicle's drive train.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Vioxx Cases Flood Court

A request for additional staff at the Atlantic City court responsible for handling around 14,000 Vioxx-related lawsuits has been approved by the state administrative office of courts. The Atlantic County Civil Division is trying to effectively maintain proceedings on the thousands of suits against pharmaceutical company Merck, who pulled anti-inflammatory drug Vioxx from the market in 2004 after research showed the drug doubled the risk of heart attack and stroke if used for over 18 months. Civil division manager Teresa Ungaro says, "You have to remember we still keep our focus on the different matters ” landlord-tenant disputes, malpractice cases. There is a balancing act at all times." Ungaro adds that her employees are adjusting to the extra work, and that officials "just had to re-jigger the budget. They are being very creative." The majority of Vioxx cases are being heard in Atlantic City as Merck is based in New Jersey. Superior Court Judge Carol Higbee will preside.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Wal-Mart Recalls Defective Footstools

Wal-Mart is recalling 165,000 defective footstools sold between December 2005 and September 2006. Wal-Mart issued the recall after receiving reports of seven injuries associated with nine breaking stools. From the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission: 'Name of Product: Home Trends Wood Footstools Description: The footstool is a natural-colored wood footstool. The standing surface is 11 1/2-inches by 11 1/2-inches with a 4-inch-long oval opening in the center. The stool is 11 1/2-inches tall. The recalled footstool can be identified by a white sticker underneath the step that contains the UPC number 87065900001.'

Parent Demands Recall on Cursing Toy

A man is demanding that toy store Toys 'R' Us take one of their toys off the shelves after discovering that the one he bought for his 6-year-old son allegedly says a curse word. Philip Morton is convinced that the toy police officer says the curse word when the officer's nightstick is removed. Morton says, "I've had to explain to parents why my son is saying the f-word; it's horrible. It's really a cute little toy; but God forbid, it's not what I want my kid hearing." According to a spokeswoman for toy manufacturer TekNek, the toy actually says "stop". Store managers have declined to stop selling the toy.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Listeria Salads Recalled

The Food and Drug Administration has issued a recall (18OCT06) for an egg salad sold by Ballard's Farm Sausage, Inc that may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes. The salads were recalled from West Virginia, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia, Michigan, Kentucky, Indiana, Alabama, Delaware, Illinois and Florida.

CoaguCheck PT Strips Recalled

Roche Diagnostics have issued a recall of CoaguCheck PT test strips. The strips are used to test the blood clotting time of patients who are using anticoagulants or blood thinners. Depending on the results of the test, patients may need to take corrective measures. Defects in the strips can lead to false results and incorrect medical action as a result, with a high potential for serious or life-threatening injuries.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Man Gets 24 Years For Manslaughter

A man who killed a boater while drunk has been sentenced in a San Bernardino court to over 24 years in prison. William Wayne Anno killed Lance Furman in August (04) when he drove his boat into Furman's watercraft on Lake Havasu. Anno was convicted by jury of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, and negligent use of a watercraft. Furman's wife Wendy, who suffered head injuries from the accident, made a request to Superior Court Judge Bob Krug that Anno be given the maximum sentence allowed. She said, "The man that killed my husband is still here with his family and they can visit and talk to him. He will get to come home at the end of his sentence, but Lance will never be able to come home." Furman's 13-year-old son Nick also suffered serious head injuries, and has been forced to undergo continued rehabilitation for brain damage. Nick told the court, "I hate taking medicine every day. My friends don't call me as much or come around. I will never be able to race BMX or dirt bikes or play football because of my brain injury." Anno has been in and out of prison since 1990. According to Deputy District Attorney David Varman, Anno attended a court-mandated alcohol-education class for a previous conviction for driving under the influence just days before the incident where Furman was killed. Anno was sentenced to 24 years and four months in prison after factoring in a prior strike for a robbery conviction and a number of probation violations. Judge Krug said, "His record is deplorable."

Monday, October 16, 2006

Indiana Hospital Errs Again

An Indiana hospital that hit the headlines last month after causing the death of three premature babies with lethal doses of a drug is once again causing controversy for medical malpractice. A patient giving birth at Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis was temporarily paralyzed when an anesthesiologist gave her pain medicine in the form of an epidural, ten times faster than intended. The patient was given ten hours of pain medication in just one hour after the anesthesiologist failed to program the medication pump correctly.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Boat Accident Victim Parents File Wrongful Death Suit

A wrongful death lawsuit is set to be filed on Friday 13th October regarding a Columbus Day boating accident that left two people dead. James Noel-Pou, 23, and Monica Burguera, 20, were killed when the boat they were on was rammed by a larger boat. Noel-Pou's parents are planning to sue the boat rental company for wrongful death and negligence, as well as the powerboat operator whose propellers were the cause of death for Noel-Pou and Burguera. Noel-Pou's family are basing their legal action on information that Club Nautico, the Miami Beach Marina company that rented six boats to Noel-Pou and his friends, provided a 16-year-old child as skipper. Personal injury lawyer Stuart Z. Grossman will be filing the suit for unspecified money damages in Miami-Dade Circuit Court. Grossman says, "These boaters paid Club Nautico extra for a skipper and they got a 16-year-old? To send these people out with a teenager and call him a captain is negligent. You can't blame these passengers. They were given a lousy boat, at least, and a non-captain, which they paid for." The operator of the boat which rammed into Noel-Pou's boat is also being named in the suit. Grossman adds, "Here you are on the busiest boating day of the year and you're speeding on the bay? He must have been going pretty fast."

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Three Vehicles Collide on Highway 16

Three vehicles collided on Highway 16 at 6.30 am yesterday (10OCT06). A Big Rig, School Bus and a Jeep were reported to have crashed after the Jeep driver drove erratically when he tried to pass the big rig. The jeep driver was airlifted to hospital with critical injuries. A student on the bus received injuries to the head.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Lettuce Recall Linked to E. Coli

California-based company Nunes Co. issued a voluntary recall of its green leaf lettuce following allegations that the lettuce may be contaminated with E. Coli. The recall was issued for lettuce sold in supermarkets between the dates 3-6 October (06) under the Foxy brand. Problems with the lettuce are thought to be related to contaminated irrigation water, although Nunes Co. executives deny that any lettuce has tested positive for the deadly E. Coli bacteria. The recall comes from the same California region at the center of the nationwide spinach scare, where three people died following an outbreak of E. Coli.

Saturday, October 7, 2006

Vioxx Victims Lose US Court Bid

A New Jersey court has ruled that hundreds of British patients who claim to have had heart attacks after taking controversial anti-inflammatory drug Vioxx must challenge pharmaceutical company Merck in the United Kingdom instead of in the United States. Vioxx, a drug created to combat pain caused by arthritis, was withdrawn from the market in 2004 when a study showed that the risk of heart attacks and strokes doubled for patients who took the drug for more than 18 months. Lawyers representing the British patients are extremely upset with the ruling, stating that their clients have been refused legal aid and insurers in the United Kingdom will not fund no-win, no-fee cases. Solicitor Sallie Booth, whose firm Irwin Mitchell represents almost 100 claimants in the UK, says, "This is hugely disappointing for UK victims of this drug. "Whilst they should not be forced to look to a foreign jurisdiction to determine their cases, the restricted availability of funding for claimants in group actions in this country, especially public funding is having the effect of denying these people proper access to justice. "However we will now carefully review all alternative options for our clients. Drug companies must realize the huge responsibility they have to produce safe and reliable drugs. "Profit cannot come before safety, their very business is to produce the solution they must not become the problem." Merck was suspended this week from the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry, and is facing more than 21,000 worldwide claims from Vioxx users who claim the drug made them ill. There were around 500,000 people taking Vioxx in the United Kingdom when Merck removed the drug from the market.

Sunday, October 1, 2006

Hazardous Wal-Mart Toy Recalled

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recalled Wal-Mart's Baby Cookie Monster Toys last month (SEP06) after determining that parts could easily be removed and choked on by small children. The Sesame Street plush toy came with a cookie attached to its hand which the CPSC classed as a risk. No injuries occurred before the toy was taken off the market.

Friday, September 22, 2006

New Orleans Nursing Home Charged With Negligence

A New Orleans nursing home has been charged with cruelty and negligence, over a year after 35 of its residents died during Hurricane Katrina. Nursing home owners the Manganos have been indicted for the deaths that happened as a result of last year's storm, which caused 1600 people in Louisiana alone to lose their lives and destroyed the city of New Orleans. The Manganos, who were accused by family members of the deceased of failing in their responsibility towards the residents, insist their plan to keep the residents in the house during the hurricane was a responsible decision, as the patients were too frail to be evacuated. The Manganos place the blame for the tragedy firmly upon the city authorities, claiming that had the levees held, the residents would not have died. This case is one of two against the defendants regarding their role in the deaths of the nursing home residents.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

$5 Million Settlement For Injured Newborn

The parents of a brain-damaged five-year-old boy have reached a $5 million settlement with a hospital in Massachusetts following a medical malpractice suit. Kendall and Michelle Turner accused a doctor and nurse at the Melrose-Wakefield hospital of making critical mistakes during the delivery of their son Dustin that led to the boy's life-long injuries. Dustin is unable to walk, talk or eat on his own. The Turners insist that Dustin's severe cerebral palsy could have been avoided had he been delivered by C-section, and demanded compensation for the irreversible damage to their child.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Man Dies in Construction Accident

A construction worker fell 35 feet to his death while laying roof decking for Microsoft Corp.'s new data center. 31-year-old Travis L. Watts was transported to Quincy Valley Medical Center where he was pronounced dead. Spokesperson Jeannine Lupton says the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration will not be investigating the accident.

Tuesday, August 8, 2006

Prempro Drug In Breast Cancer Ruling

A jury in Philadelphia has ruled that Wyeth Pharmaceuticals' hormone replacement drug Prempro is responsible for causing the breast cancer of a 66 year old woman. This is the first time a jury has decided that Prempro causes breast cancer, making this personal injury trial highly significant. Litigators Ken Suggs and Robert K. Jenner represented the victim, who was awarded a sum of $1 million by the court, as well as $500,000 for the victim's husband. When the second phase of the malpractice trial begins next week, the jury will be asked to establish whether or not Wyeth Pharmaceuticals failed to warn consumers of the dangers of the drug and acted in an inproper manner. The jury will also consider whether or not Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, who are facing over 5,000 lawsuits concerning their failure to warn doctors and patients of known dangers relating to Prempro, should face punitive damages for their conduct.

Sunday, August 6, 2006

Antidepressants Dangerous for Pregnant Women

A recent FDA alert is warning pregnant women about the dangers of taking antidepressants during pregnancy. The FDA issued the alert in July (06) following the publication of a case-control study investigating the effects of taking antidepressants while pregnant. According to the report, mothers who took selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) after the 20th week of pregnancy were six times more likely to give birth to babies with persistent pulmonary hypertension (PPHN), than mothers who did not take antidepressants during pregnancy. SSRI's include Celexa (citalopram), Fluvoxamine Lexapro (escitalopram), Paxil (paroxetine), Prozac (fluoxetine), Symbyax (olanzapine/fluoxetine) and Zoloft (sertraline).

Friday, August 4, 2006

Boy Loses Leg in Boat Accident

A 16-year-old boy had to have his leg amputated after a near-fatal boating accident (03AUG06). Chandler Balkman was swimming in Lake Sammamish when his 19-year-old sister accidentally ran over him with the family boat. The propeller had sliced through his right pelvis, hitting an artery. Surgeons at Harborview Medical Center had to remove the leg to save his life.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Honda Issues Recall on SUV's and Minivans

Honda has issued a recall on over 500,000 cars that need a faulty engine part replaced. The models affected include Odyssey minivans, CRV SUVs, and Step Wagon minivans, which were produced between 1994 and 1997. Over 78,000 of these vehicles were exported to nations including the U.S. and Canada. According to Honda, repeated use of weak parts against heat could cause the vehicle engine to suddenly stop. There have been five cases of minor burns reported after the solder in the defective parts melted and made contact with the driver's feet.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Grand Jeep Cherokees Recalled after Seat Fires

111,000 2003-2004 Jeep Grand Cherokees have been recalled by DaimlerChrysler AG after reports of overheating and fires in heated seats. According to a spokesperson, DaimlerChrysler has received 32 complaints of the electric heater element overheating or leading to a fire in the front seat, although the company does not have a precise number for how many injuries or crashes have been caused by the defect.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

General Motors Recalls Corvettes

General Motors Corp. (GM) is recalling over 30,000 Corvettes after reports from drivers that the roof of the car came off. There have been 21 reports so far about the $45,000 sports car, but no reported accidents or injuries as of yet. Owners of 2005 models were asked to bring their cars into dealerships last year (05), and a formal recall was issued by GM (27MAY05) May 27th after reports that roofs were also detaching from the 2006 models. Washington-based consumer group Public Citizen president Joan Claybrook says, "It's a good thing that GM is doing this recall finally, because no roof is worse than a weak roof. The roof endangers other highway users as it flies off."

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Volkswagon Recalls Beetles and Jettas

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), car company Volkswagon is recalling 362,000 New Beetles and Jettas after discovering brake-light failures. It appears that a brake light switch may not have been properly installed during previous recalls in 2003 and 2004, resulting in lights not working or staying on continuously. No accidents or injuries have been reported. 1999 through 2002 Jettas and 1998 through 2002 New Beetles are covered by the recall.