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.