Sunday, December 30, 2007

43 Coal Mine Deaths So Far in 2006

43 coal miners have already died this year (06) in what is shaping up to be one of the worst years in history for coal mining. According to an article in the Daily Athenaeum Interactive of West Virginia, this year's death toll is the highest number of deaths resulting from coal mining accidents in more than a decade. Because colder, dryer air makes controlling the coal dust and methane gas (two of the main causes of mine explosions) harder, worksite injuries tend to occur more frequently in winter. Spokesman for the National Mining Association Luke Popovich says, ''What's maybe different from past winters is that surely there can be no question about overall complacency. This industry, I can tell you, is very, very concerned about safety and to an extent it's dominating conversations in a lot of industry councils, so I think there's no question that safety is priority No. 1 going into this winter.''

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Toyota Executives Fail To Recall Faulty Vehicle

Police officials in Japan have filed papers accusing executives at Toyota Motor Corp. of deliberately failing to recall a faulty vehicle. The officials claim that the three executives - all responsible for quality control - knew the Toyota Hilux Surf, a recreational car sold in Japan, had a faulty relay system of rods in the steering column, when the problem first emerged around 1995. And police believe the fault may have led to an accident in August 2004 where five people were injured after a Hilux veered out of control and collided with another car. Despite numerous customer complaints about the Hilux during 1996, Toyota didn't actually issue a recall until October when they recalled 330,000 models made between 1988 and 1996. The allegation of deliberately failing to issue a recall on a vehicle known to be faulty is a serious one - fellow Japanese car corporation Mitsubishi was rocked with scandal when courts ruled that a Mitsubishi vehicle which caused the death of a pedestrian had faults the car makers were in full knowledge of. The controversy tainted the Mitsubishi brand image and led to a significant decline in sales.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Defective Medtronic Sprint Fidelis Defibrillator

In new reports, Medtronic Sprint Fidelis Defibrillator Lead wires have been found defective and susceptible to frequent fractures. Thousands of people have had these defective defibrillators implanted leaving them at risk for serous injury if a Sprint Fidelis Lead fractures. Medtronic suspended sales of units with the defective leads and recalled all unused Sprint Fidelis Leads on October 15, 2007 after receiving reports of at least 5 fatalities linked to lead fractures. The Sprint Fidelis Lead is a wire that is used to attach a Medtronic implantable defibrillator to the heart. This defect can cause the defibrillators to deliver a massive and painful electrical shock, or it can cause the device to fail to administer a lifesaving shock when necessary.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007


If you feel that it is safe to make a nice summer spinach salad, you'd be wrong. I'm sure you will recall, that it was just last summer that spinach was recalled due to an E. coli scare. This year the spinach is being recalled once again only this time it is due to Salmonella contamination. This Salmonella contamination affects as many as 34 tons of spinach. So you may want to opt for some romaine while it is still supposedly safe.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Dangerous Toys Kill Kids

According to a report by the Consumer Product Safety Commission, more than 250,000 Team Talkin' Tool Bench toys were recalled by Playskool of Pawtucket, Rhode Island in September (22SEP06). The recall was prompted by the deaths of two children - a 19-month boy-from West Virginia and a two-year-old boy from Texas - who choked on the large plastic nails sold with the tool bench. Stores such as Toys R Us, Wal-Mart, Target, and KB had been selling the Playskool toy bench since last October (05). The Consumer Product Safety Commission receives around 20 reports each year related to the deaths of children under three who choked on toys.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Status on Pet Food Recall

A 30 percent increase in kidney failure among cats during the three months of recall has been recorded by Banfield, The Pet Hospital. The analysis suggests that out of every 10,000 cats and dogs seen in Banfield clinics, three developed kidney failure during the time pet food contaminated with melamine, a chemical used to make plastic kitchenware, countertops, fertilizers and flame retardants, was on the market. About 1 million dogs and cats have been seen during this pet food recall period. In the three weeks since the first pet food was recalled, Banfield vets have examined 1,605 cats and dogs reported to have eaten the recalled food. That is less than 1 percent of pets examined. Six of those animals, five cats and one dog, have died.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Toe-Space Electric Heaters Recalled

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has announced that they are recalling Toe-Space Electric Heaters. This is being done in complete cooperation with the manufacturer. The recall will include approximately 84,000 units. The product was being sold by Berko Electric, of Peru, Ind., now known as Marley Engineered Products, of Bennettsville, S.C. The problem with this particular product is that if the fan stops working while the unit continues to run it could overheat and become a fire hazard. To date there have been 29 reports of fires. Lets get those things rounded up. Accidents involving people and fire are particularly horrific. If you have one of these heaters (pictured on link) you should turn it off if possible at the home's circuit breaker or fuse. See link for more details

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Wooden Coloring Cases Being Recalled for Lead

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has announced that they are recalling a product known as Imaginarium Wooden Coloring Cases. This is being done in complete cooperation with the manufacturer. The recall will include approximately 27,000 units. The product was being sold by Toys "R" Us Inc., of Wayne, N.J. It appears that the ink on the outer packaging of the wood case contains lead. Additionally, there is excessive amount of lead in the black paint. No injuries have been reported to date. They were manufactured in China, a country that has had more than a few fatal flaws related to their exports.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Coumadin Drug Gets New Warning Label

Drug manufacturer Bristol Myers Squibb has strengthened the warning label on their blood thinning drug Coumadin, emphasizing possible dangers of the drug. The new label informs consumers of the dangers of potentially fatal bleeding, in contrast to the old label which merely warned of a "risk of hemorrhage" in an unhighlighted black box.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Clarion Navigation System Batteries Recalled

Batteries used in the Clarion N.I.C.E. P200 Navigation and Entertainment Systems are being recalled after warnings that the batteries could melt or overheat. Four reports have been made of the lithium-ion batteries melting; however there have been no injuries to consumers yet. The units were on sale from May 2006 through December 2006 at car audio and mobile electronics stores. Consumers are advised to contact Clarion in order to arrange a return of the faulty batteries and receive a free replacement.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Safe Pet Food Companies

On Menu Foods website it states, Menu Foods remains concerned that consumers are able to purchase recalled items. It is very important that pet owners check the website to make sure they haven’t and are not purchasing any of the recalled foods. The Dutchess County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals has released a list of pet food companies that are not affiliated with Menu Foods, including Animal Food Services, Diamond Pet Food, Holistic Blend, Mars Petcare, Nature’s Variety, Newman’s Own Organics, Old Mother Hubbard and Pedigree. Animal owners need to search for safe pet foods and this list is a good place to start, but the DCSPCA urges pet owners to scrutinize the ingredients in all of the pet food products that they purchase.

Pet Food Recall Lawsuit

The massive cat and dog food recall has united pet owners as they search for safe pet foods and for restitution for their sick animals. Though pet owners believe their four-legged friends are more than property, in some states the law does not and it may be tough to win lawsuits. An Associated Press article reports that pet owners are not likely to get much compensation if they individually sue pet food-maker Menu Foods over the death of a dog or cat, although they might fare better if they joined forces in a class action suit, legal experts say. According to the report at least one person is considering a class action lawsuit. "I would love to find an attorney to take on this company," said Brenda Hitchcock of Tampa, Fla. Hitchcock said she racked up $4,000 in veterinarian bills trying to save her 5-year-old cat "S.S." to no avail. Brenda still has two pouches of the recalled food to prove her case.

Friday, July 6, 2007

Defective Chinese Products Growing

From pet food that sickened and killed dogs and cats to toothpaste, toy trains, honey, car tires and fish the number of Chinese made products imported to the United States that have been deemed harmful or defective is growing. Robert Lala, a vice president at insurer Liberty International Underwriters, said the growing number of defective product cases will force underwriters to be more diligent in their underwriting efforts and investigations of overseas manufacturers.

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Recalled Pet Food

Owen, Patterson & Owen currently represents pet owners whose animals have suffered serious illness due to tainted pet food. Our law firm was originally contacted by a local veterinarian who was looking for help for his clients whose pets died or became ill after ingesting lethal pet food. We have learned that the manufacturer, Menu Foods, has known about the problems for some time. Our firm has experience in handling national cases such as Vioxx and numerous air disasters. If you or someone you know has a pet that has suffered from the effects of the tainted food, we encourage you to direct them to contact our firm immediately.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

High Times for Organic Pet Food

Owners of Northern California cats and dogs said their pets are getting sick after consuming the pet food from Menu Foods. Menu Foods emphasized Monday that the recall does not include all of the pet foods it produces, but just the cuts and gravy products. Many pet owners have been searching for answers and pet food alternatives. Menu Foods said Friday it will take responsibility if pets got sick or died from eating the recalled food. Menu Foods has hired a professional firm to manage customer concerns. Meanwhile, Whole Foods is reporting that sales of organic pet food have spiked as customers scramble to find safe alternatives.

Recall Now Includes Pet Treats

Cat and Dog treats have been added to the deadly pet product recall. Del Monte Pet Products has issued a voluntary recall of some pet treats and food products. The products are sold under the names Jerky Treats, Gravy Train Beef Sticks and Pounce Meaty Morsels brands. A news release from Del Monte says, "The Company took this voluntary recall action immediately after learning this morning from the FDA that wheat gluten supplied to Del Monte Pet Products from a specific manufacturing facility in China contained melamine.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Recall on Gateway Batteries

14,000 laptop batteries have been recalled that were included with computers sold in 2003 from Gateway. Laptop PCs with the defective batteries can overheat and pose a fire hazard for consumers, the organizations said. Reports have been received by Gateway from four consumers of the battery packs overheating, causing mild property damage. "Gateway is working with its suppliers to cover the cost of replacement battery packs and certain other related costs," according to the computer maker.

Friday, June 15, 2007

PETA Demands Investigation on Pet Food

PETA sent an urgent letter to Daniel G. McChesney, director of the FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine Office of Surveillance and Compliance, after finding reports indicating that Iams and other pet food companies may have known as early as February 20 that their products might have been tainted. The letter urged McChesney to investigate Iams and other companies that sell food supplied by Menu Foods and take appropriate actions if the companies knew, yet withheld, information about pet-food contamination. "Iams and other companies should be held responsible for the companion animal deaths if they had knowledge of the food contamination issue and refused or neglected to alert the public immediately," says PETA Vice President Bruce Friedrich. Consumers are now worried that their animals may have become ill after consuming dry pet food manufactured by Menu Foods, prompting PETA to demand the company immediately recall all dry pet food products until they have been chemically tested for safety.

Saturday, June 2, 2007

China Closes 180 Food Plants

180 food plants have been closed by Chinese regulators after uncovering more than 23,000 food safety violations. China announced a crackdown on plants that produce food for human consumption after the scandal of the largest pet food recalls in U.S. history. The action involving some 33,000 law enforcement officers uncovered violations including "illegal food making dens, counterfeit bottled water, fake soy sauce, banned food additives, and illegal meat processing plants," according to the New York Times.

Friday, June 1, 2007

Tainted Pet Food

Some veterinary referral and emergency centers have not seen an increase in clients due to the affected food, but pet owners have been flooding private practice veterinarian’s phone lines with inquiries. Many pet owners are trying to seek advice on what action to take. It is important to bring your animals to your veterinarian because the symptoms of renal failure are not always initially obvious. Some veterinarians are telling their clients to switch to dry food, if their pets will eat it.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Recall on Advanced Medical Optics

Advanced Medical Optics Company has recalled a line of its popular contact-lens solutions over concerns the product has triggered a rare but dangerous eye ailment in some users. Advanced Medical said late Friday it was issuing a global recall for its Complete MoisturePlus lens solutions because of reports that 21 users of the product since January 2005 had contracted acanthamoeba keratitis, an infection of the cornea that can lead to blindness. Complete MoisturePlus solutions are used to store and re-wet soft contact lenses.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

GE Dishwasher Recall

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and the General Electric Company (GE) announced a recall of 2.5 million GE built-in dishwashers manufactured from September 1997 to December 2001. Over several years, normal use of liquid rinse aid in some models results in a concentration of rinse aid on the wires inside the dishwasher door. GE has received 135 reports of overheated wiring and 56 reports of property damage, including 12 reports of fires that escaped the dishwasher. Fire damage was limited to the dishwasher or the adjacent area. No injuries have been reported.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Evenflo Infant Seat Recall

All mothers of infants please be aware that there has been a major infant seat recall. Nearly half a million Evenflo Embrace infant seats and carriers are on the recall list because the handle can fail. The government says the handle can unexpectedly release, causing the baby to fall to the ground, sometimes head first. These Embrace models were sold between 2004 and 2006. Do not hold the carrier by the handle: Carry it with two hands.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Dog Food Recall

With a recall affecting dozens of brands of dog and cat food, the Tinley Park shelter isn’t taking any chances. The shelter, like many others, has tossed out roughly two cases of suspect food. Pet supply stores and local veterinarians were fielding calls Tuesday from nervous pet owners. The contaminated food has been linked to kidney failure and a small number of pet deaths. Well-known names such as Eukanuba, Iams and Science Diet are at least partly affected by the recall, which covers dog food sold throughout North America under 51 brands, and cat food sold under 40 brands. Some of the food is sold under store brands and carried by chains including Wal-Mart, Kroger, which operates Food-4-Less, and Safeway, which owns Dominick’s. “It’s one of the larger recalls that has taken place in the pet industry,â€� according to Gary Roulo, of Capital Pet Supplies in Country Club Hills.

Animals Sick from Pet Food

Menu Foods initiated a precautionary recall of several brands of "cuts and gravy" style pet food in cans and pouches manufactured between Dec. 3, 2006 and March 6 in two of its U.S. manufacturing facilities, according to a company press release. Although the company has yet to identify the source, it is looking into the introduction of wheat gluten from a new supplier as a possible cause of the problem. One woman, Kathleen Schurman believes tainted food might have been responsible for the premature death of her 6-year-old cat. In a prepared statement, Paul K. Henderson, president and CEO of Menu Foods, said, "We take these complaints very seriously and, while we are still looking for a specific cause, we are acting to err on the side of caution."

Friday, April 20, 2007

Children's Necklaces Recalled For Lead Poisoning

A recall has been issued on necklaces made by Really Useful Products Inc. after it was discovered that the jewelry contains high levels of lead, which is toxic if ingested by young children. The jewelry recalled are Mood Necklaces - multi-colored pendants in the shape of hearts, moons, shamrocks, spiders, butterflies and lizards. The recalled "Diva" Necklaces are also pendants, in letters making up the words "ANGEL" or "Diva". Customers are advised to return the necklaces to the store they bought them from for a full refund. The recall is being issued in cooperation with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).

Sunday, April 1, 2007

American Nutrition - Pet Food Recall (2007)

In the spring of 2007 another pet food product was added to the recall list. American Nutrition Inc. recalled a number of pet food products. It appears that the rice protein from an Ogden pet-food manufacturer tested positive for the chemical melamine when tested by the Food and Drug Administration. The company was asked to voluntarily recall pet foods manufactured with rice protein imported from China by San Francisco-based Wilbur-Ellis Co. Some of the company’s that are recalling pet food currently, claim that the American Nutrition company were adding rice protein concentrate to their products without their knowledge or approval. "It appears that ANI had been adding the unauthorized rice protein concentrate to Harmony Farms products for some time and only told the company when the FDA was about to conclude that some of ANI's rice protein concentrate (supplied by Wilber-Ellis) was contaminated with melamine," said a statement on the Harmony Farms site. (This story was originally posted in the Spring of 2007).

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Nationwide Recall of Pet Food

A nationwide recall of pet food produced by Menu Foods was announced Saturday involving brands like, Iams, Nutro and Eukanuba. According to the Associated Press, an unknown number of cats and dogs had suffered kidney failure and about 10 died after eating the pet food. One Amador County resident said that number raised to 11 when her 4-year-old cat, Kaydee Mae, was put to sleep March 12 because of kidney failure. In January one woman’s cat became less playful and started to act sick. The cat constantly drank water and was constantly peeing. After her veterinarian conducted tests, it was determined that the cause was 90 percent kidney failure. Symptoms for pet owners to watch for include vomiting, diarrhea, lack of appetite, excessive urination, excessive drinking, weight loss, lethargy and dehydration, according to Foothill Veterinary Clinic Receptionist Wendy Harrington. It is estimated that the recall would cost the company, which is mostly owned by the Menu Foods Income Fund, an estimated $26 million to $34 million.

Friday, March 2, 2007

Salmonella Confirmed

It has been confirmed by the FDA that samples collected at ConAgra’s peanut butter plant contained Salmonella. The strain of Salmonella that was present in samples the FDA took from ConAgra’s plant in Sylvester, Georgia matches the strain of Salmonella that infected the people who fell ill. In addition to the jars of peanut butter, other products such as peanut butter toppings may also be contaminated. Sonic and Carvel outlets used the topping until 16th of February, when the product was recalled. "According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as of Tuesday this week, 370 people have been infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Salmonella-Tainted Product Recalled In 60 Countries

Salmonella in peanut butter is not just a nation-wide problem it is a world-wide problem. The tainted peanut butter has not only been sold here but in more than 60 other countries. In the U.S., the tainted peanut butter has been blamed for sickening 329 people in 41 states since August. During the weekend, China announced a recall of the peanut butter. The official Xinhua news agency said three batches of the two brands were imported between September and January, totaling 742 cases. The agency said at least 156 cases already had been sold in Beijing, and even though the lids had the suspect code, no one had reported being sickened by the peanut butter.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Cantaloupe Recall Due to Salmonella

Several thousands cartons of cantaloupes from Costa Rica have been recalled after testing positive for salmonella. Castle Produce said the recall covered roughly 2,560 cartons of cantaloupes, which were delivered on or after February 16 to wholesalers in Los Angeles and San Francisco for distribution in the western states. So far, there have been no reports of illness, but the company is not quite sure if any of the fruit has reached stores. A plastic blanket used to hold the cantaloupes after they are harvested and washed is said to be the source of the salmonella. “The Dole Fresh Fruit Company on February 16 recalled about 6,100 cartons of cantaloupes distributed to wholesalers in the eastern United States and Quebec between February 5 and February 8. The cantaloupes also were imported from Costa Rica and tested positive for salmonella.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Salmonella Equals No More PB&J

Brand names Peter Pan and Great Value peanut butter have been recalled for a salmonella outbreak. Though reports say that no actual contamination with salmonella have been found in any of the peanut butter thus far, the company has recalled the product because of a statistical link between the salmonella outbreak and the peanut butter in question. Since the recall has been announced, all of these products with this brand name have been removed from the shelves. “It was reported that about 85 percent of those known to be infected in the outbreak reported eating peanut butter. According to a DHHS press release, most people recover from a salmonella infection without medical attention, but the information indicated anyone experiencing illness after consuming the recalled peanut butter may want to seek medical care.

Thursday, February 8, 2007

Reporting Defective Products

It is not difficult to imagine the high cost involved in the recall of a defective product. However, the cost of a product going unreported as defective is even higher when you consider the returns, repairs and exchanges. Moreover, the adverse publicity can be very costly to a manufacturer indeed. For instance, in January, the Hoover Co. agreed to pay a $750,000 penalty. It seems the company failed to report to the CPSC the sale of vacuum cleaners that had defective switches, which could cause the vacuum cleaners to catch fire. That lack of disclosure could have cost lives and caused horrible injures. Each and every manufacturer, distributor, and retailer is required to report to the CPSC any product that fails to comply with the applicable consumer product safety rule. Such a report is not a suggestion it is required by the federal Consumer Product Safety Act. As seen in the Hoover Company’s lack of disclosure, a failure to disclose defective product information can result in substantial penalties.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Motorcycle Fatalities On the Rise

A National Highway Transportation Safety Administration study shows that motorcycle-related fatalities have more than doubled between 1995 and 2005, with more than 4,500 people dying on motorcycles in 2005, compared with 2,227 in 1995. Sales of scooters and motorbikes have more than tripled during the same time period, rising to more than one million bike sales in 2005. Helmet laws are a huge factor in lives saved - the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that over 1,500 lives were saved in 2005 thanks to helmets. It also claims that an additional 728 riders could have lived if they had been wearing helmets.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Britax Child Safety Seats Recalled

A recall has been issued by the the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) for the Britax "Companion" child safety seats after discovering that the carrier may fail in a crash. The rear-facing, infant-only child safety seat (Model E9L14) could result in serious injury or death to a child in the event of an accident. Due to incorrect assembly of some of the carriers, tabs on the bottom of the seats may not be properly placed, causing the restraints to fail to conform to federal standards. Britax have offered to replace the base of the carriers for no charge, and advise owners to continue to use the carrier without a base until the replacements arrive.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Hernia Mesh Patch Recall

Lawyers that practice in the area of defective medical devices have begun to prepare cases against Davol, the manufacturer of the recalled Bard Composix® Kugel Mesh Hernia Patch. The FDA has urged any patients who have had a hernia repair that utilizes a mesh patch to contact their surgeon or hospital immediately. "Adequate testing of this device by the manufacturer would have revealed the defects with the device and saved many of these patients from multiple additional surgeries, complications and a lifetime of pain," according to Johnson Law Firm attorney Steven Johnson. The Composix® Kugel Mesh Patch is used to repair ventral (incisional) hernias caused by thinning or stretching of scar tissue that forms after surgery. The "memory recoil ring" can break and may lead to numerous complications including infections, bowel perforations and/or chronic intestinal fistulae (abnormal connections or passageways between the intestines and other organs.