Articles Posted in Defective Products

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It’s easy to get lulled into believing that the toys you buy for your children are safe. After all, it’s 2016, and surely if toys get through testing and get placed on the market, they must be safe, right? According to a number of organizations committed to keeping children safe, this is false.

Last month, W.A.T.C.H., the World Against Toys Causing Harm, Inc., put out its list of the 2016 most dangerous toys. According to W.A.T.C.H., this year’s list includes toys that pose risks of strangulation, choking and suffocation.

Here’s the complete list:

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The world’s largest furniture retailer, IKEA, has recalled 29 million dressers and chests sold in the U.S.  This recall comes after the confirmed deaths of six children from tip over accidents.

Last year, in July 2015, IKEA and the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced the deaths of two children from tipping dressers.  Despite urging from consumer advocacy groups at that time, no recall was initiated.  Consumers were not informed in that announcement that the IKEA dresser in question did not meet certain safety requirements which require each drawer to withstand a 50-pound weight.

Earlier this year, after the death of a 22-month old boy, Kids in Danger (KID), Consumer Federation of America (CFA), Consumers Union and the National Center for Health Research urged CPSC and IKEA to recall the dressers and chests.

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1214675_cigarette.jpgAccording to a Boston.com report, a Boston jury awarded a woman’s estate $50 million and her son $21 million in damages yesterday in a products liability lawsuit against the makers of Newport cigarettes. The plaintiff showed that back in the 1950s and 1960s, The tobacco company had given free cigarettes to children as young as nine years old in a Boston housing project. Most of the children were African-American, and studies show that 75% of African-American smokers today prefer menthol brands like Newport. the plaintiffs argued that the company engaged in a free givaway marketing strategy to get African-American children hooked on smoking Newports.

Marie Evans died of lung cancer at the age of 54 in 2002. She recalled, in testimony that was videotaped before she died and played to the jury during the trial, how she was given free Newports from a white truck that looked like an ice cream truck when she was nine years old. She traded the cigarettes at first, but started smoking them when she was 13. She said she tried to quit several times, but could not, and smoked until she died.

The $71 million award was for compensatory damages alone, and the jury now will take up whether to award punitive damages. The plaintiffs also have a claim under the Massachusetts Consumer Protection Act, which the judge will decide, and which could lead to the doubling or trebling of the damage award.

The tobacco company will ask the trial judge to set aside the verdict, and will file an appeal, and big awards against tobacco companies are often overturned on technicalities. But there is no doubt that cigarette manufacturers have been forced to change their ways because products liability lawyers have gone after them. Lawsuits caused Congress and the Surgeon General to act, and lawsuits have made life safer for the children growing up today.

At KJC Law Firm, we are proud to be part of that movement to use the law to make the world more safe.
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10313a.jpgThe U.S Consumer Product Safety Commission announced today that Fisher-Price has initiated a voluntary recall of its Little People Play ‘n Go Campsite, a seven-piece plastic play toy which includes a figure called “Sonya Lee.” Only Sonya Lee figures that bend at the waist and bear the product number R6935 are part of the recall.

Although no injuries have yet been reported, there have been a number of reports that the Sonya Lee figure in the play set can break at the waist and expose small parts that are a choking hazard. The public is advised to stop using the Sonya Lee figure immediately.

You can get more information on the recall at