This Holiday Season, Think Toy Safety

There are few things more fun during the holiday season than watching a child’s eyes light up when he or she receives a prized new toy. For those who buy toys, though, it’s important to keep safety in mind.

It is recommended that shoppers keep in mind the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) safety guidelines for children’s toys in order to prevent defective toy injuries to the best of your abilities.

Products and toys designed for use by children are meant to be fun and safe playthings that delight children of various ages without presenting hazards that products for adults often would. Although such products are held to high standards by government agencies, they are often subject to defects that slip past safety tests. When such dangers are present in a children’s product, they can easily cause serious and even deadly injuries.

Accidents caused by defective children’s products are devastating for both the child and his or her family. Injuries caused by toy defects can require extensive hospital stays, multiple surgeries, physical therapy, and other financially taxing procedures to ensure a steady recovery, and some children’s lives may never be the same. While it’s important to get money from negligent manufacturers to cover such expenses, a family often finds closure as well and may even help prevent others from suffering a similar fate. The families of those injured by such products have the right to seek financial compensation for their child’s injuries and related financial costs. The San Diego child injury lawyers understand the distress of any child injury accident and are committed to protecting the rights of consumers throughout their case and helping the child receive what he or she needs to get better.

Child Product Regulations and Law

In order to combat the serious dangers of defective products, the United States Federal Government passed the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act in 2008. Under the act, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) was given further funding and new, stricter regulations were placed on manufacturers concerning lead content and metal jewelry. Specifically relating to children’s products, stricter regulations were imposed on cribs and pacifiers; small parts; and baby bouncers, walkers, and jumpers. As such, manufacturers who violate such rules face legal penalties and are more susceptible to lawsuits concerning their unsafe products.

Types of Child Product Defects

Product defects typically fall into one of three categories. These types of defects are:

  • Design Defects – This type of defect is due to how a product is conceived and what elements are decided by the company to be part of the product. Because the design is faulty, all products within the line are affected by the defect.
  • Manufacturing Defects – These defects occur in the actual creation of the product. Due to a variety of reasons, some or all of the products are created with a flaw because of how it was manufactured.
  • Warning Defects – This happens when the warning on a product fails to properly inform consumers of the dangers of the product, or a warning is completely absent on a potentially dangerous product.

Common Child Product Hazards

While there are many types of defects that could be potentially hazardous to children using a product, there are some defects that are commonly hazardous and often lead to serious and fatal injuries. These child product hazards include:

  • Choking Hazards – Children can easily choke on any object that is small enough to put in their mouths. Small toys, such as balls and balloons or toys with smaller pieces that are either loose or could come off, present a serious danger for small children.
  • Suffocation Hazards – If products such as clothing or cribs contain materials that can become trapped over a child’s face and block their breathing, there is a great chance of a suffocation incident occurring.
  • Falling Hazards – Products such as high chairs or cribs that do not properly restrain children or tip over easily can result in children falling and being injured.
  • Fire Hazards – If a product does not meet flame resistance standards, it puts children at risk of burn injuries. Often, costumes and other clothing that is not flame retardant can easily catch fire and severely harm the child wearing it.
What Can a Product Liability Claim Do?

A product liability claim enables consumers that have been harmed by a dangerous or defective product to hold the negligent party responsible, such as the manufacturer, designer, or distributor, for the harm caused while also obtaining compensation for any of their losses. Manufacturers of any product are obligated to produce an item that is safe and free of harmful defects, but when a manufacturer is negligent, the safety of innocent consumers, including the youngest ones, may be put in danger.

An essential part of knowing if you have a valid product liability claim is understanding how the actual defect occurred. A product may be defective in its design, which is when a mistake or flaw in the design makes the product dangerous when used as intended. A defect may also come as a result of the manufacturing process, and other defects may involve such issues as inadequate or missing warning labels or instructions which may cause injury or harm the user.

Assistance to Help Your Child Recover

As a consumer, you have the legal right to pursue compensation from anyone responsible for the dangerous product when it has caused you undue harm or injury. Product liability law empowers consumers to hold negligent manufacturers or any other liable party responsible for the harm caused, so it is imperative to build a strong case in order to get successful results. If your child has been harmed by a defective or unsafe toy, documentation such as receipts and or written statements by anyone who witnessed the accident may be essential to your case. A qualified attorney can also help by proving negligence and showing that the sole cause of your child’s injuries was the product defect.

Compensation can be given for economic as well as non-economic damages associated with the injury accident, such as medical expenses and the pain and suffering your family endured as a result of the incident. Compensation can make a significant difference in how well your child is able to recover, so filing a claim may be one of the best decisions you can make for your family.

Helping Families Move Forward

The child injury lawyers in San Diego understand how traumatic it is when the child you love is injured, especially when it is a child’s product that you should be able to trust that was the cause. Our legal team has dedicated our careers to helping those injured as a result of another’s negligence and, as such, we have the resources, skills, and passion needed to fight for justice for your family. Manufacturers may have well-funded attorneys on their side who may do everything in their power to dodge liability for your child’s injuries, which is why you should have the best legal representation to preserve your rights and get the money your child needs to recover.

Finding a San Diego Defective Child Product Lawyer

Child product manufacturers are called on to have a high level of quality and safety precautions, but they do not always follow these guidelines. The San Diego defective product attorneys are dedicated to not only winning compensation for injured children and their families, but finding justice in holding negligent companies responsible for the injuries they caused. Contact us today for further details on how our law team can help you find compensation for your losses.

Dangerous Product Case Opinion Limits the Rights of Californians

The California Court of Appeals for the Fourth Appellate District recently handed down a decision in the case of Gonzalez v. Southern California Gas Company that can only be described as questionable at best and destructive to the rule of law at worst.

A young girl died after her car hit a gas meter that was along the side of the road and not properly covered as required by federal law—a law that was created due to the foreseeability of accidents like this one. The jury ruled in her favor, but the Court of Appeals decided to reverse the verdict, leaving her family without justice. What makes it worse is that the Court decided NOT to publish their opinion for official review and authority—an indication that the justices may have realized that their ruling was unsupported by existing case law.

Our San Diego injury lawyer website recently wrote a brief article detailing the events of this defective products lawsuit and why this is important to everyone to read and understand. The Court decided not to provide the public with protections that previous courts and Congress had intended gas companies to install. Please read our article on this outrageous tort reform opinion for the full story.

The California Court of Appeals Recently Handed Down a Horrible Tort Reform Opinion Affecting All Californians Injured by Dangerous Products. Here is How this Court Ruling Will Limit Your Legal Rights.

Recently, our office heard about an unfair decision involving a fellow San Diego dangerous products lawyer that was handed down by the Fourth Appellate District of the California Court of Appeals in the case of Gonzalez v. Southern California Gas Company. It involved a 17-year old girl who was killed when her car veered off the road and struck a Southern California Gas Company (SCG) unprotected gas meter which was located 11 feet, 4 inches from the curb along the road. Upon impact, the gas meter exploded and caused a fire that engulfed her vehicle. Although she was able to escape the burning vehicle, she later died from burn injuries which engulfed 80 percent of her body’s surface.

Prior to the accident when the gas line was first installed, SCG was required by federal law to protect the gas line from foreseeable collisions. The tragic part of this incident is that had SCG protected the gas line as it was legally required to do so, the girl would have only suffered a cut lip. The case went to trial and the jury found that SCG had a duty to protect the victim by coving the gas line and that it’s failure to do so was a substantial factor in causing the girl’s death.

SCG predictably appealed this decision to the Court of Appeals in California. But in a shocking turn of events, the Court decided to overturn the family’s wrongful death verdict and stated that SCG did not owe a duty to protect the gas line. The court wrongfully stated that this type of collision was “not foreseeable,” therefore, the jury verdict was disregarded and SCG was not held liable.

What the Appellate Court did was wrong, and even worse, their decision runs afoul of previous California decisions. There are three separate cases that this Court decided to distinguish its’ opinion from, including the Californai Supreme Court opinion in Bigbee v. Pacific Tel. & Tel. Co., 34 Cal.3d, 49 (1983).

Most cases of this magnitude are published so courts and attorneys can cite to it. Case precedent is important because the public needs to know what the law is, and how courts interpret the law. However, in shocking fashion, this Court decided NOT to publish their opinion for others to see. It would be one thing for the Court to publish their opinion to the public and allow it to stand up to public scrutiny and review, but the Court (for whatever reason) decided a case that contradicts prior case precedent should not be published. My opinion is that the judges knew that their decision was wrong and without basis and they did not publish their ruling in hopes that it would not be challenged.

So why should this Appellate Court opinion matter to you? For starters, it proves that the Courts do not always do the right thing. Judges are humans too, so sometimes they do not always come to the right decision. This is why it is important that you hire an attorney that is willing to fight and speak out when a Court makes bad decisions.

Fortunately, the trial attorneys for the victim’s family is appealing the Court of Appeals ruling to the Supreme Court. We hope that the Supreme Court accepts their appeal and overturns this poor ruling.

San Diego Drug Recall Attorneys

As technology progresses, new drugs hit the pharmacy shelves at an incredibly rapid rate. Though, not all drugs that pass through the system are as safe as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) claims it is. As a result, many patients suffer seriously, and often deadly side effects from these potential life-saving medications.

Defective Product Injuries : Drug Recall

Pharmaceutical Drugs are Meant to Better Lives. However, When Drug Companies Sell Products to Consumers Without Rigorous Testing, They Can Do More Harm Than Good.

As technology progresses, new drugs hit the pharmacy shelves at an incredibly rapid rate. Though, not all drugs that pass through the system are as safe as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) claims it is. As a result, many patients suffer serious, and often deadly side effects from these potential life-saving medications.

A drug recall occurs when a particular drug is removed from the market because it is either defective or potentially harmful. This can be done voluntarily by the manufacturing company or requested by the Food and Drug Administration if they receive numerous reports from physicians about the dangers of usage.

According to an analysis of FDA data, in 2009, there were a staggering 1,742 drug recalls, a huge leap from the 426 recalls reported in 2008.

Reasons for Drug Recalls

Manufacturing Defect

This accounts for the majority of recalls. It typically occurs when something goes wrong during the manufacturing process. Or if the packaging itself is not made according to approved specifications.

Design Defect

The defects exist when a product does not perform as intended or presents unreasonable risk of injury. This typically occurs when studies, additional data, or adverse events show that a drug may unreasonably increase the risk of a serious side effect.

Labeling Defect

A labeling defect occurs when the company does not provide the proper warning labels or cautions in the instructions to inform product users of risks involved with usage.

FDA Drug Recall Classifications

Category I: The use of, or exposure to, the recalled drug is most likely capable of causing a serious health issue or even death to the consumer.

Category II: The use of, or exposure to, the recalled drug is not likely to cause a serious health issue. At most, it may cause temporary or medically reversible adverse health consequences.

Category III: The use of, or exposure to, the recalled drug is not likely to cause an adverse reaction.

Contact a Drug Recall Attorney

If you or a loved one has experienced any extreme side effects, such as a heart attack or stroke, because of a recalled drug, get medical attention and contact an experienced San Diego product liability attorney immediately. You may be able to hold the manufacturer responsible for some or all of the injuries you incurred.

Filing a claim against a large drug company can be difficult and very confusing. Drug companies will bend over backward to protect their brand name and reputation from being tainted. If you have a case, call our San Diego product recall attorneys and we will work to get you the monetary compensation for your injuries, hospital and medical bills, loss of wages, and other injury-related costs.

San Diego Dangerous Household Items Attorneys

Many people don’t realize it but there are a lot of common household items that are considered to be hazardous materials. Companies that manufacture these products must make sure that these items are as safe as possible and are labeled properly to warn consumers of their risks, usage, and storage.

Unfortunately, because of slips made within the production system, businesses sometimes distribute defective products to their consumers that may cause injury and sometimes death.

Defective Product Injuries : Dangerous Household Items

Too Many People Are Injured or Killed When Companies Make Mistakes in the System and Produce Defective and Dangerous Products.

Many San Diegans don’t realize it but there are a lot of common household items sold in California that are considered to be hazardous materials. These include medications, paint, motor oil, antifreeze, auto batteries, lawn care products, pest control products, drain cleaners and pool care products. Companies that manufacture these products for sale in San Diego must make sure that these items are as safe as possible and are labeled properly to warn consumers of their risks, usage, and storage.

Unfortunately, because of slips made within the production system, businesses sometimes distribute defective products to their consumers that may cause injury and sometimes death.

Children are at the greatest risk of being hurt or poisoned by these products. Each year in the U.S., more than 2,000 children under the age of 14 die as a result of a home injury, according to Safe Kids USA.

Dangerous Household Items Include:

  • Cleaning products
  • Indoor pesticides
  • Automotive products
  • Workshop/Painting supplies
  • Lawn and garden products
  • Batteries
  • Thermometers
  • Fluorescent light bulbs

Other hazardous household items consist of batteries, thermometers, fluorescent light bulbs, driveway sealer and other flammable products.

How to Buy and Store Dangerous Household Items Safely

According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, to lower the risk of a chemical emergency, you can follow these guidelines:

  • Buy only as much of a chemical as you think you will use. This will minimize waste and storage.
  • Keep products containing hazardous materials in their original containers and never remove the labels unless the container is corroding. Corroding containers should be repackaged and clearly labeled.
  • Never store hazardous products in food containers.
  • Never mix household hazardous chemicals or waste with other products. Incompatibles, such as chlorine bleach and ammonia, may react, ignite, or explode.
Dangers of Hazardous Products

Harmful and toxic products with insufficient warnings can result in a fire, explosion, or toxic poisoning. Ordinary household items and toys can cause serious injuries and can permanently afflict you for the rest of your life.

Contact a Hazardous Household Items Attorney

When products cause injury due to design or manufacturing defects or failure to warn about proper use, you may have a claim against the manufacturer. If you or someone you love has been injured or killed from exposure to a harmful household item or defective product, seek medical attention immediately and contact a hazardous household items attorney. Our dedicated San Diego defective product lawyers will get you the compensation to cover your injuries. Call our personal injury law office to set up a free consultation.