Battery Cases for iPod and iPhone Recalled Due to Burn Hazard

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has recently issued recalls for two separate battery cases for the iPhone and iPod due to burn and fire hazards that each present. The recalls see the Mophie iPod Touch Rechargeable External Battery Case and Rocketfish iPhone 3G/3GS Battery Case both recalled after reports that the cases led to an overheating of the battery which caused burns and even fires in some cases.

The Mophie battery case has an integrated circuit switch which has been found to overheat and has led to deforming of the product and nine incidents of minor burn injuries. The product was sold at Barnes & Noble, Amazon, and other retailers, and has over 6,000 units being recalled. The company plans to issue replacements.

The larger of the two recalls, the Rocketfish Model RF-KL 12 Mobile Battery Case, was sold exclusively at Best Buy stores and has 31,000 units being recalled in the U.S. and 1,000 in Canada. Reports of the battery cases overheating while charging have resulted in minor burns and property damage due to fire. Best Buy will issue a $70 gift card to their stores in the U.S. and $105 in Canada to consumers who have the model.

Dangerous products present serious hazards to unsuspecting consumers who do not realize that they are in danger of major injuries caused by defects. If you or a loved one has been injured by an unsafe product, the San Diego defective product attorneys can help you win the compensation you deserve for your injuries. Contact our offices today for a free consultation on your injury case.

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.

NHTSA Warns Motorists, Repair Shops to Avoid Counterfeit Airbags

After a San Diego car accident, your car may need repairs, including the replacement of the airbags if one or more them activated during the crash. However, not all airbags are created equal. The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) warns car owners and repair shops to use only certified, original parts when replacing or fixing airbags – not generic or counterfeit parts that can cause greater harm.

Some counterfeit air bags look nearly identical to their genuine counterparts. In testing, however, the NHTSA found that the counterfeit versions did not work correctly in many cases. Some counterfeit airbags failed to activate at all, while others ejected pieces of metal shrapnel as they activated, which can cause serious injuries or even death. The NHTSA has not received any reports of actual deaths caused by these defective auto parts to date.

San Diego Auto Defect Lawyers

Automobile Defects Are Hard To Pinpoint, And You Might Not Realize There Is A Problem Until It Is Too Late.

When you buy a car, you expect to be able to depend on its safety and viability to get you from Point A to Point B and through life. However, when there is something wrong with its design or manufacture, that defect can cause serious problems for you and for those around you. These sorts of problems are hard to pinpoint, and you might not realize that there is a problem until it’s too late.

By federal law, automobiles must meet certain basic, minimum safety standards. In addition, automobile manufacturers are required to take reasonable precautions in the design and manufacture of their vehicles. However, big manufacturing car companies like Toyota or Ford sometimes fail to correctly check their cars for maximum safety. As a result, you end up stuck with a “lemon.”

Common Forms of Car Defects

Seatbelt injuries
Brake malfunction
Sudden/unintended acceleration
Tire defects
Airbag defects
Child car seat defects

Who Oversees Automobile Defects?

The Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has the authority to require manufacturers to recall vehicles with safety-related defects or that do not meet safety standards.

That means that the defect (1) poses a risk to motor vehicle safety and (2) may exist in a group of vehicles of the same design or manufacture.

What if My Car has a Safety Defect?

It is unsafe to drive and the dealer has an obligation to attempt to fix it. If your car is still under the manufacturer’s warranty, there is no charge. If it is no longer under the warranty, you may have to pay out of pocket for the fix and submit the bill to the reimbursement once the recall has been issued.

How Do Defects Happen?

From the moment a car is designed, it has the potential of being subjected to errors that may make it unreliable. Design problems, manufacturing errors, inspection negligence, and repair mistakes may cause a vehicle to become unsafe.

If you or someone you love has been injured or killed because of a flaw in your car, you need a specialist to examine the vehicle and check for problems. The San Diego product defect attorneys will conduct design tests and file a claim against the automaker to get you the money you need for your damages and for a safe, new vehicle. Call us to set up a free consultation.

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.

CPSC Warns of Dangers Associated with Water-Walking Balls

“Water walking” is a new summer activity that is becoming popular at beaches, amusement parks, and other summer fun spots all over the U.S. During water walking, a person climbs inside a large flexible plastic ball, which is floating on a pool or other body of water, and can walk or ride on the water’s surface without getting wet.

While water walking looks like fun, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) warns that it can also cause serious injuries. The CPSC has received several reports of injuries from water walking-related hazards.

First, the large plastic balls used in water walking are airtight. If a person is inside a ball too long, he or she may use up the oxygen inside it while breathing, creating an increased risk for suffocation.

Next, most balls used in water walking cannot be opened by the person inside the ball if there is an emergency and can only be opened from the outside. Constant close supervision is necessary in order to prevent an accident.

Finally, water walking balls are not padded. If the person inside the ball collides with another person, a pier, a boat, or another obstacle, he or she could be seriously injured in a San Diego watercraft accident. Since the balls are not easy to control, the risk of a collision is high.

Nobody wants a child they care about to be injured during summer fun. When a defective product causes injury, however, an experienced defective product injury lawyer in San Diego can help. Call us today for a free and confidential consultation.

Pfizer Recalls 1 Million Birth Control Packs after Manufacturing Mix-Up

Drug Manufacturer Pfizer, Inc. issued a recall on February 1 of approximately 1 million birth control pills due to a manufacturing problem that led to pills in some of the packets being placed out of order. According to CBS News, the affected packets are Lo/Ovral-28 and the product’s generic equivalents, called norgestrel and ethinyl estradiol.

The company’s birth control packet contains 28 pills, with seven of the pills being placebos. The pills are ordered in a specific arrangement so as to mix in placebos with pills containing the active birth control ingredient. If three placebos are taken in a row, the protection of the pills will be negated. As the error in manufacturing the packets affected the order of the pills, consumers may be subjected to multiple placebos in a row, wearing off the birth control’s effects without their knowledge.

While approximately 1 million are included in the drug recall, Pfizer believes that only around 30 packets contain the flaw.

Affected packets are pink with either the drug’s brand name or generic name printed on them, as well as the name Akrimax; however, Pfizer’s logo does not appear on them. The recalled line has expiration dates ranging from July 31, 2013 through March 31, 2014.

We understand how even a small defect in a product that requires precise use, such as birth control, can cause major complications for consumers. If you or a loved one has suffered injuries or losses due to a dangerous or defective product, one of our San Diego defective product attorneys can aid you in seeking compensation from the at-fault company. Call us today for a complimentary consultation on your case by our experienced law team.

CPSC Recall Highlights Dangerous Winter Weather Products

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has recently released a report detailing winter-weather related products that have been recalled by the organization that people may still have in their homes. These products help to heat houses during cold weather and as such are much more likely to cause an accidental injury or property damage now that winter has arrived.

All of the five products listed by the CPSC have the potential to overheat and cause a fire or a form of burn injury due to their unsafe nature. The recalled products are:

  • Meijer Touch Point Oscillating Ceramic Heaters – Possibility of oscillating mechanism shorting out can pose a risk of fire.
  • Flow Pro, Airtech, Aloha Breeze, and Comfort Essentials Heaters – Risk of malfunctioning that leads to overheating, smoking, burning, melting, and possible fire.
  • Lasko Portable Electric Heaters – Overheating of electrical connection can lead to melting and possible fire hazard.
  • Honeywell Electric Baseboard and Fan Heater Thermostats – Can overheat, causing them to smoke and melt, posing a risk of burn injury.
  • GE Zoneline Air Conditioners and Heaters – Possible failure of electrical component may cause fire.

While consumers are warned to not leave space heaters unattended and to make sure that there are no surrounding objects which may pose a fire risk due to a nearby heater, the malfunctions in the dangerous household products listed put consumers at serious risk. Even when a consumer takes all due precautions with the products they use, malfunctioning equipment may cause accidents and injuries which even the most cautious consumer cannot prevent.

If you or a loved one has been injured by a hazardous product, contact a defective product lawyer in San Diego County. Our experienced law team can apply their years of work in the personal injury field to your case to win the best results possible.