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Dangerous Products

Fire Danger Prompts Recall of Samsonite Travel Converter Kit

By Kelly Balamuth on February 19, 2013

We purchase products hoping that our investment will make our lives easier, more comfortable, or more convenient. Our travel plans often include buying products we know we will need when we are in a foreign country. We also want our loved ones to be able to travel safely without worry. One travel product that has attracted the attention of the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recently is the Samsonite dual-wattage travel converter kit. A recall of the product was issued on February 12, 2013.

The Northern California personal injury attorneys at Balamuth Law want consumers to be aware of product recalls. They understand that not all products sold are free of defects and safe to use and encourage consumers to be aware of these products. Read the rest »

Kolcraft Strollers Recalled for Increased Amputation Risk

By Kelly Balamuth on June 25, 2012

Stroller manufacturer Kolcraft Industries, Inc., along with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and Health Canada, recently recalled several models of the Kolcraft Contours Options stroller. These three- or four-wheeled strollers, which were available from a number of different stores, pose a hazard that can cause serious injury or complete amputation of a child’s or adult’s fingers.

The strollers have a hinge mechanism on the handlebars of the stroller, which is used to adjust the handlebars. When open, this mechanism creates a gap into which one or more fingers will fit. This gap can close around the fingers, causing lacerations, crush injuries, or even an amputation injury. Five injury reports have already been filed with the CPSC.
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June is National Fireworks Safety Month

By Kelly Balamuth on June 6, 2012

The month of June focuses on fireworks safety, since fireworks injuries are most common between June 1 and July 4 each year. According to Prevent Blindness America, eye injuries are frequent with fireworks, as are burns and other serious injuries. Children are at special risk for fireworks injuries, since they are often captivated by fireworks but do not yet understand the dangers of these hot, exploding objects.

To help protect those you love from fireworks injuries this summer, here are a few safety tips:

  • Check the fireworks laws and ordinances in your area. Many state and local governments prohibit certain types of fireworks most likely to cause injury, or require special fire precautions be taken. Always follow these rules, since they often provide important safety protections.
  • Do not let children play with fireworks. Even hand-held fireworks like sparklers can reach temperatures over 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit, causing serious burn injuries in northern California. Never let children play with, hold, or light fireworks.
  • Designate one adult to light all fireworks, and set up a fire-resistant area for fireworks lighting. Keep everyone else several yards away from this area, and keep a fire extinguisher or hose handy in case fireworks get out of control.
  • Consider skipping home fireworks. Instead, go to professional fireworks shows, especially around the fourth of July. While there is still a risk of injury at these shows, it is much less of a risk than that posed by fireworks you would use at home.

Even though many kinds of fireworks can be bought legally in California, they can still be dangerous and cause serious injuries. If you’re injured by defective fireworks this year, don’t hesitate to call a practiced Walnut Creek dangerous product injury lawyer at Balamuth Law. We’ll help you find out what happened and seek the compensation you need. Call us for a free telephone consultation at (888) 254-1234.

Study Finds Many Child Safety Seats Are Too Difficult to Install

By Kelly Balamuth on May 21, 2012

A study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) recently found that installing child safety seats in many vehicles is more difficult than it needs to be, despite recent guidelines that were intended to make installation easier.

Northern California Child Seat InjuryA uniform latching system, known as Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children (LATCH), was designed to make child safety seat installation quicker and easier by creating a uniform style of hardware. This is used to install any child safety seat in the backseat of any car. Easier installation, in turn, would make it easier for parents and caregivers to use child safety seats properly and better protect children from harm if a crash occurred.

According to the IIHS study, however, only 21 of the 98 top-selling vehicles produced in the 2010 and 2011 model years have a LATCH system that is easy to use. Researchers found that in the rest of the vehicles, the depth and clearance of the system or the force required to attach the car seat properly made installation difficult. Specifically, researchers found that lower seat anchors should rise at least 3/4 inch above the seat, that no foam, padding, or other obstacles should get between the anchors and the child seat attachments, and that less than 40 pounds of force should be required to latch seats securely in place.

Child safety seats are a major factor in protecting children’s safety in a crash. If you or a child you care about has been injured in a car accident, an experienced Northern California product liability attorney at Balamuth Law can help. Call us today at (888) 254-1234 for a free and confidential telephone consultation about your car accident case.

HP Fax Machines Recalled Due to Fire Hazard

By Kelly Balamuth on February 22, 2012

Hewlett-Packard (HP), makers of fax machines, computers, and other office equipment, recently announced a recall of their HP fax 1040 and 1050 fax machines. The machines can overheat during use, causing burn injuries or other accidents. So far, the company says it has received seven reports of fires or burns caused by the overheating fax machines. One fire resulted in severe property damage, and one caused burns to a user’s fingers.

The fax machines were sold in the U.S. and Canada from 2004 to 2011 and are dark grey with the model number 1040 or 1050 on the front of the machine. Some of the machines were given out to replace model 1010, which was recalled in 2008.
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To Set Utility Rates, California Regulators Put Safety First

By Kelly Balamuth on January 18, 2012

Safety has become a top concern among state regulators as they seek to set utility rates for gas and electric service for the New Year, according to a recent article in The San Jose Mercury-News. Regulators are attempting to balance the need to improve safety, especially replacing aging equipment, with the risks of pushing utility rates up even higher when many households are already struggling to make ends meet.

In particular, regulators are concerned about Pacific Gas and Electric Company’s (PG&E) plans to pass off to customers 90 percent of the cost of improving the company’s aging gas pipelines in San Bruno and other areas. The cost is expected to reach $2.2 billion before the company has finished. PG&E has already received criticism for failing to update its pipelines in 2010 before the San Bruno compressed gas accident that killed several people. According to the Mercury-News, the company had received several million dollars for equipment safety updates, but had declined to spend the money because it felt the safety fixes weren’t “urgent.”
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Halloween Projection Flashlights Recalled Due to Fire Hazard

By Kelly Balamuth on December 13, 2011

The U.S Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and Nygala, Inc. recently issued a recall of about 10,000 flashlights because they may pose a safety risk, according to the CPSC’s official website.

The flashlights, which were sold during the recent Halloween holiday season, are made of orange plastic and feature images of witches, cats, and bats on the handles. They came with six plastic inserts which, when put across the top of the flashlight, allowed it to project Halloween-themed images on a wall or other surface. The UPC code printed on the packaging is 677916518266.

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Under Armour Recalls Over 500,000 Helmet Chin Straps

By Kelly Balamuth on November 11, 2011

Football Helmet Chin Strap RecallSports-related head injuries are common in the news lately. Recent laws have increased the safety standards surrounding concussions in high school athletes and high profile class action lawsuits have been brought involving former NFL football players suing the league for negligent safety measures,. In conjunction with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), Under Armour recalled more than a half million football helmet chin straps.

Under Armour, a sporting goods heavy weight from Baltimore, Maryland, called back approximately 541,000 Defender model straps for a potential laceration danger. According to the release by the CPSC, the danger exists due to faulty sharp metal clips on the straps that may lacerate the skin of another player during contact. At the time of the safety recall, the company had reported six accounts of injuries related to the product that required medical stitching of an athlete.

The recall pertains to all Under Armour Chin Straps, sold in a variety of color schemes (red, navy, white and black, and royal). The products have a firm nylon casing, chin padding, and the plastic straps (which have the company logo printed on them). The metal clips that connect the straps to the helmet are the subject of the recall. The products were available at sporting good stores across the country between January 2008 and September 2011. They were made in China and imported by JR286, Inc., from Redondo Beach, California. If you or a family member has been injured by a dangerous product in Northern California, contact the Oakland injury attorneys with Balamuth Harrington at 1 (888) 254-1234 for a free and confidential case review.

Two Companies Recall Over 100,000 Bicycles

By Kelly Balamuth on September 30, 2011

Mountain Bikers in Northern California should be aware of two large recalls announced by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), totaling over 100,000 mountain bicycles on September 22. One was for the bike staple Specialized Bicycle Components (from Morgan Hill, California) and the other for Bridgeway International, Inc. (of Naples, Florida).

In the case of Specialized, the company recalled about 14,200 bicycles due to a faulty carbon fork part made by Advance Group in Taiwan. The hazard occurs when a brake piece located in that carbon fork becomes disconnected. This allows the brake parts to make contact with the spokes on the wheels while they are spinning, and can result in a fall accident. So far, the company has heard of two reports detailing these sorts of accidents, according to a release by the CPSC, but no associated injuries have been accounted for at this time.
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Target Recalls 300,000+ Blenders for Laceration Danger

By Kelly Balamuth on September 21, 2011

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced that retail mega chain Target is recalling approximately 304,000 of their Chefmate 6 Speed Blender due to dangers involving cuts and laceration.

According to the CPSC, the blender poses the danger for laceration because a product defect can cause the plastic container to come apart from the blade piece, exposing the blade and leaving the user vulnerable to potentially serious cuts during use. The agency and Target have reported eleven accidents involving the product; seven accounts were of serious cuts to users’ hands and fingers.
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Attorney Kelly Balamuth was profiled in the
September 2013 Issue of Plaintiff Magazine.

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