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blog home Dangerous Products | Northern California Personal Injury Blog - Part 2

Dangerous Products | Northern California Personal Injury Blog - Part 2

NorCal Company Given $425,000 Civil Penalty for Neglecting to Report Dangerous Fitness Gear

By Kelly Balamuth on August 24, 2011

Perfect Fitness, a Sausalito-based company, has been given a $425,000 civil penalty by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) on grounds that it neglected to report product defects that resulted in hazardous exercise equipment. Specifically, the flaw in its Perfect Pullups product causes the handles to break during use, posing a fall danger to users.

In 2008, the CPSC claims the company deduced that the equipment in question was faulty based on retesting of the handle design. “The testing was done after the firm received a complaint and, according to the firm’s internal review, an unusual number of product returns,” according to the CPSC press release. In July 2008, Perfect Fitness redesigned the gear to fix the fault.
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Record Levels of Toxic PBDE Found In Pregnant California Women

By Kelly Balamuth on August 19, 2011

As reported by The LA Times, research recently released showed the largest levels ever recorded of toxic polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) in pregnant women from Northern and Central California.

According to the study published in the Environmental Science and Technology journal, a UC San Francisco research group studied 25 second-trimester pregnant women from Northern and Central California seeking care in San Francisco during 2008 and 2009, and observed high levels of the chemicals in their bloodstream, potentially endangering their babies. PBDEs are fire resistant chemicals that were mostly banned in California beginning in 2004, and may be harmful to the liver, thyroid, and nerve development, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
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Tainted Turkey Outbreak Linked to Northern California Man’s Death

By Kelly Balamuth on August 10, 2011

On August 3, meat industry titan Cargill Inc, voluntarily recalled 36 million pounds of ground turkey in result of a nationwide outbreak of Salmonella. The wave of infection has sickened seventy-seven people in 26 states, and has been linked to the death of one Northern California man.

The death was one of two cases of the illness accounted for in Sacramento County, said a California Department of Public Health spokesman. San Francisco, Riverside, Los Angeles, and San Diego counties each reported one incidence of the infection. Thus far, sickness from the contamination has occurred between March 1 and August 1 — according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) — while California, Ohio, Illinois, Michigan, Texas, and Pennsylvania have reported the most cases.
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Medical Supplier Under FDA Investigation for Contaminated Products

By Kelly Balamuth on August 1, 2011

The findings of a Colorado hospital have initiated an investigation by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) into H&P Industries Inc., which does business as the Triad Group of Hartland, Wisconsin. The company manufactures medical wipes, which are commonly used in medical facilities.

The Colorado hospital began testing alcohol prep pads made by the Triad Group after two children being treated at the hospital for unrelated conditions developed sudden, life-threatening infections. In an effort to find the source of the infection, the hospital tested 60 samples from 10 different manufacturing lots of the Triad Group wipes and found that 40 of them from 8 different lots were contaminated with the bacteria Bacillus cereus.
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Macy’s to Pay $750,000 Penalty to CPSC for Dangerous Children’s Clothing

By Kelly Balamuth on July 27, 2011

In 2006, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced that children’s upper outerwear with drawstrings at the hood or near the neck would be considered defective because they present a serious injury of risk to young children. Upper outerwear such as jackets, sweatshirts, and sweaters that have drawstrings pose a strangulation hazard to young children which can cause serious injury or death.
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SimplyThick Recalled, Linked to Serious Illness in Infants

By Kelly Balamuth on July 19, 2011

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is alerting parents, caregivers, and healthcare providers that a product called SimplyThick is being recalled by the manufacturer. SimplyThick is a thickening gel designed to help people who suffer from dysphagia, or trouble swallowing. The product is used to help those who have sustained a throat trauma to swallow liquids more easily. It is also used in breast milk and infant formula given to premature babies who have difficulty swallowing. It also helps them keep down the milk and helps prevent spitting up. However, the FDA has recently been made aware of 15 cases of necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) in premature babies who were given SimplyThick. NEC is a condition in which tissue in the intestines becomes inflamed and dies. The FDA continues to investigate the link between the babies with NEC and SimplytThick; however, it is believed that product made in the company’s Stone Mountain, GA, plant contained harmful bacteria.
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Tips to Prevent Foodborne Illnesses

By Kelly Balamuth on June 15, 2011

According to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), foodborne illnesses account for 5,000 deaths in the United States each year. While it can be difficult to pinpoint the cause of contamination, in some cases it can be directly attributed to the negligence of the farmers, manufacturers and food handlers who are charged with providing safe products to the public. Food can become contaminated from tainted water used to irrigate or wash produce as it is picked. Pathogens can also be picked up from untreated manure used to fertilize crops. During manufacturing, dirty equipment and unsafe storage practices can lead to bacteria and viruses infecting the product. Foods can also become contaminated at restaurants due to unsafe food handling practices.
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Maclaren USA Stroller Recall Re-announced after Additional Injuries

By Kelly Balamuth on May 16, 2011

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and Maclaren USA, Inc., re-announced the recall of approximately one million Maclaren strollers due to additional reports of fingertip amputations and lacerations. The original recall was announced in November 2009 and included strollers sold prior to that date. It was implemented due to a hazard with the stroller’s hinge mechanism, which poses a fingertip amputation and laceration hazard to a child when the stroller is unfolded or opened.

Maclaren has received 149 reports of injury incidents with the strollers to-date, with 37 of those reported injuries occurring after the initial November 2009 recall. The post-November recall injuries include five fingertip amputations, 16 lacerations, and 16 finger entrapments and bruising. The original recall was announced after 15 incidents of injury.
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Choking Hazard Warning Labels for Food Products

By Kelly Balamuth on June 30, 2010

We don’t often assume that the food we eat is going to pose any danger to our well being, let alone present a choking hazard. However, according to a New York Times article, a choking incident that occurred in 2006, which took the life of a 23-month-old girl, has recently sparked some debate. The American Academy of Pediatrics is calling on the Food and Drug Administration to require food products with choking risks to have warning labels on their packaging. In 2001, more than 17,000 children ended up in the emergency room due to choking, and more than half of those children ended up there due to choking on food of some kind.
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Government in Search of Cause for Runaway 2008 Toyota Prius

By Kelly Balamuth on March 18, 2010

A story in the San Francisco Chronicle recently discussed the federal government’s inability to explain an incident of sudden acceleration involving a 2008 Toyota Prius in San Diego, California. According to the article, the high-speed incident occurred on March 8, 2010, and involved a Toyota Prius which accelerated to over 90mph on the freeway. Fortunately, a California Highway Patrol officer was able to guide the driver to a stop after the motorist applied both the brakes and the emergency brake.
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Attorney Kelly Balamuth was profiled in the
September 2013 Issue of Plaintiff Magazine.

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