The Cooper Firm

How Do I Report An Unsafe Product?

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how to report an unsafe product

 

How do I report an unsafe product?

Reporting an unsafe product is very important. The U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission compiles these reports and uses them when investigating whether a product should be recalled. In those instances, your experience is often not uncommon and might eventually be traced back to a manufacturer’s negligence. Without detailed accounts from a consumer that has been injured, it is very difficult to prove an accident happened as a result of the product and not the consumer.

It starts with an injury. Maybe you were preparing dinner in your kitchen oven and it caught on fire and burned your hands. Or perhaps you set up a safety gate at the top of the stairs only to hear your child tumbling down the stairs after the gate failed. You might have thought you put your car in ‘park’ only to find it rolling down the driveway after you exited and it crashed into another vehicle. All these are accidents that, at first, might have seemed like it was your fault. After investigating the reports filed by the CPSC, the manufacturers were found at fault and a recall for the unsafe product was initiated. These recalls would not have happened without the reports from the injured.

So, how do I report an unsafe product? It’s simple. Visit www.saferproducts.gov. From there follow the prompts to “Report an Unsafe Product”. It will ask for as much detail as possible. And remember, the injury does not need to be severe or catastrophic to be reported.

If you believe an accident occurred that wasn’t your fault, file a report. Afterwards, contact us to see how we can help.

CarMax Ordered to Disclose Open Recalls on Vehicles

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CarMax UsedCar

CarMax Ordered to Disclose Open Recalls on Vehicles

CarMax recently settled with the Federal Trade Commission in response to charges they were advertising their cars as safe but not disclosing open recalls. Along with 2 other large auto dealerships, Carmax must now fully inform customers of any open/unrepaired recalls before finalizing the sale of a vehicle.

This lawsuit came after a 2014 petition was filed with the FTC by the Center for Auto Safety, Consumers Union and nine other organizations. Under the current recall system, Carmax and other used car dealers are not allowed to make actual repairs. Instead, they market their vehicles as ‘safe’ after passing a 125+ point inspection. Any mention of recalls is shown in the fine print of TV commercials stating ‘some Carmax vehicles are subject to open safety recalls.” Investigators said this wasn’t enough.

In 2016, General Motors settled a similar suit with the Federal Trade Commission. They heavily marketed their used-cars as “certified” having passed a rigorous “172 point inspection”. However, active recalls went unrepaired including serious safety defects like faulty ignition switches.

Based on the settlement, CarMax is not allowed to advertise a vehicle as safe unless the company clearly discloses any active recall associated with the vehicle. In addition, they must contact customers who purchased a car after July 1, 2013 and notify them that their vehicle may have been purchased with an open recall.

To see if your vehicle has any active recall, visit www.nhtsa.gov.

If you or someone you know have been seriously injured in accident, please contact us today.

Source: www.carcomplaints.com

 

Another loss for Johnson & Johnson Talc Powder

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talc powder

Another loss for Johnson & Johnson Talc Powder

In October, Johnson & Johnson faced another failed lawsuit over claims their talc powder causes ovarian cancer. The jury ruled in favor of a California woman, diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2012, who was suing Johnson & Johnson for negligent conduct in the making and marketing of their talc powder. The suit alleged that Johnson & Johnson was aware of the health risks associated with frequent use of the talc powder as form of feminine hygiene.

The St. Louis jury awarded more than $70 million to the plaintiff. Earlier in 2016, two other lawsuits ruled on behalf of the plaintiffs for a combined $127 million.

Although Johnson & Johnson maintains its talcum powder is safe, there has been extensive research that suggests otherwise. Read more about the history of Johnson & Johnson talc powder and its link to ovarian cancer here.

If you or someone you know has been diagnosed with ovarian cancer and used talc powder on a regular basis for feminine hygiene, please contact us today to discuss your legal options.

5 Safety Tips for Deep Frying the Thanksgiving Turkey

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deep fried turkey

5 Safety Tips for Deep Frying the Thanksgiving Turkey

Thanksgiving Day is almost upon us and the most popular way to cook a turkey is also the most dangerous. According the U.S. Fire Association (USFA), Thanksgiving is the peak day for home cooking fires and deep frying a turkey easily increases the risk of fire and injury.

Practice these 5 safety tips for deep-frying your turkey (adapted from USFA):

  1. Do not overfill. Make sure you take into account the size of your turkey before filling the pot with oil. Once the turkey is placed in the pot, hot oil can splatter and spill causing burns and potential fires.
  2. Stay outdoors. Turkey fryers can easily tip over, spilling hot cooking oil over a large area. Do not deep fry on a wooden deck or in the garage and maintain a safe distance from your home.
  3. Thaw & dry completely. Once placed in the hot oil, any excess water on the turkey will cause the oil to bubble quickly and over the sides of the pot increasing the risk for burn and fire.
  4. Keep your eye on the bird. Monitoring the temperature is essential to a safe frying experience—not to mention a delicious dinner!
  5. Be prepared. Make sure you have the proper cooking gloves and utensils to handle the heated pot and turkey once all is complete. And always keep a fire extinguisher close at hand!

 

These 5 simple tips will help keep you safe during the holiday. For more information, visit www.usfa.fema.gov.

Lawsuit Filed for Rolling Jeep Cherokee

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jeep grand cherokee

Lawsuit Filed for Rolling Jeep Cherokee

The Cooper Firm recently filed a lawsuit on behalf of an individual who sustained injuries from a rolling 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee. In the case, our client thought they had placed the gear shift in park before exiting the vehicle. This confusion with the gear shift is the subject a recent recall affecting nearly 1 million vehicles.

In April 2016, Fiat Chrysler issued a voluntary recall on the 2014-15 Jeep Grand Cherokee. As many as 300 consumers complained to NHTSA about the Jeep’s redesigned gear shifter. In an effort to design a sleek, more tech-savvy interior, the change has simply confused drivers instead of impressing them. Drivers place their vehicle in the ‘parked’ position and exit, only to have it continue to roll and crash into objects or people. Some drivers are able to get right back in their car and hit the brake, some are not so lucky.

Anton Yelchin, a young Hollywood actor, exited his 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee at the top of the driveway and walked down to towards his guard gate and brick mailbox. He was found dead on the scene trapped between his car and the gate at the bottom of his driveway. 7 days later, his family received the recall notice.

In addition to the 2014-2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee, Fiat Chrysler also recalled the Chrysler 300 and Dodge Charger sedans for model years 2012-2014. Fiat Chrysler replaced the confusing gear shifts in more recent model years. Visit www.nhtsa.gov for more information.

If you or someone you know was injured as a result of a Jeep Grand Cherokee, Chrysler 300 or Dodge Charger sedan in this recall, please contact us today.

NHTSA Proposes Mobile Recall Notifications

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mobile recall notices

NHTSA Proposes Mobile Recall Notifications

The NHTSA (National Highway Transportation & Safety Administration) has proposed a rule that would require automakers to include digital notifications of recall announcements. This would include sending notifications by mobile texts, phone calls and emails.

To date, recall notices or safety announcements are sent via mail. What was once an effective means of communication, the general public now rarely receives any useful mail except for perhaps wedding invitations, holiday cards, and the most exciting of them all, calls for jury duty. In an age where the majority of our communications happens at our fingertips, the faster vehicle owners can be notified of a safety issue the better.

This is exactly what the NHTSA is proposing.

It was reported that Anton Yelchin, the young actor that was crushed to death by his rolling Jeep Cherokee thought to be in the parked position, received his own recall notice in the mail  7 days after his death. Additional ways to notify vehicle owners of recalls might have allowed this message to reach him sooner. Although mailing would still be a requirement, automakers would be required to select an additional digital option to increase the likelihood of receipt by owner.

J.D. Power & Associates announced in July that nearly 45 million vehicles recalled from 2013-2015 remain unfixed. From exploding airbags, to faulty door latches and ignition switches, accidents occur every day from safety issues that have gone unnoticed or unaddressed. Hopefully, this initiative would help reduce that number. Recalled vehicles pose not just a safety threat to their drivers, but to others on the road as well.

A final ruling will be made on the NHTSA’s proposal following a 60 day comment allowance scheduled to end 10/31/2016.

If you or someone you know has been injured as a result of a safety defect on a vehicle, please contact us for a complimentary case consultation.

Chevy Claims 5 of Top 10 spots on Vehicle Safety Watch List

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Chevy Claims 5 of Top 10 spots on Vehicle Safety Watch List

The Safety InstituteOnce again, GM, and Chevy specifically, dominates the Quarterly Vehicle Safety Watch List as reported by The Safety Institute.

Last quarter, the Chevy Cobalt claimed the 1st and 2nd spot on the Watch List for manufactured years 2006 and 2010 respectively. This quarter those dropped to 4 and 6. Claiming the #1 spot for 2nd quarter of 2016 is the 2008 Buick Enclave. GM reported a sufficient number of claims as a result of the power lift gate suddenly dropping down and striking the owner’s heads increasing their risk of injury or death. Both the 2011 Chevrolet HHR and the 2006 Chevrolet Malibu moved up the list as more injury and death claims are reported as a result of the faulty ignition switch. The faulty ignition switch was part of a major GM recall in 2014 and included nearly 30 million vehicles worldwide. The 2009 Toyota Camry is a new addition to the watch list  at #5. Unintended acceleration reports continue to file in at the NHTSA.

To check and see if there is a recall on your vehicle, visit the NHTSA website. If you or someone you know have been injured as result of a vehicle defect or recall, please Contact Us today for a complimentary case consultation.  

Recall Announced for 6k Youth & Varisty Football Helmets

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Xenith Announces Recall of 6k Youth & Varsity Football Helmets due to Head Injury Hazard

Epic Varisty helmet by Xenith LLC

Epic Varsity helmet by Xenith

Xenith, LLC of Detroit, MI, has voluntarily issued a recall of their Epic Varsity, X2 Varsity, X2E Varsity, and Youth football helmets due to head injury hazard. The helmets in question have a gloss or metallic-painted poly carbonate shell and were sold or factory-reconditioned between May 1, 2015 and March 18, 2016.

Xenith received 29 different reports of the helmets cracking during normal and intended use. To date, they have not received any injury reports. According to a statement by Xenith President Ryan Sullivan, ‘a flex additive chemical compound, which prevents other coating components from causing embrittlement of the shell material, was not included in the paint mixture for gloss and metallic painted helmets from May 2015 through March 2016.’ They corrected the issue beginning in March, but made the decision to recall the affected helmets out of safety concern for their customers.

Xenith will replace the affected helmets at no charge to their customers.

To determine if your child’s helmet is included in the recall, visit www.xenith.com/recall. Always report product defects to The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.

If you or someone you know has been injured as a result of a product defect or a recall, please Contact Us for a complimentary case consultation.

Chevy Facing Yet Another Round of Recalls

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Chevy is facing another round of recalls as GM announces a 289k Chevy Impala recall for faulty airbag sensor system.

The passenger sensory system is able to detect if a person is seated in the passenger seat and activate the airbag release should an accident occur. The 2009-2010 Chevy Impala models are in question as GM said the sensory system is disabled if the seat frame makes contact with the wires of the unit that contacts the sensors. Vehicle owners will be notified and dealers are committed to fixing the damaged wires for free.

This latest announcement comes as no surprise. Clearly there was a shift in focus during the first decade of the millennium with GM and the safety of consumers was not the priority. In 2003, GM recalled 1.8 million vehicles for faulty windshield wipers. In 2004, GM recalled 3.7 million vehicles for tailgates that broke when people stood on them. It wasn’t until February 2014 when GM began rolling out recalls for faulty ignition switches installed in cars from 1997-2011 that a real pattern of negligence emerged. First it was 1.37 million for the ignition switch recall, then a new ignition switch flaw expanded the recall to 2.6 million. 3 months later, a recall for faulty brake light wiring and front seat belts in pre-2010 models brought the world-wide total to 13.6 million. By June of 2014, GM had recalled nearly 30 million vehicles worldwide for vehicles manufactured a decade before the announcement. This pattern was noticed by the media, the federal government, safety regulators, and most noticeably, attorneys on behalf of clients that were injured as a result of GM’s negligence in their safety and engineering practices.

The Cooper Firm was proud to represent one of the first families willing to go the distance and prove GM was at fault for the wrongful death of their daughter, Brooke Melton. If you, or someone you know, have been injured in an accident as a result of the negligence by an auto manufacturer, we would be proud to represent you as well.

Contact us today for a complimentary case consultation

Bankruptcy Will Not Protect GM from Ignition Switch Claims

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GM Recall Lawyer - The Cooper Firm

New Ruling States Bankruptcy Will Not Protect GM from Ignition Switch Claims

Last week the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the 2009 bankruptcy filing by GM will not protect the company from claims related to the defective ignition switches installed in their vehicles from the years 1997-2011.

In 2014, GM announced a voluntary recall of nearly 3 million vehicles due to an ignition switch that could slip into an accessory position, effectively turning the car off unbeknownst to the driver. A recall that came about as a result of the relentless pursuit of justice by Ken & Beth Melton, the parents of Brooke Melton who died from injuries sustained in auto accident as a result of a faulty ignition switch in her Chevy Cobalt. The Cooper Firm had the privilege of representing the Melton family on this case. It’s important to know the outcome of the case proved that GM knew about the faulty ignition switch for years and chose not to fix or notify vehicles owners of the issue. GM ultimately expanded the recall to nearly 30 million vehicles worldwide.

Announcing bankruptcy in 2009 led to the creation of what was dubbed ‘New GM’. According to the ruling, ‘New GM’ could not be held responsible for any misconduct by ‘Old GM’ (i.e. knowingly installing faulty ignition switches in new vehicles) and therefore were immune to any lawsuits or claims from accidents that happened prior to 2009. Last week’s appeal changed all of that. The 2nd Circuit ruled that the bankruptcy court had no jurisdiction to free GM of those claims. The decision to file for bankruptcy does not change the fact that GM was aware of the issue and chose to hide it, denying people of their right to due process since they were not notified of the safety issue prior to the filing.

This is a big win for consumers who were affected by this cover-up. We expect to see an unprecedented amount of cases come forward from accidents that occurred prior to 2009 as a result of the faulty ignition switch and the actions of GM.

Check to see if your vehicle has an active recall here: NHTSA.gov

If you or someone you know has been injured as result of a possible GM ignition switch failure, please Contact Us today.

Source: Reuters.com


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