Archive for the ‘Product Defects’ Category

Could Keyless Ignition Systems Lead to Carbon Monoxide Poisoning?

October 12th, 2015 at 7:00 am

carbon monoxide poisoning, keyless ignition systems, Westport wrongful death attorneyThe majority of new cars sold in the United States and abroad come with a keyless ignition option. Vehicle owners are given a key fob, which is a device that has security authentication built into it, and is used to control a network. Many people are familiar with key fobs because these devices have been use for several years as a way to unlock and lock vehicles. New cars now use key fobs in place of ignition keys.

A driver can actually start his or her vehicle without a key by pushing a button in the vehicle, as long as the key fob is close by, such as in the driver’s pocket or purse. Still, are these keyless ignition systems safe? Not according to a recently filed lawsuit, which claims that these systems contain deadly defects.

According to the lawsuit, the danger occurs when drivers leave their vehicles running and walk away, believing that by taking the key fob with them, the vehicle will shut off. However, the engines do not shut off; instead they keep running and emit carbon monoxide—a deadly gas which is odorless, colorless and tasteless. This can be especially dangerous when the vehicle owner has left his or her car in the garage of their home. Instead of shutting off, the carbon monoxide vapors seep into the home, poisoning unsuspecting victims.

So far, there have been 13 deaths attributed to carbon monoxide poisonings linked to keyless ignition systems, and many more injuries. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has received at least 27 complaints from consumers.

The lawsuit names ten major car manufacturers as defendants—BMW, Fiat Chrysler, Ford, General Motors, Honda, Hyundai, Mercedes-Benz, Nissan, Toyota and Volkswagen. Attorneys for the plaintiffs claim that the defendants were well aware of the defect in these ignition systems for years and could have averted the dangers by installing a safety feature which would automatically turn off unattended running engines. They go on to claim that not only was this feature an inexpensive one to install, but that both Ford and General Motors had actually applied for a patent on the feature.

If you have lost a loved one due to an accident caused by someone else’s negligence, please contact an experienced Westport wrongful death attorney to find out what legal recourse you may have for your family’s pain and loss.


Model Loses Leg after Developing TSS from Tampons

September 17th, 2015 at 7:00 am

leg amputation, Westport Personal Injury AttorneyIn 1980, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) began receiving reports of toxic shock syndrome (TSS). The disease was a newly recognized one, discovered by a physician at Children’s Hospital in Denver. The doctor’s findings were published in the British medical journal The Lancet in 1978.

TSS occurs when bacteria present in the body begins to produce toxins which spread throughout the body. Symptoms include a sudden high fever, a rash resembling a sun-burn, low blood pressure, vomiting, diarrhea, confusion, muscle aches and seizures. Victims of TSS may go into shock or suffer from a shutdown of the renal system. Many victims of TSS have died from the disease.

During the eighties, as more and more cases of TSS were reported, research showed a direct correlation between the use of tampons during menstruation and developing TSS. By the end of 1980 the CDC had received 890 reports of TSS, with 812 of those cases determined to be caused by tampon use. Of those cases, 772 of the victims died.

A study by Yale University pointed to the change in the ingredients used to manufacture tampons as a major contributor to the development of TSS. Instead of using cotton, many companies began to produce tampons made of synthetic ingredients, like rayon and plastic, which creates a possible breeding ground for the types of bacteria which cause TSS. These deaths led to warning notices being placed on tampon packages, advising users to “change tampons every four to eight hours, including overnights.”

However, one woman and her family say that warning is not clear enough, especially to younger girls who have different sleep patterns than older women. The 27-year-old professional model had to have her leg amputated after she developed TSS brought on by using a tampon. The victim says she is lucky to be alive—she was found by a friend and rushed to the hospital. According to her doctors, when she arrived at the hospital, her internal organs were shutting down and she was just 10 minutes from death. She had also suffered a massive heart attack. The infection in her body later turned into gangrene and she needed to have her right leg amputated below the knee. Doctors say her other leg may eventually need to be amputated as well.

Although TSS does not garner the media headlines like it did in the 1980s, there are still victims of TSS, such as this young woman. If you have suffered illness or injury from toxic shock syndrome caused by a tampon, or other defective product, please contact an experienced Westport personal injury attorney to discuss your case and available options.


FDA to Investigate Safety of Essure Birth Control

August 6th, 2015 at 12:11 pm

birth control safety, safety of essure birth control, Westport Personal Injury LawyerReports of serious concerns over a popular contraceptive, used by countless women, is coming under federal review due to multiple reports of dangerous medical complications suffered by women who have used the device.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has announced that they are reviewing the safety of the implant Essure. The contraceptive device is manufactured by Bayer and has been on the market since 2002. The device is made of two metal coils which are inserted into the fallopian tubes as a way to block contraception.

However, the FDA says that they have received more than 5,000 complaints of medical issues, including abdominal pain, fatigue, headaches, and weight fluctuations, by female patients prescribed Essure since its approval. More than 400 women and/or their doctors have reported the coils moving away from the fallopian tubes and into other parts of the patient’s reproductive system.

There have also been reports of five fetal deaths, which occurred when the Essure device failed to prevent pregnancy.

Since its approval, the Essure device has been implanted into approximately 750,000 women. Based on the number of complaints the FDA has received, this means approximated one in every 150 women has had a problem with the device.

The FDA has scheduled a public hearing to be held on September 24, 2015 to review the safety of the product. The hearing will include the agency’s Obstetrics and Gynecology Devices Panel. This hearing is being scheduled due in part to a New York television news channel’s investigation regarding the inconsistencies which took place during the clinical trials of Essure. These trials, which failed to disclose complaints by trial patients, were presented to the FDA in order to get the agency’s approval for the device.

If you have experienced medical complications or other issues from having the Essure device implanted, or any other medical device issues, contact an experienced Westport personal injury attorney to find out what legal recourse you may have for your pain and loss. For a free initial consultation about your case, call Attorney Richard H. Raphael at 203-226-6168 today.

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