Category: Defective Products

Products Liability Law – An Overview

Products liability refers to the liability of any or all parties along the chain of manufacture of any product for damage caused by that product. This includes the manufacturer of component parts (at the top of the chain), an assembling manufacturer, the wholesaler, and the retail store owner (at the bottom of the chain). Products containing inherent defects that cause harm to a consumer of the product, or someone to whom the product was loaned, given, etc., are the subjects of products liability suits. While products are generally thought of as tangible personal property, products liability has stretched that definition to include intangibles (gas), naturals (pets), real estate (house), and writings (navigational charts).

Products liability claims can be based on negligenc, strict liability, or breach of warranty of fitness depending on the jurisdiction within which the claim is based. Many states have enacted comprehensive products liability statutes. These statutory provisions can be very diverse such that the the United States Department of Commerce has promulgated a Model Uniform Products Liability Act (MUPLA) for voluntary use by the states. There is no federal products liability law.

Connecticut has a state product liability law as set forth in Connecticut General Statute Section 52-572m, et seq. Pursuant to Connecticut General Statute Section 52-577a, a product liability claim must be brought within three years from the date of injury or death. There are a few specific exceptions to this 3 year statute of limitations.

In any jurisdiction, including Connecticut, one must prove that the product is defective. There are three types of product defects that incur liability in manufacturers and suppliers: design defects, manufacturing defects, and defects in marketing. Design defects are inherent; they exist before the product is manufactured. While the item might serve its purpose well, it can be unreasonably dangerous to use due to a design flaw. On the other hand, manufacturing defects occur during the construction or production of the item. Only a few out of many products of the same type are flawed in this case. Defects in marketing deal with improper instructions and failures to warn consumers of latent dangers in the product.

Products Liability is generally considered a strict liability offense. Strict liability wrongs do not depend on the degree of carefulness by the defendant. Translated to products liability terms, a defendant is liable when it is shown that the product is defective. It is irrelevant whether the manufacturer or supplier exercised great care; if there is a defect in the product that causes harm, he or she will be liable for the harm and damages that the defect has caused.

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True Man and Energy Max Dietary Supplements – Dangerous and Defective Products

True Man and Energy Max Dietary Supplements are dangerous and defective products.  The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is advising consumers not to purchase or use “True Man” or “Energy Max” products promoted and sold as dietary supplements throughout the United States. Both products — touted as sexual enhancement products and as treatments for erectile dysfunction (ED) — are illegal drug products that contain potentially harmful, undeclared ingredients.The products contain substances called analogs that have similar structures to active ingredients in approved prescription drugs.  FDA has not approved True Man and Energy Max; therefore the safety and effectiveness of these products are unknown. Both products are often advertised as “all natural” alternatives to approved ED drugs in advertisements appearing in newspapers, retail stores, and on the Internet.

“These products threaten the health of the people using them because they contain undeclared chemicals that are similar to the active ingredients used in FDA-approved prescription drug products,” said Steven Galson, M.D., MPH, director of the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research.”The risk is even more serious because consumers may not know that these ingredients can interact with medications and dangerously lower their blood pressure.”

The undeclared analog ingredients in True Man and Energy Max may interact with nitrates found in some prescription drugs such as nitroglycerin and may lower blood pressure to dangerous levels. Men with diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol or heart disease often take nitrates.

FDA chemical analysis revealed that Energy Max contains thione analog of sildenafil, a substance with a structure similar to sildenafil, the active ingredient in Viagra, an FDA-approved drug for ED.Substances like this are called analogs because they have a structure similar to another drug and may cause similar side effects and drug interactions.

True Man contains a thione analog of sildenafil or piperadino vardenafil, an analog of vardenafil, the active ingredient in Levitra, another FDA-approved prescription drug for ED. Neither the thione analog of sildenafil nor piperadino vardenafil are components of approved drug products.

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Product Recall of Evenflo Embrace Infant Car Seat

 
The US Consumer Product Safety Commission and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in cooperation with Evenflo Company Inc, announced a recall Friday of the Evenflo Embrace™ Infant Car Seat/Carriers.   The recall affects about 450,000 infant car seats.
The manufacturer of the defective car seats is Evenflo Company Inc., of Vandalia, Ohio
When used as an infant carrier, the handle can unexpectedly release, causing the seat to rotate forward. When this happens, an infant inside the carrier can fall to the ground and suffer serious injuries.  There have been 679 reports of the handle on the car seat unexpectedly releasing.  This defect has caused 160 injuries to children.  These injuries include a skull fracture, concussions and lacerations.
The recall involves Evenflo Embrace™ Infant Car Seat/Carriers made before April 8, 2006. The recalled car seat/carriers have model numbers beginning with 317, 320, 397, 398, 540, 548, 549, 550, 556, 597, 598 or 599. The model number and production date information can be found on a white label on the bottom of the carrier and on the top of the convenience base. Models beginning with “5” are units sold with the travel system (compatible stroller). “Evenflo” is on the carrying handle and car seat base. Embrace™ infant car seat/carriers made on or after April 8, 2006 are not included in this recall.  Hopefully the recall will prevent future injuries to children as a result of the product defect.  If you believe that your child has been injured by the defective car seat, make sure that you keep the defective car seat.  It is vital evidence to prove that the car seat was indeed defective and the defect was a substantial contributing factor in causing your child’s injuires.  Contact one of our Connecticut personal injury lawyers should you have any questions relating to this defective child car seat.

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Amusement Park Rides and Safety

On May 5, 2007, at Expoland theme park in Osaka, Japan, a 19-year-old woman was killed instantly when a roller coaster car derailed and crashed into a guardrail. Another rider suffered a serious head injury; 18 others suffered minor injuries.  How safe are these amusement park rides?  Click here for a very informative website on amusement ride safety. Amusement park ride safety is an issue close to home.  In April 2007, at a carnival in Middletown, Connecticut, two people suffered minor injuries when the hood of a Tilt-A-Whirl car fell on them.

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J&J’s Damage Control Over Ortho Evra Birth Control Patch

The maker of the widely used Ortho Evra birth control patch, Johnson & Johnson, is trying to prevent negative attention over its dangerous contraceptive by purchasing the rights to domain names like Orthoevrakills.com and Deathbypatch.com.

In late 2005 when the Food and Drug Administration urged that a heightened warning alerting users to the risk of potentially fatal blood clot and stroke be added to the drug’s label. In February 2006, a study showed that women using the Ortho Evra birth control patch faced double the risk of blood clots than women who use oral contraceptives. The increased risk is due to the fact that the patch exposes users to higher levels of hormones–60 percent more–than oral medications.

Johnson & Johnson purchased and registered the domain names but is not using them. The move was strictly an attempt to preempt critics of Ortho Evra from attracting negative attention to the dangerous drug.

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