It is frustrating to know that, despite the responsibility of all those connected in the chain of product distribution (such as manufacturers, suppliers and retailers) to provide customers only with safe and functional products plus the existence of the Federal Trade Commission’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, which is tasked to ensure product safety, defective products still find their way in stores and get sold to unsuspecting consumers, many of whom suffer injuries through such products’ use.
Due to the harm suffered by consumers thousands of lawsuits against manufacturers and/or distributors get filed in courts all across the US every year. According to attorney Ali Mokaram from The Lopez Law Group, these lawsuits may be based on any of the following issues:
- Manufacturing error: manufacturing plants have quality assurance personnel whose job is to make sure that every product comply with company and industry standards. However, there are instances when manufacturing accidents occur, so that the outcome either deviates from the actual design intended by the manufacturer or some properties of the good produced end up different compared to others in the same line. While the defect may, indeed, harm the user, during a tort or personal injury lawsuit, proving that the defect actually caused the injury is still required of the victim.
- Flawed design: instead of just a certain part being defective, an error in design will include the whole line of products which are actually made correctly but with harmful flaws (a classic example of this is the US Transport authorities’ very recent recall of 2.12 million vehicles from some of the world’s biggest car makers due to faulty airbags that can accidentally deploy even while the car is running.)
- Inadequate warning or misleading product label: manufacturers are required (by law) to make sure that their product’s label clearly spells out: any danger associated with product’s use; product use instructions; and, the correct ingredients of the product. The product, through its label, should neither make any claim that has not been proven scientifically nor should it inaccurately identify the product’s real contents (like stating evaporated cane juice instead of refined white sugar in order to entice millions of consumers suffering from type II diabetes, coronary artery disease, hypertension, or obesity).
While it is true that some accidents are unavoidable, many more are due to acts of negligence and, therefore, totally preventable. After having established negligence as the cause of personal injury, the liable party, under the law, is obliged to compensate the victim for all present and future damages resulting from the injury.
Clinical trials are supposed to be carried out for any kind of drug before they are sold to the public to determine if they are safe for use, not after. They are also designed to identify certain classes of people or conditions which will be adversely affected by it. This is true for over-the-counter medication and prescription drugs, and it is the responsibility of the drug manufacturer to carry them out. In most cases, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will require these trials prior to approval for use for specific conditions.
In the case of the anti-emetic drug Zofran (ondansetron) produced and marketed by GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), the drug company carried out clinical trials that showed it was highly effective for suppressing nausea associated with chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and post surgery. However, the clinical trials presumably did not go far enough, because recent studies show that it could increase the risk of developing heart arrhythmia. And that isn’t even the biggest problem. The problem is with its off-label use to treat severe nausea and vomiting of pregnancy (NVP). Zofran has been associated with causing birth defects.
Studies were undertaken to prove it one way or the other. The results, however, are maddeningly vague. There are “indications” or “failed to find” results that instead of clearing up the matter for the public, merely muddy up the waters. According to Williams Kherkher’s website about the Zofran lawsuit, it falls on affected patients to come forward and tell their stories in order to gather evidence that will prove the drug does cause birth defects.
GSK has already been made to pay for encouraging the drug’s use for NVP although it was not approved for that purpose by the FDA. However, because GSK insists that Zofran is safe for pregnant women and studies show conflicting results, women continue to be prescribed with the drug for NVP.
If you have been prescribed with Zofran for NVP, and you child had birth defects, you may be able to help. Contact a Zofran lawyer in your area to add your voice to women who have been similarly harmed.
Child safety is one of the paramount concerns of parents, which is why most would make considerable effort to ensure that the products they buy for their children are safe. This includes their food, clothes, shoes, beds, strollers, and car seats. Most would pay a premium to buy brands that have a reputation for strict safety standards. As pointed out on the Habush Habush & Rottier S.C. ® website, however, it doesn’t matter what brand your car seat is; if the manufacturer fails to properly test their products before selling them, your child is in danger. As it is turning out, one of these is Graco.
Graco is perhaps one of the more recognizable brands of child car seats and other baby products, with an income of $1.1 billion reported for 2013. The Atlanta-based company was founded in 1942 and was acquired by Rubbermaid in 1996.
In 2010, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission announced that Graco was voluntarily recalling some of their most popular models of strollers and car seats because they had a high risk of laceration and fingertip amputation. More recently, Graco again issued a recall for more than 3 million of their harnessed booster and toddler convertible car seats manufactured between 2009 and 2013 for a defective buckle that could be difficult to unlatch in an emergency. Graco claims that no injuries caused by the defective party had been reported.
This claim may be true or not, but as one parent put it, children have been in a constant state of danger for years because the company knew about the defect but failed to warn them about it until recently. Events may also unfold that would reveal that some preventable child injuries and deaths in the past may have been due to these defective car seats.
If you suspect that your child was injured because of a defective car seat or other untested product meant for children, you could be right. Consult with an experienced defective car seat lawyer in your area to discuss your case.