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young girl holding a burlap wrapped christmas giftEvery year, World Against Toys Causing Harm, Inc. releases its nominees for the toys no one should be buying as gifts. This year is no exception, and the non-profit group has released its holiday list. If you’ve gone shopping but haven’t handed out gifts yet or if you are still thinking about when you’re going to get your shopping done, use this list in order to make informed decisions. You certainly don’t want to be putting a child at risk with your thoughtful gift.

1. Itty Bittys Stacking Toy

This toy is sold by Hallmark for under $30, making it popular. The toy is comprised of four rattling rings, presumably for small children, though there is no age recommendation on the packaging. The toy was recalled in August due to it being a choking hazard, but can still be found online if you look hard enough.

2. Pull Along Pony

You can find this toy manufactured by Tolo Toys Limited at a variety of online retailers. There are no warnings included with the toy that includes a 19-inch pull string. Industry standard requires that strings on playpens and crib toys measure a foot or less.

3. Wonder Woman Battle Action Sword

With the wild popularity of the Wonder Woman movie, children across the country have been asking for replicas of items used by their favorite female hero. W.A.T.C.H. suggests you don’t purchase this sword made by Mattel that it considers too rigid to be safe.

4. Hand Fidgetz Spinners

These toys can be purchased for about $2 at various big box stores, making them popular as stocking stuffers. The toys are labeled with a sticker claiming that they are not, surprisingly enough, intended to be used as a toy. Small parts can slip from the toys and cause choking hazards.

5. Spideman Drone

This is an “official movie edition” drone complete with a remote control. It works by spinning several rotor blades and moving upwards into the air. Those blades can cause lacerations and other injuries. The toy comes with numerous warnings that should be heeded.

6. Nerf Zombie Strike Deadbolt Crossbow

Zombies are wildly popular thanks to television shows and movies. This toy crossbow is sure to catch the eye of children. Unfortunately, the force of the “arrow” that is launched from the toy makes that arrow strong enough to cause serious injury.

No one wants the gift they give to cause injury. Shopping for children can be difficult, especially as an adult. You want to make them happy and buy them the popular gift, but sometimes those popular gifts are actually very dangerous ones. Visit the W.A.T.C.H. website for a more comprehensive list before you head out to the stores.

If you should ever become injured, you may have a right to compensation for medical bills, pain and suffering and more. Reach out to our team of experienced personal injury attorneys for assistance today. We are happy to offer you a free case evaluation and review the details of your accident in order to provide you with the options that are right for you.

If you’ve ever had a hernia, then you know how devastatingly painful they can be. For those who haven’t dealt with this issue, a hernia is when an organ, often the intestines or stomach, bulges through the surrounding tissue. This can cause extreme pain and a host of other issues. In rare cases, hernias can even be life-threatening.

For some, hernias can be treated with simple laparoscopic surgery, during with tiny incisions are made and a thin tool is used to make repairs to the tissue. In other cases, especially if the hernia is a larger one, recovery may need to be aided by a mesh to hold everything in place during the healing process.

Based on what is supposed to be used for Mesh sounds like a helpful medical device. Unfortunately many people have been injured by mesh that has been used in their hernia repair surgeries.

When Is Mesh Used?

While “hernia” is the general term used any time an organ bulges outside of the area they’re normally contained, there are several specific types of hernias. They can occur for a variety of reasons, but they often happen due to too much pressure being placed on the abdominal wall from lifting, coughing or even due to weight.

The most common kinds of hernias include:

 

  • Inguinal (groin) hernias: Occur when the intestines or bladder breaches into the inguinal canal, in the groin area. These account for about 75 percent of all abdominal hernias, and occur much more often in men.
  • Incisional hernias: Occur when the intestine breaches into the site of a past abdominal surgery. Often, this happens in older or overweight people who aren’t active enough after such an operation.
  • Hiatal hernias: Occur when part of the stomach squeezes into the opening in the diaphragm through which the esophagus passes, call the hiatus.
  • Femoral hernias: Occur when the intestine breaches into the femoral artery canal. These occur most commonly in pregnant or obese women.
  • Umbilical hernias: Occur when the small intestine breaches the abdominal wall near or at the navel. These most often occur in newborns, obese women and women who have had multiple children.

 

 

Mesh could be used in any of these situations, depending on how severe the damage is to the surrounding tissue. However, these medical products carry some major risks.

Made from a Dangerous Material

In the early 1960s, a material called polypropylene was introduced. Since then, it and similar variations of the material have been used in the manufacturing of surgical mesh devices. The problem? These products can degrade over time and can cause very serious complications. As such, many experts say it should not be used for permanent implantation.

Technically, hernia mesh is not necessarily intended to be permanently implanted. Many of these devices were marketed to provide temporary support during the healing process following a hernia surgery. However, frequently the devices remain implanted instead of being removed after the hernia repair has completed healing.

The FDA has noted a variety of issues related to surgical mesh, including:

  • Pain
  • Infection
  • Recurrence of the hernia
  • Erosion of the mesh
  • Obstruction of nearby organs
  • Adhesion (issues with scar tissue around the mesh)
  • Perforation (tearing) or nearby tissue or organs
  • Fluid buildup at the surgical site

In some cases, the mesh could become detached from the original surgical site. If this occurs, it could migrate to other areas of the body, causing damage.

So What Can You Do?

If you have a hernia, talk to your doctor about all your options. Though surgery may be required, there could be alternatives to mesh, even if you’re dealing with a large hernia. If it’s decided that hernia mesh is required, check the FDA’s recall list to make sure the mesh being used in your surgery is not under recall.

Consult with your doctor to determine how long the mesh will implanted inside of your body. If your doctor plans to remove the mesh at a future date, speak to them about scheduling a removal procedure for when the device is no longer necessary. You should also have regular checkups with your doctor to make sure the mesh is working as intended.

If you are injured or made ill by your hernia mesh, a mesh injury lawyer can help you explore your legal options as well.

If you haven’t seen it on the news, there is a giraffe causing problems for parents. The popular toy named Sophie the Giraffe has been sold worldwide for over 50 years. In fact, it is such a popular toy that more than 50 million of the rubber animals have been sold across the globe.

The toy is created with materials, namely latex, harvested from Heavea trees. The material is a natural one, and the shape of the toy offers teething children something to hold and chew on. Frighteningly, many parents have reported moldy Sophies. It is especially discomforting because the toys are designed to be put in the mouth.

Sophie’s problems came to light when a New Jersey dentist noticed that her son’s toy smelled strange. The mom cut her son’s Sophie toy open and found mold lining the inside of the giraffe. Experts believe that the mold is able to grow due to moisture from children’s mouths and an air hole in the bottom of the toy. A photo was taken of the inside of the toy and posted online. The posting prompted other parents to cut their own children’s Sophie toys open. Perhaps not surprisingly, mold was found growing inside several.

According to the company, there are washing instructions included with Sophie the Giraffe toy. Owners should wash the toy by soaking it in hot, sudsy water followed by a five-minute soak in a solution that is a half cup of bleach in a gallon of water. The toy should then be rinsed and allowed to dry.

No illnesses have been reported in conjunction with the finding of mold, meaning no recall has been issued. It is also known that mold does not cause serious injury or illness, but it is concerning. Some people have reactions to mold that are more harsh than others. Small children and people with compromised immune systems are at the highest risk for serious side effects from exposure.

Any consumer who locates mold in a toy like Sophie should report their findings to saferproducts.gov. Reports are investigated thoroughly and the U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission determines actions that should be taken. Any parent who does find mold in Sophie or any other toy should not let their children play with it any longer, even if it has been cleaned. Experts caution that there is no real way to get rid of mold completely in these situations.

If you have a Sophie the Giraffe or any other rubber toy in your household, inspect it for mold growth to protect your child. If your little one has been harmed by a product in Charlotte or the surrounding area, reach out to our team of experienced personal injury attorneys. We will review the details of your case at no cost to you and advise you of your legal options. Call today or browse our website for more information about our firm and the types of cases we handle.

It’s the season of giving. One of the best things about the holiday season is seeing the looks on the faces of loved ones as they open the gifts you chose for them.  Unfortunately, some of those great surprises turn into dangerous ones when you inadvertently give a product that has been recalled.

If you haven’t finished your holiday shopping yet, or even if you have, be sure to check out the latest recalls. If you are considering a product found on this list or have already purchased one, reconsider giving it as a gift.

Figi’s “Christmas Wishes” Tin

Figi has recalled its Christmas Wishes tin because of a defect with its music mechanism. Anyone who has purchased a tin can be refunded the purchase price by calling 800-437-3817.

Bingo Deals Chicken Toys

These toys have small eggs and pieces that can break. This poses a choking hazards to children. Refunds are available by calling 888-429-1679. More information can be gained by emailing Recall@prextex.com.

World Trading Scooters/Hoverboards

Hoverboards are, without a doubt, one of the most popular gifts of the season. If you have purchased a self-balancing hoverboard manufactured by Orbit, call 877-498-8697 for replacement information. The boards have lithium-ion battery packs that can overheat and catch on fire.

Cuisinart Food Processors

Food processors are popular gifts for anyone who likes to cook. Unfortunately, some manufactured by Conair pose a laceration hazard. The machine’s riveted blade can break, causing metal shards to be mixed into the processed food. Anyone who purchased one of these food processors should call 877-339-2534 for replacement information.

Yankee Candles

It’s hard to imagine a candle from one of the most well-known manufacturers being recalled, but Yankee Candle decided to recall its luminous candle due to the possibility of lacerations. The glass jar can overheat and crack after the candle has been lit. Consumers are urged to call 877-803-6890 for refund information and to cease use of the candle.

Target Menorahs

Target has issued a recall of certain menorahs sold in its stores. The products can melt when lit, posing a fire hazard. Those who have bought a menorah can call 800-440-0680 for refund information. Consumers can also visit Target’s Facebook page and click on the Product Recalls tab for more information.

Lexibook Baby Bath Seat/Chair

Many parents opt to use baby bath seats to keep their infants safe. Some bath seats and chairs manufactured by Lexibook have been recalled because they do not meet federal safety standards. The seats can tip over while the infant is inside, posing a drowning risk. Call 855-831-7478 for refund information.

If you are injured by a defective product in Charlotte, you may have grounds for a personal injury lawsuit. You should not be saddled with a financial burden because a manufacturer failed to produce a safe product. You may be able to gain compensation for past and future medical bills, lost wages and more. Reach out to our team today and schedule an appointment for a free case evaluation at which time we will review the details of your injury and advise you of your options.

shutterstock_522299173Sabra hummus has been recalled. Anyone who has any of the popular food item in the refrigerator should check the manufactured date. Any container manufactured before November 8, 2016 should be thrown away due to the possibility of listeria contamination. Recalls like this tend to bring up food poisoning in the minds of the public.

If you have dealt with food poisoning before, you know the feeling. The stomach cramps, the nausea and even the chills can all have you bed ridden. If you’ve never dealt with food poisoning, it’s very easy to confuse with the flu. Here is what you should know.

Most people know when the flu is coming on. They start to feel “off” before the symptoms finally hit. For others, they go to bed feeling fine and wake up feeling quite ill. Food poisoning, on the other hand, typically hits within a few hours of eating the tainted food, and it hits hard.

Symptoms of Food Poisoning

The symptoms of food poisoning can vary depending on the source of the poisoning or contamination. Most cases have symptoms that are at least similar or typical. These symptoms are:

  • Nausea
  • Stomach pain and cramps
  • Vomiting
  • Watery diarrhea
  • Fever

While most cases of food poisoning seem to come on suddenly, some may not occur for days or weeks, making it easier to confuse with the flu. This normally depends on the type of bacteria that was introduced into the system due to the contaminated food.

Symptoms of food poisoning can last for only a few hours or for several days. Again, this depends on the type of bacteria that was introduced. Because most cases of food poisoning resolve on their own, there are instances that require medical attention.

When to Seek a Doctor’s Attention

Some bacteria, such as listeria, can be serious. Because it is difficult to know what has been consumed, people should rely on their symptoms when deciding when to seek medical attention. You should see a doctor if you have:

  • Inability to keep liquids down
  • Frequent vomiting
  • Diarrhea that lasts for more than three days
  • Extreme abdominal cramps
  • A temperature higher than 101.5 F
  • Signs of dehydration
  • Blurry vision, tingling in the arms or other neurological symptoms

Food poisoning is caused by contamination of some type. Food may be contaminated in the manufacturing process or in your own kitchen. When harmful organisms aren’t removed from food during the cooking process or contaminated foods are eaten raw, food poisoning can occur.

If you believe that you or a loved one has been sickened by food poisoning in Charlotte, you may have the basis for a lawsuit. A contaminated food product could be considered defective and you may be able to seek compensation for medical bills and more. If you have suffered food poisoning due to the error or neglect of a manufacturer or store, we are here to help you. Call our office today and schedule an appointment for a free case evaluation. You may also choose to browse our website for more information about our firm and the types of cases we handle.

 

takata logoIn 2008, some drivers suffered unnecessary injuries after a wreck because their airbags malfunctioned. Well, not so much “malfunctioned” as “exploded violently and sent shrapnel everywhere.” Tens of thousands of airbags were recalled, which meant car dealers and manufacturers had to go in and replace them. With that taken care of, the airbag manufacturer hoped to go back to business as usual.

But Takata wasn’t so lucky.

Since then, tens of millions of airbags have been recalled, ones used in many different brands and makes of cars. Worldwide, 11 people have been killed by the defects, including 10 people in the United States. In addition, hundreds of drivers have been injured. Most of these recalls came into effect over the past year, with 5 million cars being recalled since last summer. However, that number was just expanded to 40 million. That development makes this recall the largest in history. And some believe the issue is far from resolved.

What Causes the Defects

Before a few days ago, no one was sure what was causing the defects. A prevailing theory was an issue with the manufacturing of the bag material itself. But the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration recently revealed the true cause: the propellant. After being exposed to long periods of heat and moisture, the chemicals that cause the airbag to expand degrade, which results in a violent reaction when the airbag is deployed. What’s worse, it can also cause the airbag to deploy unexpectedly.

There are certain drivers that are more at risk than others. It takes time for the ammonium nitrate propellant to degrade, so older cars are more are more likely to be affected. In addition, heat and humidity exacerbate the issue. With this potentially fatal combination, drivers of older cars in North Carolina and the rest of the southeast are especially at risk.

How the Recall Works

In efforts to contain the volatility of the ammonium nitrate, Takata began adding a drying agent to their airbags. This practice began after the original recalls in 2008. For now, the recall includes all airbags that do not contain this drying agent. Takata has two years to replace the faulty airbags, and it will be the cars at the highest risk that will be taken care of first.

However, federal investigators have also discovered that newer cars are also susceptible to exploding airbags. However, it will be a few years before the propellant degrades enough to become a real issue. Even so, Takata has until 2019 to replace airbags that were installed due to those earlier recalls.

While this works in theory, actually replacing the airbags is something of a nightmare. To begin with, the parts needed for manufacturers to install the new airbags aren’t exactly abundant. In addition, there are now millions of people wanting to get their car repaired now rather than later — after all, who wouldn’t want a potentially deadly component of their car removed? But the technicians for manufacturers are only human, and can only work so fast. Some manufacturers have made loaner cars available, but that doesn’t cover every driver.

The Future of Takata

As the NHTSA investigation has dug into Takata’s past, they have noticed some disturbing details. In 2004, the first case of an airbag rupturing was documented by Takata. However, the company did not notify officials or take any other action. Former engineers for the company said they retrieved airbags from scrapyards for testing, and when the airbags failed, the data was destroyed. To make matters worse, unsealed documents have shown that Takata has been manipulating data since 2000 to meet industry standards.

With this new information being revealed, in addition to the 40 million cars being recalled, Takata shares have tanked. Since the original major recall was announced last year, shares have dropped by 80 percent. By the time the issue is completely resolved in 2019, many believe Takata will be filing for bankruptcy. Besides the cost of the recall itself, they have been dealt hefty fines. However, they may not dissolve completely, instead relying on their other products like seat belts to build their business again.

While their other products have had no issues, Tanaka has a long journey of reputation building ahead of them. Their name conjures images of danger, and that likely won’t go away anytime soon. However, this recall has had some positive side effects. We now know that ammonium nitrate is not a safe propellant for airbags, no matter the manufacturer. And that means industry-wide innovation to create a better product.

Nearly every major car manufacturer, including luxury vehicles, have been affected by this recall. Chances are, you are driving a car that has a Takata airbag. While you may not be in immediate danger, it never hurts to check to see if your car is on the recall list. You can see all the cars that have been recalled here.

As a consumer, you know that products get recalled. Food may be recalled because a sample is found to contain dangerous levels of bacteria. Tools may get recalled because they don’t perform as designed or intended.

Products can be and are recalled for a variety of reasons. All recalls are for your protection, and each should be paid attention to. Now that the holidays have come and gone, chances are that you have a few new items taking up space in your home. Are they safe? Here’s how you can find out.

  1. FDA

The Federal Drug Administration lists different recalls on its site and updates them regularly. Check the site’s list for information about food, medicine, cosmetics, veterinary drugs and even pet food. You can also find information on medical devices and any products that emit radiation.

  1. Safercar.gov

If you got a new car for the holidays, check out Safercar.gov. The organization offers safety information for passenger cars and trucks, as well as vehicle equipment like child safety seats.

  1. USDA

Visit the United States Department of Agriculture’s website for information about current and past recalls on meat and poultry products. The site also guides consumers through submitting their own complaint about a food product.

  1. Recalls.gov

Perhaps one of the best websites out there is Recalls.gov. From this site, you can sign up for different email alerts that will keep you up to date on the latest recalls and product issues. By signing up for the various email lists, you save yourself time and effort by having recall information delivered directly to you.

  1. NHTSA

The National Highway and Transportation Safety Administration provides information about vehicle recalls. The organization also provides information about issues with safety equipment, tires and buses.

Keep in mind that recalled products are often still floating around in the marketplace. Particularly in thrift shops, garage sales and online auctions. If you purchase a used item or received one, take the time to make sure that it has never been recalled.

If you have been injured by a defective product, our personal injury attorneys are here for you. We will review the details of your case at no cost to you and advise you if we believe that you may be entitled to compensation under the law. Reach out to us today or browse our website for more information about our firm and how we can help you and your family.

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Hoverboards were a popular holiday gift this season, but many parents are wishing they had never bought one. People around the globe have experienced falls, accidents and even burns. If you purchased one of these motorized toys for your children this year, you may want to rethink whether or not you want to keep it around.

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, there have already been 70 reports of injuries related to hoverboards. There have been 22 reported fires in 17 different states. These fires have been attributed to overheating batteries. In the United Kingdom, reports of hoverboards exploding unexpectedly abound. At least two different incidents occurred, one as early as October 11, 2015. In that case, a board caught fire while an owner had it charging in a bedroom.

In November, a family saw their kitchen catch on fire as a result of an exploding hoverboard. The owner reported a firework-like explosion and then a larger one. The resultant damage costed the family close to $40,000.

In London, officials are warning that battery packs may be to blame. They are also cautioning users that these explosions may not be linked to one particular brand or model of hoverboard. They are saying that it tends to be the hoverboards at the lower end of the price spectrum that are having problems. What is believed to be happening is a heating of the battery as it drains. It eventually gets so hot that it explodes. The concern, other than property damage, is injury to riders or those observing nearby.

There is no way to predict when a faulty battery pack will explode. The heating up could be rapid or it could take hours. This means that an explosion could occur when someone is riding the toy. Officials around the world are cautioning everyone from purchasing a board from an unknown source like an online auction site. Consumers are urged to purchase a hoverboard from a reputable vendor and to research the specific hoverboard they are considering before making a final purchase.

If you have been injured due to a faulty product, call our offices today. Our personal injury attorneys are here to help you get any compensation that you may be entitled to by law. Call our offices now for a free initial case evaluation.

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CPSCThis holiday season, your children will be getting gifts from family and friends. Your little ones will be excited, and they will want to play with and use the gifts that they get. Not so fast. There are thousands of products that are recalled every year and could pose a serious threat to the health and safety of your child. Here are some tips when it comes to recalls.

They Do Not Expire

It’s important to keep in mind that recalls don’t expire. This is especially important to remember if your children are receiving hand-me-downs or thrift-shop items for the holidays. While there is absolutely nothing wrong with giving gifts obtained in either of these ways, you must still remember to check for any recalls on that item.

Gift Receipts

It isn’t always required that you have a receipt to show proof of purchase for an item that has been recalled, but it never hurts to have one just in case. Having a receipt may simply mean the difference in getting your money back in the exact amount that you paid for the item, or getting compensation in the amount that the manufacturer deems appropriate.

Follow Instructions

If you find out that a gift your child has been given has been recalled, follow any given instructions to have the item repaired or returned to the manufacturer. Failure to follow instructions carefully may stall the process of having the item fixed or replaced.

Where to Check

There are several websites that will tell you which products have been recalled. One of the most comprehensive sites is SafeKids.org. This site keeps a comprehensive listing of recalled products as released by the Consumer Product Safety Commission, the National Highway Traffic Administration and the Food and Drug Administration. Recall lists on the site are put together by month and year, making it easy to locate the latest recalls. You can also sign up for newsletters from the site if you choose to do so.

If you believe that your child has been hurt due to a recalled product, please contact our offices as soon as possible. Our personal injury attorneys are here to help get you the compensation that you may be entitled to by law. Call us now for your free case evaluation.

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images (2)One of the most tragic things about accidents is how it can come out of nowhere. Family and loved ones are left to pick up the pieces and wonder if there wasn’t something that could have been done in order to prevent it.

Recently, a Cherryville man was tragically killed when a Co2 paintball canister ended up exploding in his face when he was taping it; all while his family was watching. Authorities say that while canisters all carry warning labels warning of potential dangers and even fatalities; they are uncertain what caused the canister to explode. It could have been temperature changes or pressure that caused the fatal explosion.  Bates’ mother, Hilda Bates, said the explosion was so strong that it blew the watch that her son had on his wrist to pieces.

Neman Bates, 38, suffered fatal injuries to both his lungs and trachea. Attempts at CPR proved to be unsuccessful. Bates was taken to Carolinas HealthCare System Cleveland in Shelby, where he was pronounced dead.

Injuries or fatalities from an accident can come when there are defects in a product. While certain products do have warning labels, determining potential liabilities when something goes wrong is important.  If you have been injured, give our offices a call. At Auger & Auger, we have years of experience and we specialize in liability and personal injury lawsuits. Give us a call today for a free consultation and legal analysis.

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