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Product Liability

Children’s Belts Recalled Due To Lead Paint Threat

New Orleans parents should be aware that the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and Target have announced a recall of children’s belts that pose a threat of serious injury. The buckles in these belts contain lead levels that exceed the federal lead paint standard. Parents who have purchased this dangerous product should take immediate steps to remove it from their home.

Lead has been shown to cause serious health problems, including brain damage, in children. If your child has suffered from injuries or illness due to a defective product, you should explore your options for filing a product liability lawsuit.

There are two types of belts subject to recall, both of which were sold in packs of two. The Cherokee boys’ belts are reversible black and brown belts sold in sized M-XL. The numbers 202/08/0018, 202/08/0019 or 202/08/0020 are embossed on them. The girls’ Circo belts are pink and white, come in sizes XS-L and have a heart shaped buckle.

Unfortunately, the girls’ belts do not have a number embossed on them. If you still have the product label attached to the belt, it will have the numbers 202/05/0071, 202/05/0072, 202/05/0073 or 202/05/0074 on it.

Approximately 105,150 of these belts were sold exclusively at Target stores and through www.target.com from December 2008 through December 2009. If you purchased one of these belts, you should return it to Target immediately for a full refund. If you need additional information, you can contact Target at (800) 440-0680 between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. CT Monday through Friday or visit their website.

 

If you need a New Orleans product liability lawyer, please call our office at 504-581-6411…. if the call is long distance, use our toll-free number at 877-581-6411.

The call or meeting is confidential – and absolutely FREE.

As always, if we move forward on your case, we operate on a contingency fee basis – meaning we do not charge for our services unless we secure a settlement for you or are successful in the courtroom.  You will also not have to pay for any costs or expenses related to your case if there is no award or settlement.

When a dangerous product has injured a client, New Orleans personal injury attorneys usually will examine what warnings, if any, the manufacturer gave regarding the product’s use. In some cases, a product may be found to be dangerous because the manufacturer did not provide an adequate warning.

Whether a manufacturer must provide a warning depends on the nature of the product. When a manufacturer learns, or reasonably should have learned, of a dangerous characteristic, they have a duty to provide a warning of that danger to anyone who uses or handles the product. However, there are exceptions to this requirement.

No warning is necessary when the user knew or reasonably should have known of the product’s dangerous characteristic. For example, knives generally do not need warning labels because their danger should be obvious to the user.

A warning also is not necessary when the extent of the product’s danger would be obvious to ordinary, reasonable people using the product. When a product is more dangerous than it would appear to an average, ordinary person, however, the manufacturer should provide a warning.

Of course, the presence or absence of warnings may not be a factor in a personal injury case if the injured person used the product in violation of the manufacturer’s provided directions, or for a purpose outside of its intended use.

If you have suffered an injury while using a product as directed by the manufacturer, the danger of the product was not obvious, and the manufacturer failed to adequately warn you of the potential danger, you may have the right to file a product liability lawsuit against the manufacturer. In this situation, you should consult an attorney experienced in product liability law to help evaluate whether you have a claim for damages.

The Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry’s Office of Animal Health and Food Safety has announced the recall of approximately 500,000 pounds of “ready to eat” sausage and hog head cheese produced by Veron Foods, LLC, of Prairieville, Louisiana. These products may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes, and New Orleans residents who have purchased these foods should immediately check the product to protect their health.

Eating food contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes may lead to listeriosis. While listeriosis is rarely contracted by healthy people, it can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in people with weak immune systems. This includes infants, the elderly, and those with HIV. The infection may spread to the nervous system, causing high fever, headaches, neck stiffness, nausea, confusion and convulsions. Listeriosis also can cause miscarriages and stillbirths. If you or someone you know has suffered because of eating contaminated food, you may be able to pursue a product liability lawsuit.

The recalled products include Veron Hot Smoked Sausage, Veron Mild Smoked Sausage, Martin Hot Smoked Sausage, Martin Mild Smoked Sausage, Veron Andouille Sausage, Martin Andouille Sausage, and Veron Hog Head Cheese. They bear date codes 010110 through 111310 and have the establishment number “LA 22” inside the LDAF mark of inspection.

The LDAF has classified this as a “Class I” recall, which it defines as a recall based on a “reasonable probability that the use of the product will cause serious, adverse health consequences or death”.

If you have questions regarding this recall, Veron Foods LLC should be contacted directly at Veron Food LLC, at 225-622-3262. If you or a family member has suffered long term health problems or wrongful death from eating contaminated food, please feel free to call my office at 504-581-6411 or 877-581-6411 with any questions regarding your rights.

A New Orleans resident who is pursuing a personal injury or product liability lawsuit against the manufacturer of a dangerous product may claim that the product is unreasonably dangerous in its design. When pursuing a product liability claim as a result of an injury, the plaintiff must prove specific facts as outlined in Louisiana law.

First, the plaintiff must establish that, at the time it was manufactured, there existed an alternative design for the product that was capable of preventing the plaintiff’s damage. The existence of a newer version that is safer, however, does not support a claim that a product is unreasonably dangerous in its design. A safer version must have existed when the product that caused the injury was manufactured.

Second, the plaintiff must prove that the likelihood of the product causing the claimed injury – and the severity of that injury – outweighed the burden placed upon the manufacturer if it had used the alternative design. This burden includes any effect the alternative design would have on the utility of the product.

While the first element needed to establish that a product is unreasonably dangerous in design is relatively straightforward, the second is not. When considering this second element, the judge and jury are required to weigh the potential risk for serious personal injury against the cost of avoidance. In some cases, opinions may vary widely regarding how far a manufacturer is required to go to avoid potential injury from their product.

If you have been injured by a poorly designed product and have any questions regarding your rights, please feel free to call my office at 504-581-6411 or 877-581-6411.

Painkillers Darvocet And Darvon Pulled By FDA

New Orleans residents who have been prescribed Darvocet or Darvon should be aware that the FDA pulled these painkillers off the U.S. market late last year. If you are currently using either of these medications, you should immediately consult your doctor to discuss switching to another form of pain management.

The decision to remove Darvocet and Darvon from the market came in the wake of the FDA receiving new data indicating that propoxyphene – the drug contained in these medications – is capable of causing potentially fatal heart rhythm abnormalities. According to the FDA, these new studies showed that the drug caused significant changes to the electrical activity of the heart, even when used within prescribed dosages.

The manufacturer of Darvon and Darvocet, Xanodyne Pharmaceuticals Inc., has voluntarily agreed to withdraw the drugs from the market. The FDA has also contacted manufacturers of the generic forms of these propoxyphene-containing painkillers and requested voluntary removal of the products. Propoxyphene – an opioid – had been approved for use as a painkiller by the FDA since 1957.

The U.S. has been slow to respond to a growing concern about the potential hazard of these medications. Propoxyphene-based drugs have been banned in the United Kingdom since 2005 and the European Union began a phased withdrawal of propoxyphene-based drugs in 2009. In January of 2009, an FDA advisory committee recommended that the drug be banned, but it was instead decided to attach stronger warnings to the product and to require the manufacturer to conduct additional safety studies.

If you or a loved one has suffered a heart attack or developed other heart-related issues while using Darvon, Darvocet, or the generic form of propoxyphene, you should consider exploring your legal rights. Furthermore, if you know someone who has suffered because of a drug recall of any medication, please feel free to reach out to us at 504-581-6411 or 855-GERTLER. We would be happy to provide you with additional information.

When a New Orleans resident is injured while using a machine at work, whether he or she can recover any damages is governed under the Louisiana Products Liability Act. To recover damages under this act, the plaintiff must prove that the product was unreasonably dangerous in one of four ways: 1) construction or composition, 2) design, 3) inadequate warning, 4) or failure to conform with an express warranty.

When the manufacturer has indicated that a product is safe to use in a certain way and that turns out not to be the case, the injured party may be able to recover damages based on the product failing to comply with an express warranty. An express warranty is a verbal or written statement guaranteeing that the product will work in a certain way or that the product is warranted against defects in materials or workmanship.

Under the Louisiana Products Liability Act, a product is unreasonably dangerous based on a failure to conform to an express warranty if the express warranty induced a person to use the product, that person suffered a personal injury through use of the product, and that injury occurred because the express warranty was untrue. The design aspect or use of the product that is the subject of the express warranty must be the direct cause of the injury. If, for example, a product did not work as indicated by the express warranty, but the party was injured because he or she was using it in a manner not recommended by the manufacturer, the injured person may not recover damages based on a violation of the express warranty.

If you have been injured by a dangerous product and have any questions regarding this topic, please call us at 504-581-6411 or 855-GERTLER. We would be happy to help you.

New Orleans Product Liability lawyers typically examine whether a product that caused an injury was properly manufactured. Part of that examination may include an investigation into whether the item was made in compliance with the relevant industry and government standards. People injured by defective products may be eligible to file a product liability lawsuit.

While a failure on the part of a manufacturer to comply with the accepted standards is helpful in pursuing a product liability lawsuit, noncompliance with industry or government standards is not determinative on the issue of liability. Instead, for a manufacturer to be held liable for an injury, Louisiana law requires proof that the injury was proximately caused by a characteristic of the product that rendered the product unreasonably dangerous. It also requires that the damage arose from a reasonably anticipated use of the product.

Proof of failure to comply with industry or government standards is, however, admissible as evidence on the issue of whether the manufacturer should be held liable for their defective product. Such evidence can prove especially helpful when the particular standard, not adhered to by the manufacturer, is directly tied to that aspect of the product that caused the plaintiff’s injury. In cases where the manufacturer did comply with industry or government standards, they may present proof of compliance as evidence supporting the position that they should not be found liable. This proof also is not determinative on the issue of liability, but is merely a factor that the jury may consider when reaching a decision.

If you have been injured by a dangerous product, we would be happy to help you. Please feel free to call us at 504-581-6411 or 855-GERTLER with any questions.

While New Orleans product liability lawsuits involving older products can be a little more difficult, there is no bar to pursuing a claim that a product is defective just because it is old. It is easier, however, to prove that there is a defect in the design of a product when its dangerous characteristic can be shown to have existed at the time it left the control of the manufacturer.

When an injured person claims there is a defect in the design of an older product, personal injury attorneys will explore not only the condition of that product when it left the manufacturer, but also any alterations or modifications that may have occurred in the intervening time. Louisiana Revised Statute 9:2800.54(C) allows a claim for a defect in design to be pursued not only based on the condition of the product when made, but also based on any “reasonably anticipated alteration or modification”.

A “reasonably anticipated alteration or modification” has been defined to mean a change that the product’s manufacturer should reasonably expect to be made by an ordinary person. Perhaps more importantly, it also includes changes to the product arising from ordinary wear and tear. Especially in the case of potentially dangerous products such as power tools, manufacturers are required to anticipate a certain amount of wear to the product over time and protect users from potential danger arising from that wear.

It should be noted, however, that reasonably anticipated alterations or modifications do not include changes that occur because the product was poorly maintained, and did not receive reasonable care and maintenance. For this reason, it can be very difficult to pursue a personal injury lawsuit against the manufacturer of an older product that was not maintained prior to causing injury.

If you have suffered an injury caused by a defective product, we would be happy to help you. Please call us at 504-581-6411 or 855-GERTLER.

When a New Orleans resident is injured by a power tool or other manufactured product, a potential claim against the company that made the dangerous device is governed by the Louisiana Products Liability Act. This law sets forth some very specific rules regarding older manufactured products in a personal injury lawsuit.

Where problems may arise when pursuing manufacturers of older items – especially items such as power tools – is in proving that the manufacturer should have anticipated the condition of the product at the time of the injury. Under Louisiana law, the characteristic of the product that makes it unreasonably dangerous either must have existed when the product left the control of the manufacturer or must have arisen from an alteration or modification of the product that the manufacturer could have reasonably anticipated.

Alterations or modifications that a manufacturer can reasonably anticipate include normal wear and tear, and changes that a normal person could be expected to make during use of the product. It does not, however, include modification or removal of warnings on a defective product, the failure of another person – such as the original purchaser – to pass on warnings provided by the manufacturer to a later user, or changes to the product or its operation caused by lack of reasonable care and maintenance.

When considering whether to pursue a personal injury lawsuit involving an older product, how well the product was cared for and any changes made to it can be critical. In the case of items such as power tools, the fact that safety devices may have been removed, or the item was never taken care of, may prove fatal to obtaining compensation for an injury. In other cases, the product may be in essentially the same form as it was when it left the manufacturer – aside from wear and tear that should have been anticipated – and a successful lawsuit may be pursued.

Obviously, it is helpful to have an experienced personal injury attorney evaluate any case involving a dangerous product. Please feel free to call us at 504-581-6411 or 855-GERTLER with any questions.

When a resident of New Orleans is injured or killed by a firearm – whether intentionally or accidentally – the law greatly constrains the circumstances under which the manufacturer or seller of the firearm may be sued for making or distributing an unreasonably dangerous product. While a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit may be pursued against the individual who actually discharged the weapon and possibly other parties, the manufacturer and seller will usually be exempt from liability.

While a firearm may appear to have the characteristics necessary to classify it as a dangerous product, the Louisiana legislature has specifically stated in Louisiana Revised Statute 9:2800.60 that the Louisiana Products Liability Act was not designed to impose liability on a manufacturer or seller of firearms for the improper use of a properly designed and manufactured product. The statute further states that the potential of a firearm to cause serious bodily injury, property damage, or death when discharged does not make it defective in design for purposes of imposing liability upon the manufacturer or seller.

Firearms are dangerous by nature. To impose liability upon the weapon’s manufacturer, the claimant in most cases must prove that the firearm had some defect in its design or construction – above and beyond its basic nature – that caused it to be unreasonably dangerous. For example, if a specific firearm had been defectively assembled at the factory, or had a design defect that caused it to accidentally discharge, the manufacturer may be liable for a defective product lawsuit. However, such cases are rare.

While firearm manufacturers and sellers can rarely be held liable for firearm injuries, an individual who negligently or intentionally injures or kills another person through use of a firearm may be liable. An experienced personal injury attorney should examine the specific facts surrounding such injuries to determine if a lawsuit is warranted.

If you have suffered a personal injury, we would be happy to answer your questions. Please feel free to call us at 504-581-6411 or 855-GERTLER.