When GM installed engine block heaters in some of their trucks, they did not foresee the potential increased fire hazards as a result of this intended convenience. The engine block heaters were designed to warm the engine to allow for easier starting in very cold weather. This is allowed by plugging the engine block heaters into an external power outlet. However, recent reports have shown that the cord and block heater may short circuit resulting in a potential fire.
A subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, Ethicon, was hit with a $120 million verdict by a Pennsylvania jury. The lawsuit arose from medical mesh device which was implanted in the plaintiff during a 2008 procedure. The plaintiff, a 68-year-old woman, argued that she suffered from chronic pelvic pain and urinary tract infections as a result of the mesh. She was required to undergo a surgery to remove the mesh. Despite efforts by doctors, the surgery to remove the mesh was unsuccessful, her attorneys stated.
A jury in Texas County, Texas returned a $33 million verdict against Goodyear Tire in late February, 2019 after a three-week trial. The trial surrounded the death of Ramiro Munoz, who was killed in an accident in 2013 when a cement truck allegedly lost its tread, causing its driver to lose control and collide with Mr. Munoz's vehicle and crush Mr. Munoz to death.
On April 12, 2019, the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced that it was recalling all models of the Fisher-Price Rock 'n Play sleeper after reports that it was linked to over 30 infant deaths since the product was released in 2009. Customers are instructed to immediately stop using the product and contact Fisher-Price for a refund or voucher. The recall affects over four million products. The recall comes a week after the CPSC and Fisher-Price issued a joint warning in which they reported ten infant deaths in connection with the product. According to the joint statement, the deaths occurred after an infant three months of age or older rolled from their back to their stomach or side while the infant was unrestrained in the seat. At that time, the company recommended that consumers stop using the sleeper when an infant reached three months of age or as soon as the infant exhibited rollover capabilities.
Patricia Price has sued John Peter Smith Hospital and Thyssenkrupp Elevators and claimed she was injured while riding in an elevator in September 2017. Ms. Price was in the hospital's main building when she entered the elevator on the fourth floor. While in the elevator, she was "violently jolted by the abrupt falling then stopping of the elevator." Ms. Price was taken to the hospital's emergency room and complained of injuries to her neck and back. The suit claims that the hospital had received prior complaints of the elevator malfunctioning prior to the incident involving Ms. Price.
With elevators, we often take them for granted. You might consider the danger of the door closing too soon. You might stick your hand out to hold it open, or just stand back and wait for the next one. Yet once you are inside the elevator box, most of us forget about the other dangers. We forget that it could get stuck, or worse, that it could plummet to the bottom floor. There are about 325 million elevator rides every day, with each elevator carrying about 20,000 people per year. Most of those rides end safely. But for some unfortunate passengers, poor elevator maintenance or defective elevator design can cause catastrophic injuries by riding the wrong elevator at the wrong time. Worse still, the general public is rarely aware of elevator problems until after serious injuries occur.
Fisher-Price has announced a recall of 4.7 million Rock 'n Play Sleepers. The recall is for all models of the infant rockers. The recall states that consumers "should immediately stop using the product and contact Fisher-Price for a refund or voucher." It is estimated that over 30 infant fatalities have occurred in the Rock 'n Play Sleepers, after infants rolled over while unrestrained, or under other circumstances.
Honda announced their recall of 1.2 million Honda and Acura vehicles due to defective Takata airbags on the driver's side. The Takata airbags were once thought to be safe, and even replaced older inflators under a recall that began in 2014. The airbags only recently came under scrutiny after an automobile accident and airbag explosion in Maryland injured the driver of a Honda Odyssey. The U.S. National Highway Safety Administration's (NHTSA's) investigation involving the 2004 Honda Odyssey discovered that the driver's airbag inflator ruptured.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently announced that they have launched a study of electric scooter accidents at the request of Austin Public Health and the Austin Transportation Department. Since early 2018, Austin has seen a rise in the number of electric scooters on its city streets and sidewalks. Dockless scooter companies such as Bird Rides and LimeBike were among the first services to launch in Austin. The companies operate much like Uber and Lyft in that users can locate and rent a scooter using an app on their phone. In fact, Uber launched its own electric scooter company, JUMP, in Austin in December 2018. According to some reports, there have been 66 severe traumas, including 19 head injuries, 38 orthopedic injuries, and 13 facial injuries in Austin since the scooters were introduced to the Austin market.
The widow of a Union Pacific Railroad engineer who died in a train collision last October filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the company after an apparent mechanical brake malfunction. On the day of the incident, engineer Jason Martinez's train was heading east to North Platte, Nebraska, when the train's crew realized the brakes were malfunctioning. The crew alerted Union Pacific Railroad dispatch center and informed them that the train had accelerated to 50 mph and was unable to stop. The train ultimately collided with another train that was stopped on the tracks about 18 miles west of Cheyenne, Wyoming. No one was in the stopped train at the time of collision.