Did you know that only about 10 percent of recalled products are actually returned or repaired? This means that 90 percent of products with known defects remain in people's homes. And many of these defective products can result in serious injury or even death.
Chrysler has found themselves a party to a wrongful death lawsuit filed in federal district court in Houston.
The Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences has classified the death of a 47-year-old man who fell from a roller coaster at the Houston Rodeo in March as an accident. While the autopsy report has not yet been finalized, it was determined that the primary cause of the man's death was "multiple blunt impact trauma" -- likely from the impact of falling 30 feet.
On March 20, a trip to the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo ended in tragedy when a 47-year-old man died after falling from a roller coaster ride. He had been riding in the first car of the coaster when he plunged 28 feet to the ground below. The ride operator had looked away from the cars as they rounded the track, and by the time he looked back to the ride, the man was no longer in the car, according to police reports.
In February in this space we highlighted a ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court which allowed a lawsuit to proceed against an automobile manufacturer for a negligent or defective design of a rear seat belt. That case arose after a tragic accident in which the passenger in the center rear seat was killed. Now the parents of a child killed while wearing a lap belt in the rear seat of a Volkswagen have brought a similar lawsuit against that manufacturer.
In 2008, the Consumer Products Safety Commission was informed that an eight-month-old girl was killed when the sliding side of her drop side crib entrapped and suffocated her. The crib, manufactured by Delta Enterprise had been re-assembled without the safety pegs that are designed to keep the crib side from disengaging with the track on which it travels. In October of 2008, the CPSC issued a recall of nearly one million unsafe cribs.
In 2002 the passenger of a Mazda minivan was killed in a fatal car accident. The passenger was sitting in a rear seat in the van and was wearing his seat belt. Unfortunately the vehicle had only lap belts in the rear seat. The deceased passenger's family has claimed in their lawsuit that the vehicle was the product of a defective design because it failed to provide a shoulder belt for the passengers in the rear seat.
In January, a Midwest manufacturer of alcohol wipes and swabs recalled all of it alcohol prep products due to potential contamination by a bacteria called Bacillus cereus. The bacteria can cause acute bacterial meningitis. The notice of the recall of this dangerous product appeared on the Food and Drug Administration website on January 5th. One month before the recall, a two-year-old boy died in Houston's Children's Memorial Hermann Hospital from acute bacterial meningitis.