Articles Posted in Product Liability

a%20window.jpgEven as researchers warn of an ever-increasing risk of lead exposure-related health effects in children, the federal administration has moved ahead to slash funding for an important lead poisoning prevention program.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s lead poisoning prevention program channels funds to state health departments in order to conduct lead screening programs. The funds for this lead poisoning prevention program have been cut by approximately 93%.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s lead poisoning prevention program received $2 million in funding this year. That was a dramatic decline from $29.2 million last year. Most of the money goes for screening programs by state health departments, while the rest of the money goes toward education programs and data collection. These are important activities that help health agencies understand the extent of lead poisoning and exposure hazards in the country.
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mesh.jpgFor millions of Americans, medical devices have meant an improved quality of life. However, many of these people also suffer injuries from medical devices that were not tested adequately before they were implanted in their bodies.

According to a new report by Consumer Reports, there are an increasing number of American patients who live with some kind of medical devices. These devices range all the way from defibrillators to vaginal mesh. Many of these devices are untested. According to Consumer Reports, in many cases, manufacturers are getting their medical devices approved by the Food And Drug Administration by merely filing paperwork.

Getting a simple new medical device approved by the Food and Drug Administration costs just over $4,000. A company only has to pay this user fee to begin selling a medical product that can be inserted in the bodies of millions of Americans.
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006.JPGPharmaceutical companies will soon be required to disclose payments that they make to doctors. The aim is to increase transparency, and ensure that doctors influenced by these payments do not make medical decisions that impact patient safety and increase healthcare costs.

Every year, thousands of doctors across the country receive payments from pharmaceutical drug companies. Doctors are paid for research they conduct, as well as for consulting and speaking engagements. Besides making cash gifts, many companies also pay doctors in the form of dinners and vacations. There are a large number of doctors across the country who receive such payments from pharmaceutical companies. In fact, the pharmaceutical drug industry spends millions of dollars every year on such payments.

Several studies have indicated that doctors can be influenced by the payments that they receive from pharmaceutical companies. These doctors, it has been found, are much more likely to contribute to high costs of medical care by prescribing more expensive drugs, or recommending medical devices even when they are not necessary.
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000%20eye.jpgThis Halloween, thousands of people across Indiana may have a heightened risk of suffering serious eye injuries from the use of decorative contact lenses.

The Indiana Attorney General and the Indiana Optometric Association are joining hands to warn consumers about the risks from using these decorative contact lenses. Come Halloween, demand for these lenses will increase substantially, as people use ghoulish and scary contact lenses to complete their Halloween costumes. However, users must know that indiscriminate and improper use of these contact lenses could increase their risk of suffering a number of injuries, including corneal ulcers, abrasion, and corneal infections. Indiana optometrists are also warning about the risk of infections when people share contact lenses with each other. Some of these infections and eye injuries can be serious enough to lead to blindness.
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000%20pills.jpgLast year, Americans consumed $28.1 billion worth of nutritional supplements, in the process feeding one of the most unregulated manufacturing industries in the country. Not only is there little evidence that many of these supplements work as well as they claim, but there is also increasing evidence that many of them contain dangerous ingredients that are not mentioned on their labels.

It’s hard for Indiana personal injury lawyers to overstate the dangers to Americans from unsafe nutritional and herbal supplements. The Food and Drug Administration does not have the authority to approve supplements before they’re released into the market. Unlike with pharmaceutical drugs that have to be processed through a conventional approval procedure before they’re made available to consumers, nutritional supplements can be introduced into the market without FDA approval. The only time that the Food and Drug Administration can step in to pressure the company to withdraw products, is when there are reports of illnesses or injuries from the use of these products.
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The Food and Drug Administration needs to do much more to prevent cardiac device defects that result in a recall. The Government Accountability Office has just released a report which chides the federal agency for its oversight failures.

According to the report, cardiac devices account for some of the most frequent medical device recalls initiated by the Food and Drug Administration. The results were based on an audit of data from 2005 to 2009. According to the data, there were 3,510 medical device recalls during this period of time. Out of these, cardiovascular medical devices were the most frequently recalled devices.
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needle.jpgLast month, Triad Group announced a recall of alcohol swabs due to fears of bacterial contamination. According to Triad, the risk of someone actually falling sick from these contaminated swabs was actually quite small. The parents of a two-year-old boy, who died from a hospital-acquired infection, have now filed a lawsuit against Triad, claiming that the swabs were responsible for his fatal infection.

Two-year-old Harrison Kothari had been admitted to the hospital for a routine surgery, and had been scheduled to be discharged in a few days time, but on 1 December, he began to suffer acute organ failure from bacterial meningitis. Harrison died soon after. His parents struggled to understand the cause of their son’s death, until they came across reports of a recall of the alcohol swabs that had been used during his procedure. That recall notice by Triad Group warned consumers of the contaminated alcohol swabs, and cautioned medical professional against using these swabs even for cleaning the site of an injection. According to Triad, the risk of an infection developing from these contaminated swabs is very minute.
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wrenches.jpgThe number of auto defect complaints made by motorists to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration spiked in 2010, spurred, no doubt, by the massive Toyota recalls last year.

According to the NHTSA, it received a four-fold increase of more than 40,000 complaints in 2010. Approximately, 25% of the complaints were related to Toyota vehicles. The automaker suffered the biggest fall from grace in 2010, with defect complaints relating to its vehicles jumping to 87 for every 100,000 vehicles in 2010. Nissan came in at the second spot with 62 complaints for every 100,000 vehicles, and Volkswagen had 50 complaints for every 100,000 vehicles.
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For Indiana product liability lawyers, this is a decision that could not have come too soon. After months of consideration, the Consumer Product Safety Commission this week announced tough new crib safety rules, including a complete ban on drop side cribs, as well as requirements for tougher and more durable crib hardware.

The decision comes after immense pressure by child safety groups, parents and Indiana product liability attorneys who have been concerned about the dozens of deaths and hundreds of crib-related suffocation incidents. There have been at least 32 confirmed reports of infants dying in their cribs from suffocation, entrapment or falls. Besides these, there have been hundreds of incidents reported from around the country, where children nearly suffocated to death after being trapped in the space created by the detached drop side. In these cases, the children were fortunate enough to be rescued by their parents and caregivers.
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food.jpgIt is a well-known fact that children are just as much at risk from choking on pieces of food, as on toys. Earlier this year, a study confirmed that 60% of children below the age of four, who had to be rushed to hospital emergency rooms after a choking incident, had choked on food, and not toys.

In spite of this, there are few or no restrictions on the kind of foods that you can allow a three or four-year-old child to have. In contrast, there are a number of barriers between a child and a small toy, or a toy with detachable parts. This is in spite of the fact that many of the small toys that are believed to be a choking hazard, like small balls, are shaped and sized exactly like foods that can cause serious harm to a child, like gumdrops.
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