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Study Finds About 5,000 Kids Hurt By Window Falls Annually

By Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyer on August 24, 2011

A recent study found that approximately 5,000 children are injured annually from falling out of windows and that younger children are at greater risk of window falls, report news sources.

The study, published in the journal Pediatrics, looked at data from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System operated by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. Researchers found that between 1990 and 2008 hospital emergency rooms treated 98,415 children who had suffered a window fall; that figure averages to 5,180 patients annually. Falls from windows in cars, tree houses and homes under construction were not included in the sample. Also not included were falls through windows or falls from windowsills because in the majority of those cases the child fell back into the room. The patients in the data set were divided into two age-based groups: the first group, 0- to 4-years-old, was the higher risk group (64.8 percent of injuries); the second group was ages 5 to 17.

The average age of an injured child in the study was 5.1-years-old, and boys suffered more injuries than girls. Study authors also found that 62.7 percent of injury cases were two-story falls and that overall injury rates went up during summer. Children in the 0 to 4 years of age category were more likely to suffer face or head injuries than their older counterparts, making the younger group 1.65 times more likely to die or be hospitalized. Among all children represented in the study, when the nature of the injury was known, 48.6 percent of the injuries were head or face related.

Because a higher risk of death or hospitalization was linked to falls on to hard surfaces, researchers suggested planting shrubs or plant beds under windows to help cushion falls. The study authors also recommended that parents and caregivers employ window guards or window locks that restrict a window’s opening capacity to four inches.

As a Fresno personal injury lawyer, I encourage parents and other caregivers to take steps to keep children safe by securing windows and keeping an eye on children.

Regulators Poised to Test Inter-Vehicle Safety Technology

By Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyer on August 23, 2011

Federal safety regulators are set to launch a real-world trial of an automobile safety network that allows motor vehicles to communicate with each other in order to improve overall safety on the road, report news sources.

In August 2012, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration plans to start collecting data from a fleet of 3,000 vehicles outfitted with prototype wireless vehicle-to-vehicle communication technology. The one-year research effort, dubbed The Safety Pilot, will run in Ann Arbor, Mich. with the aim of using the data to set V2V standards and determining the most helpful data streams. Researchers will also look at how drivers respond when their vehicle warns them of an impending collision.

While current active safety technology can help prevent imminent events by responding to immediate dangers, networked vehicles communicating instantly with each other can help avoid otherwise unforeseen crashes. In essence, current technology like crash avoidance systems and lane-keep assist can only monitor the environment immediately surrounding the vehicle on which it’s installed, and therefore can only respond to very close by changes. Vehicles that communicate with each other on a network will be able to send out what is called a “Here I Am” message, which includes information about speed and location. Other vehicles can use the incoming data to determine if a risk is present and if so, take preventative action like activating the breaks or warning the driver of a possible collision.

For the trial NHTSA wants to use technology that is already in existence to ensure that all vehicles, whether motorcycles or big rigs, can communicate with each other. The safety agency predicts that setting V2V standards will mean that the technology will be brought to the marketplace faster than if automakers develop proprietary systems.

As a Fresno personal injury lawyer, I encourage motorists to stay safe on the road not only by utilizing safety technology, but also by practicing safe driving habits.

Ground Beef Recalled Due to Presence of Blue Plastic

By Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyer on August 23, 2011

In a statement Friday, the Food Safety and Inspection Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced that Vantage Foods is recalling about 1,642 pounds of ground beef due to the presence of foreign material.

Subject to recall are 2lb trays of Lowe’s Foods fresh ground beef 93/7 that display the establishment number 34176 inside the USDA mark of inspection. The sell by date of August 29, 2011 appears on the product’s label. The product affected by the recall was produced on August 15, 2011 and distributed to retail establishments in Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina.

The foreign material issue was discovered after a consumer found pieces of blue plastic in the ground beef and returned the product to the place of purchase. The retailer that sold the product to the consumer reported the issue to Vantage Foods. Neither Vantage Foods nor the FSIS have received reports of adverse affects resulting from the consumption of the recalled beef.

The USDA has classified the recall as a Class III recall, meaning that it has been determined that consumption of the recalled beef product will not lead to adverse health effects.

As a Fresno personal injury lawyer, I hope that no one has been harmed through the consumption of the recalled ground beef.

Friskars Lawn Trimmers Recalled Due to Fire, Injury Risks

By Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyer on August 23, 2011

In a news release Tuesday, Friskars Brands, Inc., in cooperation with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, announced the voluntary recall of lawn trimmers due to burn, fire and laceration hazards posed by myriad issues.

Subject to recall are approximately 2,200 Straight Shaft and Curved Shaft Friskars SmartPower String Trimmers manufactured by the Madison, Wis.-based company. The fire and injury hazards stem from several issues: Engine vibration while the trimmers are in use can lead to wear on the fuel line, which can lead to a propane fuel leak; the Straight Shaft trimmer’s propane canister can crack at the neck during use; lastly, high temperatures may build near the plastic cutting guard of the Curved Shaft Trimmer, which could cause the guard to deform and fall off.

There have been no reported injuries in connection with the defects.

Both affected trimmers are black, silver and orange and use propane fuel. They display the word “SmartPower” near the pull-start handle and on the lower shaft. The engine cover and plastic cutting guard display the company name “Friskars” The model number for the SmartPower Propane 4-Cycle Straight Shaft String Trimmer is 67016935, and the model number for the SmartPower Propane 4-Cycle Curved Shaft String Trimmer is 67036946.

The trimmers affected by the recall were sold from January 2011 to July 2011 in The Exchange (also known as Army and Air Force Exchange Service or AAFES) stores and online at Amazon.com, Walmart.com, Powerequipmentdirect.com and SureSource.com for between $220 and $280.

Anyone who owns one of the recalled trimmers is urged to immediately stop using the gardening equipment and contact Friskars to arrange a full refund.

I hope that no one has been harmed through the use of these trimmers. As a Fresno personal injury lawyer, I urge anyone who has purchased the trimmer to stay safe by ceasing to use it right away.

Terex Boom Trucks Recalled Due to Aerial System Defect

By Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyer on August 22, 2011

In a news release Saturday, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced that Terex Telelct, Inc. is recalling certain utility trucks due to a defect in the boom system that poses a risk of injury or death.

Subject to recall are 109 Terex HR 37 and HR 40 boom trucks from model years 2000 and 2001 that were manufactured from November 2000 through December 2001. The aerial devices on the trucks may have a lower boom lift cylinder that contains defective components. The cylinder rod ends, which were manufactured with material that was not to specifications, may crack, causing the cylinder to disconnect while in use, posing a risk or injury to people using the vehicle or bystanders.

Terex said that it will notify affected customers of the recall, but no notification schedule has been submitted to the NHTSA. Once notified of the recall, owners will be able to take the affected boom trucks to a dealer where the cylinder will be inspected for cracks. The cylinder material will also be tested for hardness.

I hope that no one has been harmed as a result of the defective cylinder rod ends. As a Fresno personal injury lawyer, I urge customers affected by the recall to stay safe by having their vehicles inspected as soon as possible.

Transit Buses Recalled Due to Risk of Fire

By Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyer on August 22, 2011

In a news release Saturday, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announce that Daimler Buses North America is recalling certain 2010 Orion VII transit buses due to a fault in the engine cooling system, which poses a risk of a vehicle fire.

Subject to recall are 96 transit buses built from November 2010 through January 2011. Hot exhaust gasses have the potential to escape before reaching the tailpipe due to a faulty T-bolt in the V-clamp assembly, posing a risk of combustion and fire. The V-clamp assembly connects the inlet and outlet cone sections to the diesel oxidation catalyst (DOC)/diesel particulate filter (DPF). The T-bolt has the potential to fail or fracture under stress or load. If the T-bolt becomes compromised, the clamp could loosen, causing the inlet or outlet sections to disconnect from the DOC/DPF housing. Also, in some cases, if both clamps fail the DOC/DPF housing may completely detach, which could result in a road hazard.

The affected transit buses are outfitted with a Cummins ISB, ISX, ISC or ISL diesel engine. DBNA is working with Cummins to identify and notify affected owners of the recalled buses. The recall is expected to begin this month. Authorized Cummins dealers will perform needed repairs on the affected vehicles free of charge.

I hope no one has been injured as a result of the fault with the engine cooling system. As a Fresno personal injury lawyer, I urge owners to have the affected transit buses inspected and, if necessary, repaired as soon as possible.

 

Risk of Fire Prompts Recall of Certain Tiffin Motor Homes

By Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyer on August 22, 2011

In a news release Saturday, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced that Tiffin Motorhomes, Inc. is recalling certain Phaeton mobile homes due an issue with the exhaust pipe that poses a fire hazard.

Subject to recall are 149 Phaeton motor homes from model years 2010 through 2012 with floor plans QBH, QKH, and QTH. The affected vehicles were equipped with 2010 EPA certified engines on Powerglide chassis. The exhaust pipe on the affected motor homes is mounted to close to the underside of the floor, which could cause the insulation to melt, posing a risk of fire.

The problem with the exhaust pipe was discovered after a customer complained of smoke entering his motor home. After the initial repair, other vehicles were inspected, revealing the issue was present in other motor homes.

Tiffin is expected to notify affected mobile home owners this month. Owners will be able to take their vehicle to a dealer where a heat shield will be attached to the bottom of the floor along with an insulating sock or blanket that will be wrapped around the exhaust pipe. The installations will be performed free of charge to vehicle owners.

I hope that no one has been harmed as a result of the issue with the exhaust pipe. As a Fresno personal injury lawyer, I encourage owners of the affected motor homes to have their vehicles repaired as soon as possible.

Listeria Concern Prompts Kimchi Recall in Southern States

By Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyer on August 22, 2011

In a news release Wednesday, Atlanta Oriental Food Wholesale Company announced the recall of certain kimchi products due to possible Listeria monocytogenes contamination.

Subject to recall are 1-gallon and 5-gallon containers of Cut Napa Kimchi. The potential for Listeria contamination was discovered during routine testing by the Atlanta-based company of 1-gallon containers of the traditional Korean condiment. Production of the kimchi has been suspended while Atalanta Oriental Food and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration investigate the source of the issue.

The affected product is sold in either a clear, 1-gallon plastic container or a 5-gallon bucket. The lot number 56090959 appears on the side of the containers. The kimchi subject to recall was distributed through Buford Highway Farmers Market in Doraville, Ga., as well as other companies in Georgia, Alabama, and Tennessee.

Listeria infection can lead to listeriosis, which is an uncommon, however, serious, and in some cases fatal, illness, especially in elderly or frail people, children, and people with compromised immune systems. Symptoms include fever, headache, stiffness, abdominal pain, nausea and diarrhea. Among pregnant women, Listeria infection can lead to stillbirths and miscarriages.

Anyone who has purchased the affected product should return it for a full refund to the place of purchase.

I hope that no one has been sickened as a result of consuming the recalled kimchi. As a Fresno personal injury lawyer, I encourage anyone who purchased the affected kimchi to return it as soon as possible.

Automakers Seek Federal Campaign Against Kids in Hot Cars

By Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyer on August 19, 2011

An automobile manufacturers trade group is urging the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration to launch a safety campaign to educate parents and caregivers on the dangers of leaving children unattended in vehicles, report news sources.

The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers has asked the NHTSA to allocate up to $7 million of $124 million of unused safety belt funds to the campaign. NHTSA is in the midst of convening panels in several states to examine the issue of child death resulting from extreme heat in motor vehicles. The agency is also looking into aftermarket technology to help prevent children dying in vehicles, including warning devices that would alert drivers that a child has been left in the vehicle.

A San Francisco State University meteorologist says that temperatures in vehicles can rise very fast, noting that on a 85-degree day, the temperature inside a vehicle can rise to 104-degrees within 10 minutes and to 130 degrees within an hour. He said that since 1998, there have been 513 reported deaths of children due to being in hot cars, an average of 38 deaths annually.

One solution that safety advocates have promoted to help drivers remember that a child is in the back seat of a car is to leave their cell phone in the back seat or a teddy bear or diaper bag in the front seat as a visual reminder.

As a Fresno personal injury lawyer, I encourage parents and caregivers to take extra steps to ensure the safety of children in the car including using proper safety restraints during the drive and having a system to make sure children are not left alone in the vehicle.

Office Depot Recalls Desk Chair Due to Pinch Hazard

By Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyer on August 19, 2011

In a news release Thursday, Office Depot Inc., in cooperation with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, announced a voluntary recall of desk chairs due to a design flaw, posing a risk of injury.

Subject to recall are approximately 34,000 Realspace PRO 3000 Series Desk Chairs due to an opening in the chair’s tilt mechanism in which a person’s finger can get caught, posing a pinch hazard. Also subject to recall are 425 of the chairs in Canada. Office Depot, based in Boca Raton, Fla., has received one report of injury based on a person whose finger was pinched by the tilt mechanism on the chair.

The chairs affected by the recall are all Realspace PRO 3000 Series Custom Fit desk chairs. They are black mid-back fabric chairs and have the SKU number 996-190. The manufacture date of the affected chair is between March 2009 and May 2011 and is listed in Year/Month/Date format; for example date code 20090507 represents May 7, 2009. The manufacture date, P.O. number, and the phrase “Made in China” all appear on labels on the underside of the seat.

The chairs were sold nationwide from May 2009 through June 2011 exclusively at Office Depot retail stores and on the office supply retailer’s website, OfficeDepot.com for about $170.

Anyone in possession of the chair should stop using it immediately and contact Office Depot to receive a free repair kit that includes a cover for the tilt mechanism. Consumers will need to notify Office Depot of the P.O. number on the underside of the chair in order to receive the repair kit.

I hope that no one else has been injured by using this chair. As a Fresno personal injury lawyer, I encourage anyone who owns this chair to arrange for a repair kit as soon as possible.

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