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British Scientists Want to Make Cars Safer For Older Drivers

By Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyer on April 23, 2012

A team of British researchers has embarked upon the creation of technology that they say could keep elderly drivers driving longer and in a safer fashion than had previously been possible.

Scientists from Newcastle University have outfitted a Peugeot Ion with various tracking devices that can keep track of levels of stress, concentration, and driving habits.  They hope that their findings can lead to new technologies that would make it easier for persons over the age of 65 to get around in an automobile.  Their research was made possible by funding from the Research Councils UK Digital Economy Program.

Biometric technology and goggles that track eye movement will be used to monitor cardiovascular health and heart rate, among other things.  Researchers claim that their findings will lead to technology that can address shortcomings in an elderly person’s driving habits.  These technological advances could include informational displays on the windshield, systems that alert the driver to blind spots, and radar that tells the driver how far they are from vehicles ahead of them.

The group is also looking into the efficacy of navigational systems that provide visual directions instead of just directional based directions.  A device like this would say something like “turn right at the mailbox,” instead of simply relating the distance away from the vehicle, i.e. “turn left in 300 feet.”

I hope as a personal injury lawyer in Long Beach that this technology and others like it can help improve road safety.  It seems like every day sees the creation of some new safety features, and it’s a trend I’d like to see continue as a Long Beach car accident attorney.

FDA Says Fish Affected By Oil Spill Don’t Pose Safety Risk

By Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyer on April 20, 2012

On the heels of an oil spill that many people feared would cause long term damage to the environment, the Food and Drug Administration has said that consumers shouldn’t worry about the safety of fish currently on the market.

Consumers have recently grown concerned about the issue following the release photos which showed fish from the Gulf of Mexico as having deformities and lesions on their bodies.  And although scientists say that this is a sign that the oil spill two years ago does have a lasting impact, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the fish on the market are unsafe.

The FDA says that if a fish really is diseased, it’s illegal to sell that fish.  A spokesperson cites the relatively low number of affected fish as a reason that the public shouldn’t be scared about the threat that such seafood could pose.  And as far as oil contamination is concerned, laboratories on both the state and federal levels have been busy testing 10,000-plus fish and shrimp to determine if oil could pose a threat.  The FDA figures that  the average consumer would need to eat five pounds of oysters or nine pounds of other seafood every day for five years for a danger to become a possibility.

As a personal injury lawyer in Long Beach, I find it incredible and disappointing that there might be safety issues two years after a disaster.  I’m glad to see that testing is ongoing to keep consumers safe, and I hope as a personal injury lawyer in San Bernardino that these efforts continue.

Commercial Driver Medical Examiners Must Undergo Training

By Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyer on April 18, 2012

A new ruling has just been passed that could affect everyone who shares the road with a big rig truck.

Every two years, commercial drivers are required to submit to a medical examination with the Department of Transporation.  Around three million of these are performed every year in order to make sure that the driver’s vision, hearing, and overall fitness is such that highway safety won’t be compromised.

Today’s announcement will make it necessary for all healthcare professionals conducting these examinations to undergo training and testing on how to conduct the procedure.  Those persons qualified to perform the examination will receive certification.

To make sure that no one circumvents the rule, a new database is being set up to keep track of all those persons who have passed the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s certification process.  Examiners have until May 21,2014 to get on this new database.

The standards that medical examiners are required to follow will go live on the FMCSA’s website in a month.  Once the rule is implemented, commercial drivers will need to get their examination only from a person who appears on the aforementioned database.

It will be interesting to a Long Beach car accident attorney like me to see how this measure improves highway safety.  We all have to share the road with commercial drivers, so in a sense, this affects everyone in the country.  I hope as a personal injury lawyer in Long Beach that this new rule can save some lives.

Recalled Ford Focus Pulled From Avis Budget’s Rental Fleet

By Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyer on April 6, 2012

When a recall gets issued, people are likely to only pay attention if they are the owners of the vehicle.  But what happens if someone has to rent a vehicle but the rental company isn’t keeping tabs on recalls?

In a bid to protect consumers that may need to rent a car, the Avis Budget Group has announced that they will be pulling around 10,000 recalled Ford Focus sedans of the 2012 model year from their fleet of more than 300,000 vehicles.  Because these sedans are a relatively small part of their overall fleet, Avis Budget is not expecting there to be a rental shortfall.

The removal comes after the manufacturer sent Avis Budget a recall notice.  The problem has to do with a defect in the motors of the Focus’s windshield wipers.

Removing the vehicles reportedly means putting them into what’s called a hard hold.  This essentially prevents a consumer from renting the recalled vehicle.  Avis Budget says they were able to identify affected vehicles via their VIN.

Concerned consumers that have the automobiles rented out right now can return them to the nearest Avis or Budget rental outlet.

As a personal injury lawyer in Long Beach, I think the renting of recalled cars is an issue that gets short shrift in the media.  It’s my hope that other rental companies follow suit whenever a recall gets issued.  Being a Long Beach car accident lawyer, I don’t think anything is more important than safety.

Cephalosporin Livestock Ban Aims to Improve Consumer Health

By Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyer on April 4, 2012

Because of worries that it could actually adversely affect human beings, the Food and Drug Administration has taken steps to ban cephalosporin in livestock.

The thinking works like this:  although antibiotics such as cephalosporin are a great way to treat infections, extended application can actually cause the person being treated to become susceptible to strengthened bacteria.  Cattle, chicken, and pigs have been given the drug to combat internal infection, but since those animals are then processed into our food, we then risk being constantly exposed to the cephalosporin.

Basically, this means it’s possible that fairly harmless bacteria are taken care of while the more serious bacteria like E. coli become immune to the effects of an antibiotic.

There are other antibiotics that are given to livestock that have not yet been banned, such as the far more common tetracycline. However, experts think that the cephalosporin ban is a great step that may lead to bans on more prevalent types of antibiotics.

One area where the ban on cephalosporin will not take place is with pets.  The antibiotic is widespread in veterinary offices, and as such, the FDA does not want to compromise the safety of such animals.

As a personal injury lawyer in Long Beach, I’m glad to see any steps taken to preserve public health.  It’s my hope that this and other measures can save lives and make food safer for all of us to eat.  As a Los Angeles personal injury attorney, I’ll be paying attention to see what other practices the FDA enacts in the near future.

Adjustable Mattress Bases Recalled by Leggett & Platt

By Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyer on March 22, 2012

The number of recalls that get issued on a semi-regular basis can put just about anyone on edge.  And as you’re soon about to see, even sleeping in your own bed could be a hazard!

The United States Consumer Product Safety Commission reports that Leggett & Platt has had to recall its power foundations that act as an adjustable base for mattresses.  The product is operated by a remote control, which is used to move various sections of the bed up and down for optimal comfort.

The problem has to do with certain electrical components in the motor control board.  These components run the risk of failing and subsequently overheating, posing an obvious fire hazard.  Already, Leggett & Platt has fielded 29 reports of this overheating, although thankfully no injuries have been reported as yet.

25,200 units fall under the purview of this particular recall.  These units were sold across the country between March 2008 and October of last year.  They retailed from $1,700 to $2,200 and were available at numerous mattress retail organizations.

Users have been advised to unplug and cease usage immediately.  They can contact Leggett for a repair kit or else schedule an appointment to have someone come out to their home to fix the problem.

As a San Diego personal injury lawyer, I know firsthand how products we take for granted can pose a hazard.  I just hope as a personal injury lawyer in Long Beach that no one gets hurt by this particular item.

Group Asks FDA For Stricter Rules on Soda Caramel Coloring

By Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyer on March 8, 2012

A group is charging soda makers with endangering the public’s health by including what they say is a cancer-causing chemical in their products.

The Center for Science in the Public Interest has petitioned the Food and Drug Administration to ban 4-methylimidazole from soda.  The group has claimed that studies have shown unsafe levels of the chemical, which is used to provide caramel coloring in soft drinks, in such popular brands as Coca Cola and Pepsi.

Their findings, though, are divisive.  The FDA has said that it would take more than a thousand cans of soda per day to reach the level of risk that the group is claiming.  And the American Beverage Association has stated that the company is simply trying to use scare tactics to push their agenda.

But the CSPI persists, saying that they found 140 micrograms of the chemicals in a 12 ounce soda serving, higher than the 29 microgram limit suggested by the state of California.  They say that translates to 5 out of 100,000 people that will contract cancer.

The FDA, for their part, places a cap on the caramel coloring at 250 parts per million.

As a personal injury lawyer in Long Beach, I find the battle over consumer safety to be of particular importance.  No matter which way this petition goes, I’ll be keeping close tabs on the results.  I feel that knowledge of FDA rulings is important to a Los Angeles personal injury lawyer.

FDA Tells Spinal Implant Maker Synthes to Fix Plant Problems

By Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyer on March 6, 2012

First came the recalls that were initiated against hip implants and infant Tylenol made by subsidiaries of Johnson & Johnson.  These were owing to serious safety concerns with the products.  Now, another potential Johnson & Johnson company is being warned of its product’s deficiencies by the Food and Drug Administration.

The FDA fired off a warning letter to Synthes, a Swiss maker of medical devices, saying that they either need to fix problems discovered at a Pennsylvania plant or face steep fines.  Synthes is in the process of being purchased by Johnson & Johnson to the tune of $23.1 billion, pending approval by antitrust officials.

The purchase should be lucrative, considering that Synthes made $4 billion last year alone in its sales of spinal disc implants, screws, and rods used in spinal surgery and to improve bone damage in trauma patients.  A spokesperson has said that they will work to ensure the problems get fixed.

Those problems stem from an FDA inspection of a West Chester plant that uncovered violations that were never corrected.  The FDA has stated that the company does not adequately monitor and investigate complaints that arise in association with their devices, and a failure to fix this oversight will result in regulations imposed by the FDA.

As a Los Angeles personal injury lawyer, I hate to think that important medical products that are intended to keep us safe could do harm.  However, I also understand that this can happen, which is why it’s so important that corrective action be immediately forthcoming.  It’s my wish as a personal injury lawyer in Long Beach that this issue gets rectified.

Recall: Worthington Cylinders Wisconsin Gas Cylinders

By Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyer on March 1, 2012

According to news sources, a recall has been issued for about 29,026,000 units of Map Pro, Propylene and MAPP Gas Cylinders after it was found that the recalled product posed a fire hazard to consumers.

The voluntary recall was announced by the company, Worthington Cylinders Wisconsin, LLC, due to the cylinders containing a potentially faulty seal that could end up leaking after the fuel consuming equipment is detached from it. The recalled cylinder products have been sold in kits as well as stand alone products, have a retail price range between $45 to $75 for the kits, and $7 to $13 for the stand alone models.

Consumers with the recalled product should stop using it immediately. Consumers may also return the recalled cylinder product to the place of purchase to receive an exchange or full refund amount.

As a Fresno personal injury lawyer, I understand the inherent dangers of defective products and the risks they entail. I hope this information can help raise awareness about this recalled product and keep consumers safe. If you or a loved one has been injured through the use or consumption of a defective product, speak with a personal injury lawyer Long Beach to learn about the legal options available to you.

Shimano Recalling about 213 Mountain Bike Handlebar Stems

By Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyer on February 21, 2012

According to news sources, a recall has been issued for about 213 units of Mountain Bicycle Handlebar Stems due to a fall hazard arising from the defective component.

The company, Shimano American Corporation, announced the recall due to issues relating to the bolts used to hold the front plate to the stem body being pilled out of the threads, thereby posing a fall hazard to riders as it can cause the rider to lose control of the bicycle. The recalled units have a model number PRSS0049, as well as identification codes HH, HJ, HK, HL, IA, IC, ID, IE and IF.

There has been one reported injury to date.

Consumers with the recalled PRO Atherton direct mount bicycle handlebar stems should stop using it and take it to an authorized retailer to receive a free replacement if necessary. For additional information, contact the company at (800) 353-4719.
As a personal injury lawyer Long Beach, I’ve seen recalls of this kind in the past and know the severity of the hazards they entail. I hope this information can help raise awareness about this recalled product. If you or a loved one has been injured through the use or consumption of a defective product, speak with a Fresno personal injury attorney to learn about the legal options available to you. Please, continue to visit our blog for regular updates about unsafe and dangerous consumer products.

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