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cooking-4299302_1280-300x199Parents in Chicago and around the country should be aware that recently, Ryan and Rose recalled the Cutie Spoovel utensil. The Cutie Spoovel is a transitional tool little kids use to eat, and it can present a danger. The handle of the Cutie Spoovel utensil can break off; this results in the release of small parts, posing a choking hazard for young children. The tool comes in two colors and is fashioned from a plastic core sheathed in silicone. The back of the spoon identifies the utensil as made by “Cutie Spoovel” and RR is printed on the handle back.

The manufacturer received three separate reports that the Cutie Spoovel utensil’s handle broke when a child bit down on it. Neither injuries nor choking have been reported. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) advised all recalled utensils should be removed from children. They should be disposed. The company can be contacted for either a full refund or a $20 shop credit.

In addition, if your child suffered injuries because of a Cutie Spoovel or other utensil for children, you may be able to recover damages in a product liability lawsuit. These lawsuits are brought when a person who used the product is injured by a defect in it. You and your child might be able to recover compensation if your child was injured by a defective Cutie Spoovel utensil or another child tool.

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Thousands of children are vulnerable to injury in connection with conditions at school or extracurricular activities. Chicago children may sustain injury or even be killed while playing sports, on playgrounds, or scootering or biking or walking to and from their schools. Now there are additional risks kids face because of COVID-19 and its variants. The United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recently asked parents across the country to “Think Safety First” in recognition of issues that could come up in connection as children return to school.

Safety Considerations

One of the CPSC’s critical safety tips was to urge your child not to text or talk on the phone while walking. Drivers do not always consider the presence of children even on residential neighborhood streets during the hours that children go to and from school. There were 4600 ER injuries related to walking while distracted on the phone from 2019-2020.

Another important safety consideration is your child’s safety helmet. A safety helmet should be worn in connection with riding a scooter, skateboarding or biking to school. The CPSC release specified there were 144,100 bicycle injuries treated in the ER from 2017-2019 to children under age 16. It is necessary when playing football. Use of a safety helmet can prevent serious brain injuries under certain circumstances. You should check and make sure your child’s safety helmet is adequate and up to safety standards. Tragically, some recalls only occur after a child is catastrophically injured. When that is the case, it may be appropriate to pursue damages in a product liability lawsuit.

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On September 1, 2021, United States Consumer Product Safety Commission announced that TurboSKE toddler bike helmets had been recalled. Around 860 units had been sold. The reason that these helmets were recalled was because they present a risk of head injury to small children. While this specific recall involved TurboSKE toddler bike helmets, as a parent you should be aware that other helmets kids wear have presented dangers and been subject to recall and warnings in the past. Traumatic brain injuries, skull fractures and other head injuries can dramatically alter a Chicago child’s future.

When your child wears a helmet that is defective such that he or she sustains serious injuries, you can pursue damages by filing a lawsuit. It’s important to retain an attorney who understands how to present your case persuasively to manufacturers, insurers, mediators and the court. If your child suffered head injuries in a bicycle accident and you suspect it was the result of manufacturing, design or marketing defects in the bike helmet being worn, you should call the experienced and compassionate Chicago-based product liability attorneys of the Moll Law Group.

As a parent in Chicago or another city, you may delight to teaching your toddler how to ride a tricycle or bicycle. Helmets are an important part of a parent’s instruction on riding a bike safely. Frequently, parents also put helmets on toddlers because the toddler is riding on a seat on the back of the parent’s own bicycle in traffic. A negligent driver of a larger vehicle may cause an accident that results in catastrophic or even fatal head and neck injuries. It is tragic when a child unknowingly wears a defective bike helmet and gets into a serious collision or spill.

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At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, there were many questions about how best the public should protect itself. Among the recommendations were more frequent hand washing and hand sanitizing. Since then, there’s been a new Delta variant causing new surges, and yet there are some dangers consumers should be aware of when using hand sanitizers to guard against COVID-19 and its variants. The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has built a fairly long list of recalled hand sanitizers. At last look, there are 255 different recalled hand sanitizers listed. Chicago consumers should stay aware of the potential harm of these products.

According to the FDA, around nine hand sanitizers produced in Mexico contained high levels of methanol. Methanol is produced from vegetation, microbes and volcanic gases. It’s often used as a solvent in various pharmaceuticals and as an industrial solvent for dyes, adhesives, resins, and inks. Importantly, consumers should be aware it is a chemical that may have detrimental effects whether exposure is short-term or long-term.

Symptoms of toxic exposure to methanol include vomiting, nausea, headache, permanent blindness, coma, seizures, permanent nervous system damage or death. If you were exposed to hand sanitizer that has methanol in it, you should get treated immediately.

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In spite of its efforts to stop the distribution of dangerous weight loss and sexual enhancement products, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) continues to discover weight loss and sexual enhancement products that violate the federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act at various online stores. Consumers in Chicago and elsewhere should be wary of purchasing these types of products online.

The FDA has warned consumers about dangerous products available at online retailers for a decade, but in spite of efforts to improve safety in these spaces, violations persist. On July 26, 2021, the FDA issued a letter to let Amazon know that it was distributing weight loss and sexual enhancement products that violate the federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. The distributed products include hidden ingredients that could have harmful medical consequences.

The FDA sampled 26 products it bought on Amazon. It also sampled 25 products it bought on eBay. Alarmingly, the FDA found that all 26 of the drugs bought on Amazon contained undeclared active ingredients. 20 of 25 products purchased on eBay also did. None of the potentially harmful ingredients in these products is declared in the product labeling so that consumers know to seek physician supervision and advice with regard to them. For instance, an FDA lab analysis confirmed that X Rated Honey for Men includes tadalafil, which is the active ingredient in the erectile dysfunction drug Cialis. Likewise, analysis found tadalafil, the active ingredient in the FDA-approved prescription drug Cialis, in Adam’s Secret Extra Strength 2000 sold through online retailers.

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Litigation has been filed against Johnson & Johnson after the discovery of benzene in their Neutrogena aerosol sunscreen products. A study by the pharmaceutical testing lab Valisure has revealed high concentrations of benzene in many sunscreen products. Two months later, Johnson & Johnson voluntarily recalled five of its Neutrogena and Aveeno aerosol sunscreens and warned consumers to stop using those products after they conducted internal testing that detected low-level benzene in certain sprays. Recently, plaintiffs petitioned the United States Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation asking for the creation of a multidistrict litigation docket in connection with their claims. Those in Chicago who have been diagnosed with cancer and suspect it is related to sunscreen aerosol sprays in which benzene has been found should consult experienced product liability lawyers about whether they have claim.

These lawsuits include allegations that are almost identical. Specifically, they allege that the company’s sunscreen sprays are defective because they contain benzene. Benzene is harmful; as a carcinogen, it is linked to blood cancers.

Benzene was found in around 78 different batches of sunscreen and after-sun products for which benzene is not listed as an ingredient. The report specifies certain manufacturers whose products include benzene including:

  • Neutrogena
  • CVS Health
  • Banana Boat
  • BabyGanics
  • Coppertone
  • Walgreens
  • Aveeno

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Earlier this week, U.S. consumer product manufacturing giant Johnson & Johnson announced that it will no longer be selling the company’s talc-based baby powder products in the United States and Canada. The announcement comes after years of litigation surrounding allegations that the company’s talc-based baby powder may cause cancer. The announcement also follows last year’s recall of a batch of baby powder that was found to have potentially unsafe levels of asbestos, the cancer-causing agent that was at the center of the litigation.

Baby Powder

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According to a recent news report, Johnson & Johnson stands behind the safety of its baby powder, and claims to have decided to stop selling the product due to shifting consumer habits, rather than safety concerns. Along those lines, a Johnson & Johnson representative issued a statement explaining that the company “remains steadfastly confident in the safety of talc-based Johnson’s Baby Powder” and that it will “vigorously defend the product, its safety, and the unfounded allegations against it and the company in the courtroom.”

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Earlier this month, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a warning regarding

FDA Warnings

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two breast implant manufacturers for their failure to comply with specific regulatory requirements. According to the official FDA press release, the FDA sent warning letters to Allergan and Ideal Implant Incorporated.

The Warning Letters

Under United States regulations, the manufacturers of silicone breast implants must conduct studies to ensure the continued safety of their products, even after the product has obtained FDA approval. According to the FDA, these post-approval studies are designed to “further evaluate the safety and effectiveness of the products and to answer additional scientific questions about the long-term safety and potential risks of breast implants that their premarket clinical trials were not designed to answer.”

Notably, the FDA requires this follow-up testing even if the manufacturer voluntarily recalls a product. These post-approval studies are crucial to evaluate the continued safety of recalled breast implants for those who already have had the devices implanted.

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FDA RecallEarlier this week, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a news release requesting manufacturers to withdraw all products containing the popular heartburn drug, ranitidine, the active ingredient in the medication, Zantac. The order applies to both prescription and over-the-counter medications. In light of the ongoing COVID-19 national emergency, those who have medicine containing ranitidine on hand are being asked not to return the product to the pharmacy, as is typically recommended. Instead, the FDA is recommending the medication be destroyed according to the disposal suggestion contained in the medication guide or package insert. All formulations of ranitidine are impacted, including pills, injections, and compounded medications that include ranitidine.

The recent recall is the latest step in an escalating investigation surrounding a contaminant known as N-Nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA), which is commonly found in ranitidine. Through its research, the FDA found that the impurities in some ranitidine products increase over time when stored at higher temperatures, potentially resulting in dangerous levels of NDMA.

In its official statement, the FDA explained that it didn’t see unacceptable levels of NDMA in the many samples they tested. Nevertheless, since they did not know how or for how long the product might have been stored they decided that it should not be available to consumers and patients unless its quality could be assured.

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In 2015, the International Agency for Research on Cancer, a division of the World Health Organization, classified glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, as a possible carcinogen. While this is not the first product that presents a risk of cancer to users, the Roundup cases are unique because so many people have been exposed to the product. Since the discovery that Roundup may cause cancer, there have been thousands of product liability lawsuits filed against Bayer, the German manufacturing giant. Bayer purchased Monsanto, the company that initially created and marketed Roundup, in 2018.

Roundup

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These product liability claims seek to hold the company accountable for tragic effects caused by its herbicide, which the company did not disclose to consumers. Over the past few years, several of these cases went to trial, resulting in multi-million-dollar verdicts, totaling over $2 billion to date.

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