Articles Posted in Dangerous Products

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Aerosol-Sunscreen-ProductLitigation 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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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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The truth is that manufacturers are most interested in making a profit. Some manufacturers place dangerous products into the stream of commerce, putting millions of lives at risk. Often, there is something more that could be done to create a safer product; however, manufacturers may need encouragement to make their products safer. This encouragement frequently comes from a manufacturer’s fear of legal liability associated with a lawsuit, such as an Illinois product liability claim.

e-cigarette

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Take cigarettes, for example. For decades, there has been widespread agreement that smoking is hazardous to health. Indeed, tobacco companies are still facing lawsuits brought on behalf of those who have died due to complications caused by smoking. However, over the years, society has become more informed about the dangers of tobacco, and more recently the trend has shifted away from smoking traditional tobacco cigarettes and toward “vaping.”

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juror chairs

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Yesterday, a six-person jury concluded that Roundup was a substantial cause of plaintiff’s non-Hodgkins lymphoma. The verdict sends a clear message to Bayer, the company that purchased Monsanto, and for the 11,000 plaintiffs in cases already filed in courts around the country – there is a link between glyphosate and cancer. Because of the case’s national importance, the jury’s recent decision will affect many Illinois toxic tort plaintiffs, as well as those across the country.

According to a recent news report covering the trial, the case involves a man who claimed that use of the defendant’s weed-killer, Round-Up, caused him to develop non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL). Evidently, the plaintiff used the weed-killer over 300 times in his 26-year career. The plaintiff also claims that the manufacturer attempted to influence scientists, regulators, and the general public regarding the safety of the product.

The case is important for several reasons. First, it is only the second case in which jurors have had to determine whether the chemical composition in Round-Up is a substantial factor in causing NHL. The defendant manufacturer claims that its product is safe for human use, regardless of exposure levels. However, the plaintiff argues numerous studies contradict the manufacturer’s assertions, showing that the risk of developing cancer increases with the level of exposure to the product. The only previous case involved a successful claim by a California man who recovered $289 million earlier last year.

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When someone suffers injuries as a result of a defective or dangerous product, the potential defendants that may be held liable range from the company that designed the product to the manufacturer and even the retailer. Product liability cases involving product defects can arise from defects in manufacturing or defects in the product’s design. Manufacturing defect cases involve a defect in a product caused when the product was not manufactured according to its intended design. In contrast, design defect cases involve a defect in a product caused when the product’s design was unreasonably dangerous. There can also be marketing defects in cases in which there was an insufficient warning of the product’s dangers.

In an Illinois defective design case, a plaintiff must prove that the product had an unreasonably dangerous condition, the condition existed when the product left the defendant’s control, and the condition caused the plaintiff’s injuries. There are different tests courts use to determine whether a product is “unreasonably dangerous.” Under the consumer-expectation test, the question is whether a product failed to perform as safely as an ordinary consumer would expect. In contrast, under the risk-utility test, the question is whether a product’s risks outweighed its benefits. The risk-utility test considers a number of different factors, including the feasibility of alternate designs, whether the design conformed to industry standards, the utility of the product, the likelihood of injury, and the manufacturer’s ability to eliminate the unsafe condition.

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Beach umbrellas can be a great way to avoid getting a sunburn at the beach. But on a windy day, they can also pose a significant danger. A strong wind can turn an umbrella into a dangerous object, with the potential to cause serious injuries. In addition to beach umbrellas possibly being lifted out of the sand, umbrellas can also come out of outdoor dining tables or even outdoor store displays.

Lawsuits against individuals or business owners based on an umbrella injury generally allege that the defendant was negligent in properly securing the umbrella. Even the government is a potential defendant in beach umbrella cases. If the incident occurs on a public beach, for example, the government may be responsible, particularly if the lifeguard was aware of the potential hazard caused by the wind but failed to minimize the danger.

In order to prove negligence, a plaintiff must show that the defendant owed a duty to the plaintiff to protect them against an unreasonable risk of harm, the defendant breached that duty, and an injury occurred that was proximately caused by the breach. The plaintiff has the burden to prove all four elements in a negligence claim. This means that the plaintiff has to present evidence that would allow a rational juror to reasonably conclude each of the elements of the claim is met.

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Many people assume that since lead paint is no longer legal, there is nothing to worry about. However, although lead paint has been banned since 1978, many homes still have lead paint underneath the current coat of paint.

A Landlord’s Duty to Tenants

A landlord has a duty to tenants to keep the property in a certain condition and to make certain disclosures to tenants. If a home was built prior to 1978, renters must receive a lead-based paint pamphlet and any known information about the presence of lead-based paint. In Illinois, a landlord also has a special duty to minors. A landlord may be liable for injuries if the landlord knows or has reason to know that minors frequent the premises, there is a dangerous condition, minors are likely to be injured based on their failure to appreciate the risk, and the expense of remedying the condition is slight compared to the risk to minors.

Lead Paint Poisoning Claims

Generally, lead poisoning cases are based on the theory of negligence. Claims may include a negligent failure to maintain safe premises, negligent misrepresentation, and negligent repairs. Plaintiffs may also be able to assert a breach of the covenant to repair and the implied warranty of habitability, as well as fraud and product liability claims, among others.

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In a recent case, a federal appeals court found in favor of an Illinois man who alleged his ladder was defectively designed. The man fell off his ladder while he was replacing the screws on his gutter and suffered a traumatic brain injury as a result of the accident. He later suffered from seizures, dementia, and quadriplegia.

After the accident, he brought a lawsuit against the ladder’s manufacturer, claiming that the ladder was defectively designed and that the defective design had caused the ladder to collapse. He argued the company did not design the ladder to accommodate the weight of people at or near 200 pounds. He weighed 224 pounds shortly before the accident.

The case went to trial, and the jury found in the man’s favor. The jury awarded him over $11 million in damages. Afterwards, the manufacturer argued it was entitled to a new trial. It contended that the man did not present sufficient evidence that the manufacturer had defectively designed the ladder.

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In a recent case, Chrysler challenged a $40 million verdict against it after a tragic accident involving one of its Jeep vehicles. Evidently, a four-year-old was killed in a collision when a pickup truck hit the back of a 1999 Chrysler Jeep Grand Cherokee. When the pickup truck hit the Jeep, the Jeep’s gas tank was punctured, and the car caught fire. The child was in the backseat and died in the fire. The child’s parents filed a lawsuit against Chrysler, alleging that it acted with a reckless or wanton disregard for human life in its design or sale of the Grand Cherokee. They also alleged Chrysler breached a duty to warn the public of the danger.

The case proceeded to trial, and the jury found in favor of the parents. The parents were awarded $30 million in damages for their son’s wrongful death and $10 million in damages for pain and suffering. Chrysler was found to be 99 percent at fault.

Chrysler appealed the decision, arguing the court should not have denied its motion for a directed verdict. Before the jury deliberated, Chrysler had filed a motion for a directed verdict on the parents’ claims that Chrysler acted with a reckless or wanton disregard for human life and failure to warn. The claims were based on the allegations that Chrysler knew that the location of the fuel tank in the 1999 Grand Cherokee was dangerous but continued to manufacture and sell the car, failing to warn the public.

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