E. Coli-Tainted Celery Linked To California Farm

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Ecoli Celery OutbreakAn outbreak of E. coli in Minnesota has been linked to celery grown in Gonzales, California.

According to a news report in The Californian, 57 people were sickened and nine were hospitalized as a result of this outbreak. The victims were members of a band of the Lake Superior Chippewa called Fond du Lac.

All victims had consumed potato salad that included celery and onions tainted with E. coli bacteria. Cases were also identified at event where the potato salad was not served but celery was.

The celery has been tracked to a field near a defunct dairy operation near Gonzales.

The caterer common to all five Fond du Lac events between July 1 and July 17 on the reservation was Jim-N-Joe’s Northland Katering that had purchased the celery from Upper Lakes Foods Inc.

The celery was tracked back to Matignoni Ranch Block 5c outside Gonzales.

Potential Litigation

The food poisoning victims have said they will file a lawsuit against the caterer, but not the grower because there is insufficient evidence. Soil samples from the farm where the celery was grown did not show the presence of the pathogen. However, attorneys for the plaintiffs have said that may change as discovery proceeds and if new evidence comes up.

An investigation also showed that the tainted celery sickened people in Wisconsin, Alabama, Illinois, Indiana and Ohio. The Minnesota Department of Health has concluded that the contaminated celery is the “most likely vehicle of transmission.

Although the source of the contamination has not identified, it is still plausible that the celery may have been contaminated during production, officials said.

Compensation for Victims

E.coli infections can have devastating consequences. The most common symptoms are nausea, bloody diarrhea, abdominal cramps and vomiting. In severe cases, E.coli infections could also result in kidney damage.

Victims of food poisoning can seek compensation for damages against the food producer, server, or anyone else involved in the manufacturing process whose negligence may have caused the contamination.

Some of the damages victims can seek in such cases include medical expenses, lost wages, hospitalization costs, pain and suffering and emotional distress.

Victims would be well advised to contact an experienced California personal injury lawyer who has successfully handled food poisoning cases.

The best personal injury law firms like Bisnar Chase will always offer a free consultation and comprehensive case evaluation to injured victims and their families.

Guardrail Manufacturer Stops Sales Amid Serious Safety Concerns

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Trinity GuardrailsTrinity Industries is stopping sales of its controversial ET-Plus guardrail system, a device that has been blamed by accident victims for dozens of injuries and deaths.

According to an ABC news report, the move came last week in response to a request by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) to conduct crash tests on the device or face suspension of its eligibility for sale.

Earlier this week, Trinity lost a civil trial in Texas where jurors found that the company had defrauded the government by misrepresenting changes made to the guardrail over 10 years ago.

Company officials say they are stopping shipping the products until additional tests are conducted, in light of the FHWA’s request. The company has also said it will work closely with the FHWA on more crash testing and will not ship any more units until such testing is completed.

Catastrophic Injuries and Fatalities

This announcement came at a time when more states suspended the installation of the guardrails. At the center of the Texas case were changes made by Trinity in 2005 to the design of the guardrail end terminals used alongside many roadways across the country. The company allegedly failed to disclose all the modifications to the federal government or any state transportation departments as required under the law.

The modified guardrail, ET-Plus, was the subject of a “20/20″ investigation in September that examined reports from crash victims that the modified guardrail can malfunction when struck from the front. Instead of absorbing the impact of the collision, the guardrails “locked up” and speared straight through the cars in some cases impaling motorists of severing their limbs.

Putting Profits Before People

Trinity’s competitor uncovered damning documents showing that Trinity made the modifications to its guardrail end terminal to save money. Trinity should step up to the plate and issue its dangerous guardrails. It’s the right thing to do. Guardrails are in place on our highways and freeways to protect motorists. However, these guardrails seriously injure or kill motorists, defeating the purpose of a guardrail.

If you or a loved one has been injured as a result of these defective guardrails, please contact an experienced product liability lawyer who can help protect your rights and hold that at-fault manufacturer liable. Injured victims or families of deceased victims in such cases can seek monetary compensation for their significant losses.

Bard to Pay $21 Million as Part of Major Vaginal Mesh Accord

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Bard Mesh SettlementC.R. Bard has agreed to pay more than $21 million to resolve more than 500 lawsuits alleging that its vaginal mesh implants seriously harmed women.

According to a Bloomberg news report, this is the first large-scale settlement of claims over the company’s devices. The medical device manufacturer agreed to pay an average of more than $43,000 per claim to settle hundreds of vaginal mesh cases.

The deal comes a federal judge in West Virginia ordered lawyers for Bard to prepare for trials of 500 lawsuits that alleged the defective medical devices damages women’s organs and left them with chronic and excruciating pain. With the trials looming, Bard agreed to settle the cases.

More of these settlements are expected in the future as the company faces over 12,400 suits over the vaginal mesh implants.

Severe and Painful Complications

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) ordered manufacturers of vaginal mesh implants including Bard, Johnson & Johnson, Boston Scientific Group and others to study rates of organ damage and complications linked to the devices. The FDA has also said that the implants should be subject to more stringent safety requirements.

In 2010, more than 70,000 women got the implants, which are threaded through incisions in the vagina to shore up pelvic muscles in order to support internal organs or treat incontinence.

Many women reported severe and side effects and complications including the device disintegrating and causing nerve damage, incontinence and pain during intercourse. Our legal team has come across a number of cases where women’s quality of life and livelihoods have been destroyed due to these defective devices.

Lack of Proper Testing

There are a number of medical devices in the market that have been put in the market without being tested properly. These defective vaginal mesh devices are among such products. A number of women have been led to believe that these procedures are minimally invasive and have virtually no side effects.

These women were not given accurate information on which they could make important decisions that would have a significant impact on their health and future.

C.R. Bard and other vaginal mesh implant manufacturers should do right by their customers and compensate them for their losses – physical, financial and emotional. If you or a loved one has suffered side effects due to a vaginal mesh implant, please contact our vaginal mesh attorneys to obtain more information about pursuing your legal rights.

Foster Farms Chicken Recalled For Listeria Contamination

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Foster Farms Listeria RecallFoster Farms has recalled nearly 40,000 pounds of frozen, pre-cooked chicken for potential listeria contamination.

According to a news report in the Los Angeles Times, the recall is for Chicken Breast Grilled Strops sold in 3.5-pound resealable bags, produced in the company’s Louisiana plant and shipped to retailers in California, Texas, Utah and Washington.

The affected product bears the processing plant number, P33901 and a “best by” date of Aug. 5, 2015. Officials with the U.S. Department of Agriculture say the problem was discovered during the company’s routine in-plant inspection.

While some of the product was set aside and held, the products included in the recall were inadvertently shipped to the retailers. So far, no reports of illnesses associated with consumption of these products has been reported.

This recall comes only two months after a salmonella outbreak linked to Central California-based Foster Farms was declared over.

Listeria Dangers

Listeria infection or listeriosis can prove lethal. Listeria primarily affects the elderly, newborns, pregnant women and those with compromised immune systems. Symptoms of listeria food poisoning include fever, muscle pain, headache, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance and other gastrointestinal problems.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that about 1,600 illnesses and 260 deaths occur due to listeriosis annually in the United States. The largest listeriosis outbreak in U.S. history occurred in 2011, when 147 illnesses, 33 deaths, and one miscarriage occurred among residents of 28 states. The outbreak was associated with consumption of cantaloupe from a single farm.

If You Have Been Affected

If you have suffered any type of food poisoning, it is important that you get prompt medical attention. Chart your intake and make a note of everything you consumed over the last three or four days. When you see your doctor, insist on doing diagnostic tests for food-borne illnesses, especially if you suspect it. Keep a journal and document all your losses. File a complaint with the local health agency.

Contact an experienced California personal injury attorney who will ensure that their your legal rights and best interests are protected. Food manufacturers and establishments such as restaurants can be held accountable for negligent food processing or serving.

Victims can seek damages for losses such as medical expenses, lost wages and pain and suffering. The best personal injury law firms like Bisnar Chase will always offer free consultations and comprehensive case evaluations to injured victims and their families.

NHTSA Investigating New Toyota Sudden Acceleration Claims

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Toyota Corolla Sudden Acceleration ClaimFederal safety regulators are investigating new unintended acceleration claims, this time involving Toyota Corolla vehicles.

According to a report in the Los Angeles Times, the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is examining 163 complaints from drivers of the small car to determine if there is an issue that warrants the opening of a formal safety investigation.

Agency officials said they are responding to a petition for an investigation from Kathy Ruginis of Bristol, Rhode Island, who claimed that her Toyota Corolla surged forward and crashed into another vehicle even as she braked.

Safety Research & Strategies, Inc., a consulting firm that often prepared expert testimony in auto defect cases, said that the information from the Corolla’s event data recorder backs up the woman’s claim.

The NHTSA is looking into whether there is a sudden acceleration issue in as many as 1.7 million Corollas from the 2006 through 2010 model years. Toyota has said it will cooperate fully with any inquiry.

Toyota’s Unintended Acceleration Recalls

These problems are not new for Toyota. The Japanese automaker recalled millions of vehicles to replace floor mats and fix a mechanical problem that caused gas pedals to get stuck on their own.

A fault floor mat is also believed to have caused a horrific 2009 crash outside San Diego that claimed the lives of an off-duty CHP officer and his family. In that case, the floor mats jammed the gas pedal.

Earlier this year, Toyota admitted to deceiving regulators and consumers about two defects linked to sudden acceleration issues and agreed to pay $1.2 billion, the larges penalty ever imposed on a car manufacturer.

This deal marked the culmination of a four-year criminal investigation into whether Toyota reported safety complaints about sudden acceleration in a timely manner.

Dangerous Defects

It is critical that owners of vehicles involved in this investigation take them to a dealer or mechanic for a thorough inspection. We also hope Toyota will do the right thing this time and issue a prompt recall if these vehicles are in fact dangerous and defective.

If you have been injured in an accident caused by sudden or unintended acceleration, it is important that you contact an experienced auto product liability attorney who has the resources to investigate potential defects.

The best auto defect law firms will always offer a free consultation and comprehensive case evaluation to injured victims and their families.

Airbag Defects Long Known To Honda And Takata Led to Recalls

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Honda  Airbag RecallA flawed auto defect reporting system and lack of oversight by the federal regulatory agency has led to a situation where explosive airbags that caused dozens of injuries and several fatalities to slip under the radar for at least a decade.

According to a news report in The New York Times, Japanese supplier Takata’s faulty airbags were connected with recalls of more than 14 million vehicles.

The Times reports that the delay in these recalls were due to problems within Honda and throughout the auto industry.

The airbags in question deployed with such explosive force that they sent shrapnel and chemicals flying into the passenger compartment.

One incident in December 2009 involved Gurjit Rathore who was driving a Honda Accord. She crashed into a mail truck in Virginia causing her airbag to explode.

The 33-year-old woman bled to death in front of her children after being hit by shrapnel.

Delay in Recalling Faulty Vehicles

According to the Times investigation, a Honda Accord with a faulty airbag that erupted and spewed metal fragments was first brought to the automaker’s attention in 2004. But both Honda and Takata wrote off the incident as “an anomaly.”

Although the first defective airbag was reported 10 years ago, a flawed reporting system throughout the auto industry covered up the seriousness of the issue. Honda was absolutely aware of the problem. It should have recalled these defective vehicles a long time ago.

The deaths and injuries should have never happened.

A Flawed System

The Times reports that automakers are allowed to use “a minimalist approach” when it comes to reporting vehicle safety defects, something that kept the explosive airbags from raising a red flag.

The Japanese automaker also failed to look into the matter and delayed recalling vehicles with the faulty Takata airbags until 2008. Just last month, Honda issued its ninth recall connected with the faulty airbags.

This brings the grand total of Honda and Acura vehicles recalled for this issue to six million.

What Consumers Should Know

These reports only tell us that automakers do not promptly recall vehicles although the law requires them to do so. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), despite its responsibility to hold automakers accountable for delayed recalls, rarely succeeds in doing that.

As with the delayed GM recall, which did nothing to prevent injuries and fatalities caused by the vehicles’ ignition recall, Honda got away dragging its feet on the airbag recalls. It’s the consumer who ultimately ends up paying the price.

Our legal practice has seen a number of victims who have been catastrophically injured due to defective vehicles that should have been recalled. Our law firm is committed to holding automakers and other defective product makers accountable for the injuries, damages and losses they cause.

We are always ready to fight for the rights of our injured clients so that we can make it clear to these corporations that it is never acceptable to put profits before people.

Ford Recalls Hybrid SUVs For Stalling Issues

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Ford Vehicle RecallFord Motor Company said it is issuing three new safety recall campaigns covering more than 76,000 vehicles.

According to a Detroit News report, the automaker said it is recalling 2005-08 Ford Escape Hybrid and 2006-08 Mercury Mariner hybrid vehicles for a motor electronic coolant pump issue.

According to Ford, this issue can cause the part to fail, resulting in a sudden stall-like condition while driving. Such an engine stall without warning while driving may increase the risk of a crash.

Ford is not aware of any accidents or injuries caused by these vehicle defects.

Three Recalls

This recall includes about 74,000 SUVs in the United States. In addition, Ford is recalling 400 2014 Focus, 2015 Lincoln MKC vehicles and one 2014 Escape for a fuel delivery model issue. In these affected vehicles, a crack may develop between the fuel pump filter body and the filter cap, which may result in low fuel pressure, which may in turn cause malfunction indicator light illumination, extended crank, no start, loss of power, or engine stall.

Ford also announced a recall for 1,700 2014 F650 and F750 vehicles with Cummins ISB diesel engines for a fuel filter issue. According to Cummins, the bond that attaches the filter shell to the filter nut plate may fail on affected filters. If this occurs, the shell may separate from the fuel filter nut plate.

The resulting fuel leak may cause the engine to stall without warning, increasing the risk of the crash. Cummins dealers will replace the suspect engine fuel filters at no cost to consumers when the recall begins.

Understand the Recall Notice

It is important for consumers to understand that even seemingly minor recalls can involve life-threatening defects and must not be ignored. If you get a recall notice, the first action to take is to read it carefully.

A recall notice will have the following information:

  • A description of the safety defect
  • Any risks or dangers including potential injury
  • Possible warning signs
  • What the fix is for the problem
  • When the repair will be available and how long it will take
  • Instructions on what to do next
  • Contact information for the manufacturer

If you or a loved one has been injured as the result of a defective auto, it is important that you preserve the vehicle so an expert can examine it for potential defects and malfunctions.

An auto product law firm with experienced attorneys, access to resources and experts will be able to help victims and their families hold negligent automakers accountable for injuries, damages and losses caused by defective or recalled vehicles.

Recalled Car Seats Could Result In Serious Head Injuries

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Recaro RecallChild car seat manufacturer Recaro has issued a defective product recall for more than 40,000 car seats, which could result in head injuries.

According to a news report in Tech Times, the company is recalling the car seats after it discovered that the child’s head would not be secured in the event of a crash.

So far, company officials say, they do not know about any injuries as a result of the ProSport Child Safety Seats that have been recalled.

Potential for Severe Injuries

The recall involves the ProSport Model 385 car seats made between June 2010 and January 2013. The issue with these car seats is that when a collision occurs, the car seat does not secure the head of a child.

This could allow the head to move too much resulting in serious head injuries or traumatic brain injuries.

The company says if parents use both the latch belt and the top tether, this issue could be rectified. But it is issuing the recall as a precaution and delivering a repair kit with a letter informing customers about the issue at hand.

According to the company, these car seats “failed to meet required head excursion limits set forth by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) when tested with a 52 pound, 6-year old dummy and installed with a LATCH belt only, no top tether.”

Closed Head Injuries

Based on this news report, it appears that children who use these car seats are in danger of suffering closed head injuries.

The damage in such cases occurs when the traumatic incident such as a collision causes the brain to move forward and back or from side to side in such a way that it collides with the bony skull around it.

This jarring movement bruises the brain tissue, damage nerve cells and tears blood vessels.

Understanding Your Rights

If you own one of these car seats, it is important that you obtain the repair kit and fix the problem right away. Do not stop using the car seat. Any car seat is safer than no car seat at all. If you can obtain an alternate safe car seat until to repair your recalled car seat, that is a good option to take.

If your child has been seriously injured as a result of these or other defective car seats, it is important that you contact an experienced product liability lawyer who has successfully handled cases against product manufacturers.

The best product defect law firms will always offer a free consultation and comprehensive case evaluation to injured victims and their families.

Bean Bag Chairs Recalled After Deaths

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Ace Bayou Bean Bag RecallFederal officials have issued a defective product recall for 2.2 million bean bag chairs after two children unzipped the chairs, climbed inside and suffocated to death.

According to a news report in the Miami Herald, both victims, a 13-year-old Texas boy and a 3-year-old girl from Kentucky, were found inside the chairs.

The children had apparently become trapped inside and choked on the foam beads that were used to stuff the bean bag chairs.

Dangerous and Defective Products

According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), the chairs, manufactured by Ace Bayou Corp. of New Orleans, did not meet the industry’s voluntary safety standard, which required non-refillable bean bag chairs to have closed and permanently disabled zippers.

The chairs included in the recall were sold before July 2013 for between $30 and $100 at Bon-Ton, Meijer, Pamida, School Specialty, Wayfair and Walmart stores and online at Amazon.com, Meijer.com and Walmart.com.

The chairs were manufactured in China and come in a variety of sizes and colors. Consumers who have these chairs at home are asked to remove them right away and keep them out of children’s reach.

Ace will provide a free repair kit to consumers so they can permanently disable the zippers.

For more information, call the company directly at (855) 751-8151 or visit their website at acebayou.com.

Product Liability Issues

Based on this news report, it appears that the manufacturer of the bean bag chairs failed to follow the voluntary industry standards, which is to ensure that the zippers are disabled. These standards are in place specifically to prevent such tragedies. No parent thinks that their child could unzip a piece of furniture and climb into it.

It is appalling that this standard pertaining to bean bag furniture is still voluntary and is not a federal standard.

As product liability attorneys who represent seriously injured victims, we hope that these tragedies will urge federal officials to pass a new rule and hold violators accountable.

Anyone who has been injured by a defective product can file a product liability claim seek compensation for the injuries, damages and losses sustained. Families of deceased victims can file a wrongful death claim against the product manufacturer seeking damages as well.

Plaintiffs in such cases must prove that the products in question were defective, that the product caused injuries and that they suffered damages as a result.

An experienced product defect law firm can help victims and families in such cases better understand their legal rights and options.

Chicken Caesar Salad Kits Recalled For Listeria Contamination

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ChickenAPPA Fine Foods, a Corona-based company, is recalling about 92,657 pounds of fully-cooked chicken Caesar salad kit products due to concerns about possible Listeria monocytogenes contamination.

According to a consumer alert issued by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the salad kits were shipped nationwide to Sam’s Club stores nationwide. So far, there have been two confirmed listeriosis cases as a result of these recalled products.

Tests by Sam’s Club showed that the bacterial contamination was in the chicken in the salad kits. Anyone who has purchased these salad kits is asked to return them to the store for a complete refund.

Listeria Dangers

Eating food contaminated with listeria can cause listeriosis, a serious infection that primarily affects older adults, pregnant women, their newborns and those with weakened immune systems. Listeriosis can cause fever, muscle aches, headaches, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance and convulsions, sometimes preceded by diarrhea or other gastrointestinal symptoms.

In pregnant women, the infection can cause miscarriages, stillbirths, premature delivery or life-threatening infection in the newborn. In addition, these infections could prove fatal for older adults or those with weakened immune systems.

Preventing Listeriosis

There are several steps you can take to prevent listeriosis:

  • Rinse raw produce such as fruits and vegetables, thoroughly under running tap water before eating, cutting or cooking. Produce should be washed even if it will be peeled.
  • Separate uncooked meats and poultry from vegetables, cooked foods and ready-to-eat foods.
  • Wash hands, countertops, knives and cutting boards after handling and preparing uncooked foods.
  • Listeria bacteria can grow in foods in the refrigerator. Use an appliance thermometer such as a refrigerator thermometer to check the temperature in your refrigerator. The refrigerator should be 40°F or lower and the freezer 0°F or lower.
  • Thoroughly cook raw food from animal sources, such as beef, pork, or poultry to a safe internal temperature.

 If You Have Suffered Food Poisoning

If you have become ill as a result of eating contaminated food, it is important that you isolate the food and store it separately so it can be tested for pathogens in a lab. It is also important that you get prompt medical treatment for the infection. Food manufacturers are required to produce foods that are safe for consumers.

If you have suffered health consequences as a result of contaminated, please contact an experienced California personal injury attorney at (800) 561-4887 who has successfully handled similar cases to ensure that your legal rights and best interests are protected.

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