Defective Medtronic Pacemaker Product Recall

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The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued an alert regarding certain Medtronic Kappa and Sigma Pacemakers stating that wiring problems in these devices defective medical could make them potentially lethal to patients. According to an article in Forbes magazine, the FDA, in this case, has classified the recall as Class I, which means that the continued use of these defective medical devices will cause serious adverse health consequences or death.

According to the alert, these defective medical devices may fail because of a separation of wires that connect the electronic circuit to other pacemaker components such as the battery. Patients with one of these defective pacemakers may experience a return of symptoms associated with abnormal heart rate including fainting or light headedness. In some cases, those patients dependent on these malfunctioning pacemakers may experience serious injuries or even death.

This defective medical device recall involves about 21,000 pacemakers, most of which have been implanted in patients for five years or longer. Worldwide, about 1.7 million Kappa or Sigma pacemakers have been implanted in patients. Medtronic Inc. apparently issued a letter to physicians cautioning them about this problem on May 18. Patients received the letter around the end of May. The recalled pacemakers include the Kappa Series 600/700/900 and the Sigma Series 100/200/300. Patients who have been implanted with these types of pacemakers should contact Medtronic to find out if their pacemakers are included in the current product recall.

San Diego Car Accident Involves DUI Driver And Injures Two In Rollover Crash

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Two people — 61-year-old Josh Vera and 50-year-old Maria Torres — were injured after a drunk driver caused a head-on San Diego car accident on State Route 76 in San Diego County on June 7, 2009. According to a news report in the Village News, 44-year-old Cristoforo Colin and Vera were in a Nissan 200 heading eastbound when Colin crossed the double line and onto oncoming traffic east near Gird Road. The Nissan crashed head-on with a Ford Explorer driven by Torres. The Explorer rolled over upon impact. Both Colin and Vera were pinned inside their vehicle, California Highway Patrol officials said.

Officials determined Colin was driving under the influence of alcohol and has a history of DUIs. He was also driving on a suspended license. Although he sustained injuries, Colin will be arrested on suspicion of felony driving under the influence when released. Vera suffered a skull fracture and Torres also suffered injuries.

I’m relieved that no one was seriously injured in this car accident. I wish the injured victims — Vera and Torres — the very best for a speedy and complete recovery. Please keep them in your prayers.

According to California Highway Patrol’s 2007 Statewide Integrated Traffic Reporting System, there were 268 deaths and 14,641 injuries involving car accidents in San Diego County. Also during the same period in San Diego County, there were 116 deaths and 2,068 injuries attributed to alcohol-related car accidents.

Defective Women’s Robes Recalled for Deadly Fire Hazard

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Blair LLC. has reported 162,000 of its defective products — women’s robes — after six women reportedly died when the chenille robes caught fire. Some of the robes caught fire while cooking, according to an MSNBC news report. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) issued an alert stating that women who own these robes should stop using them. CPSC and Blair initially announced their voluntary recall in April citing three reports of robes catching fire, including one report of second-degree burn injuries. This second product recall notice comes now after the company received reports of six deaths due to the robes catching fire.

In five of the six cases, the victims were women cooking at the time and three of the victims were in their 80s. The CPSC is urging that consumers report all incidents – injuries and fatalities – involving these defective products. The recalled Blair robes were made in Pakistan and include the following item numbers — 3093111, 3093112, 3093113, 3093114, 3093115, and 3093116. They were sold through Blair catalogs and on the company’s Web site as well as Blair stores in Pennsylvania and Delaware from January 2003 through March 2009. Consumers who own these defective products may return them to Blair and receive a refund or a $50 gift card. Anyone seeking more information may call the company at 1-877-392-7095 or visit their Web site at

My heart goes out to all the victims who have suffered severe burn injuries or have been killed as a result of fatal burn injuries due to these defective robes. I offer my condolences to families who have lost loved ones as a result of these product defects. Please keep them in your prayers.

Car Product Liability Claims Voided by GM’s Bankruptcy


The question of what happens to personal injury victims, who have filed auto products liability lawsuits against General Motors in the wake of the auto maker’s bankruptcy, is a significant one. These are car accident victims who have filed personal injury and products liability lawsuits against GM because the auto manufacturer’s defective products injured them or a family seriously. In many cases, people died because of these product defects, which could have easily been avoided or were defects that GM knew about and still did nothing.

A news article in the New York Newsday tells the story of a car accident victim–10-year-old Amanda Dinnigan. Amanda was a passenger in a GMC Envoy driven by her mother when the car went out of control and struck a tree. Amanda was left a quadriplegic and her family has sued GM alleging that the car had defective seat belts. But Amanda’s and other victims’ chances of collecting money from GM, which filed for bankruptcy protection, are slim, bankruptcy lawyers say. Chrysler, which also declared bankruptcy, has been absolved of all ongoing car accident claims that blame a death or serious injury on a defective part. GM officials have indicated that they expect GM to follow Chrysler’s lead in this issue.

Nationwide, about 11,942 claims were filed against General Motors in the last five years alleging injury or death. This is according to Safety Research & Strategies, a liability research firm. About 2,624 claims were filed against Chrysler during the same time. The bankruptcy essentially helps Chrysler and GM push the “restart” button and start out as new companies, cleared of all the old personal injury claims.

Product Defect Reported In Defective Cribs for Strangulation and Entrapment Hazards

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LaJobi Importers is recalling two brands of its Bonavita cribs because of various product defects that could pose entrapment and strangulation hazards for infants and toddlers. According to news reports on, Bonavita recalled 2,000 of its “Cabana” drop-side cribs because the wooden slats can detach or break creating a gap, which can trap or suffocate children. So far, the company, LaJobi, has received 16 incident reports of crib slat failures, including 10 reports of slats falling out of rails and six reports of slats breaking.

In addition to this product defect recall, LaJobi is also recalling about 2,900 Bonavita “Hudson” and Babi Italia “Pinehurst” drop-side cribs. Apparently, the wooden crib slats can detach or break creating a gap, which can pose a fall, entrapment and strangulation hazard to infants and toddlers. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and LaJobi importers have received a total of 33 reports of drop side detachment due to a defective spring pin. In these reports, two children became entrapped and one child fell from the crib. Both children were freed by caregivers. However, one child suffered bruises.

Ventura County Car Accident Kills Man In Fillmore

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Ricardo Briseno, 27, died in a Ventura car accident the morning of June 8, 2009 after his car crashed into a drainage ditch on Highway 126, the Ventura County Star reports. Briseno was driving his car eastbound on the highway near Atmore Road when the car went off the south side of the highway and onto a dirt shoulder, according to California Highway Patrol officials. The car spun around before hitting a sign post and careening across all five traffic lanes. The car then struck a guard rail and crashed into a concrete drainage ditch. Briseno suffered massive blunt force trauma and internal personal injuries in the Fillmore car crash. He was trapped and had to be freed by Ventura County firefighters. Briseno was taken to an area hospital where he was pronounced dead.

I offer my deepest sympathies to the family and friends of Ricardo Briseno for their tragic loss. Please keep them in your prayers.

According to the California Highway Patrol’s 2007 Statewide Integrated Traffic Reporting System, there were no fatalities and 39 injuries involving car accidents in Fillmore. In Ventura County as a whole, in 2007, there were 71 fatalities and 3,993 injuries as a result of car accidents.

Defective Products Recall: Toy Companies Pay $2.3 Million Fine for Lead Paint in Toys

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Mattel Inc. and Fisher-Price Inc. have agreed to pay a $2.3 million civil penalty for violating the federal lead paint ban in connection with the defective products recall in 2007 involving nearly 1 million toys that had unacceptably high levels of lead. According to a news report in, the recalled toy products were mostly made in China and had the potential to cause significant and permanent brain damage in young children. The product recall also involved extremely popular brands of toys such as Sesame Street, Dora the Explorer, Go Diego and Pixar’s Cars.

The penalty settlement has been provisionally accepted by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and resolves allegations that the companies knowingly imported and sold children’s toys with paints or other surface coatings that contained lead levels that violated a 30-year-old federal law. In 1978, CPSC banned toys and other children’s items having more than 0.06 percent lead, by weight, in paints or surface coatings. In 2007, about 95 Mattel and Fisher Price toy models were determined to have exceeded this limit. Lead is obviously toxic if ingested by young children and can cause adverse health consequences including brain damage.

There is no question that Mattel and Fisher Price should be held responsible for knowingly violating a law, especially one that involves the health and safety of our children. I’m pleased that they are being made to pay and are being held accountable for their negligence and wrongdoing.

San Diego Pedestrian Accident Seriously Injures Man

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A man suffered serious personal injuries the morning of June 2, 2009 in a San Diego pedestrian accident after a car veered off a rural road in Valley Center and ran him over. According to a 10news report, the pedestrian accident occurred on Cole Grade Road when an out-of-control car hit a light pole near Cool Valley Road before coming to stop with the pedestrian trapped face-down underneath one of its tires. California Highway Patrol officials said the injured man, whose name was not released, was airlifted to an area hospital.

My heart goes out to this injured victim who was seriously injured as a result of a driver who lost control of his or her car. I’m relieved that this victim did not suffer catastrophic injuries and wish him the very best for a quick and complete recovery.

According to California Highway Patrol’s Statewide Integrated Traffic Reporting System, there were 25 fatalities and 575 injuries involving pedestrian accidents in the city of San Diego in 2007. In San Diego County, during the same year, 51 fatalities and 1,068 injuries were reported as a result of pedestrian accidents.

Riverside County Hit-and-Run Car Accident Kills Three

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Three people — Cedric Twayne Page, 37, his cousin, Zaria Williams, 11, and 72-year-old Christine Emily Giambra of Fountain Valley — were killed in a Riverside hit-and-run car accident the afternoon of June 2, 2009, which authorities believe was sparked by an Acura driver. According to a news report in The Press-Enterprise, in addition to the three fatalities, two others suffered personal injuries. A black Acura reportedly driven by a man was seen speeding away after causing a head-on collision on the Highway 74 at Four Seasons Boulevard, California Highway Patrol officials said.

The Acura’s driver had apparently been tailgating a Ford Fusion when he sideswiped the Ford while rounding a curve near Homeland. The Ford was then pushed into a Subaru as the hit-and-run car driver continued to pass the cars. Page and Zaria, of San Jacinto were killed when their silver Audi swerved to avoid the first car collision involving the Ford and crashed head-on with a Mitsubishi Montero. Giambra was a passenger in the Montero, which was being driven by her son, Robert Valentine. Valentine suffered broken ribs, lacerations and a serious knee injury. A Nissan Altima driven by Danielle Rivera crashed into Page’s Audi after it came to rest in the middle of the road. Rivera suffered a dislocated arm and was released from the hospital. Anyone with information is asked to call 951-769-2000 or 909-388-8000.

My heart goes out to the families of Cedric Twayne Page, little Zaria Williams and Christine Emily Giambra for their tragic and heartbreaking loss. I offer my deepest condolences to them. I also wish all those who were injured in this horrific Riverside car crash the very best for a quick and complete recovery. So many lives have been turned upside down because of one reckless driver! Please keep the injured victims and the families of the deceased in your prayers.

REI Recalls Defective Bicycles that Pose Fall Hazard

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The manufacturer of a defective bicycle product, has recalled 2005 Novara Trionfo bicycles because the fork can separate from the steerer tube, which can cause the rider to lose control, posing a fall hazard. The company, REI, has apparently received two reports of forks separating causing riders to fall and sustain serious personal injuries including a fractured clavicle, broken teeth, facial damage and head injuries.

This defective product recall involves 2005 Novara Trionfo bicycles with Aprebic carbon fiber forks. The recalled bicycles are blue and white with black forks and have the name “Novara” printed on the bars. The bicycles, manufactured in Taiwan, were sold at REI retail stores nationwide from January 2005 through August 2006 for between $720 and $1,900. Consumers are asked to stop using the recalled bicycle products and return them to a REI retail store for free repairs. If you are looking for more information, please call REI at 1-800-426-4840.

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