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When Companies Produce Exploding Devices

By Renee Nordstrand on June 27, 2018

a front-loading washing machine

We should be critical of any company that puts its customers at risk. Recalls are beneficial, but they are often too little, too late.

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Are Manufacturers Liable for Unsafe Playground Equipment?

By Renee Nordstrand on December 4, 2017

colorful playground equipment

More than 200,000 children are injured every year in the U.S. on playground equipment, particularly climbing equipment. Injuries to children in California can be quite severe, and include paralysis and even fatality.

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Samsung Galaxy Note 7 Recall

By Renee Nordstrand on January 11, 2017

samsung galaxy cellphone displaying apps

Why you need to return your Samsung Galaxy Note 7

South Korean cell phone maker, Samsung, has issued a voluntary recall for all Galaxy Note 7 smart phones bought before September 15, 2016. The reason for the recall is that the lithium-ion battery in these smart phones can overheat and catch fire, posing a serious burn hazard. Approximately 2.5 million phones have been recalled.

If you have a Galaxy Note 7 that you purchased before September 15, 2016, you should stop using it immediately and turn off the power. Contact your wireless provider or the outlet where you purchased the phone and arrange to have it exchanged for a safe model.

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Compounding Pharmacy Owners Agree to $100M Settlement Over Fungal Meningitis Outbreak

By Renee Nordstrand on January 8, 2014

CNN has reported that the owners of a now defunct New England compounding pharmacy responsible for a nationwide fungal meningitis outbreak in 2012 have agreed to establish a $100 million fund for victims.

This settlement is only preliminary and must be approved by a judge before it is finalized.

In a statement, the owners of the bankrupt pharmacy said that the establishment of this fund is not an admission of liability or wrongdoing.  They claim they are willing to make the money available to help the families of those who died and individuals who suffered injuries “as a result of this tragic outbreak.”

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Johnson & Johnson Offers $2.5 Billion to Settle DePuy Hip Lawsuits

By Renee Nordstrand on December 9, 2013

Attorneys for Johnson & Johnson said that the medical device manufacturing giant will pay approximately $2.5 billion to settle some 8,000 lawsuits brought by plaintiffs, who claim they have suffered serious complications from defective DePuy ASR hip implants.

The proposed settlement is less than what Bloomberg News had speculated in late November when it reported that J&J was prepared to pay out a record $4 billion to settle those same cases.

The agreement, which was announced in the Federal District Court in Toledo, specifies that $2 billion will be set aside for basic awards. An additional $475 million has been reserved for people who suffered more extensive injuries. J&J also announced that medical costs for those patients would be paid under a separate $3 billion dollar fund.

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Proposed Law to Regulate Out-Of-State Compounding Pharmacies in California Introduced

By Renee Nordstrand on August 27, 2013

A bill introduced in the California State Legislature is proposing that pharmacies that sell sterile compounded drugs in the state must meet stricter standards. This proposed legislation comes in the wake of a nationwide fungal meningitis outbreak in 2012 caused by tainted epidural steroid injections manufactured by a Massachusetts-based compounding pharmacy. Some 14,000 patients received injections of the drug, 700 became ill and 63 died.

In reaction to that and several other high-profile incidents concerning compounding pharmacies, the California State Board of Pharmacy threw its weight behind Senate Bill 294, which was introduced by State Sen. Bill Emmerson (R-Redlands). The bill would tighten oversight of compounding pharmacies to “ensure patient safety.” It passed the Senate in May and will now go before the Assembly Appropriations Committee.

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Posted in: Product Liability

Tool Company Settles Lawsuit with Dozens of Jesusita Fire Victims

By Renee Nordstrand on August 16, 2013

According to the U.S Fire Administration, more and more people are settling in areas that are susceptible to wildfires. Therefore, it is essential that they practice wildfire safety. If you live in one of these areas, remember to follow these safety guidelines:

  • Being informed about local fire laws.
  • Creating a 30- to 100-foot safety zone around a home.
  • Reporting hazardous conditions that can cause a wildfire.
  • Selecting exterior home materials and plants that are fire resistant.
  • Ensuring that fire vehicles can get to a residence.
  • Planning escape routes by car and by foot should a wildfire become a threat.

Please check out the U.S. Fire Administration website for further tips on protecting your family and your home before and during wildfires.

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Frozen Organic Berries Sold At Costco and Harris Teeter Linked to Hepatitis A Outbreak

By Renee Nordstrand on August 7, 2013

The Law Office of Renée J. Nordstrand reported in an earlier blog that at least 155 people had fallen ill with hepatitis A infections after consuming frozen mixed berries purchased from Costco and Teeter Harris stores in several states. Sixty-seven people required hospitalization. Many more people had to undergo vaccinations in an attempt to stave off infection.

Townsend Organic Farms of Oregon packaged and distributed the frozen berry mix, which went under the name Townsend Farms Organic Antioxidant Blend at Costco and Harris Teeter Organic Antioxidant Berry Blend at Harris Teeter stores.

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Baby Recliners Allegedly Linked to Deaths Recalled

By Renee Nordstrand on June 20, 2013

As part of a settlement with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), Baby Matters LLC of Pennsylvania is recalling baby recliners that have allegedly been linked to five infant deaths.

Baby Matters recalled its Nap Nanny and Nap Nanny Chill recliners under pressure from the CPSC,,which had filed an administrative complaint against the company in December of 2012 after Baby Matters refused to recall the product voluntarily. Filing an administrative complaint, which seeks a court ruling to have a product mandatorily removed from the market, is a rare action for CPSC to take.

The company had been in negotiations with CPSC to keep the products on the market since the complaint was filed, but finally voluntarily recalled the products. CPSC says it will now drop the complaint.

Five infant deaths were allegedly linked to the baby recliners. The president of the company contended that the products were used improperly in four out of the five deaths, despite clearly labeled warnings against such use. She rejected the CPSC’s contention that businesses are responsible for their products’ misuse.

In response, a spokesman for the CPSC said that the commission believed that the products presented a substantial hazard and the allegations that the products may have been used improperly did not absolve Baby Matters from responsibility.

“A company needs to anticipate the ways in which consumers will use their products,” he stated.

The company has had one wrongful death suit filed against it in connection with an infant death. Baby Matters will not be accepting returns because it is no longer in business. CPSC urged consumers to immediately dispose of the products and to contact the consumer commission concerning returns and refunds.

If you believe that a defectively designed or manufactured product has caused an injury or a death, the product liability attorneys at the Law Office of Reneé J. Nordstrand want to speak with you. By law, it is a manufacturer’s duty to produce products that are safe for consumers — especially when those products are targeted for children.

If you have questions about your legal rights, call us or contact us online for a free, no-obligation review of your case today.

Ventura Hepatitis A Illness May Be Linked to Contaminated Berries

By Renee Nordstrand on June 11, 2013

Ventura County Public Health officials are reporting that the first case of Hepatitis A possibly linked to a contaminated frozen berry smoothie mix has been documented in Ventura County.

The berry mix, which was sold and distributed by Townsend Farms in Oregon, was recently recalled after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) started receiving reports of Hepatitis A cases in Illinois and South Carolina. The agencies determined that the outbreak might be linked to a frozen berry smoothie mix packaged and sold by Townsend Farms.

In California, the Townsend Farms Organic Antioxidant Blend frozen berries were sold in Costco stores. Ventura County officials say that about 400 packages were sold in the county before the recall took effect. Costco has removed the packages from its shelves and claims that it is trying to contact customers who may have bought the contaminated product.

So far, there have been 40 reported cases of Hepatitis A potentially linked to the contaminated frozen berries nationwide. Three cases have required hospitalization. There have also been seven reports of infections in California. The Ventura County victim reportedly has been ill for a couple of weeks, but has not required hospitalization.

The strain of Hepatitis A associated with this outbreak is fairly rare in North America and South America, but it is more prevalent in the Middle East and North Africa. A spokesman for Townsend Farms admitted that the frozen berry mix contained pomegranate seeds that had been imported from Turkey.

The product liability attorneys at the Law Offices of Reneé J. Nordstrand will be watching this story with great interest as it progresses. It is a manufacturer’s, a distributor’s or a retailer’s duty to assure that any product it manufactures, sells or distributes is safe for the consumer. If it is not, they should be held liable for injuries those products cause.

Have you or a loved one been sickened by a contaminated food product? Call our Santa Barbara office at (805) 962-2022 or our Encino office at (818) 981-3530 or contact us online to learn what your legal options might be.