Posted On: April 21, 2010

Birmingham Personal Injury News: Consumer Safety Commission Recalls One Million Baby Slings after Infant Deaths

Every once in a while one reads about a product that has such as a significant manufacturing or design defect that it can result in a potentially life threatening situation. Whether the product in question is a poorly designed automobile part or a simple consumer item, such as a faulty electrical appliance, the results can often be devastating to an unsuspecting member of the public.

Recently, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (XPSC) and Infantino LLC announced a recall of more than one million baby slings following reports of three separate cases of infant death in connection with the apparently defective product. According to news articles, the victims include a seven-week-old infant, a three-month-old baby, and a six-day-old newborn. Each of the three infant fatalities took place in 2009.

As a Birmingham personal injury lawyer, I understand how a parent can easily trust a product. And since we as a society put so much faith in manufacturers to sell proven and safe devices and products, it can be a shock when something as terrible happens to a family such as those affected by these apparently defective baby slings.

Whether you live in Dothan, Tuscaloosa, Huntsville or any of the dozens of communities throughout Alabama, my job as an injury attorney is to help victims and their families who have been injured or suffered as a result of another party’s negligence.

Based on new reports, the recall came just a couple weeks following a CPSC warning that was issued to families about the importance of using these sling carriers in the correct fashion. Nearly a dozen deaths have been linked to baby slings over the past 20 years. However, despite an earlier warning by Consumer Reports in regard to various hazards posed by using a baby sling, many parents remained unaware that these “hip” child carriers can cause infant suffocation leading to serious injury and sometimes death.

Since newborn babies are not capable of controlling their heads, an infant may not be able to turn away if and when the sling’s fabric obstructs the child’s nose and mouth. When a baby’s breathing is cut off in this manner, suffocation can occur in just a couple of minutes. Also, if the baby is curled up in the sling so that the child’s chin is pressed into the chest, oxygen may have a difficult time getting to the lungs, resulting in a tragic situation due to slow suffocation.

Infantino baby sling recall: Are any baby slings safe?, Christian Science Monitor, March 24, 2010

Infant Deaths Prompt CPSC Warning About Sling Carriers for Babies, CPSC, March 12, 2010

Posted On: April 7, 2010

Alabama Worker Compensation News: Birmingham Man Injured in Industrial Explosion in St. Clair County, AL

An accident that happens at a place of employment -- also known as an “on-the-job” injury or worker accident -- can range from minor to severe. Although most people do not worry about having a mishap at work, the results can be devastating not only in terms of physical injury, but also financially. No matter where you work -- Huntsville, Tuscaloosa, Bessemer or anywhere else -- having the bread-winner of a household laid up due to an employer’s negligence can cause economic hardship many Alabama families cannot long endure.

As a Birmingham personal injury lawyer well versed in workman compensation cases, I understand that job-related accidents and their resulting work-related injuries can make life difficult for all concerned. Sadly, some industrial or commercial accidents occasionally cause fatalities. Every worker must take precautions not to allow himself to become injured on the job, however employers also bear a large part of the responsibility to protect their workers from potentially dangerous conditions.

As an injury attorney, I saw a recent news account that illustrated how quickly a life-threatening industrial accident can happen. According to reports, a man was injured in a mid-morning explosion at Trans-Cycle Industries of Alabama in Pell City, AL. The incident occurred around 9am as the worker was removing bolts from the top of a large electrical transformer.

Police in St. Claire County believe that the explosion resulted from the ignition of explosive gas which had built up inside the transformer. Apparently triggered by the worker’s plasma cutter, the explosion blew the top off transformer and threw the employee from atop the large piece of electrical equipment. Emergency personnel estimate the man landed approximately 20 feet from the point of the explosion.

According to police, 39-year-old Greg Smith of Birmingham, Alabama, suffered only a broken right leg. He was treated at the scene and then transported by ambulance to University Hospital in Birmingham.

According to the news report, TCI specializes in the cleaning and recycling of equipment contaminated by PCB heat resistant fluids, which were commonly used in the design of electrical transformers decades ago. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency banned the manufacture of PCBs in 1979 -- they are listed by the EPA as a probable cancer-causing agent.

A company spokesman for TCI stated that PCBs were not the cause of the accident and that the company was not certain at the time of the mishap what exactly caused the explosion. Whether or not the man will be able to collect workman's compensation is another question.

Of course, commercial and industrial accidents can be very dangerous and victims have been known to suffer permanent bodily injury and even death depending on the particular circumstances. At the time of the news article, it was unknown whether the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) would be investigating the accident, however it was stated that TCI has never had a serious work-related accident in its 17 years of operation in Pell City.

Explosion injures man at Trans-Cycle Industries Friday,, March 13, 2010

Tags: Alabama Personal Injury Attorney, Birmingham Injury Lawyer, broken limb, employer liability, explosion, industrial accident, On-premises Injury, on-the-job injuries, OSHA, plant accident, slip-and-fall, third-party liability, workman's compensation

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