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

August 12, 2009

Multiple Injuries, One Fatality Related to Honda Airbag Modules Recalled in Alabama, Nationwide

An automobile accident is bad enough when another driver makes an error causing you serious injury, but no one expects that the safety equipment designed to protect you in a car crash will actually be the cause of physical injuries or possibly death. Yet, this is why Honda is recalling nearly 500,000 of its Civic and Accord models, as well as some Acura cars, many of which are being driven in Birmingham, Mobile, Huntsville and other cities throughout Alabama.

As a Birmingham personal injury lawyer, I’ve handled many automotive defective equipment cases, but this one is perhaps worse in that it involves a car part that is supposed to save lives, not kill people. According to reports, the defective components are part of these cars’ steering wheel airbag system. During operation, portions of the airbag inflation system can break off and be propelled at the driver or passengers.

One fatality has already been reported, as well as several other non-fatal injuries, which involve this specific airbag defect. Back in November of last year, Honda announced it would recall some of its 2001 model year Accord and Civic sedans, but now the company has expanded that recall to include another 440,000 cars.

According to news reports, the potentially life-threatening defect is part is the vehicle’s driver-side airbag inflator assembly, which can rupture as a result of excessive air pressure and potentially cause metal fragments to shoot out through the airbag, possibly hitting vehicle occupants.

I know there are many people who drive Honda cars and I worry for them if this defect is not fixed soon. Being an Alabama personal injury attorney, I understand how this type of vehicle problem can only make an already bad automobile crash much worse. Nobody can imagine that an automotive safety system will actually hurt them, but in this case it could easily happen, which is why Honda is now recalling the affected vehicles.

The safety recall covers a number of 2001 and 2002 Accords, 2001 Civics and some 2002 and 2003 Acura TL models. The driver's side airbag is the defective component that needs to be replaced on the affected vehicles. Owners can check to see if their vehicle is affected by visiting Honda’s owner website and logging on. Honda has encouraged its customers to wait until they receive a recall notice before going to a dealership, since it may take a while for the parts to be in stock.


Honda recalls 440,000 cars for airbag risk, MSNBC.com, July 31, 2009

Tags: Accord, Acura, airbag, Alabama injury lawyer, Automobile Recall, Birmingham product liability attorney, Civic, defective equipment, Honda, injury, product liability, wrongful death

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