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W.A.T.C.H. Lists 10 Worst Toys of 2016

dangerThe W.A.T.C.H. Organization (World Against Toys Causing Harm, Inc.) regularly monitors toys and their potentially hazardous conditions. They educate consumers about inferior products they could buy for their children, in turn quite possibly preventing toy-related accidents.

10 worst toys of 2016

The report attests, despite safety regulations, unsafe toys are still a problem. Poor manufacturing, inadequate design, and misleading marketing and advertising have led to serious injury – and worse – from a child playing with a toy.

The report urges parents to watch for signs that indicate a toy could be dangerous. This includes inadequate and inconsistent labeling. Research uncovered inappropriate age ranges and recommendations. W.A.T.C.H. believes manufacturers show no attempt to remove safety hazards that have been around for years. The report also looks at recalls and why there has to be a more exacting monitoring of the toy industry, as well as diligence by parents and caregivers.

What the report is seeing

Design & Manufacture – Poor quality toys continue to get into the hands of children, even after recalls. It is not unusual for parents to never hear about the recall of a toy already in their home. The industry continues to produce substandard merchandise through inappropriate practices and ineffective testing.

Warnings and Age Recommendations – W.A.T.C.H. says important information is regularly left off packaging. One of the items on the worst list is the “Kids Time Elephant.” It is a plush stuffed animal pillow and comes with no warning of possible suffocation with babies.

Awareness is critical, especially around this time of year when parents are looking for the best toy and manufacturers flood stores to meet demand without concern. Consumers cannot assume that a toy is safe simply because they recognize a brand name or the toy is of simple design. They should research toys, seeing what consumers are saying and if there are reports of defects, recalls or accidents involving the toy.

How product liability attorneys can help

Every three minutes, a child is brought into an emergency room for treatment of a toy-related injury. Between the four year period 2010-2014, over 60 children died because of a toy.

At Edelman, Krasin & Jaye PLLC, we want parents to take into account the repercussions buying a toy can have. We have seen first-hand what these incidences do to a family. We have also done whatever it takes to prove accountability, holding toy manufacturers responsible for their actions.

If your child suffered a toy-related injury, contact our product liability lawyers for a free case review.

Additional toy-related accident resources

E-Cigarette Ban in Checked Baggage Due to Fire Risk

close up portrait of a man smoking an e-cigarette

Airline passengers traveling in the U.S. will no longer be able to pack their e-cigarettes in checked baggage according to a rule now being finalized by government safety officials.

The ruling comes as a result of several reports of e-cigarettes catching fire in checked baggage. Passengers are also prohibited from charging their e-cigarettes while in the airline cabin, though they may travel with the devices in their carry-on luggage.

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Material Safety Administration (PHMSA) published the ruling in the Federal Register on May 18. U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said that it would go into effect after 30 days. The May announcement follows a preliminary ruling published in October of 2015.

More than 10% of adults in the U.S. use e-cigarettes, partly due to the reputation as a healthier alternative to traditional forms of cigarette smoking. However, there have been several reports of fires or explosions associated with the devices, some of them leaving the users or bystanders badly burned, or with broken bones or missing eyes.

E-Cig batteries and chargers can be faulty, dangerous

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has documented several e-cigarette-related explosions or fires in 2015, while the on-line resource E-Cig One claims to have documented 168 instances since FEMA’s initial report. Of the 168 explosions, 101 reportedly resulted in injury or even death.

E-Cigarette fires in passengers’ luggage have disrupted recent flights. A January Hawaiian airlines flight had to make an emergency landing due to reports of a fire from the cargo area that turned out to be an overheated e-cigarette. In March, a fire in a passenger’s carry-on bag on a Delta flight was extinguished while the airplane was still on the ground, but led to delays.

In some cases, user error may be the reason behind the fires and explosions. However, a significant problem with e-cigarettes is that their batteries and chargers have frequently been defective, leading to serous accidents and injuries. The industry is new and not well-regulated; flawed or substandard batteries and chargers have flooded the market.

Lawsuits filed over e-cigarette-related injuries

Consumers who have been injured due to e-cigarette fires or injuries may be eligible to file a lawsuit over defective e-cigarette products. Several parties who have been injured while “vaping” or in connection with using/charging the devices have already filed e-cigarette lawsuits against the manufacturers that produced faulty products at consumers’ expense.

Those injured may be able to gain compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, or other losses. A California woman who suffered serious burns when her e-cigarette charger exploded in her car was awarded $1.9 million by a jury in 2013.

If you believe that you have sustained injuries due to faulty e-cigarettes, batteries, or chargers, you are invited to contact the product liability attorneys at Edelman, Krasin & Jaye. You can set up a free consultation to learn more about your legal options by calling 1-800-469-7429.

Recent List of E-Cig Explosions Suggestions More Injuries

close up portrait of a man smoking an e-cigarette

Writers at on-line resource E-Cig One have compiled a comprehensive list of recent e-cigarette-related explosions, finding changes in the nature and severity of injuries reported in the past few years.  They note that the most frequently cited document concerning the issue, produced by FEMA in early 2015, is now out of date, as it does not take into consideration changes in the way that e-cigarettes are used since that time.

E-Cig One managed to track down 168 different incidences in e-cigarette explosions. While the FEMA document they cite states that approximately 80% of explosions take place during charging, the situation has changed with the popularization of sub-ohm vaping and models with removable batteries. And whereas most reported explosions from early 2015 and before did not involve injuries, the  majority of reports assembled in the recent compilation resulted in injury or even death.

Recent e-cig explosions more likely to result in injuries

The writers tabulated four different circumstances under which e-cig explosions occur:

  • During use (45 incidences)
  • During charging (73 incidences)
  • During transport, storage, or other unknown circumstances (28 incidences)
  • Involving spare batteries for removable battery mods (22 incidences)

67 explosions did not result in injury (though there may have been property damage); however, 101 incidences did result in injury or even death.  Several of the injuries involve burns, some severe enough to have required skin grafts. Victims in some cases lost an eye and/or several teeth. Others suffered broken bones.

E-cigarettes are a new product and their potential to cause harm is not yet well-understood. They are, as yet, unregulated and there is no clear data on the long-term impact of e-cigarettes, as compared to smoking standard cigarettes, for example.  Technical malfunctions resulting in explosions add to the concerns that some have raised about the products.

Technical problems with e-cigs may be to blame

There are many reasons why e-cigarettes have exploded in the past few years.  In some cases, the users themselves may be at least partly to blame if they have operated them incorrectly.  However, as the writers note, there are certainly cases where the manufacturers are partly or completely responsible for the explosions. “If an e-cigarette is sold with a USB adapter and no wall charger, for example, it hardly seems fair to blame the buyer if the battery explodes after being connected to a computer’s USB port. It does appear that some e-cigarette products suffer from poor quality control.”

In some cases, users who have been injured by these products may be able to recover some of their losses by filing an e-cigarette explosion lawsuit.  For instance, a woman in Queens, NY who suffered severe burns to her leg as the result of an e-cigarette battery explosion plans to file a lawsuit against the manufacturer of the battery, LG, according to her attorney.

If you have suffered injuries from a malfunctioning e-cigarette, the product liability attorneys at Edelman, Krasin & Jaye can review your legal options for seeking compensation. You can set up a no-cost, no-obligation consultation by calling 1-800-469-7429.

Consumer Safety Group Warns of Holiday Decoration Injuries

older man next to christmas treeDecking the halls is surprisingly dangerous. According to the Consumer Safety Products Commission (CPSC), there were over 14,000 injuries – including 12 deaths – caused by holiday decorations in the last two months of last year.

Topping the list of injuries were falls and cuts, followed by back strain and ingestion of foreign objects. The CPSC warns consumers to take precautions this holiday season to avoid injury from decorations.

The greatest risks come from:

  • Sharp, heavy and delicate decorations – Lacerations led the list of injuries last year
  • Small foreign objects – Ingestion of foreign objects were a problem because many decorations include bits that look like candy or other food, as well as other small, removable parts
  • Fires – The reporting period had 10 deaths that were caused by fires. To cut down on fire risk: choose lights that are certified by a safety laboratory; inspect your lights for damage and discard any that are damaged; keep burning candles in stable places where they cannot ignite items; before buying a Christmas tree, make sure it is “fire resistant”; keep live Christmas trees away from heat sources and well-watered.
  • Falls – Over 1/3 of the holiday decorating injuries involved falls, and about half of those were falls from ladders; use caution when using ladders to hang lights or install other decorations.

Liability for defective holiday decorations

Each year, consumers flood the stores to buy decorations that pop up in temporary Christmas departments. However, these decorations may not meet the safety standards buyers would expect in permanent-use objects.

When someone is hurt while decorating and a defective or unreasonably unsafe product is to blame, he or she may be entitled to compensation from the manufacturer, distributor, or seller.

There are several ways for these parties to be held liable for the accident, including:

  • A defective design – The product is engineered in a way that will always result in a dangerous object even if it is assembled carefully.
  • Defective manufacturing – The product has a safe design but a flaw amounting to a safety risk was introduced as some stage of the production like assembly or packaging.
  • Failure to warn – The manufacturer has fallen short in providing consumers with instructions for proper operation or has failed to warn about risks inherent in the use of the product in its intended manner.

Compensation available to plaintiffs

Litigation may help plaintiffs secure damages to account for:

  • Medical expenses, both past and future
  • Lost wages
  • Reduced earning capacity
  • Physical and emotional pain and suffering
  • Funeral expenses
  • Wrongful death claims

These types of lawsuits can be brought in state or federal courts but each have their own rules and statutes of limitations. Injury victims should always consult with an experienced product liability lawyer to make sure all court requirements are met.

If you have suffered injury from a defective household product or holiday decoration, the personal injury attorneys of Edelman, Krasin & Jaye are here to help. New York area residents can contact us at 1-800-469-7429 to schedule a free case evaluation.