E-cigarette malfunctions prompt product liability lawsuits

 

For a number of reasons, e-cigarettes – also known as vapes or vape pens – have become popular in recent years. For some users, e-cigarettes are a lifestyle choice; others consider them a useful tool for quitting smoking. But whether used as a quitting aid or a fashion statement, e-cigarettes pose risks to users. Besides the dangers associated with inhaling a foreign substance, users can suffer injuries from exploding batteries or fires started by batteries. In both cases, a product liability lawyer may be able to advise you on your potential path to compensation.

The rise of e-cigarette use has corresponded with an influx of e-cigarette-related lawsuits. In 2017, more than 120 lawsuits were filed in the United States by people who were injured from e-cigarette battery malfunctions. The phenomenon hit Canada as well: a Calgary man suffered third degree burns when a battery exploded in his pocket in February, and a New Brunswick man suffered similar injuries in March.

In Canada, regulating and ensuring the safety of e-cigarettes has been a challenge.

“There is no specific federal legislation for e-cigarettes in Canada,” University of Waterloo professor of public health David Hammond told Global News. “Let’s be clear: it’s a very small number of devices [exploding/causing fire], but it is a dramatic example of the need for product standards … having some basic rules about how those are designed.”

The injuries caused by exploding e-cigarette batteries can be severe. Per Courthouse News:

“At least 8 plaintiffs in 2017 filed lawsuits claiming electronic cigarettes exploded in their mouth, with some saying the blast knocked out teeth and caused third-degree burns. Dozens of other claimants allege they were scorched around their legs or groin when vaporizer batteries they were carrying in their pocket caught fire.”

If you have been injured by an exploding e-cigarette battery, contact a product liability lawyer to discuss your case. Product liability lawsuits allege one of three causes for a product’s malfunction: defects in design, wherein a product is dangerous even when manufactured and used as intended; manufacturing defects, where a product is designed well but rendered dangerous by an error during assembly; and defects in warning, wherein the company that produced the product fails to adequately warn consumers of the risks associated with its use.

For more information on product liability lawsuits in general, or to discuss the viability of your product liability claim, contact a product liability lawyer at Will Davidson LLP to find out how our team can help.

 

Image credit: Lindsay Fox/Wikimedia Commons

Falling furniture is a risk to kids’ health

In January 2017, the internet was thrilled by a viral video captured by a child monitor camera that showed a two-year-old Utah boy helping his twin brother escape from underneath a chest of drawers. According to the BBC, the boys’ parents were hesitant to release the video, but in the end decided it could help raise awareness of the dangers posed by unsecured furniture.

Their decision was a good one: falling furniture, especially dressers and televisions, are a common and growing source of injury for children in North America. In some cases, an Oakville product liability or personal injury lawyer may be able to help you access compensation for your child’s injuries. Last December, Ikea paid $50-million to three American families whose young children were killed by falling Malm dressers. The families, according to the Financial Post, “argued that Ikea knew about the danger the Malm dressers posed.”

While a personal injury lawyer can help you recover from the trauma of an injured child, there are important steps you can take to avoid falling-furniture injuries altogether, including anchoring your television to the wall.

Falling TVs have become a profound risk to the health of Canadian toddlers. According to a 2015 paper published by researchers at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto, falling televisions are causing children ‘an increasing number of serious head and neck injuries.’

“TVs are often placed on unstable bases, placed on high furniture like dressers, which aren’t designed for TVs, or not properly secured to the wall,” explained Dr. Michael Cusimano, a neurosurgeon at St. Michael’s and the paper’s lead author, in a release. “Meanwhile, parents are getting busier and busier and don’t have as much time to supervise children, so it’s not surprising that these injuries are getting reported more often.”

The surge in falling-TV injuries can be attributed to increased ownership – 95 per cent of Canadian households now own a TV – and the affordability of larger units. The growing prevalence of these injuries applies across North America, as well: according to Global News, falling televisions sent almost 200,000 children to the emergency room over 20 years in the United States.

St. Michael’s recommends a number of steps to improve safety in Canadian homes. Firstly, they advocate for improved awareness by children, parents, teachers, and medical professionals on the dangers of falling furniture. They recommend that homeowners fasten or secure all furniture to the wall, when given by the option by manufacturers, and that they resist leaving toys or remote controls on high surfaces in homes with small children.

If you or your child has been seriously hurt by a falling TV, dresser, or other piece of furniture, contact a Will Davidson LLP personal injury lawyer to learn more about your legal options. We offer free, no-obligation consultations to help you better understanding your situation.

Have you taken ZXT Gold Bee Pollen Capsules by Floyd Nutrition? Be Careful.

Health Canada Warning: Floyd Nutrition Bee Pollen Capsules

Warning: Bee Pollen Capsules contain hidden pharmaceutical ingredients (sibutramine and phenolphthalein) and health Canada has requested the Canadian distributor associated with the website www.floydnutrition.com to immediately stop sale and advertising of this product, and to remove these products from the Canadian market.

Health Canada testing has identified that the weight loss product “ZXT Gold” bee pollen capsules contain hidden pharmaceutical ingredients (sibutramine and phenolphthalein), which may pose serious health risks. The product is distributed by the company Floyd Nutrition LLC via its website,  www.floydnutrition.com.

Health Canada noted to be aware that this product has been found to contain hidden pharmaceutical drugs that may pose a dangerous health risks.

If you have taken this drug and you have suffered injury please report it to Health Canada immediately.

The problem with this product:

“ZXT Gold” bee pollen capsules are not authorized in Canada and have not been evaluated by Health Canada for safety, effectiveness, and quality. Health products that have been authorized for sale by Health Canada will have an eight-digit Drug Identification Number (DIN), a Homeopathic Medicine Number (DIN-HM) or a Natural Product Number (NPN) on the label. Some natural health products may have an Exemption Number (EN), which indicates that the product is legally available for sale while Health Canada is reviewing its application for licensing.

Sibutramine was previously used to treat obesity but is no longer authorized for sale in Canada because of its association with an increased risk of cardiovascular side effects such as heart attack and stroke. In addition to heart attack and stroke, side-effects associated with sibutramine include increased blood pressure and heart rate, dry mouth, difficulty sleeping and constipation.

Phenolphthalein was previously used as a laxative but is no longer authorized for sale in Canada because it may cause cancer. Additional side-effects associated with phenolphthalein include decreased blood pressure, skin rash and gastrointestinal bleeding.

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