Articles Posted in Product Liability

Food poisoning can lead to serious and potentially life-threatening illnesses, and Maine individuals must understand their rights and remedies in these cases. For example, recently a national news source reported that Chipolte, a popular Mexican restaurant, has agreed to pay a $25 million fine and comply with a food safety program, after serving tainted food from 2015 to 2018.

The company conceded that they were the cause of at least five food poisoning outbreaks in the United States. These outbreaks occurred after employees failed to engage in safe food handling protocols. The company also acknowledged that several employees felt pressure to stay or return to work while they were sick. One outbreak, in particular, was linked to an employee who vomited at work and was asked to continue working.

The tainted food caused over 1,000 people to suffer from food-borne illnesses. The Justice Department brought federal charges against the company for “adulterating” food, after “shipment in interstate commerce.” To resolve the criminal charges, the company agreed to pay the fine. The United States attorney prosecuting the case stated that the company both failed to safeguard their food from contamination and train their staff in food safety protocols.

According to a recent report, pediatricians discovered that Baby Brezza, an expensive baby formula maker, may pose serious health risks to infants. The machine is a popular baby registry item and available for sale at various retailers such as Target, Buy Buy Baby, and Amazon. The company markets its’ patented product as an advanced way to mix powdered baby formula and water. However, a recent lawsuit alleges that some of the mixers are defective. This defect causes the product to create a watery formula that is less than required to meet a baby’s nutritional needs.

The initial plaintiffs in this case filed a lawsuit after their 2-month-old daughter began to exhibit increasing signs of fussiness and weight loss. The couple took the baby to her pediatrician, who confirmed the weight loss and sent the child for additional testing to determine the cause. Evidently, the cause was the formula maker, as the machine was dispensing watery formula. Over the last two years, the company received hundreds of complaints about the machine after parents discovered the machine was dispensing incorrect or inconsistent amounts of water. Further, several pediatricians described patients who were diagnosed with failure to thrive, after their parents fed them bottles dispensed from the machine. Additionally, pediatricians warned parents that babies who ingest bottles from this defective product may face other severe gastrointestinal issues, because their systems are not equipped to handle concentrated formula. The company alleges that their products are not defective and any issue is likely the result of caregivers incorrectly using the machine.

Parents who notice that their child is exhibiting changes in their feeding response, temperament, body temperature, or breathing should immediately contact their child’s healthcare provider. This change may be the result of defective formula, baby food, or formula maker. These changes can result in their children suffering severe weight loss, fevers, crying, sleepiness, and other life-threatening conditions. Manufacturing companies and retailers may be held liable under various Maine product liability theories, including negligence, strict liability, or breach of warranty theories. These claims often arise from manufacturing errors, failure to warn of possible risks, and design defects. Although the original Baby Brezza lawsuit was filed in another state, parents in Maine should contact an attorney to determine their rights and remedies.

The Center for Disease Control (CDC), Maine public health and regulatory officials, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have expanded a hardboiled egg recall to include eggs sold in Maine. The hardboiled eggs were primarily sold to grocery stores and restaurants for use in prepared foods; however, some products were sold directly to consumers. Public health officials, following the CDC warning, issued the recall after discovering the strain of listeria during a routine inspection of a Georgia food manufacturing plant. An investigation into the bacteria revealed that the strain is identical to one found to be responsible for several foodborne related hospitalizations and deaths. The CDC advises consumers who have purchased boiled egg products to return them to the retailer or throw them away. Many of these products are marked with sell-by dates of “March 2, 2020”. Although the CDC issued a recall, some retailers and foodservice operations may fail to remove all of the affected products appropriately.

Food manufacturers, distributors, retailers, and restaurants must ensure that their food products are safe for consumption. This includes abiding by all food safety regulations, conducting periodic inspections, properly sanitizing, packing, and transporting food items. In some instances, food preparers at grocery stores and restaurants may not realize that they are using contaminated food products. These parties must ensure that they are up-to-date on all warnings and recalls that the CDC issues. Further, companies must train their employees on how to handle food items safely and advise sick employees to remain home.

The failure to do this can result in serious injuries to consumers. Bacteria such as, salmonella, E.Coli, norovirus, and listeria monocytogenes can result in various foodborne illnesses. The symptoms of foodborne illness often begin with an upset stomach and evolve into severe stomach cramps, vomiting, diarrhea, muscle pains, and fever. These symptoms can be deadly to vulnerable individuals such as newborns, pregnant women, and older adults. In some cases, individuals suffer longterm effects of food poisoning such as brain damage, arthritis, and organ failure.

Individuals who suffer injuries because of contaminated food may hold the restaurant or food manufacturer liable for the damages that they suffered. Food-borne illnesses can have severe and long-lasting consequences for an individual, especially for someone who is young or otherwise immunocompromised. Maine product liability lawsuits based on food-borne diseases can be challenging to establish and require a thorough understanding of the state’s product liability laws.

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that over 125,000 people are hospitalized and 3,000 people die each year because of exposure to contaminated food. Many of these deaths and injuries are preventable if food manufacturers follow appropriate and safe food processing standards. However, despite strict regulations, many companies continue to value quick processing times over consumer safety.

A food-borne illness is any illness that results because of exposure to food contaminated with unsafe chemicals, bacteria, or other pathogens. Similarly, injuries can occur if food products contain foreign, dangerous substances, such as glass, metal, and plastic. For example, in a recent state appellate decision, a woman filed a lawsuit against a popular yogurt manufacturer after she consumed metal fragments in the yogurt.

Recently, a man filed a Maine personal injury lawsuit against Ford Motor Company claiming that the defective design of a lawnmower caused a blade to fly off a mower and strike his leg. According to a local news report, the man was bicycling with his son when a pickup truck towing a trailer with a mower passed them. The blade on the mower came loose, struck the man, and severed his leg. The impact was so severe that the man may have bled to death. However, in a fortuitous turn of events, a nurse happened to witness the incident. The nurse stopped and used a beach towel as a tourniquet until further emergency help arrived. Although the man survived, he required amputation above the knee.

Following the accident, the victim filed a lawsuit against the mower’s manufacturer, the Ford Motor Company. The complaint alleged that the mower was defectively designed because there was no backup mechanism to prevent this type of accident. The mower’s design allowed the blade to drop when transported in an upright position. The plaintiff argued that the manufacturer should have designed a backup mechanism to ensure that the blade did not drop during transportation. Further, the plaintiff pointed out that the factory-installed safety device failed, and the manufacturer did not provide any warning to users that this type of accident could occur.

There are generally four types of product liability lawsuits in Maine; including:

The manufacturer of a popular infant jogging stroller model was the subject of a Washington Post investigation shedding light into how the company resisted a product recall despite more than 100 reports of serious stroller injuries (adults, infants and children) over six years, along with U.S. regulators demands that the manufacturer warn consumers and remove the product from shelves. As longtime Bangor child injury attorneys, such revelations are deeply troubling, but not wholly surprising. The report indicated that shifting federal policies toward more relaxed regulatory standards have the potential to allow manufacturers of dangerous products to go unchecked by public and consumer safety agencies for longer stretches at a time.

Our Maine defective product attorneys help equalize the playing field between huge corporations with an army of defense attorneys and individual consumers harmed by unsafe, defective products. It’s important to note: a product doesn’t have to be recalled in order for someone to file a lawsuit, particularly when there is an extensive on-the-record pattern of severe injuries involving similar causes over a period of time, as was allegedly the case here.

Often one of the biggest issues in these cases is whether a defendant adequately warned the public about a danger they knew/reasonably should have known about. If they actively tried to conceal it, this can even be grounds for punitive damages (intended to penalize a defendant for egregious wrongs, versus compensatory damages intended solely to make a person “whole” for losses sustained).

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An auto accident in Waterville is being blamed on a mechanical failure. 

According to the Kennebec Journal, the problem had to do with the front end of a Volkswagon Jetta. The 31-year-old driver  reported he was operating the vehicle on North Street when he suddenly described feeling in the steering wheel as if he’d struck a pothole. He swerved and struck a large white van head-on.

Inside the van, the 62-year-old driver and two passengers sustained minor injuries. One was transported the hospital. Incredibly, the driver of the Jetta wasn’t seriously hurt.

Police investigators reported there was no pothole in the area. However, they came to the conclusion that a mechanical failure in the vehicle was responsible for the collision.

Both vehicles had to be towed from the scene.  Continue reading

A man whose son died soon after Bangor police officers used a Taser on him in an effort to wrangle him into custody has filed a lawsuit, naming not only the city police, alleging unnecessary force, but also the maker of the device, asserting the product is inherently dangerous.

The case of McCue v. City of Bangor et al has been filed in Maine’s U.S. District Court, with the father seeking $6.5 million in damages.

Bangor wrongful death lawyers know that in-custody deaths are often the result of violence, improper use of restraint or failure on the part of the institution to have the proper policies or protections in place. This claim is somewhat unique in that it incorporates a product liability claim as well.

There may be defective products in your home and you might not even know about it.

We’re talking about defective products that can cause serious injuries in Bangor and elsewhere. Remember the recall that was made earlier this month regarding the inflatable pool slides that were sold by both Walmart and Toys ‘R’ Us?sThe recall of those products didn’t even come until after someone died and several others were injured.

Sometimes that’s just how it works, unfortunately. It’s important for consumers to stay in the loop with the latest recalls to help to make sure that everyone in their home is safe from dangerous products.Unfortunately, even when consumers know about recalls not many return the product or take it in to have the necessary repairs done. As a matter of fact, only about 10 percent of recalled products ever leave a consumer’s home.

Our Bangor product liability attorneys understand that many times it’s up to the consumer to stay educated about dangerous products. Take the recall of the furnaces back in February. Back then, there were about 200,000 furnaces that were recalled, with the same ones being recalled eight years prior. Still, more than 90 percent of the close to 400 accident reports came after the initial recall. This is serious business and consumers need to take these recalls seriously.

“We know that the majority of products that are recalled remain in consumers’ homes,” says Kids in Danger’s Nancy Cowles.

Why don’t consumers ditch the dangerous products?sExperts say there’s a number of reasons. One of the top ones is that they just don’t know. Others say that consumers feel they’re exempt from the risks and that nothing’s going to happen to them. Some say that it’s because since there’s so many recalls a year, consumers just overlook them as false or insignificant alerts. Whatever the case may be, the truth of the matter is that far too many people are being injured and killed by dangerous products long after warnings have been made public.

Cowles says that parents need to continuously check the products in their home and check the Consumer Product Safety Commission‘s recall list often. If you notice that something in your home has been recalled, be sure to remove it immediately. The risks aren’t worth it.

We aren’t able to protect our children from everything, but we are able to make the necessary move to protect them from the products that have already been deemed dangerous.

TIME recently released the most dangerous products that you may have in your home. These products include the Bumbo Baby Seats, the Lasko Box Fans, the Maytag Dishwashers, the Maclaren Strollers (before-2010), the Magnetix Building Sets, all Shades and Blinds from Roman, portable fuel from Gel Fuel, Toy Dart Guns from Family Dollar Store, various Drop-Side Cribs and LG Dehumidifiers.

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It’s that time of year again when shoppers are hitting the stores in full force in search of the perfect holiday gifts for friends, family members, co-workers and others. It’s important for all consumers to look over the U. . Consumer Product Safety Commission‘s (CPSC) recall list during the holidays to help ensure there won’t be a defective product on their gift-giving list. Recalled products can cause serious injury in Portland and elsewhere if not addressed.Our Portland injury attorneys understand that the CPSC reviews thousands of consumer products. Unfortunately, there’s a chance there are defective products in our homes and businesses right now, items that have been deemed dangerous and we don’t even know it. While it’s the CPSC’s responsibility to inform the public of the defects, it’s our responsibility to make sure that if we decide to give gifts, that they are safe and defect-free. Please review this list before bringing any new toys and presents into your household.

Schwinn Elliptical Exercise Equipment Recalled By Nautilus:

Roughly 10,000 Elliptical Exercise Trainers have been recalled because the foot plates on the devices have been found to detach from the machine during use and can pose a fall hazard to users. These products were distributed by Nautilus Inc. of Vancouver, Washington. There have been nearly 10 accident reports filed. These devices were sold under the model name Schwinn 460. They were sold at various sporting goods stores and online sites from July 2008 to May 2011. Consumers who own this product are urged to call Nautilus at 800-259-9019 for a free repair kit.

iPod Touch Rechargeable External Battery Cases Recalled by Mophie

More than 6,000 Rechargeable External Battery Cases have been recalled by Mophie LLC, of Paw Paw, Michigan, because the battery case’s integrated circuit switch can possibly overheat and cause pose a burn hazard. The company has already received more than 100 reports of the battery case becoming warm to the touch. More than 40 reports have been filed saying that the product deformed and nearly 10 reports were made of burns. Only battery cases with serial numbers that have the first five characters of TR113 through TR120 are under the recall. The items were sold in stores since April 2011. If you have one of these battery cases, call Morphie at (877) 308-4581 for a replacement product.

KEDS Girls’ Shoes Recalled by Collective Brands:

Nearly 50,000 KEDS “Know It All” Girls’ Shoes have been recalled because the stars on the heel can come loose and pose a laceration hazard. There have already been nearly 30 reports of scratches and cuts from these metal stars. The style number covered under this recall is KY40098A, which can be found on the underside of the tongue. They were sold in department stores from June to October 2011. If your child has a pair of these shoes, you’re urged to contact Collective Brands for a gift card for $30 that can be used at Stride Rite stores or on

As there are new products on the CPSC’s recalls website frequently, parents are urged to look over the list regularly. Many injuries can be prevented by staying informed. Happy Holidays!s

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