Articles Tagged with product liability

Here in Florida, the Sunshine State, people use a lot of sunscreen. We are told that it protects us from the harmful rays of the sun, but recent research suggests that the sunscreen itself might be harming us. This summer the FDA has announced that it will be closely studying the negative effects of sunscreen. In early 2021, an independent pharmaceutical testing lab, Valisure, tested 294 batches of sunscreen and other sun products and found that 78 of the batches contained benzene. The FDA is now investigating the presence of additional carcinogens.  

What is benzene?

Benzene is a known carcinogen that causes cells to malfunction in ways that can cause immunity issues, and long-term exposure to it has been linked to leukemia. It is produced naturally in crude oil and gasoline, forest fires and volcanic eruptions, and cigarette smoke. It is also used extensively in the manufacturing of plastics and synthetics and is found in lubricants, dyes, detergents, drugs, and pesticides. Research into benzene several decades ago led the federal government in 1987 to limit benzene exposure in the workplace, adopting standards 50 times lower than previous standards. But some medical experts believe the exposure limits are still too high.

As with any other personal injury lawsuit here in Florida, when you are injured in your own home or on your own property, you must be able to demonstrate negligence on the part of a third party to receive compensation. For instance, if you slip and fall in your own kitchen because of your wet tile floor that has been properly installed, you cannot file a claim against your homeowner’s insurance or the installer of the floor for compensation because you are the negligent party. However, that does not mean that all injuries on your property are your fault. 

Product Injuries

Product injuries happen every day in the United States, and sometimes those injuries are serious. Power tools, lawnmowers, baby cribs, electronic devices, large appliances, and kitchen equipment are common items that cause injuries. Other injuries may be caused by defective chemical products, such as cleaning agents or hygiene items. 

Can you sue over an airbag recall if you were injured? Nearly 67 million airbags built by Japanese auto parts maker Takata were recalled in 2019 and 2020. This is a critically important recall, which the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has called “the largest and most complex safety recall in U.S. history.” Nineteen different automakers have used these defective airbags in multiple car models. 

The problem is in the metal cartridge within the airbag, which is loaded with propellant wafers that cause the airbag to quickly inflate upon impact. High humidity, high temperatures, and age can cause the system to become unstable and the cartridge to ignite and explode upon impact, sending metal shards throughout the car. So far, this defect has caused 17 deaths and over 200 injuries in the United States alone. 

The problem, according to the NHTSA, is the use of an ammonium-nitrate-based propellant without a chemical drying agent. What makes this situation particularly troubling is that there is some evidence that Takata was aware of the potential danger before going to market with these airbags. 

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