Philadelphia Injury Lawyer Blog

The Pearce Law Firm, including well-known Philadelphia injury lawyer Edith Pearce, is dedicated to the personal care of each individual case. We believe in educating our potential clients on the variety of cases being filed in the state of Pennsylvania and New Jersey. The blog posts below feature accidents and events that may lead to potential law suits. Whether you need a personal injury lawyer to represent you due to car or truck accidents, slip and fall accidents, construction accidents, dog bites, or head injuries, The Pearce Law Firm works on your behalf to provide you the compensation you deserve.

Archive for Products Liability

Philadelphia Pharmaceutical Executives Charged in Case Involving Medical Malpractice, Dangerous Products, and Wrongful Death

November 22, 2011

Four Pharmaceutical executives are scheduled to stand before a judge in Philadelphia this Monday regarding their part in a wrongful death case that claimed the life of three elderly victims between the years of 2003 and 2004. Michael D. Huggins, Thomas B. Higgins, Richard E. Bohner, and John J. Wash, formers executives of Synthes Inc. have been charged with violating a “responsible corporate officer doctrine” after having knowingly promoted the use of a potentially dangerous product.

Synthes Inc., who operates out of West Chester, PA, is a medical device company whose corporate operations are headed up overseas in Switzerland. A subsidiary of the firm began producing the bone cements SRS and XR, which were created to fill the gaps in the vertebrae of millions of older people, in the early 2000’s with the hopes of selling it to hospitals worldwide.

Synthes actually began testing the products in hospitals during a specific back procedure without prior approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for human trial. The court found that patients were directly and proximately harmed by the conduct of the defendants and others at Synthes after they exposed patients to SRS and XR without their full informed consent without the FDA’s authorization. Three elderly patients died after exposure to the compounds. Although patient autopsies could not definitively confirm that SRS and XR compounds caused the deaths, they did reveal that all patients suffered a serious drop in blood pressure moments after the bone cement was injected into their vertebrae.

Each of the defendants has pleaded guilty and hopes for nothing more than probation but could be sentenced to up to a year in jail and $100,000 each in fines. The case is scheduled to be heard by Philadelphia Judge Lagrome D. Davis next week. If you live in the Philadelphia area or anywhere in Pennsylvania or New Jersey, contact expert injury lawyer Edith A. Pearce, Esquire if you or your loved one has been injured in a products liability or medical malpractice case.

Posted in: Products Liability

Lead Contaminated Toys Could Affect Philadelphia Children

May 10, 2011

In a recent press release, it was announced that the toy manufacturer G.A. Gertmenian and Sons have recalled the Toy Story 3 Bowling Game due to violation of lead paint standard. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with G.A. Gertmenian and Sons announced on May 5, 2011 that it would voluntarily recall the toy bowling set. Consumers should stop using the particular Toy Story 3 Bowling Game immediately. It is now illegal to resell or attempt to resell the recalled consumer product.

G.A. Gertmenian and Sons, LLC is based out of Los Angeles, California. The Toy Story 3 Bowling Game was sold in stores throughout the US, possibly near Philadelphia and throughout the country. Six hundred units of the game were manufactured and distributed.

It was found that the red paint used on some bowling pins has been measured to be in excess of the maximum allowable level of 90 ppm, a violation of the federal lead paint standard. The sets were manufactured in China and sold at Walmart Stores throughout the US for $18.

The set contains batch marking of JA 148. The set contains six white plastic bowling pins with two red stripes painted on the necks, one black plastic ball, and one nylon game rug with a print of Buzz Lightyear. The batch marking will appear just above the barcode. Consumers can get a free replacement product by calling 888-224-4181.

If your child or loved one suspected they have been injured by a defective or recalled toy, get a hold of a Philadelphia injury lawyer right away. Philadelphia injury lawyer will be able to immediately assist you with your case.

Posted in: Products Liability

Toyota Issues New Recall for Jammed Gas Pedals

February 24, 2011

Attorneys at Pearce Law are calling it a bizarre case of deja vu. Toyota Motor Corp. has just announced a recall of 2.17 Toyota and Lexus vehicles sold in the U.S., warning that carpeting and floor mat flaws could jam vehicle gas pedals and result in serious personal injury car accidents. Last month Toyota recalled 1.7 million vehicles, mostly in Japan but including Lexus luxury models sold in the U.S., for defects that could cause fuel leaks. This newest recall comes exactly one year after Toyota company president Akio Toyoda testified before Congress in the wake of a massive 2009 vehicle recall for a disturbingly similar problem. The new recall expands Toyota’s November 2009 recall to fix shifting floor mats that could jam under pedals.

While Toyota’s woes seem to be leading the news, most vehicle manufacturers are forced to issue recalls from time to time to correct potentially dangerous flaws. Last month, Ford Motor Co. recalled 425,000 Windstar minivans in midwestern and northern states to correct faulty subframe mounting brackets. That recall was sparked by 7 vehicle accidents that occurred when mounting brackets separated from the frame of the car. Last month, General Motors expanded a December recall of Cadillac, Chevrolet and GMC pickup trucks and SUVs for a rear axle problem that could cause the axle to lock and drivers to lose control of the vehicle.

Fuel leaks, faulty breaks, steering problems, stalling and design flaws — all with the potential to cause serious personal injury accidents and even death — result in major vehicle recalls in Philadelphia and across the U.S. every year. In 2010, motor vehicle complaints topped the list of most frequent consumer complaints received by state and federal reporting agencies. In 2010, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported receiving more than 64,000 vehicle complaints, nearly double the 35,000 complaints typical of the past few years.

Posted in: Products Liability

What Is Being Done to Solve Food Safety Problems in Philadelphia?

February 15, 2011

Today we continue our February 8, 2011 post on food recalls.

A recent recall of salad products in Philadelphia highlighted the increasing personal injury risk posed by contaminated food products in the U.S. According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the number of contaminated food incidents has tripled over the past 20 years to 350 incidents annually. Last year, Edith Pearce noted, contaminated salad greens, ground beef and eggs prompted massive food product recalls, caused broad-spread illness and several wrongful deaths. A number of grocery chains implemented more-stringent food-safety requirements than those imposed by the government and began conducting independent food safety tests.

Public hew and cry over the number of food safety problems last year put pressure on Congress which overhauled the federal food-safety system for the first time since the 1930s. The $1.4 billion bill signed by President Obama emphasizes preventative measures geared to stop contaminated foods from reaching stores. The new law, for the first time, gives the FDA the authority to issue mandatory food recalls, mandates increased inspections of food-processing facilities, and places responsibility on food producers and suppliers to implement procedures to protect the safety of the food chain. While the law does not affect meat, poultry and certain egg products, which are regulated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, it does affect 80% of America’s food supply.

Concern about the increasing incidence of food-bourne illness has also led to these interesting developments:

> Some grocers are using loyalty cards to locate and alert consumers who have purchased recalled products. Federal investigators are also using card data to track contaminated food outbreaks and were able to pinpoint the source of a salmonella contamination last summer using card data.

> Some egg farms are beginning to inject their poultry with a salmonella vaccine that prevents hens from passing the bacteria to their eggs. Mandated poultry vaccination in the United Kingdom has made Britain’s egg supply one of the safest in the world.

Posted in: Products Liability

Listeria Risk Prompts Philadelphia Salad Recall

February 8, 2011

Salad products in Philadelphia and along the East Coast were recently recalled after listeria contamination was discovered in salad greens processed at a State Garden, Inc. facility in Rhode Island. The recall affects prepackaged salads with a use by date of January 15, 2011 that were sold at Wegmans, Giant, Shop & Stop, Shaw’s and other major grocery store chains. Potentially contaminated salads products, packaged both in bags and ready-to-eat plastic clamshells, were sold under the brand names Gold Quality, Hannaford, Nature’s Place, Nature’s Promise, Roche Bros, Northeast Fresh, Noreast Fresh, Olivia’s Organics, Signature and Wegmans.

While no food poisoning cases were reported in connection with this most recent food recall, The Pearce Law Firm, P.C. lawyers note that food-borne pathogens sicken 48 million people in Philadelphia and across the country every year. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), food-borne bacteria sicken 1 in 6 Americans annually. Every year 3,000 Americans die from food-borne illness and another 180,000 are hospitalized.

Listeria-contaminated celery from the San Antonio, Texas SanGar Produce & Processing Co. plant was linked to four deaths in October. Last summer, discovery of listeria and E. coli in its prepared salad mixes forced Fresh Express to recall more than half a million salad products nationwide. Listeria can cause high fever, severe headaches, nausea, diarrhea, stomach pain and life-threatening infections in young children, the elderly and people with weak immune systems. E. coli, one of the common food contamination bacteria, can cause severe abdominal cramping, diarrhea, nausea, lethargy, dehydration and, like listeria, can be life-threatening, particularly to the very young and old and anyone with a weak immune system. Read more here.

Next time: What’s being done to solve the problem

Posted in: Products Liability

Truth in Advertising Prompts Recall of Toxic Waste Candy

January 27, 2011

In a bizarre case of unintended truth in advertising, Toxic Waste Nuclear Sludge Chew Bars may actually be toxic. Clearly designed to appeal to the “dare you” attitude of prepubescent boys, the super-sour chewy candy is sold in wrappers reminiscent of hazmat warning signs. Emblazoned with the words “Toxic Waste” in giant type, the packaging warns consumers of the “lethal” product inside. Unfortunately, to the alarm of Philadelphia parents, what was certainly intended to be a clever advertising ploy now appears to be true. Testing by the California Department of Public Health found >toxic levels of lead in cherry-flavored Toxic Waste Nuclear Sludge Chew Bars.

When notified of the health department findings, U.S. distributor Candy Dynamics issued an immediate voluntary recall of all flavors of the Nuclear Sludge Bar. Introduced to U.S. markets in 2007 and promoted as “hazardously sour,” Toxic Waste candy is imported from Pakistan. Other candies in the Toxic Waste product line have not been recalled as the distributor does not believe them to be affected.

In 1977, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission banned lead paint because of its damaging physical and mental effects, particularly in rapidly developing infants and children under the age of 6. Until the ban, lead was commonly added to paint products to improve paint performance. Exposure to lead has been proven to stunt children’s growth, cause serious nervous system damage, result in developmental delays, and seriously damage kidneys and other organs. In adults, lead can also negatively impact reproductive ability. Children are typically exposed to lead by putting toys painted with lead paint in their mouths or ingesting chips or flakes of lead paint from painted walls or furniture. Read more here.

Newer research, however, has discovered that lead does not have to be ingested to cause serious personal injury. Lead-laced dust from deteriorating paint chips or home improvement projects that expose old lead-painted walls is just as toxic. If you or anyone you know has been affected by this in the Philadelphia area, contact us today.

Posted in: Products Liability

Driveway, Parking Lot Sealer Could Pose Philadelphia Health Hazard

January 18, 2011

When you carefully squeegeed a shiny coat of tar-black sealant over your Philadelphia driveway last summer, it’s unlikely you knew you were creating a serious health and environmental hazard. Neither did millions of other responsible American home owners, churches, schools, groceries, apartment managers and business owners who for years have regularly resealed asphalt driveways and parking lots to improve appearance and increase pavement life. Now, Philadelphia personal injury lawyers warn, disturbing results of a recent study conducted by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) indicate that coal tar driveway sealants, the kind most frequently used in Philadelphia, can create health and environmental hazards on a par with toxic dump sites.

A toxic byproduct of the steelmaking process, coal tar contains high concentrations of known cancer-causing chemicals, most prominently benzo(a)pyrene. When coal tar sealant spread on Philadelphia driveways and parking lots starts to crumble and break down, the USGS study found that particles form a toxic dust that is easily transported into homes, schools, churches and businesses by summer breezes or on shoes and clothing. When rain or runoff from lawn watering mixes with this toxic dust, the poisonous chemicals are carried into local waterways where they pose a serious environmental threat to fish, plants and wildlife.

The Pearce Law Firm warn that, as reported in the Chicago Tribune, the toxic level of benzo(a)pyrene USGS researchers found in sealant dust “was 5,300 higher than the level that triggers an EPA Superfund cleanup.”

“Such high concentrations usually are found at Superfund sites, but this could be your church parking lot or your school playground or even your own driveway,” USGS researcher Barbara Mahler told the Tribune.

Philadelphia personal injury attorneys warn that anyone who has applied coal-tar sealants or who lives or works in a building where pavements have been treated with coal-tar sealants may be at risk.

Posted in: Products Liability

Ho Ho Humbug! Philadelphia Holiday Lights May Contain High Lead Levels

December 23, 2010

The Grinch appears to be alive and well this Christmas, Edith A. Pearce warns. A new study shows that the majority of holiday light strands sold in Philadelphia and across the U.S. may contain more lead than federal product safety standards permit in children’s products. That’s not news Philadelphia parents want to hear after decorating their homes and Christmas trees with holiday lights.

In a study of 68 holiday lights sold under popular brand names in Philadelphia stores, researchers found that 79% contained detectable amounts of lead. Even more disturbing, warn The Pearce Law Firm, 54% of the lights tested contained 30 times more lead than the federal children’s safety limit of 600 parts per million (ppm). Because holiday lights are not marketed to children, they are not required to meet child safety standards. Edith Pearce warns parents that the potential risk to their children could be significant and that the high levels of lead found in some holiday lights could also pose a risk to adults. Lead is known to cause serious neurological and reproductive injuries.

Holiday light testing was conducted by the Ecology Center, a nonprofit environmental organization based in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Lead is a manufacturing component of the vinyl used to coat holiday light wires and bulb sockets. Researchers at the center tested popular varieties of holiday lights for several hazardous metals and chemicals, including lead, cadmium, arsenic and PVC. Test results found detectable lead in 4 out of 5 holiday light products. Nearly a third of the lights tested contained lead levels greater than 1,000 ppm, enough to make them illegal in Europe. California requires a warning label on electrical cords that contain a lead level of 1,000 ppm or greater.

Philadelphians are urged to keep holiday lights out of children’s reach and wear gloves and wash their hands after handling holiday lights.

Posted in: Products Liability

Government Bans Dangerous Drop-Side Cribs

December 16, 2010

After 32 tragic deaths and years of lobbying by heart-sick parents and consumer advocates, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission yesterday banned the manufacture, sale and resale of drop-side cribs. In the past decade, 32 infants and toddlers in Philadelphia and across the country have been tragically suffocated or strangled to death in drop-side crib accidents. These cribs are also implicated in the entrapment deaths of another 14 children. The Pearce Law Firm, P.C. urge parents of young children to immediately stop using drop-side cribs and make sure that these hazardous cribs are not in use by their child’s day care provider.

A long-time industry standard, drop-side cribs have a kick plate connected to one of the side crib rails. When the plate is kicked, the crib side drops down, allowing parents to easily lift a child out of the crib. Investigations following infant deaths have found that the stress of repeatedly raising and lowering the crib side can cause hardware to weaken or break, allowing the drop side to separate from the crib structure and come off its track. Babies and toddlers can fall into the resulting gap and hang or suffocate to death.

A 2007 investigation by the Chicago Tribune led to the recall of one million drop-side cribs with several subsequent recalls eventually affecting more than 7 million drop-side cribs. As their dangers received increased publicity, the cribs began falling out of favor with parents; and manufacturers began offering more cribs with fixed sides. New safety standards proposed last year threatened to ban the use of drop-side cribs in hotels and day care centers. In response, major crib manufacturers voluntarily agreed to halt the manufacture of drop-side cribs earlier this year.

Yesterday, the Consumer Product Safety Commission finally enacted proposed safety standards and banned the manufacture, sale and resale of drop-side cribs. The ban will affect more than 59,000 day care center and 43,000 hotels which have 2 years to comply.

Posted in: Products Liability

Chewing Tobacco Firm Settles Wrongful Death Claim for $5 Million

December 9, 2010

A $5 million settlement is expected unleash a flood of wrongful death lawsuits against the makers of chewing tobacco, say experienced Philadelphia personal injury attorneys. This week, U.S. Smokeless Tobacco Co. agreed to pay a $5 million settlement award to the family of a North Carolina man who died of mouth cancer in 2003. A tobacco chewer from the age of 13, Bobby Hill of Canton, NC was 42 when he died of cancer of the tongue. Hill’s wife filed the wrongful death lawsuit against the maker of popular Skoal and Copenhagen smokeless tobacco products in 2005. Philadelphia personal injury lawyers say the $5 million award is the first wrongful death settlement won against a chewing tobacco company.

Lost in the harsh media spotlight shown on the connection between cancer and cigarettes, the dangers of smokeless tobacco products have drawn little press and few legal battles. Philadelphia personal injury attorneys expect this week’s hefty settlement award to change that overnight. Smokeless tobacco products carry significant cancer risk. Chewing tobacco is addictive; users absorb twice as much nicotine as cigarette smokers. Smokeless tobacco use can cause cancer of the mouth, throat, lips, larynx and esophagus. According to American Cancer Society, tobacco use is responsible for 1 in 5 U.S. deaths.

While cigarette use has declined since 1964 when the U.S. Surgeon General first linked smoking to cancer, use of smokeless tobacco products has inched up. Erroneously considered less lethal than cigarettes, chewing tobacco is believed to be nearly risk free by many, particularly teens and young adults. According to the Oral Cancer Foundation, the average age of first-time chewing tobacco users is 10. Young women who use chewing tobacco to control weight gain are the fastest growing user group.

If you use chewing tobacco and have been diagnosed with cancer, consult a Philadelphia personal injury attorney for a free case evaluation.

Posted in: Products Liability