100,000 Pounds of Ground Beef Recalled for E. Coli Contamination

Products Liability Kennesaw GA

Swift Beef Company has recently recalled nearly 100,000 pounds of ground beef due to E. coli contamination. The beef was mostly shipped to distributors to be sold in grocery stores and restaurants. The recall went into effect on November 16, 2018. Labels for the recalled beef can be viewed here.

According to the United States Department of Agriculture Food Safety Inspection Service, government inspectors confirmed that ground beef produced by the company contained E. coli on November 15 and moved quickly to put the recall in place. The inspectors confirmed that Swift Beef Company was the sole source supplier of the beef in question. Thankfully, there have been no confirmed reports of anyone getting sick due to consuming the affected beef.

Symptoms of E. coli Poisoning

The primary symptoms of E. coli poisoning are dehydration, diarrhea, and stomach pains. Most people recover within a few days; however, more serious long-term complications can arise. Especially true for young children, elderly adults, or anyone with a compromised immune system. Anyone concerned that they may have E. coli poisoning should contact a healthcare provider.

Food Recalls

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) enforces safety standards for all foods sold in the United States. Despite this, food recalls happen frequently. There were nearly 40 food recalls in the United States in the month of November 2018 alone, and this number is typical. The good news is that food recalls create bad press for companies and are expensive for them to deal with, so they are usually very quick to act in fixing the problem.

Product Liability Claims Involving Defective Food Products

Companies that produce or sell food in the state of Georgia have a duty to ensure that what they are selling is safe for consumers. Not only do these companies have to follow state and federal regulations for food safety, but they can also be liable under Georgia’s product liability laws if they sell or distribute food products that are unsafe.

Georgia’s product liability law is centered on O.C.G.A. § 51-1-11, which holds that any company that sells any product “as new property directly or through a dealer or any other person” is liable for any harm that occurs as a result of product defects. This law applies to producers and sellers of food.

When companies negligently or intentionally sell unsafe food, hundreds, thousands, or even millions of people may be affected. For this reason, product liability claims are often carried out through class action lawsuits or multi-district litigation. However, individual claims are also sometimes possible. A personal injury lawyer familiar with product liability claims can help you understand your legal rights and options.

For More Information, Contact Joel Williams Law, LLC, Today

Product liability claims are complicated, and large companies pay heaps of money to avoid liability. For them, defending against product liability claims are simply a cost of business. For victims of defective products, claims for compensation mean much more. If you have been harmed by any type of defective or dangerous product, the experienced product liability attorneys can help you understand your case and work to get you the compensation you deserve.

Joel Williams Law, LLC, offers free case evaluations and accepts cases on a contingency fee basis. Located in Kennesaw, Georgia, we serve clients throughout the state in both state and federal court. If you would like more information or would like to discuss your case, contact Joel Williams Law, LLC, by calling (404) 389-1035.

John Deere Recalls Compact Utility Tractors Due to Injury Hazard

john deer recalls

On December 12, 2017, John Deere recalled more than 3,600 compact utility tractors due to a dangerous product defect. According to the recall, which was announced by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, “The rollover protective structure (ROPS) at the back of the tractor can loosen and fail to protect the operator in a rollover accident, posing a risk of injury.” Although there have not been any reported incidents or injuries to date, the risk of harm was serious enough that a recall was warranted. The recall number is 18-705.
The affected tractors are John Deere model 1023E and model 1025R compact utility tractors. These tractors were sold between March and October of 2017. Anyone with one of these tractors should avoid using it on any type of slope as a rollover could prove extremely dangerous. John Deere is offering free repairs.

GEORGIA PRODUCT LIABILITY CLAIMS

When manufacturers place defective products on the market, they are strictly liable for any harm that occurs as a result. Victims of defective products can sue in actions known as product liability claims. All product liability claims in Georgia stem from Title 51 Chapter 1 § 11(b) of the Official Code of Georgia (O.C.G.A. § 51-1-11), which states that:

The manufacturer of any personal property sold as new property directly or through a dealer or any other person shall be liable in tort, irrespective of privity, to any natural person who may use, consume, or reasonably be affected by the property and who suffers injury to his person or property because the property when sold by the manufacturer was not merchantable and reasonably suited to the use intended, and its condition when sold is the proximate cause of the injury sustained.

Broken down into plain English, this statute means that to win a manufacturing product liability claim, a plaintiff must prove that:

1. The defendant was the manufacturer of the product;
2. The product was defective when it left the control of the manufacturer; and
3. The product’s defective condition caused the harm.

Under the statute, it does not matter whether the person harmed was the purchaser of the product. Traditionally, only those with “privity of contract” could bring product liability claims. O.C.G.A. § 51-1-11 expressly removes this requirement. Anyone harmed can bring a product liability claim, even if the manufacturer sold the defective product to someone completely different.

Three Ways Manufacturers of Tractors and Riding Lawn Mowers Might Liable for Injuries

There are three main ways that manufacturers can be held found liable under O.C.G.A. § 51-1-11:

• Design defects;
• Manufacturing defects; or
• A failure to adequately warn consumers of risks.

Design defects are those that are inherent in the intended design of a product. One major factor that courts will look to when deciding if a design was defective is whether safer alternatives existed. For instance, utility tractors and riding mowers should be designed with a rollover protection system, a kill switch that is triggered if a rider falls off of the seat, and mechanisms that allow a rider to go in reverse safely. These are well-accepted safety features that all manufacturers should be aware of. Thus, any design that fails to include these safety features could be considered defective.

Manufacturing defects occur when a product deviates from its intended design. These are usually instances where a product or a handful of products are affected by some type of error during the manufacturing process. Many manufacturing defects are caught by a manufacturer’s quality control program, but some slip through the cracks.

Even when products are designed well and manufactured exactly as intended, manufacturers still have a duty to warn consumers about any potential dangers that their product poses. For instances, manufacturers of utility tractors and riding lawn mowers must supply sufficient operating instructions and warnings.

If You’ve Been Injured by a Defective Product, Contact Joel Williams Law, LCC, Today

The legal team at Joel Williams Law, LLC, takes product liability injuries very seriously. Manufacturers that sell their products in Georgia have a duty to ensure that those products are safe to use, and to adequately warn consumers about any dangers posed. When people are harmed by defective products, they deserve to be compensated. If you or a loved one has been injured by a defective product, contact Joel Williams Law, LLC, today to schedule a free consultation by calling (404) 389-1035.

Playtex Recalls Children’s Plates and Bowls Due to Choking Hazard

recall choking hazard children

Playtex recently recalled about 3.6 million children’s plates and bowls. According to the recall, “The clear plastic layer over the graphics can peel or bubble from the surface of the plates and bowls, posing a choking hazard to young children.” The recall was initiated voluntarily by Playtex after it received hundreds of reports of the plastic layer detaching. There have been at least 11 reports of the plastic being found in a child’s mouth, and in at least 4 of these cases it was reported that a child was choking on the clear plastic film.

Playtex has stated that the recall involves various plates and bowls with designs “including cars, construction scenes, giraffes, princesses, superheroes and more.” Playtex is written on the bottom of the affected plates and bowls. If you have any of these products, you should immediately take them away from your small children and contact Playtex for a full refund. More information about the recall can be found on the Consumer Product Safety Commission website.

Manufacturers Have a Duty to Ensure the Safety of Their Products

All manufacturers or distributors that sell products in Georgia have a duty to ensure that those products are safe to use for their intended purpose. Under Official Code of Georgia Title 51 Chapter 1 Section 11 (O.C.G.A. § 51-1-11), any company that fails to meet this duty is strictly liable for hard that is caused. Despite this duty, thousands of people are injured every year in Georgia when they use defective products.

Too often, companies use a design that is less safe than a viable alternative because it will be cheaper. In other cases, the manufacturing process has errors that create defects in the product, or the packaging is defective. And sometimes, a product is produced as intended and the design is adequate, but a manufacturer fails to inform consumers about the risks of using the product.

Each of these types of product defects is preventable. In each case, a company has decided to maximize profits instead of safeguarding the safety of their own customers. For these companies, profit loss is the greatest risk to avoid. But while these companies prioritize profit margins, they put the health and lives of innocent consumers at risk. Joel Williams Law, LLC believes that this is unacceptable.

Call Joel Williams Law, LLC, for More Information

If you or a loved one has been injured by a defective product, the experienced product liability attorneys at Joel Williams Law, LLC, can help you get the compensation you deserve. Joel Williams Law, LLC, can investigate the facts of your case and help you understand your legal rights and options. If a company has violated O.C.G.A. § 51-1-11, we will work hard to hold them accountable.

Joel Williams Law, LLC, offers free consultations and takes cases on a contingency fee basis – that means our clients don’t pay a dime unless and until we win their case. Joel Williams Law, LLC, serves clients throughout the State of Georgia. Call today to schedule your free case evaluation at (404) 389-1035.

Target Recalls Leather Pouf Ottoman Due to Suffocation and Choking Hazards

product liability

On October 17, Target recalled about 7,500 leather pout ottomans after it was discovered by the manufacturer that the ottoman coverings could be easily opened by children, and that the stuffing inside of the ottoman created a choking hazard for children. According to theConsumer Product Safety Commission website, “The zippers on the pouf ottomans can be opened by children who can then suffocate or choke on the pouf’s polystyrene beads.”

The recall was conducted voluntarily by Target. The store released a statement stating “Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled pouf ottoman, place it out of reach of children and return it to any Target store for a full refund.” If you have purchased this product, you can contact Target at 800-440-0680 or online here.

PRODUCT LIABILITY AND DESIGN DEFECTS

In Georgia, there are three categories of product defects that can give rise to a product liability claim:
• Manufacturing defects;
• Design defects; and
• Labeling defects/failure to warn.

The pouf ottomans recalled by Target are an example of a design defect. They were produced as intended, but nonetheless posed an unreasonable danger to children. Design defects can be especially dangerous because they are often not discovered until people start getting hurt.

Design defect claims can also be difficult to win. To win a design defect claim, the Georgia Supreme Court has held that a plaintiff must prove that “the risks inherent in a product design” are significant enough that they outweigh “the utility of the product.” This is referred to as a “risk-utility” analysis.

One of the most important factors courts will consider when conducting the risk-utility analysis is whether safer alternative designs were available. If a manufacturer knew or should have known of a safer design and they choose to produce a less-safe product anyway, they can be found liable in a product liability suit on the basis of design defect. Put another way, if a manufacturer has the option of choosing between multiple designs, they have a duty to consumers to choose the safest feasible one. On the other hand, if there were no known alternatives to the design, a plaintiff must prove that the design was inherently so dangerous that it was unreasonable to produce the product at all.

Call Joel Williams Law, LLC, If You’ve Been Injured by a Defective Product

If you or your child has been injured by a defective product, it is important to be aware of your legal rights and options. Not all product-related injuries create a viable claim, but when manufacturers cut corners or otherwise negligently produce unsafe products, victims deserve compensation. To get compensation, victims often need qualified and experienced legal counsel on their side.

The experienced personal injury attorneys at Joel Williams Law, LLC, are dedicated to getting justice for victims of defective products in Georgia. Joel Williams Law, LLC, is located in Kennesaw, Georgia, and serves clients throughout the state. Call (404) 389-1035 today if you would like more information or if you would like to discuss your case.

TOMY Recalls Munching Max Chipmunk Toys Due to Laceration Hazard

product recall children injured

On July 13, 2017, the TOMY toy company recalled nearly 10,000 “Lamaze Munching Max chipmunk stuffed toys.” According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), “Parts inside the toy can break creating a sharp point that can penetrate the surface of the toy, posing a laceration hazard.” There has been at least one child harmed by the toy so far. The recall number is 17-188, and more information about the recall can be found on the CPSC website here.

The CPSC reports that there are more than 250,000 toy related injuries to children each year treated in hospital emergency rooms. That’s roughly 700 every day. Manufacturers of toys and other children’s products have a duty to prevent their products from causing harm. This duty means that manufacturers must produce products that are safe for children to use, and that consumers must be warned about any potential hazards that a product presents. When manufacturers breach this duty, victims of harm can bring a product liability claim.

Heightened Standard of Care for Producing Children’s Products

If a person misuses a product, especially in an unforeseeable way, a manufacturer will not typically be liable. Under Georgia law, manufacturers must produce products that are “reasonably suited to the use intended.” When a person uses a product in a way that was not intended or expected, that misuse can usually provide a complete defense to a product liability claim.

However, Georgia courts also recognize that young children cannot be held to the same standard as adults. Young children lack the same level of judgment that adults are expected to have. For this reason, manufacturers of children’s products are expected to foresee that children will do all sorts of things with their products that were not intended. Therefore, manufacturers of children’s products have a duty to design and sell products that will be safe even when children misuse them.

Common Dangers Posed by Children’s Products

Parents should be aware of the common dangers that children’s toys and products pose and keep their children safe from them.

According statistics compiled by the CPCS, the most common dangers that children’s toys pose are:

• Choking or swallowing hazards from small detachable pieces, internal pieces such as magnets or speakers, or from plastic outer layers that can be easily removed from the toys.

• Straps or strings that can strangle young children.

• Balloons or plastic films that can cause suffocation.

• Lids on toy chests or other types of chests that can fall and trap, injure or kill kids.

• Electric shock from electric or battery powered toys.

For More Information, Contact the Products Liability Attorneys at Joel Williams Law, LLC

Georgia parents are entitled to buy toys for their children that are safe to use and free from defects. It is inexcusable for companies to sell dangerous products that harm Georgia children. The Kennesaw, GA personal injury attorneys at Joel Williams Law, LLC, are dedicated to getting victims of defective products the compensation they deserve. If your child has been injured by a defective product, call Joel Williams Law, LLC, to schedule a free consultation at (404) 389-1035.

How to Find Product Recall Information

product recall information unsafe

How to Find Product Recall Information

Product recalls occur when the government or the company that created the product has reason to believe that it is unsafe for use or consumption. The product is recalled from the market to avoid additional injuries or death.

Recalls can be either voluntary or involuntary. Sometimes a business will voluntarily recall a product to avoid the additional legal liability for any damage that the product may cause. In other circumstances, the government may instruct the company to take the product off the market. Some recalls only require the consumer to take the product in for a replacement or a repair while others ban the sale of the product altogether. In any of these situations, the business is the major entity responsible for the logistics of the recall.

How do Consumers Learn About Recalls?

Customers find out about recalls in a variety of ways. The recall may be publicized on the news or through commercials. The Internet has been a helpful vehicle for getting the word out about product recalls as well. When a product is registered with the company, the business will use that information to contact consumers regarding recalls as well.

If possible, it is important that you register your new products if there is a registration card or other means for registration available. This will allow the business to contact you to warn about safety problems or concerns. Many people do not take the time to register their products, but registration can be a helpful means of avoiding injury or death if your product is dangerous.

Consumers can also look at certain government websites to see recently recalled products or food. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is the main federal entity that deals with recalls across the United States. It recommends that you research each product you buy, especially if it is used, to determine whether the product has been recalled.

Recall Information Sources

When there is a government-initiated recall, it will be posted at Recalls.gov. You can search for specific types of recalls there that may be in the following industries:

  • Consumer products
  • Motor vehicles (including car seats)
  • Boats
  • Food
  • Medicine (including medical devices)
  • Cosmetics
  • Environmental Products

The Consumer Product Safety Commission also provides a comprehensive listing of consumer products that have been recalled here.

You can find the list of recalled medical devices here. Medical device recalls are especially important because they may involve a device that has already been implanted in your body. The hospital or manufacturer may also contact you regarding the recall as well.

Safercar.gov, which is managed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, provides a comprehensive listing of all recalls that affect motor vehicles. In fact, you can even search by your VIN to determine whether your vehicle or any of its component parts have been recalled.

If you want to learn more about recalls involving food, Foodsafety.gov is a helpful resource. It lists all of the recall information from both the FDA and the United States Department of Agriculture in one location.

If you or a loved one has been impacted by a recalled product, food, medicine, or medical device, you may have legal rights. A defective product attorney at Joel Williams Law, LLC in Kennesaw, Georgia can be a helpful resource to determine your rights and remedies available under the law.

Recalled IKEA Dressers are a Danger to Children

recalled dressers danger children

There is a hidden danger in many American homes. When pieces of furniture, such as dressers and bookcases, are not built with proper counter-balancing measures or not properly secured, they can tip over unexpectedly. Last June, IKEA recalled 29 million dressers and chests after six children were confirmed to have been killed when the furniture tipped over on top of them.

Elliot F. Kay, chairman of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), said, “If you have or think you have one of these products, act immediately . . . It is simply too dangerous to have the recalled furniture in your home unanchored, especially if you have young children.” A link to the official IKEA recall notice can be found here.

The danger of falling furniture extends far beyond IKEA products, however. According to the CPSC, there are an estimated 33,000 furniture tip-overs that require emergency medical care, and on average one child dies from such accidents every two weeks in the United States.

When furniture makers fail to build safe products, or fail to adequately warn consumers about the need to secure furniture to walls, consumers are entitled to sue for compensation from harm by filing a products liability claim. These cases can often become lengthy legal battles, pitting regular consumers against multi-billion dollar corporations. IKEA is currently facing two such claims.

The IKEA Wrongful Death Lawsuit

Two wrongful death suits were filed in 2016 by the parents of victims of the now-recalled IKEA dressers. The lawsuits allege that IKEA knew the dressers were both top-heavy and front-heavy, and thus prone to tipping over. IKEA has made efforts to educate consumers about the need to anchor these dressers to walls for safety, but the plaintiffs—and many consumer safety groups—feel IKEA did not do enough considering the potential danger.

Product liability cases can raise complex issues of law and fact. There are three types of product liability claims:

  1. Manufacturing defect claims;
  2. Design defect claims; and
  3. Failure to warn claims.

Manufacturing defects occur when a product is not made according to the proper design specifications. These are essentially quality-control failures of the manufacturer. Design defects, meanwhile, occur when a product is manufactured according to plan, but is still defective because the design itself is flawed. A failure to warn occurs anytime a manufacturer or supplier is aware that their product presents a foreseeable danger, but fails to warn consumers about that danger.

The IKEA lawsuits are claiming that the dressers in question were designed improperly. They are also claiming that even after IKEA knew of the risk of tip-overs, they failed to adequately warn consumers about the danger.

Contact Joel Williams Law for More Information

At Joel Williams Law, LLC, we are dedicated to seeking justice for our clients by providing exceptional representation. Joel Williams has experience representing clients in cases throughout Georgia, including products liability cases. These types of cases are complex, so if you have been injured by a defective product, it is imperative that you have experienced legal representation.

If you would like more information about this issue, feel free to contact us as 404-389-1035.

RV Explodes in Flames Outside San Diego, Severely Burning Owner

car fires RV explodes

A recreational vehicle (RV) caught fire outside of San Diego, California, resulting in severe burns to the driver and forcing another occupant and a dog to look for other places to live. The incident showcases the dangers of car fires, and how difficult it can be to predict them and protect against them.

RV Engulfed in Flames, One Hurt

The incident happened late at night on August 31, 2016 in Chula Vista, California, just south of the city of San Diego and just north of the Mexican border. The 56-year-old owner of the RV had parked the vehicle illegally in a parking lot of a storage facility near the southern tip of the San Diego Bay. He and another man, along with a dog, were using the RV has their home.

When the owner went to start the engine, however, the vehicle burst into flames, which eventually spread to damage a van in the parking lot, nearby. The other occupant and the dog escaped without injury, but the driver was unable to get out before suffering severe burns on his back. He was rushed to the University of California, San Diego’s Burn Center, where he is undergoing treatment.

The fire department stated that the fire did not appear to be suspicious, but they are still investigating.

Car Fires Are Shockingly Common

Vehicle fires like this one are surprisingly common. A study by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), found that an average of 152,300 vehicles caught fire every year between 2006 and 2010, an average of 17 per hour. These accidents killed an average of 209 people per year, and injured 764 more.

Even though these numbers seem high, they are actually far better than an earlier study by the NFPA for the time period between 2003 and 2007.

Mechanical or Electrical Issues Often to Blame

The NFPA’s studies also found that about two-thirds of the car fires during this period were caused by mechanical or electrical defects.

These defects are especially dangerous because drivers tend not to be aware of the hazardous situation until it is too late. Perhaps even worse, there is almost no way to find out about the problem before it becomes a danger, and almost no way to fix it before risking an injury.

Products Liability Claims Can Get the Compensation that You Deserve

Situations like these are ripe for a products liability lawsuit. These lawsuits claim that you were injured through no fault of your own, but because of a faulty product, like the wiring in your car. In many cases, you are far from the only person to be injured – when something like a car is poorly made, those defects are rarely confined to that particular car, and instead often extend to all of the cars in that model, or that were made in that plant.

Get the Legal Help You Need

If you or someone you love was burned in a car fire, you might be the victim of a products liability problem. Contact Joel Williams Law in Cobb County today.

Cobb County SUV Rollover Kills Mother

Cobb county SUV rollover

Cause of Car Accident Unknown

Three people were injured recently in a car accident in Cobb County, according to WSB-TV 2 in Atlanta. No other cars were involved. Because the woman was in critical condition after the accident, police are not yet sure why she veered off the road. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that she was later declared dead from her injuries at Wellstar Kennestone Hospital. Witnesses at the scene believe that the driver was trying to avoid an obstacle, but could not say for sure what that might have been. She apparently veered left and then overcorrected, which led to the vehicle tipping to the left. When it met the grassy median, it rolled sideways several times before coming to rest. The other two passengers, the driver’s 19-month-old child and a man from Marietta, were injured but stable.

Ford Explorer Rollover Defects

The Ford Explorer model of car has a long history of stability problems, leading to a reputation for rollover accidents, as discussed by PBS Frontline. Although a federal investigation into the safety of the vehicle’s design discounted defects, as The Washington Post explains, internal documents at Ford may show that the company was aware of design defects with the suspension and roof that could make the vehicle lethal in common rollover scenarios, like a tire blowout.

Georgia Products Liability Law

When car accidents occur for mysterious reasons and result in all-too-familiar handling or mechanical failures, it may be the fault of the manufacturer. Section 51-1-11 of the Georgia Code provides the legal basis for product liability lawsuits. That law states that the manufacturer of a defective product can be liable for injuries to a consumer, even if the consumer purchased the product through a dealer. Also, the defect of the vehicle needs to be the cause of the injuries.

Lawsuits for Rollover Defects

Because of the Ford Explorer’s long history of design defects that lead to rollovers, it’s possible that an accident like the one this past week could form the basis for a products liability lawsuit against the manufacturer. It would be necessary to show that it was a problem with the design or manufacturer of the car, and not some other factor, that led to the accident or made the injuries worse. For example, if it was the design of the road or the behavior of the driver that caused the SUV to flip over and eject the driver, this might prevent a product liabilities lawsuit from succeeding.

Injured by a Defective Product?

If you’ve been the victim of a car defect or other defective product, you need expert legal advice. Contact a products liability attorney today at Joel Williams Law, LLC in Cobb County.

Potentially Dangerous Crib Recall Expanded

potentially dangerous crib recall

Bexco expanded a recall of DaVinci Brand cribs due to entrapment, fall and laceration hazards. The recall is necessary because a metal bracket on the DaVinci Reagan (model #M2801), Emily (model #M4791), Jamie (model #M7301) and Jenny Lind (model #M7391) cribs can break, creating a gap or uneven sleeping surface. According to the Consumer Products Safety Commission, if the bracket breaks the child can become entrapped in the crib, fall or suffer lacerations from the broken metal bracket.

If you own one of these cribs, you should stop using it immediately and contact Bexco for a replacement mattress support which includes replacement brackets. More details related to this recall potentially dangerous product may be found at http://www.cpsc.gov/en/Recalls/2016/Bexco-Expands-Recall-of-DaVinci-Brand-Cribs/