WATCH OUT For Toy Hazards This Holiday Season

World Against Toys Causing Harm, Inc. (W.A.T.C.H.) today revealed its nominees for the “10 Worst Toys of 2015” and demonstrated the reason “Jurassic World Velociraptor Claws,” and other potentially hazardous toys, should not be in the hands of children. According to W.A.T.C.H., with 46 percent of purchases this holiday season expected to be made via the Internet, parents and caregivers should take extra precautions when buying toys online.

W.A.T.C.H. warns that consumers buying toys on the Internet are already at a disadvantage as they are unable to touch and physically inspect a toy and its packaging at the time of sale for more obvious hazards. As a result, once the toy is obtained, parents should thoroughly inspect the toy and it’s packaging prior to putting it into the hands of a child. Caregivers should not be lulled into a false sense of security that a toy is safe because of a familiar brand name on a package. Also, some toys available for purchase online may have retailer warnings and age recommendations that are inconsistent with those supplied by manufacturers. In some cases, the warnings may be omitted from the Internet description completely. Such omissions and inconsistencies regarding important safety information can lead to misinformed, and potentially dangerous, consumer purchases.

For a list of toys representing potential dangers this year, as well as additional safety information, please visit Best wishes to everyone from Swartz & Swartz, P.C. for a safe and healthy year-end!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

A Warning for Families: Dangers Associated With Coats and Car Seats

As winter approaches, parents and caregivers will start to bundle small children in bulky coats and other winter garments prior to placing them into car seats. Many are unaware, however, that doing so presents a significant risk. Safety experts agree that as a general rule, such garments should never be worn underneath car seat straps and harnesses, which can result in the safety harness being too loose to be effective in a crash. Some car seat manuals even state that winter coats should not be worn while using their products, though such cautions often do not provide the consequences, and also can be rendered ineffective when buried within many pages of information, instructions and warnings.

Dangerous Combination:

A mock crash staged by the Transport Research Laboratory for The Observer demonstrates that as the car seat swings backwards and then forwards under crash conditions, a child can be thrown out of his harness into the front seat, as a result of the child being strapped into a badly fitted car seat. The research states: “[T]he slackness of the harness would have prevented the seat spreading the force of the crash over the child’s body and reducing injury…too much slack in the harness means that the child will be caught later in the crash, because the harness doesn’t have time to absorb the energy.” Essentially, the force of a crash will cause the thickness of the coat to flatten, ensuring that the child will move within the harness and increasing the chance for injury. The combination of these two things means that suddenly a large gap exists for the shoulders and arms to come free of the harness.

Tips for Parents:

Parents might have a hard time balancing the importance of the coat test rule with an understandable need to keep their kids warm on chilly days. In’s article, Coats and Car Seats: A Lethal Combination?, author Keren Perles provides a few tips from Kelly Klasek, a lead instructor of community education at St. Louis Children’s Hospital: (1) Try a poncho that goes over the straps in the front and over the car seat in the back. Car seat ponchos are also available online; or (2) after buckling in your child, put your child’s arms through the sleeves and let the child wear the coat backwards. Also, use car seat covers for infant seats that only have material over the harness, rather than those that go under the baby.

Using Car seats is of course critically important to provide the best protection for babies and small children in the event of a crash. However, it is equally important to ensure that the main safety feature of the car seat is not compromised. If you have questions or concerns about car seat safety, feel free to contact the product safety attorneys at Swartz & Swartz, P.C.

Posted in Products Liability | Leave a comment

The American Museum of Tort Law Opens In Winsted, Connecticut

Ralph Nader, renowned consumer advocate, is the driving force behind the opening of a unique museum, called The American Museum of Tort Law, in Winsted, Connecticut.

Nader’s consumer-protection advocacy is the lifeblood of the museum. Now 81 years old, he explained that the museum is a fulfillment of his longtime vision. The American Museum of Tort Law is the only law museum in the Western Hemisphere. This special museum is expected to captivate a wide spectrum of visitors. Nader noted that “it relates to almost everybody’s daily experience. Who hasn’t been in a motor vehicle and watched a crash or been in a crash? Who hasn’t taken drugs, medicines? Who hasn’t been treated by a doctor or a hospital? Who hasn’t had their property damaged wrongfully?”

The museum tells the story of landmark cases through exhibits and graphic-novel type illustrations. One of the exhibits, a Chevrolet Corvair, which was featured in his 1965 book on the auto industry’s safety record, “Unsafe at Any Speed” is a main attraction. The cherry-red Chevrolet Corvair disgraced in his book relates to his General Motors incident, where Nader sued the company for the tort of invasion of privacy.

Of note, and of special significance to the Swartz & Swartz family, is the dedication of a room at the museum for children, describing many types of dangerous toys over the years. The exhibit focuses on the life and work of Swartz & Swartz founder, Edward Swartz, and the nonprofit group World Against Toys Causing Harm, Inc. (WATCH). Ed swartz was a pioneer in the fight to make toys and children’s products safer.

There are historical cases that students read in law school that broke new ground in the 1800s and 1900s and have expanded. Another main attraction is that many of the exhibits include questions intended to persuade the public to think about how they would have handled certain cases. Nader believes that this encourages our nation to think about our understanding of the law and it is intended to promote and motivate civic duty.

Nader states that the museum is for just about anyone, and his dream does not stop here. He hopes students all over the world will re-enact famous legal cases, and the museum, which so far has raised $2 million, is pursuing support of additional programs, such as national touring exhibitions.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged | Leave a comment


A recent article published by Safety Research & Strategies, Inc. (“SRS”) discussed the current hazard posed by keyless ignitions in automobiles. Keyless ignitions as currently designed present a hazard of carbon monoxide poisoning, particularly when drivers inadvertently leave their keyless ignition vehicles running in the mistaken belief that the fob in their possession means that the engine is off.

Automakers have failed to inform their customers that the fob (remote keyless system), while a necessity in turning the vehicle on, plays no role in turning the vehicle off. As a result, a customer could leave the vehicle running with the fob in their possession, moving far out of range of the vehicle, and the engine would remain on. Some manufactures have begun implementing an automatic engine cut-off feature which shuts the engine off after a period of time if the driver’s side door has been opened and closed.

In response to the widespread design defects in the keyless ignitions, lawsuits have been filed against against ten (10) automakers who produce and market keyless ignition vehicles, in order to attempt to force the implementation of an automatic cut-off feature. See,

The unfortunate possibility remains that individuals and families will suffer severe personal injuries as a result of this design flaw. Product defects have devastating effects on families across the country. Swartz & Swartz, P.C. is committed to assisting the many families whose lives have been forever tragically altered as a result of a significant personal injury or wrongful death due to a car accident or automobile defect. If you would like to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney at Swartz & Swartz, P.C., please contact us. You can call us at (617) 742-1900, or if you are outside the Boston area, call toll-free at 1-800-545-3732.

Posted in Personal Injury, Products Liability, Safety | Leave a comment

James A. Swartz Recognized by Worldwide Registry for Excellence in Law

James Swartz, principal shareholder and managing attorney with Swartz & Swartz, P.C., has been recognized by Worldwide Registry for his achievements as a civil litigator and trial attorney.

For more about this press release, please visit:

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment


The U.S Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), in cooperation with IKEA North America, of Conshohocken, PA has announced a repair program that includes a free wall anchoring kit, for their MALM 3- and 4-drawer chests and two styles of MALM 6- drawers chests as well as other chests and dressers. About 27 million units of the furniture has been found to pose a tip-over hazard if not securely anchored to the wall.

IKEA received reports of two children who tragically died after MALM chests tipped over and fell on them. The children became trapped under the weight of the chests. IKEA and CPSC have received at least 14 reports of tip-over incidents involving MALM chests, four of which resulted in injuries.

Designers and manufacturers have a responsibility to ensure that their products can be safely used in foreseeable home environments. Even when a product is not sold or marketed as a toy or children’s product, if it will foreseeably be used in a home with small children, it must be sold with the appropriate cautions and warnings, and most importantly, with design safeguards to prevent the needless and tragic loss of life.

If you or a family member has questions about a defective product or negligence in the design or manufacture of a children’s product, contact the law office of Swartz & Swartz, P.C. Call (617) 742-1900 in the Boston area, or call us toll-free at 1-800-545-3732 in greater Massachusetts, New England, or other states across the U.S.

Posted in Inadequate Security, Injuries to Minors, Negligence | Tagged , | Leave a comment

W.A.T.C.H. Out! Summer Hazards for Children

There are thousands of toy related injuries each year, nearly half of which occur during the summer months. World Against Toys Causing Harm, Inc. (W.A.T.C.H) is a non-profit organization which focuses on educating the public on the dangers to children from the use of many children’s products. See

At a press conference at Franciscan Hospital for Children in Boston, Consumer Advocates Joan E. Siff, President of W.A.T.C.H., and James A. Swartz, a nationally known trial attorney and Director of W.A.T.C.H., discussed their summer safety concerns, including some lesser-known warm weather safety “traps” and recreational products that parents need to avoid to help prevent tragic accidents this season. The summer safety traps focused on pool-related warnings that could help prevent severe injuries or even death. W.A.T.C.H. also highlighted safety concerns regarding summer type activities such as, inflatable recreational products, backyard trampolines, realistic toy guns, and pool covers. When it comes to water safety, caregivers and parents have to be vigilant, making sure there are multiple barriers of protection that are working correctly. Siff and Swartz both stated that “the combination of warm weather and school vacation is an opportunity for children to enjoy the outdoors, but can also be a time for injuries.” For the complete article please visit,

Although much of the focus is in the summer months right now, dangerous toys account for a number of deaths of children year round. Please do not assume that because a toy is available for sale online or at your local retailer, that it is necessarily safe for your children. Carefully inspect the toy ahead of time whenever possible, and read all packaging and labels, including warnings and instructions.

Posted in Choking Hazard, Dangerous Toys, Products Liability | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Bunnies by the Bay Pull Toys Recalled

On June 16, 2015, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) issued a recall for about 800 Bunnies by the Bay Bud and Skipit Wheely Cute Pull Toys (pictured above). The CPSC report states that the hub cap on the wheels of these toys could break or come off of the wheels, posing a choking hazard for young children.

Choking incidents related to dangerous toys account for numerous deaths and injuries of young children each year. Please do not assume that because a toy is available for sale online or at your local retailer, that it is necessarily safe for your children. Carefully inspect they toy ahead of time whenever possible, and read all packaging and labels, including warnings and instructions. If you or your loved ones have questions about these particular children’s toys, or any other children’s toys or products, please contact an attorney at Swartz & Swartz, P.C. We will answer any questions you may have and can advise regarding your legal rights. Call (617) 742-1900 in the Boston area, or for clients in greater Massachusetts, New England, or other states across the U.S., call toll-free at 1-800-545-3732.

Posted in Choking Hazard, Dangerous Toys, Negligence, Products Liability | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Takata Acknowledges a Defect in Air Bag Inflators

A recent article has reported that the air bag manufacturer, Takata, has agreed to a national recall of certain types of their driver and passenger side air bag inflators. These air bag inflators were made with a propellant that degraded over time causing ruptures that have been linked to the death of six people worldwide. See,

The number of vehicles to be recalled for defective air bag inflators has risen to almost 34 billion, nearly doubling the potential number of vehicles affected. Takata’s formerly limited regional recall’s of air bag inflators located in hot and humid climates has been expanded to a nationwide recall involving, more than 16 million vehicles passenger side air bag inflators, and over 17 million vehicles driver side air bag inflators.

The Department of National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (“NHTSA”) has required Takata to assist in all future actions, in addition to their cooperation in NHTSA’s current investigation and oversight of the air bag manufacturer. U.S. Transportation Secretary, Anthony Fox, assures the public that the NHTSA is actively taking steps to ensure that the faulty inflators are replaced as quickly and efficiently as possible. NHTSA has created a new website to provide information regarding the status of recalls and the ongoing investigation. See

No definitive root cause of the air bag inflator’s malfunction has been found. However, some early investigative results and engineering reports point to moisture infiltrating the inflators over extended periods of time as a possible factor.

Car accidents and product defects have devastating effects on families across the country. Swartz & Swartz, P.C. is committed to assisting the many families whose lives have been forever tragically altered as a result of a significant personal injury or wrongful death due to a car accident or automobile defect. If you would like to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney at Swartz & Swartz, P.C., please contact us. You can call us at (617) 742-1900, or if you are outside the Boston area, call toll-free at 1-800-545-3732. We are here to answer your questions and discuss how to protect your legal rights.

Posted in automotive defect, Car Accidents, Catastrophic Injuries, Motor Vehicle Accidents, Negligence, Personal Injury, Products Liability, Safety, Wrongful Death | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Recent Death Highlights Treadmill Dangers

The recent death of Dave Goldberg has spotlighted the hazards of treadmills, as reported in a recent article. See

The question is being asked: how does a seemingly healthy 47-year-old businessman, husband and father die in a treadmill accident? Unfortunately, treadmill-related accidents are more common than most of us realize.

Mr. Goldberg’s death has been attributed to a fall from the exercise equipment he was using, resulting in head trauma. He reportedly suffered from traumatic brain injury and hypovolemic shock, a condition tied to severe blood and fluid loss. As reported in the referenced article, emergency rooms saw 24,000 injuries related to the treadmill in 2014, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). The machines’ dizzyingly fast belts can lead to a loss of balance, resulting in bruises, broken bones or worse. One can also get entangled in its cords, which can cause asphyxiation.

Although deaths are not as common as injuries, six years ago a 4 year old girl was strangled by a cord connected to such a machine, even though it was not being operated at the time.

What can consumers do to be safe and avoid incidents? First, keep children away from treadmills — both stationary and moving. Second, use the safety key provided, which will help ensure that the treadmill stops should the user fall. Third, don’t start the machine while on the belt, to avoid injury due to the sudden movement of the belt. Finally, be familiar with the location and operation of the shut-off button.

Still, the first and most important responsibility regarding safety of such exercise equipment rests with manufacturers and distributors, who must ensure that all safety regulations and statutes are followed, as well a design approach that takes into consideration the environment of end use. Thus, treadmills must be safely designed to account for children in the household, as well as the potential for consumers to fall while exercising. While not all injuries can be avoided, proper and safe design can help minimize the impact of foreseeable uses.

Posted in Negligence, Personal Injury, Products Liability, Safety | Leave a comment