Toddler Found Dead in School Van

The family and friends of a 17 month old boy, Gabriel Josh-Cazir Pierre, are grieving over his tragic  death. During Monday’s high temperatures, the toddler was left unattended and unnoticed in a school transportation for close to seven hours. The facts revealed thus far suggest a number of allegedly negligent acts leading to such an unfathomable outcome. The van’s driver, Luis Matos, reportedly failed to check his vehicle for remaining passengers before leaving it in the hot sun for the day. Further, the owner of the day care facility also did not call anyone to inquire about Gabriel’s attendance that day. There is simply no excuse for the loss of an innocent life under such circumstances. Incidents like these, leading to wrongful death, test the faith of parents and caregivers not only in the competence of transportation companies and day care facilities, but also in state regulations presumably designed to prevent such tragedies.

In response to this case of alleged child abuse, Wayne Ysaguirre, president and CEO of Associated Early Care and Education, has proposed an additional safety measure – implementation of a special buzzer system in the back of each bus, requiring the driver to walk to the back of the van to turn it off. Such a system would “force the driver to check every seat to get to the back of the van.”

At Swartz & Swartz, P.C., we understand that a wrongful death recovery cannot make up for the loss of a family member, but we ensure that our clients’ rights are protected, and that they have the support needed during a very difficult time.

If have experienced the tragic loss of a child due to the negligence of others – including schools, school buses and transportation companies, and day care facilities – please contact us. If you want to speak with one of our wrongful death attorneys, we can be contacted at (617) 742-1900, or toll free at 1-800-545-3732. We are here to answer your questions and discuss how you can protect your legal rights.

By James A. Swartz of Swartz & Swartz, P.C.Permalink

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Eye Injuries lead to recall of Target’s Resistance Cords

September 9, 2011

Yesterday the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced the recall of about 447,000 Target Embark Resistance Cords. At least three injuries

were reported, including two persons suffering blindness, due to cord defects.

Consumers were advised to immediately terminate any use of the following products:

•    Embark Light (tension) Resistance Cord (Green)
•    Embark Medium (tension) Resistance Cord (Blue)
•    Embark Heavy (tension) Resistance Cord (Black)
•    Embark Resistance Cord Kit (set of 3 cords in green/blue/black stored in mesh bag)

The Resistance cords are made of rubber with black foam handles and a door attachment. The door attachment is supposed to serve as an anchor, however the reports indicate that plastic ball that serves as the anchor can unexpectedly released, allowing the cord tension to jettison the anchor toward unsuspecting consumers, pose a significant injury hazard.

At any point during the design and manufacturing process, failures regarding safety issues associated with products may contribute to a product’s hazards, including (1) missteps during the early design stages; (2) inadequate testing to ensure safe performance; and (3) marketing efforts that include inadequate instructions and warnings, or failure to include any relevant cautions. Even one act of negligence during the process from product’s conception to its sale can cause catastrophic injuries and even wrongful death once the product reaches homes, schools and workplaces of consumers.

If you or a family member have suffered significant personal injuries, including blindness and vision loss, as the result of a defective product, contact the law office of Swartz & Swartz, P.C. 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.

By James A. Swartz of Swartz & Swartz, P.C.Permalink

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HairCare Recalls Toxic Straightening Product

August 29, 2011

How can we protect ourselves from infection and disease if we use everyday products without knowing what goes into them? Consumers regularly purchase and use products made and distributed by various industries without being told of sometimes toxic ingredients. For example, scores of customers worldwide have been exposed to toxic hair straightening products that use an ingredient 50 times more powerful than the safe dosage of formaldehyde – a chemical known to cause cancer.

Haircare Australia, a company that caters to a market of more than 5500 hairdressers across Australia, has recalled 158 bottles of ”Brazilian Blowout” after the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission discovered its high formaldehyde content. The product, Global Keratin Hair Taming System, is one of seven products recalled by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission in the past two years because it contained too much of the toxin.

As fears grow over health risks of this hair treatment, one reported adverse case involves Helen Brown. She was diagnosed with breast cancer in March, over a year after having her hair straightened with this now recalled product.

Formaldehyde is a colorless, flammable, strong-smelling chemical that is used in building materials and to produce many household products. In 1980, a study showed that exposure to this chemical could cause nasal cancer in rats. Specialists have urged the human population to limit exposure to formaldehyde in homes by ensuring adequate ventilation, moderate temperatures, and reduced humidity levels through the use of air conditioners and dehumidifiers.

While proper labeling, recalls and regulations are important for safety, manufacturers have a responsibility to ensure only safe products reach the marketplace, avoiding the potential to cause catastrophic injury, including toxic chemical exposure. The millions of potentially dangerous products flooding retail store shelves before their hazards are identified highlight the inadequacy of current safety protocols. The burden must remain with manufacturers and retailers to identify hazards before their products enter the channels of commerce.

By James A. Swartz of Swartz & Swartz, P.C.Permalink

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Cargill Turkey Recalled Post Salmonella Poisoning

August 4, 2011

Cargill has recalled 36 million pounds of ground turkey from the market, following reports of numerous instances of Salmonella poisoning, and at least one death. Reportedly, 77 people in 26 states have fallen ill due to the outbreak of lab-confirmed cases of Salmonella Heidelberg. Government officials suspect ground turkey to be the source, as half the interviewed victims claimed that they had eaten ground turkey prior to falling ill.

According to the World Health Organization, Salmonella is one of the most frequent causes of food borne illness. The infection, salmonellosis, can cause a wide range of complications, including dehydration, life threatening bacteremia (infection of the blood), reactive arthritis, and even death.

Companies responsible for Salmonella food poisoning may include growers, food manufacturers, distributors, retailers, and restaurants. There are potentially a number of entities and individuals in the food production, distribution and retail chain who might bear responsibility for food-borne illnesses suffered by victims and their families.

If you have suffered significant personal injuries, or if a family member or loved one has suffered  a wrongful death as the result of a defective product, including food, contact the law office of Swartz & Swartz, P.C. 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.

By James A. Swartz of Swartz & Swartz, P.C.Permalink

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Six Injured in Boat Explosion on Smith Mountain Lake

July 28, 2011

Six people aboard a 31-year-old cabin cruiser suffered injuries from an explosion caused by a gasoline leak in the stern.  On Saturday, gasoline vapors sparked by the boats engine caused the boat to catch fire. Sargent Karl Marting, a conservation police officer  said the fireball burst from an enclosed space near the boat’s engine compartment at about 3:30 p.m. He claims the the explosion was brief but powerful, “We’re talking about a second or more, but quite high and quite forceful.”

The 25 foot, 1980 Chris Craft cabin cruiser just pulled away from Parkway Marina in Virginia after being refueled when the vapors exploded.  Luckily, the quick burst of fire was quelled by a fire extinguisher a marina employee brought on board. The boat itself suffered little damage; however, the boaters injured in Saturday’s incident wound up in the water about 150 feet from shore, several injured or stunned enough to have possibly drowned had they not been quickly rescued.  Two victims of this gas explosion were immediately taken to the burn unit at the University of Virginia Medical Center while the remaining four injured boaters are being treated for their burns at Roanoke Memorial Hospital.

Aside from causing severe burns, gas explosions may scar a victim with related traumatic injuries if he/she is thrown or falls. These injuries require extensive medical treatment and/or rehab and may result in lasting physical and psychological damage. Consequently, medical expenses may be overwhelming. In either case, liability can be attributed to a number of external factors including: the gas company supplying the gas, the manufacturer of the appliance/equipment, anyone who has operated on the equipment and etc. In order to obtain financial compensation for victims of burn injuries from explosion, it is vital to work with a law firm with the experience and resources to pursue claims against major corporations responsible for life-altering injuries, often utility companies or manufacturers.

If you or a loved one has been the victim of a gas explosion and would like to speak with an injury attorney, contact us by email or call (617) 742-1900. Swartz & Swartz, P.C.  is here to answer your questions and protect your legal rights.

By James A. Swartz of Swartz & Swartz, P.C.Permalink

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Wrongful Death Suit Filed Over Recalled Alcohol Prep Wipes

July 27, 2011

Every day, people use alcohol prep pads to protect themselves and their loved ones from invasive bacteria and infection. Last year, however, The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced a recall of several Triad products that involved alcohol preparation, due to contamination with Bacillus Cereus bacteria. This bacteria is harmful to humans and can lead to food borne illness or even death. The government discovered that this bacteria contaminated the recalled Triad wipes, prep pads and swabs, which were commonly used in hospitals and for daily first-aid.

Now, wrongful death lawsuits have been filed as the bacteria has infected users. In one such case, an Illinois widow, Sharon Rockett, filed an alcohol prep pad wrongful death lawsuit against H&P Industries, claiming that the bacteria-infected prep pads killed her husband, Garry W. Rockett. According to the lawsuit, Rockett was supplied with Triad Alcohol prep pads in PleurX Drainage Kits by Carefusion and Edgepark Medical supplies.  This claim is the latest of several wrongful death and product liability lawsuits filed against H&P over allegedly contaminated alcohol prep pads.

While the FDA has ordered the recall of these wipes, millions of the contaminated wipes could still be in home medicine cabinets. The FDA has urged immediate disposal of these potentially contaminated pads.

Every year, consumers are victimized by dangerously defective products, sustaining catastrophic and even fatal injuries as a result. If you or a family member have suffered significant personal injuries or wrongful death as the result of a defective product, contact the law office of Swartz & Swartz, P.C. 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.

By James A. Swartz of Swartz & Swartz, P.C.Permalink

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Vaginal Mesh Causes More Harm Than Good

July 25, 2011

Transvaginal mesh surgery for pelvic organ prolapse (POP) may cause more harm than good. The vaginal mesh used in this surgery presents the risk of serious complications, leading the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) to warn that it provides no greater benefits over other methods of treating POP. There have been several lawsuits filed against manufacturers of the vaginal mesh. Also, from January 1, 2008 through December 31, 2010, the FDA reported that it received 2,874 reports of complication arising out of this surgical procedure.

In a statement issued by the FDA, it concluded that complications of the surgical mesh placed in the vagina to treat POP include erosion of vaginal tissue, often resulting in pain, infection, bleeding, pain during intercourse and urinary difficulties. The FDA also cautions patients that organ perforation may occur during the procedure to install the mesh. The FDA has made it clear that the risks of vaginal mesh far outweigh the benefits. There are other methods of treating POP that do not involve surgical mesh.

Medical malpractice and product liability cases, especially those involving complex procedures such as transvaginal mesh surgery, are unique and require a sophisticated team of educated and proven professionals. At Swartz & Swartz, P.C., we have a team of attorneys and professionals dedicated to assisting victims who have suffered due to the negligence of others. If you or a loved one has been the victim of medical malpractice or a defective product, and would like to speak with an attorney, please contact us. Our lawyers are here to answer your questions and discuss how to protect your legal rights. Call our Boston, Massachusetts office at (617) 742-1900, or toll-free at 1-800-545-3732.

By James A. Swartz of Swartz & Swartz, P.C.Permalink

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New Study Suggests Avoiding Hospitals in July

July 14, 2011

There is a new study that suggests it is dangerous or even deadly to seek hospital care during the month of July. The study reports that more patients receive poor quality care with serious consequences, even death, at teaching hospitals during this summer month. Researchers concluded that deaths in these hospitals rise as high as 10% in July.

One explanation seems to be that experienced residents move on and new trainees, with little clinical experience, take their place at the start of the academic year. This is referred to as the July effect. Many teaching hospitals are aware of this problem and try to have their best doctors on call during July.

Researchers at the University of California- San Francisco School of Medicine reviewed studies from 1989 through 2010 and found extended hospital stays and unneeded tests in July. The study was published in the July 12 Annals of Internal Medicine.

It is critically important that patients make informed decisions about their own medical care. Under the Massachusetts Patient Bill of Rights, patients have the right to refuse treatment from a medical student. If you feel that your care may be inadequate, you can refuse care by the new trainee and request a veteran doctor to review your medical problem.

Medical malpractice cases are unique and require a sophisticated team of educated and proven professionals. At Swartz & Swartz, P.C., we have a team of attorneys and professionals dedicated to medical malpractice cases. We work closely with some of the most knowledgeable and renowned medical experts in the country, and have a proven track record of successful recoveries on behalf of victims of medical negligence.

If you or a loved one has been the victim of medical malpractice and would like to speak with a medical malpractice attorney, please contact us. Our lawyers are here to answer your questions and discuss how to protect your legal rights. Call our Boston, Massachusetts office at (617) 742-1900, or toll-free at 1-800-545-3732.

By James A. Swartz of Swartz & Swartz, P.C.Permalink

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Adventure Playsets Recalls Swingsets

July 7, 2011

According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), Adventure Playsets has recalled about 240,000 swing sets due to a fall hazard.  The wood in the posts of the fort section on the swing sets can rot, causing weakening and leading to a fall hazard. There have been over 500 complaints relating to the Adventure Playsets playground equipment, with concerns expressed about the weakened wood in the 2×4 plastic-coated uprights. The recalled swing sets were distributed under the names: Bellevue, Bellevue II, Belmont, Durango, Durango II, Sedona, Tacoma, Tacoma II, Ventura, Ventura II, and Yukon.  They were sold under the various names at Academy Sports, Mills and Menards, Mills, Toys-R-Us, and Walmart for $300-$600.

Every year, consumers are victimized by dangerously defective products, with resulting catastrophic and even fatal injuries.  Our firm has a national reputation for successfully representing consumers and their families who have been victimized by hazardous products. If you or a family member has suffered significant personal injuries as the result of a defective product, contact the law office of Swartz & Swartz, P.C. 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.

By James A. Swartz of Swartz & Swartz, P.C.Permalink

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Women’s Dresses Recalled Due To Violation of Flammability Standard

June 30, 2011

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced a recall of women’s dresses by Topson Downs, sold exclusively at Macy’s stores nationwide. The dress brand is Bar III, lined with a sheer rayon outer layer, with a “Mint Chili Combo” checkered, multi-colored, and black pattern. These dresses violated the federal flammability standard for wearing apparel, posing a fire and burn hazard to consumers. As of June, 2011, approximately 2,100 dresses have been recalled.

Every year, consumers are victimized by dangerous, defective products, potentially leading to catastrophic and even fatal injuries.  Designers, manufacturers and distributors of such products are too eager to place the blame on individual purchasers and users, often claiming “accidents will happen,” or that safety measures would not have made a difference. Many tragic deaths and serious injuries could be avoided if more corporations would be responsible enough to manufacture their products within the confines of existing regulations, such as the Federal Flammability Standard, which is in place to protect consumers from catastrophic burn injuries caused by excessively flammable materials.

Severe burn injuries often involve damage to skin and nerve, requiring extensive treatment which may include skin grafts. Such injuries can be among the most painful for victims of negligence. It is critically important that such injuries be treated immediately by appropriate medical personnel, including pain specialists and plastic surgeons.

If you or a loved one has suffered a serious burn injury, contact the law office of Swartz & Swartz, P.C. in Boston, Massachusetts. We will answer your questions and protect your legal rights. Speak with a personal injury lawyer today by calling (617) 742-1900, or toll free outside of Boston, 1-800-545-3732.

By James A. Swartz of Swartz & Swartz, P.C.Permalink

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Boston College Graduate Student Injured in Lab Explosion

June 27, 2011

A Boston College doctoral student, identified as Hee Yeon Cho, suffered injuries in a chemical explosion in the lab where she was working.  On the morning of June 25, 2011 at about 10:25 a.m., a beaker containing thionyl chloride exploded in her hand.  When authorities found Cho at her home, they treated her for respiratory issues, burns on her hands, and cuts on her face from shattered glass.  Afterwards, they sent her to St. Elizabeth Hospital.  Authorities also decontaminated Cho, her car, and her apartment because she had come in contact with the dangerous chemical.

Chemical burns often are associated with industrial accidents which can occur as a result of reactions of chemical compounds such as cleaning products, battery fluid, pool chemicals, and drain cleaners. It is important to determine the nature and severity of the burn injury by assessing such factors as how hot the skin gets, how long the burn lasts, and the location of the burn. Such injuries have different affects on people, since skin thickness, water and oil content, fat, and even the number of blood vessels varies.  In all instances, it is important to seek immediate professional medical care.

We have represented many people throughout the country who have suffered from severe burn injuries after exposure to chemicals, gas or electrical explosions, or fires, achieving record setting results for our clients. The attorneys at Swartz & Swartz, P.C. have the experience and resources to fully investigate such incidents. If you or a loved one has suffered a serious burn injury, contact the law office of Swartz & Swartz, P.C. in Boston, Massachusetts. We will answer your questions and protect your legal rights. Speak with a personal injury lawyer today by calling (617) 742-1900, or toll free outside of Boston, 1-800-545-3732.

By James A. Swartz of Swartz & Swartz, P.C.Permalink

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Bunk Beds Recalled in Aftermath of Child’s Death

June 23, 2011

According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), Big Lots is issuing a recall of approximately 30,000 metal futon bunk beds. The hazard identified related to the potential for children to be entrapped behind the futon,  or in the ladder of the bunk bed when the futon is lowered from the seated to flat position.

As of June, 2011, one death was reported as a result of the defective feature of the bunk bed. In that reported incident, a three-year-old boy died when his head and neck became entrapped in the bed. The weight of the metal frame prevented the young boy from breathing and freeing himself. Ultimately, he died of compression asphyxiation.

Another hazard associated with the bunk beds in question involves the space between the last rung on the bed’s ladder and the futon mattress, which is too small. Although a child’s body can pass through this gap, his or her head cannot, with the potential for head entrapment.

The recall involves metal futon bunk beds with model number BFB100. Consumers should stop using these bunk beds immediately.

While proper labeling, recalls and regulations are important for safety of children’s products, manufacturers have a responsibility to ensure only safe products reach the marketplace, avoiding the potential to cause catastrophic injury. The millions of dangerous products flooding retail store shelves before their hazards are identified highlight the inadequacy of current safety protocols. There is simply no excuse for companies to sell dangerous beds and other children’s products to consumers. The burden must be on manufacturers and retailers, not consumers, to identify hazards before products enter the channels of commerce.

By James A. Swartz of Swartz & Swartz, P.C.Permalink

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American Girl Crafts Jewelry Recalled

June 16, 2011

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced a recall by EKSuccess Brands and American Girl Crafts Pearly Beads & Ribbons Bracelets kits. These jewelry kits contain beads that have a surface coating with excessive levels of lead, which is prohibited under federal law.

75,000 of these kits have been recalled under the SKU number of 30-585331. The American Girl Crafts jewelry kits were sold at Michaels stores and other retailers nationwide from 2009-2011 for approximately $8. Consumers have been advised to immediately remove any recalled kits or finished bracelets from their homes and schools.

One concern regarding lead poisoning is that the effects of lead exposure are often not immediately seen. Lead found in products or homes can be inhaled through the air. Moreover, leaching lead can be ingested by small children if contained in paint chips or small toy parts that can be mouthed or ingested.

Every year, consumers are victimized by dangerous, defective products, with the potential to cause catastrophic and even fatal injuries. Many tragic deaths and serious injuries could be avoided if manufacturers and retailers were more attentive regarding safety issues associated with their products.

If you or a family member have suffered significant personal injuries as the result of a defective product, contact the law office of Swartz & Swartz, P.C. Call (617) 742-1900 in the Boston area, or if you reside in greater Boston, New England, or other states across the U.S., call toll-free at 1-800-545-3732.

By James A. Swartz of Swartz & Swartz, P.C.Permalink

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One Response to Toddler Found Dead in School Van

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