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  • Popular B.O.B. Jogging Strollers Recalled

    Chicago Product Liability Attorney Illinois Personal Injury Attorney   Approximately 357,000 B.O.B. single and double jogging strollers were recently recalled in the United States and Canada as a result of reports that a drawstring on the stroller can get wrapped around a child’s neck, which could result in strangulation. The popular stroller manufacturer B.O.B. Trailers, Inc. recalled the stroller after it received one report of an 11-month-old girl becoming entangled in the drawstring.  The child was ultimately freed from the drawstring by her mother. The strollers recalled include the following 11 models of B.O.B. single and double strollers, all of which have the name “B.O.B” on the cargo basket under the stroller and on the front of the stroller and a yellow/orange drawstring at the rear of the canopy that is used to gather loose fabric when the canopy is pulled back: Model Serial # ranges Sport Utility Stroller 12362 – 35107 AA00001 – AA025490 AA900000 – AA999999 Sport Utility Stroller D’Lux 12362 – 35107 AB000001 – AB007940 AB900000 – AB999999 Ironman® 800000 – 803700 AC000001- AC027923 AC900000 – AC999999 Sport Utility Duallie 002001 – 008068 AD000001 – AD011252 AD900000 – AD999999 Ironman® Duallie AE000001 – AE008909 AE900000 – AE999999 Revolution AF000001 – AF189112 AF900000 – AF999999 Revolution 12” AK000001 – AK024149 AK900000 – AK999999 Stroller Strides® AG000001 – AG011163 AG900000 – AG999999 Revolution Duallie AH000001 – AH072921 AH900000 – AH999999 Revolution Duallie 12” AL000001 – AL012657 AL900000 – AL999999 Stroller Strides® Duallie AM000001 – AM003229 AM900000 – AM999999 The recalled strollers were sold at REI, buy buy Baby and other stores nationwide, as well as on the internet stores of Babiesrus.com, Target.com and Amazon.com, between April 2002 and February 2011.  The strollers retailed for $300 to $600. What to do if your stroller has been recalled To determine whether your stroller has been recalled, consumers should check their stroller’s serial number located near the stroller’s rear right leg, either stamped in the frame or on a white label. If your stroller has been recalled, you should immediately stop using the stroller and remove the drawstring.  If the stroller was used with a separately-purchased Weather Shield or Sun Shield accessory, consumers should contact B.O.B. Trailers for a free canopy retrofit kit at (855) 242-2245 or www.bobcanopy.com. If you or your child has been injured using one of the recalled strollers, you may wish to contact the experienced Illinois product liability[READ MORE…]

  • Baby Monitors and Car Seats Recalled

    Over the last year, there has been a slew of recalled childrens’ products. Too many, by anyone’s standards. First, as we discussed in July, 2 million drop-side cribs were recalled, and then the Consumer Products Safety Commission banned drop-side cribs across the board. In January 2010, over 1.5 million Graco strollers were recalled based on reports that childrens’ fingers were being amputated by the stroller’s mechanisms. And, earlier this month, as described in an AOL.com article, 800,000 car seats were recalled: Dorel Juvenile Group said the problem affects certain child safety seats made between May 1, 2008, and April 30, 2009 and sold in the U.S., that have a center front adjuster for the harness, the agency said in a statement. The recall affects infant, convertible and booster seats that were sold alone and as part of travel systems with strollers, NHTSA said. In the affected seats, the harness locking and release button does not always return to the locked position, NHTSA said. With the button unlocked, the shoulder strap can slip back through the adjuster as a child moves, loosening the harness. And, last, but certainly not least, Bob Kraft writes about a recent recall of 2 million baby monitors at his blog: (A)lmost 2,000,000 baby monitors produced by Summer Infant have been recalled because two children strangled in their cribs after getting tangled in the devices’ electrical cords…The monitors were sold at Babies “R” Us stores from September 2009 to May 2010 for about $200, the CPSC said. Let’s hope that for the remainder of 2011, there will be far fewer recalls of products that affect children. As we’ve said in the past, the safety of our children depends on the vigilance of parents and guardians, the oversight of governmental agencies like the CPSC and the hard work of personal injury attorneys who assist the injured and force large companies to take reasonable care to prevent future injuries from occurring. Howard Ankin of Ankin Law Office LLC (www.ankinlaw.com) handles  workers’ compensation and personal injury cases. Mr. Ankin can be reached at (312) 346-8780 and howard@ankinlaw.com.

  • New Study: Hospitals Need Better Follow Up On Test Results

    We all know that doctors frequently order that medical tests be performed on their patients. Presumably, the results of the tests are important, because otherwise why else would the tests be ordered? Unfortunately, to the detriment of patients, it appears that in many cases, the test results are simply ignored. In fact, according to a recent study, hospitals fail to follow up on up to 75% of tests ordered. According to a recent USNews article, the study results were obtained as follows: Researchers analyzed 12 international studies and found that between 20 percent and 61 percent of inpatient test results, and between 1 percent and 75 percent of tests on emergency care patients, were not followed up after patients were discharged. The study was reported in the Feb. 8th edition of the journal BMJ Quality and Safety. As explained in the study’s results: Two areas where problems were particularly evident were: critical test results and results for patients moving across healthcare settings. Systems used to manage follow-up of test results were varied and included paper-based, electronic and hybrid paper-and-electronic systems. Evidence of the effectiveness of electronic test management systems was limited. After analyzing the findings, the study’s authors concluded that “(t)here is evidence to suggest that the proportion of missed test results is a substantial problem, which impacts on patients’ safety.” In other words, the failure to follow up on test results had a significant effect on the quality of care that was received by patients. Hopefully, based on the results of this study, hospitals will take steps to improve their procedures relating to test results follow up, thus avoiding the resulting medical malpractice lawsuits and giving patients the health care they deserve. Howard Ankin of Ankin Law Office LLC (www.ankinlaw.com) handles  workers’ compensation and personal injury cases. Mr. Ankin can be reached at (312) 346-8780 and howard@ankinlaw.com. Related articles As many as 3 in 4 hospital tests not followed up after discharge (eurekalert.org) Hospitals Often Fail to Follow Up on Tests (nlm.nih.gov) Up to 75% of hospital tests not followed up (telegraph.co.uk) Patient test follow-up often lacking (medcitynews.com)

  • Ski Accident and Injury Liability; Skiing Safety Tips

    Now that we are in the middle of the winter, activity at ski resorts across the country is in full swing.  Skiing remains a popular winter sport for many, but it is, nonetheless, a dangerous activity.  The most common injuries occurring at ski resorts include: Collisions with other people or objects Ski lift accidents Resort equipment injuries, including the negligent use of lifts or snow-making machines Injuries from avalanches When someone is injured at a ski resort, the issue of liability frequently arises.  In some cases, the resort may be liable for negligently failing to properly warn skiers of hazards, failing to properly operate its equipment, or failing to adequately prevent unsafe skiing conditions.  Injuries can also occur when the lifts are operating despite unsafe weather conditions, in which case, the resort will likely be held liable. The majority of injuries taking place on a lift occur while the skier is getting on or off the lift.  When these injuries occur, liability is generally assessed by weighing the resort’s duty to exercise care against the skier’s duty to exercise caution. In some cases, someone other than the resort or the injured skier may be responsible for the accident.  For instance, if a collision occurs with another skier, that skier may be liable for injuries sustained in the accident and, in some rare cases, the manufacturer of ski lift equipment may be liable for design or manufacturing defects with the product, in which a product liability claim may be appropriate. If you plan to hit the slopes this winter, you should keep a few safety tips in mind: 1.    Make sure you are using the correct gear. Make sure that your equipment and clothing fits correctly.  The most important piece of gear is a well-fitting boot and skis that are too long, too heavy or too stiff can cause injuries. 2.    Know your limits and abilities. Ski etiquette dictates that you always are responsible for avoiding people in front of you and don’t venture outside of clearly indicated resort boundaries without a qualified guide or the necessary knowledge and equipment. 3.    Be prepared and responsible. Before hitting the slopes you should make sure that you are in good physical condition and are prepared to participate in a sport as physically demanding as skiing. The Chicago ski accident attorneys at Ankin Law Offices have represented a number of clients in personal injury[READ MORE…]

  • Johnson & Johnson Ordered to Pay $1.8 Million for Injuries Caused by Levaquin

    A federal court recently ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay $1.8 million – $700,000 in actual damages and $1.1 million in punitive damages – to an 82-year-old man from Minnesota who claimed that he was injured by the antibiotic Levaquin.  The drug is an antibiotic used to treat infections such as pneumonia and chronic bronchitis, as well as sinus, urinary tract, kidney, prostate and skin infections. The drug has been known to cause complications including tendon damage, Achilles tendon rupture, inflammation, Achilles tendonitis, and injury to the rotator cuff, biceps, hand and thumb that may require extensive surgery and could leave the patient incapacitated and facing large medical bills.  In this case, the plaintiff was prescribed Levaquin in 2005 to treat bronchitis but after just three days of use, the plaintiff’s Achilles’ tendons ruptured. In 2008, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration required Johnson & Johnson and manufacturers of generic forms of the drug to print warnings about the drug’s risk of tendon injuries. There are currently about 2,600 lawsuits pending that generally allege that Johnson & Johnson and its subsidiaries failed to provide adequate warnings about the drug’s potential risk of tendon damage and claim that if patients had been warned about the potential side effects, they could have contacted their doctors at the first sign of any problem and possibly avoided a tendon rupture or permanent damage. Many of the lawsuits have been consolidated by the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation before Judge Tunheim in Minnesota. This federal court process, commonly referred to as an MDL, merges complex cases with similar underlying questions of fact solely for pre-trial discovery and fact-finding purposes but then allows the cases to proceed to trial in the court in which they were originally filed if the cases do not settle. If you or a loved one have been injured by Levaquin, you should consult with an experienced Chicago personal injury attorney immediately to discuss your legal rights.  Contact us for a free consultation.

  • Darvocet and Darvon Withdrawn from U.S. Market Due to Risk of Abnormal Heart Activity

    The drug propoxyphone – marketed and sold as Darvocet and Darvon – was recently withdrawn from the U.S. market by its manufacturer, Xanodyne Pharmaceuticals, at the request of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).  The drug, which is an opioid pain reliever used to treat mild to moderate pain, was originally approved by the FDA more than 50 years ago, in 1957, but new data has shown that it can cause serious toxicity to the heart, even when used at recommended doses. The FDA requested that the drug be removed from the U.S. market by Xanodyne Pharmaceuticals and the drug’s generic manufacturers after reaching the conclusion that the risks of the injury outweigh the drug’s pain relief benefits at its current prescribed doses. Since 1978, the FDA has received only two requests to remove the drug from the market and, until now, the FDA has concluded that the pain management benefits of the drug outweigh any possible risks associated with the drug. In January 2009, however, an FDA advisory committee voted against the continued marketing of propoxyphene products noting that information about the drug’s cardiac side effects was needed in order to evaluate its risks and benefits.  Later that year, the FDA decided to permit continued marketing of the drug, but required a new boxed warning to be included on the drug’s label informing patients and health care providers of the risk of a fatal overdose. The FDA also required that the drug’s manufacturer conduct a new safety study in order to answer questions about the effects of propoxyphene on the heart.  The results of this study revealed that when propoxyphene was taken at recommended doses, there were significant changes to the electrical activity of the heart that could increase the risk for serious abnormal heart rhythms that could lead to sudden death.  The study also revealed that the risk of serious side effects for a particular patient can change based on a number of small changes in the patient’s health, such as dehydration, a change in medications or decreased kidney function. The European Medicines Agency has already recommended that the drug’s marketing authorizations be withdrawn throughout the European Union and a phased withdrawal of propoxyphene is currently underway. The FDA has recommended that doctors and other healthcare professionals not only stop prescribing the drug and any products containing propoxyphene, but that they also contact patients currently prescribed Darvocet[READ MORE…]

  • New Consumer Product Safety Database Available Online in March 2011

    The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recently voted to create a public database of product safety complaints as mandated by the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008.  The database, which is scheduled to launch in March 2011, will be located at www.SaferProducts.gov. Once the database is launched, consumers will be able to search the product safety complaints of thousands of consumer products currently on the market. The database was established in order to inform consumers of pending product safety complaints during the CPSC investigation period, which sometimes takes years.  Currently, if the CPSC believes that a product may be defective or dangerous enough to be pulled from the market, it must negotiate a recall with the product’s manufacturer, which can take months or even years.  In the meantime, consumers can unwittingly continue to buy the defective and dangerous product and, until now, the only way for consumers to access product safety complaints was to file a public-records request with the CPSC and, before the CPSC can release any information about a product, it must consult with the product’s manufacturer, who can protest or sue to prevent disclosure of product safety information. Under the new system, consumer complaints will be posted for public disclosure within 15 days.   After a consumer files a complaint, the CPSC will have five days to notify the manufacturer of the complaint, who will then have 10 days to respond to the complaint. A manufacturer can do one of three things: (i) submit a response, (ii) challenge the complaint as false, or (iii) assert that it will disclose a trade secret. If a response is filed, it would be published alongside the complaint in the database.  If the manufacturer claims that a complaint is false or that it would disclose a trade secret, the CPSC will determine whether to withhold the complaint or publish it in the database. Anyone filing a complaint must identify themselves, but the complainant’s identity will not be published in the database and will only be disclosed to the manufacturer if the consumer consents.  The database will only include information about product defects that could cause injury or death and will not include complaints about reliability or quality.   The database is also restricted to the types of consumer goods overseen by the CPSC, which does not include food, drugs, medical devices, cosmetics, tobacco, automobiles or tires. Consumer advocates are hailing the database[READ MORE…]

  • Do “Red Light Cameras” Save Lives?

    Recently, there has been debate as to whether so-called “red light cameras” are effective at preventing people from running red lights, and whether that in turn saves lives. Earlier this month, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety released a study that concluded that red light cameras reduced reduced the rate of fatal crashes resulting from cars running red lights by 24%. However, as explained at the Agitator blog, other less intrusive measures have been shown to be more effective at preventing red light crashes, such as extending the length of yellow lights: Actually, the argument is that there’s good evidence showing that lengthening yellow times is a far better way to prevent intersection accidents than red light cameras. It’s more effective, and doesn’t come with the creepy surveillance state vibe. Somehow, that doesn’t seem as appealing a policy to city governments. Data and articles regarding the efficacy of lengthening yellow light times can be found here at the National Motorists Association website. In fact, as explained here at the National Motorists Association’s blog, much of the data regarding red light cameras and reduced accidents involved traffic lights where the yellow light time was also extended: The most telling research measuring the effect of red light ticket cameras involves exposing the same population of drivers to intersections with and without cameras, and logging the results. When this is done (and other games aren’t played, like increasing the yellow light duration at ticket camera intersections and crediting the improvement to the cameras) invariably, the non-camera intersections continue the long term trend of reduced accidents and the ticket camera intersections experience an increase in accidents. Thus, it’s difficult to tell whether the extended yellow light times or the red light cameras were the cause of the decrease in accidents. Thus, the jury’s still out on the efficacy of red light cameras. In the meantime, the best way to avoid car accidents is to keep your eyes on the road and drive safely. Howard Ankin of Ankin Law Office LLC (www.ankinlaw.com) handles  workers’ compensation and personal injury cases. Mr. Ankin can be reached at (312) 346-8780 and howard@ankinlaw.com. Related articles More Fights Over Red Light Cameras (reason.com) Study puts spotlight on red light cameras – USA Today (news.google.com) Insurance Study Supports Giving Red-Light Cameras the Green Light (dailyfinance.com)

  • Illinois Workers’ Compensation System Under Scrutiny

    Should police officers who seek Illinois workers’ compensation benefits receive preferential treatment? I think most people would agree that they shouldn’t–and instead, everyone seeking benefits should be treated the same. However, recent facts have come to light that suggest that an Illinois State Trooper’s hearing was scheduled with the intent to avoid press coverage. In October we reported on this case, explaining that Illinois State Trooper, Matt Mitchell, was injured when he was involved in a car accident that occurred when he was responding to an emergency call. He was talking to his girlfriend on his cell phone and responding to emails when he lost control of his police cruiser, which was traveling in excess of 100 mph. The vehicle jumped the median and collided head on with another car, killing its teenage occupants, Kelli and Jessica Uhl. He later filed for workers’ compensation benefits, and, as explained in this ABA Journal blog post, there are now allegations that the Illinois workers’ compensation arbitrator may have acted improperly when scheduling the hearing: A lawyer arbitrator tried to keep reporters out of a public hearing by scheduling a hearing date “on the sly,” her e-mails reveal… Workers compensation hearings are supposed to be open to the public. The Belleville News Democrat quotes from these e-mails: • From Teague to a court reporter, asking for possible dates she can work at the hearing: “We are going to try and do it on the sly with no press.” • From Teague to the trooper’s lawyer: “There is nothing I can do to keep [News Democrat reporters] out of a public hearing, but will be more than willing to do a special setting and an unknown place and time!” These allegations, if true, are troubling. The workers’ compensation hearing process is open to the public and all individuals seeking compensation should be treated the same, regardless of who they are. Police officers should be treated no differently simply because of their occupation. To learn more about Illinois workers’ compensation benefits, you can visit the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission’s website, where you can find this useful handbook that explains the process for injuries and illnesses occurring after February 1, 2006. As explained in the handbook, in many cases, retaining the services of an Illinois workers’ compensation attorney may be advisable. Howard Ankin of Ankin Law Office LLC (www.ankinlaw.com) handles  workers’ compensation and personal injury cases.[READ MORE…]

  • FTC to Investigate Football Helmet Claims in Attempt to Increase Safety

    Chicago Personal Injury Accident Attorney Illinois Personal Injury Attorney The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is currently examining the marketing practices and claims made by Riddell and other leading manufacturers of football helmets that their football helmets help reduce concussions.  The FTC agreed to look into the marketing claims at the prompting of Sen. Tom Udall (D-N.Mex) who believes that the helmet manufacturers use “misleading safety claims and deceptive practices” to sell their helmets. The chairman of the FTC agreed, in a letter to Sen. Udall, that there are “serious concerns” regarding the manufacturers’ marketing claims and that “[g]iven the dangers that concussions pose for young athletes engaged in contact sports, it is essential that advertising for products claiming to reduce the risk of this injury be truthful and substantiated.” Sen. Udall is particularly concerned with Riddell’s claims on its website that “research shows a 31 percent reduction in the risk of concussion in players wearing a Riddell Revolution football helmet when compared to traditional helmets.”  He states that there is very little scientific evidence to support this claim and that the voluntary industry standard fails to address claims regarding the reduction or prevention of concussions. The FTC could choose to proceed in a number of ways.  It could decide to launch a formal investigation into the claims, which could result in formal charges of deceptive advertising or a cease-and-desist order. Efforts to Prevent Concussions This is not Sen. Udall’s first prompting of increased football helmet safety.  Last fall, he asked the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to investigate the safety standards for football helmets to determine whether they are adequate to prevent concussions in young players.  According to the CPSC, the commission plans to assist with the improvement of helmet safety standards and testing mechanisms. Football helmet safety has received increased attention in recent years since a study in 2000 revealed that more than 60 percent of the 1,090 former NFL players surveyed had suffered at least one concussion in their careers, and more than 26 percent had suffered three or more concussions.  Those who had suffered concussions during their football career had increased problems with memory, concentration, speech, headaches and other neurological problems A concussion occurs when the head accelerates quickly and then suddenly stops or is rapidly rotated, and can occur even if the head does not come into contact with a hard surface.  During a concussion, the[READ MORE…]

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    Our firm handles workers' compensation and personal injury claims in Chicago, Berwyn, Joliet, Cicero, Waukegan, Chicago Heights, Elgin, Aurora, Oak Park, Oak Lawn, Schaumburg, Bolingbrook, Glendale Heights, Aurora, Niles, Schaumburg, Arlington Heights, Naperville, Plainfield and all of Cook, DuPage, Lake, Will, McHenry, LaSalle, Kankakee, McLean and Peoria Counties.