Articles Posted in Products Liability

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U.S. News & World Report released their annual listing of “Best Law Firms” rankings. Queller, Fisher, Washor, Fuchs & Kool, LLP was included in the New York City rankings in three practice areas – Personal Injury Litigation – Plaintiffs, Medical Malpractice Law – Plaintiffs and Product Liability Litigation – Plaintiffs. The partners and staff are truly honored to receive this recognition and wish to thank everyone, especially our satisfied clients and legal peers.

For over 50 years, Queller, Fisher, Washor, Fuchs & Kool, L.L.P., has served injury victims in New York City and the surrounding area. Today, we focus our practice on complex cases involving catastrophic accidents and injuries, worker injuries, construction accidents, vehicle accidents, medical malpractice, premises liability, police misconduct and wrongful death. Our reputation as one of the premier personal injury and medical malpractice firms in the city remains as strong as ever.

All of the attorneys at Queller, Fisher, Washor, Fuchs & Kool are extremely experienced and well versed in handling all types of personal injury claims. Indeed, personal injury law is the only type of law that we practice. We understand that your individual matter is your only case and the outcome can be critical to the future of yourself and your family. Our attorneys are selective about the cases we take, which allows us to concentrate on representing clients who have been seriously injured or killed in New York.

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The "Tide Pod" Challenge has been in the news recently as a result of its increasing popularity and general awareness in social media circles. In essence, the "Tide Pod" Challenge involves primarily kids biting into brightly colored liquid laundry detergent packets, or cooking them in frying pans, then chewing them up before spewing the soap from their mouths, according to this article from the Washington Post. These acts are recorded and posted on social media. 

However, these packets contain highly-concentrated laundry detergent which should not be ingested. The parent company, Proctor & Gamble, has issued warnings about the dangers of this activity and is taking this matter very seriously. YouTube is flagging videos about this activity and removing them from their site.

The question for those of us who have neither the desire nor inclination to film ourselves eating laundry detergent is "Why are people doing this in the first place?" At the outset, it must be noted that these packets are small, brightly colored and smell nice. In fact, in 2013, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) issued a warning about these products and the dangers of ingestion. The attraction to children is obvious: "The soft and colorful product can be easily mistaken by a child for candy, toys, or a teething product."  

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A likely carbon monoxide leak in the basement below Amish Market in Tribeca resulted in 32 people becoming overcome by the deadly gas. The incident occurred at the intersection of Murray Street and West Broadway and the Amish Market was shut down as dozens of fire crews responded to a call for a carbon monoxide leak, according to a report by CBS New York. The entire building was evacuated as dangerous carbon monoxide levels due to a broken boiler were found in the basement up to the third floor of the 12 story luxury apartment building above the market. Victims were sent to local area hospitals, the extent of the injuries is unknown.

Carbon monoxide poisoning results in multiple deaths and injuries each year. Often, these tragedies occur due to a defective or improperly-maintained boiler which could give rise to a lawsuit based upon a products liability claim or a premises maintenance claim. Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless gas produced as a byproduct of combustion. Inhalation in sufficient quantities and over a sufficient length of time can prove fatal to humans.

Our Partner, Christopher L. Sallay, has significant experience in litigating a products liability and wrongful death claim arising out of a defective/improperly maintained boiler. In fact, Chris achieved a $3,785,333.34 settlement in Sullivan County, New York in a complicated wrongful death action sounding in products liability and general negligence after several years of strongly-contested litigation. This case arose from the multiple deaths from carbon monoxide asphyxiation due to a malfunctioning boiler. Among the issues in the case was the dispute between the boiler manufacturer and the company that installed/serviced the subject boiler as to who was responsible for this tragedy. During the extensive discovery process, Chris was able to demonstrate that various parties bore culpability resulting in a favorable resolution on behalf of a young woman who lost both of her parents.

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Dog bites do not often make national headlines, but such was the case recently, and at the highest level imaginable. This week, an 18-year old girl visiting the White House was bitten on the face by Sunny, the First Family’s dog. As reported in the New York Daily News, the dog had no prior vicious propensities and was more than likely simply over-excited. The young lady was seen by the Obama’s family physician and needed stitches. The gash was reportedly half an inch long just under her eye. She will likely have a scar as a memory of the visit.

This incident raises the questions of when can an animal attack or dog bite be actionable under New York Law. In dog bite cases, most states either have a law for strict liability or a “one-bite Rule.” Strict liability laws hold the owner responsible for any injuries or damages their pet caused, regardless of the animal’s history. The “one-bite rule” holds dog owner’s liable only if their pet had a known propensity for violence, such as biting individuals in the past. Premises liability law in New York, however, uses a combination of strict liability and the one-bite rule in animal attack cases. Dog owners have strict liability for any medical or veterinary bills incurred by their pet. Dog owners, however, can only be held liable for non-medical damages if their dog has a known history of violence.

Animal attacks are a startlingly regular occurrence that can lead to serious injury or even death. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that there are more than four million bite victims each year. Unfortunately, many of these injuries were easily preventable and caused by the negligent action of the pet’s owner. As a result, victims of animal attacks may be able to recoup compensation through a lawsuit.

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Kellogg’s has recalled 10,000 cases of its Eggo Nutri-Grain Whole Wheat Waffles because they could be contaminated with the bacteria listeria. According to a report by CBS New York, the recall comes after the company found evidence of the bacteria during routine tests. The waffles — available in 10-count packs with “Used by” dates of Nov. 21, 2017 and Nov. 22, 2017 — were sold in 25 states, including New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.

Listeria is the name of a bacteria found in soil and water and some animals, including poultry and cattle. It can be present in raw milk and foods made from raw milk. It can also live in food processing plants and contaminate a variety of processed meats. Listeria is unlike many other germs because it can grow even in the cold temperature of the refrigerator. Listeria is killed by cooking and pasteurization.

Although no illnesses have been reported, the question arises as to why listeria is present in these waffles and what can be done to prevent this from happening again.

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In a follow-up to a recent Blog post, and in furtherance of reports concerning Samsung phones, a report from CBS New York reveals that a 6-year old Brooklyn boy was burned while playing a game on his grandmother’s Samsung Galaxy Core cell phone. As described by his mother, the boy was playing on the phone, which was not being charged at the time, when the phone burst into flames. The little boy sustained burns to his hand.

It is becoming increasingly obvious that there may be serious defects associated with Samsung cell phone batteries. The attorneys at Queller, Fisher, Washor, Fuchs & Kool have over fifty years of collective experience litigating product liability claims. Our attorneys have the knowledge, experience and resources to ensure that our clients receive the maximum possible compensation that they deserve.

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While the details of an obvious recall are being worked out, the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission is urging users of the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 to turn the off and to stop charging and using them. The risk of fire and explosion associated with the battery for the popular cell phone is a great risk to the health and safety of the consumer. In a report by ABC News, the dangers and incidents associated with these phones is well-documented. Fires have been reported and a recall is imminent.

Large corporations in the United States are responsible for selling a plethora of products to consumers each year and in turn, collecting billions of dollars in profits. These corporations, according to New York State law have a legal, as well as a moral, obligation to ensue that there products are safe for use and consumption and are not defective in any manner.

In the case where the product could be potentially harmful to the consumer’s safety, it is imperative that these corporations provide a proper warning. If corporations fail to provide the aforementioned warnings and knowingly and thus, negligently, sell dangerous products that may injure or seriously harm consumers, such companies can be held liable for their actions. Unfortunately, many of the injuries that result due to defective products could have been prevented had the manufacturer exercised the required degree of caution during the design of the product or provided consumers with adequate warnings regarding the hazardous consequences of using the product in a certain way.

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The partners and staff at Queller, Fisher, Washor, Fuchs & Kool, LLP wish to congratulate our partners, Barry A. Washor and Christopher L. Sallay for their inclusion in the Best Lawyers in America 2017


Mr. Washor was included in Best Lawyers in America 2017 in the field of Medical Malpractice Law – Plaintiffs. He has been listed in Best Lawyers in America since 2010 and in the field of Medical Malpractice since 2011. 

Mr. Sallay was included in Best Lawyers in America 2017 for both Personal Injury Litigation – Plaintiffs and Product Liability Litigation – Plaintiffs. He has been listed in Best Lawyers since 2016 in the field of Personal Injury Litigation – Plaintiffs. This is the first year Mr. Sallay has been included in Best Lawyers in the field of Product Liability Litigation – Plaintiffs.

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A settlement has been reached in the death of Avonte Oquendo, wherein Oquendo’s family agreed to a $2.7-million payout from the city, CBS2 reported. In October of 2013, the 14-year-old autistic boy vanished from the Riverview School in Long Island City. Three months later, his body was found on a beach in College Point, Queens.

When an individual suffers an injury or death in an accident caused by a government agency such as a public school, they may have grounds to file a lawsuit against the local municipality. Lawsuits against municipalities and municipal subdivisions, however, differ from those filed against normal citizens and insurance companies. A “municipality” refers to any type of government entity, such as villages, towns, cities, or states. A “municipal subdivision” refers to any agency, such as the New York City Board of Education.

The tragic case of Avonte Oquendo, involves several areas of New York law. In order for there to be municipal liability, it must be proven that a government agency acted negligently. In order to prove negligence, the government agency in question must have had a duty of care to the injured party. A duty of care is a legal obligation that one party has to use a certain degree of care when performing a task, in the instant case, providing adequate security and supervision to an autistic boy entrusted to the school district. In order to prevail, lawyers for the Oquendo family were required to show that the Riverview School and the New York City Department of Education violated their duty of care towards the child. Furthermore, the family ‘s attorneys were required to show that the school’s negligence was directly responsible for the disappearance and death of the child.

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Recall-signThe Jeep SUV model that killed Star Trek actor Anton Yelchin had been known to cause confusion to drivers as to whether the vehicle was in Park or Neutral. According to a report by CNN Money,

“Fiat Chrysler (FCAM) filed a recall notice in April with federal safety regulators for the 2015 Grand Cherokee, the model Yelchin owned, along with 1.1 million cars and SUVs in April. More than 100 crashes have been reported due to a gear selector problem that caused confusion about whether the car was in park”

Unfortunately, many of the injuries that result due to defective products could have been prevented had the manufacturer exercised the required degree of caution during the design of the product or provided consumers with adequate warnings regarding the hazardous consequences of using the product in a certain way.