November 30th, 2020|
When you buy a toy for child, you just hope they like it. The last thing most consumers even consider is that a toy could present serious health risks for a child. But if you assume that toy manufacturers don’t release dangerous toys, think again.
Toys can cause children harm in often surprising ways. For example, though U.S. law forbids manufacturers from using lead in toys, there were at least two high profile instances of toys containing lead (Super Soaker water guns and Aflac toy ducks).
In short, though consumers can be somewhat confident about the safety of toys available on the market, they shouldn’t be 100% confident. Consumer safety has come a long way in recent years, but shopping for toys in 2020 is still a buyer beware situation.
So, which toys should you think twice before buying in 2020?
Some Dangerous Toys to Avoid in 2020
We’ve compiled the following list based on information from World Against Toys Causing Harm (W.A.T.C.H.), along with information from other consumer safety resources, such as the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
Specific Toys to Avoid
Based on recent recalls and warnings from consumer safety advocates, toy buyers should be cautious if considering any of the following toys:
Toys included on the 2020 W.A.T.C.H. list:
- Calico Critters Nursery Friends
- GO! Launch Missile Launcher
- Marvel Avengers Vibranium Power FX Claw
- Gloria Owl
- WWE Jumbo Superstar Fists
- Scientific Explorer Sci-Fi Slime
- The Original Boomerang Interactive Stunt UFO
- Boom City Racers Starter Pack
- My Sweet Love Lots to Love Babies Minis
- Star Wars Mandalorian Darksaber
Toys from previous lists and recent recalls:
- NERF Ultra One
- Spike the Fine Motor Hedgehog
- Bunchems Bunch N’ Build
- Nickelodeon Frozen Treats Slime
- Anstoy Electronic Toy Gun
- Diecast School Bus
- Pogo Trick Board
- Power Rangers Electronic Cheetah Claw
- Viga Pull Along Caterpillar
- Musical Lili Llama
- Manhattan Ball
- Super Soaker XP 20 and XP 30 Water Guns
Even though some of these toys have already been recalled, it’s possible early shoppers already purchased them or that stores continue to stock remaining inventory.
General Types of Potentially Dangerous Toys
The following types of toys regularly present dangers to children, even though they continue to be popular among consumers in the U.S. If you’re considering purchasing any of these types of products, at least make sure you’re purchasing them for children old enough to use them safely.
- Bounce houses
- Water balloon slingshots
- Micromobility products, including e-scooters, hoverboards, and e-bikes
- BB guns
What Makes a Toy Dangerous for Children?
Several factors can make toys particularly hazardous for young children. These include:
Choking hazards – This hazard is present in toys that have small breakable or detachable components, especially when those toys are marketed to very young children.
Dangerous chemicals – Some chemicals, like lead, are less prevalent in toys than they used to be, but they’re still inadvertently included in some toys. Once detected, these products are typically recalled. Toys manufactured overseas (where laws aren’t as restrictive) might also contain dangerous chemicals.
Burns – Products that quickly overheat could cause burn or explosion risks to children, as was the case when hoverboards (powered by lithium ion batteries) were popular products.
Sharp objects – Toys that have pointy ends or sharp corners can cause serious injuries like lacerations.
Improper labeling – If toys aren’t safe for young children or contain dangerous components, consumers should be made aware through easily seen labels on the product or the product’s packaging.
Legal Options for Injuries from Dangerous Products
If you or a loved one has been injured by a dangerous product, you have legal rights to compensation. Product liability laws give you the right to hold manufacturers accountable for the harm caused by dangerous products.
June 8th, 2020|
The cost of replacing broken or worn out car parts can place a burden on many vehicle owners’ wallets. To reduce those costs, some vehicle owners turn to used or refurbished parts. Though some vehicle parts are more likely to be reused than others, many consumers still balk at the idea of purchasing used – also called retread or recapped – tires.
Consumer reluctance to buy used tires is understandable. For years, retread tires had a reputation as being unreliable, if not downright dangerous. Although tire manufacturing has advanced significantly in recent years, making used tires more capable of performing like new tires, the question remains: should consumers still approach recapped tires with skepticism?
Before we look at the current state of retread tires in the marketplace, let’s address a commonly asked question by vehicle owners in California – are retread tires legal to purchase or install on your vehicle?
Are Retread Tires Legal in California?
Retread tires must have a tread pattern that complies with Section 27465 of the Vehicle Code. They can’t be used on the front wheels of a bus or farm labor vehicle. They also can’t be used on the front wheels of truck tractors or motortrucks unless they meet requirements of the state. For passenger vehicles, retread tires are allowed.
What Does the State Government Say About Retread Tires?
California doesn’t just condone the use of retread tires; they implicitly encourage them, especially because they offer environmental benefits. Retreading a tire requires fewer raw materials than manufacturing a new one. A retread tire is also one less tire that needs to be thrown away.
California’s Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery says that retread tires are commonly used on:
- Commercial and military jets,
- Some school and municipal buses,
- Delivery service vehicles,
- S. Postal Service vehicles,
- Fire engines,
- Race cars, and
- All types of commercial vehicles.
Should You Trust Retread Tires?
So, the Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery sings the praises of retread tires, and they’re legal for use on many vehicles in our state, but what does it mean for consumers? Should you feel comfortable buying a retread tire instead of a new one?
Before you become a retread tire devotee, it’s important to understand that not all retread tires are created equally. If a tire is retread properly, it is generally safe. However, the quality of a retread tire depends on the person or business performing the retread.
Simply put, when it comes to recapped tires, it’s very much a buyer beware situation. If you’re considering buying recapped tires, do your research on the vendor performing the retread to make sure they are trustworthy.
It’s Okay to Have Reservations About Retread Tires
If you still count yourself among consumers who greet the idea of buying recapped tires with skepticism, that’s okay. The sordid history of these tires, along with anecdotes of vehicle accidents caused by retread tire blowouts, should give any tire buyer pause.
You might even be concerned about the safety of retread tires on other vehicles, like big rigs, and we share your concerns. Retread tires are a frequently discussed topic among commercial trucking companies. Many of these companies have fleets upon fleets of vehicles, and that means they need a large number of tires to place on their trucks. To reduce maintenance costs of fleets, trucking companies look to solutions like retread tires.
As we’ve mentioned, retread tires aren’t inherently dangerous if they’re retread properly, but if an 18-wheeler is equipped with dangerous tires, it places many motorists at risk for a crash.
If Retread Tires Cause a Crash, Who Can Be Held Liable?
Crashes stemming from retread tires typically involve blowouts. Determining liability in these types of crashes can be complicated. In some cases, the company that retread the tire could be held responsible. If the tire wasn’t properly maintained by its owner, they might also bear responsibility.
So, if you buy a retread tire, make sure that the vendor is reputable and that you maintain the tire in accordance with instruction from the vendor or manufacturer. If, on the other hand, you are injured in a crash where another driver’s tire blows out, keep in mind that you deserve compensation for the costs you face.
If You Need Legal Help, Contact Berg Injury Lawyers Today
For nearly 40 years, we’ve helped thousands of people across Northern California get the compensation they deserve from insurance companies. We represent clients who are badly injured in vehicle accidents, including motorcycle, passenger car, and commercial vehicle accidents.
If you or a loved one has been involved in a crash and you need an experienced legal advocate on your side, contact the California auto accident attorneys at Berg Injury Lawyers. Our consultations are always free, and we’ll charge no fee unless we win you compensation.
March 9th, 2020|
If you visit a car lot this year, you’ll notice that vehicles at all price points are loaded with safety features that were either reserved for high-end luxury vehicles or simply not possible just a decade or two ago. Bells and whistles such as lane departure warnings, blind spot indicators, stability control, collision avoidance systems, and backup cameras are commonplace or even mandatory on new models, making vehicles safer than ever. However, when it comes to protecting occupants during crashes, nothing is more effective than the tried and true seat belt and airbag.
But what happens when one of those safety devices is defective and potentially dangerous? That’s exactly what happened to millions of vehicles manufactured since 2003. In November 2014, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) demanded that Takata Corporation recall its defective airbags that were equipped in millions of cars, trucks, and SUVs made by manufacturers ranging from Ford and Toyota to GM and Honda. The recall continued to expand for years after it was announced, making it the largest consumer product recall in history.
In December 2019, Takata was forced to recall yet another airbag component. Like the first recalled airbag, this one is capable of exploding during collisions, but it can also under-inflate, rendering it less effective at protecting occupants. All told, between 65 and 70 million vehicles are part of the recall, putting countless Americans at risk of serious injuries and even death.
Use These Websites to Find Out if Your Vehicle Is Affected
Everyone who owns an affected vehicle was supposed to receive a notification from its manufacturer informing them of the recall and instructing them on what to do next. However, some people didn’t receive the notifications, misplaced them, or simply forgot about them. If you’re unsure whether your vehicle is equipped with defective and recalled airbags, visit the following websites and enter your Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) to quickly find out:
Please note that not all vehicles included in the December 2019 recall have been added to the recall database as of right now. More information will be released over the coming months, so continue to check back to find out if your vehicle is included. You can also subscribe to the NHTSA’s Recall Alerts system to get up-to-date information when it’s released.
What Should You Do if Your Vehicle’s Airbags Are Recalled?
The overall risk of your vehicle’s airbags exploding or under-inflating during an accident are low. However, any level of risk above zero is unacceptable, and that’s why the airbags are being recalled. If your vehicle is affected by the recall, schedule a replacement as soon as possible at your local dealership. Because of the dangers posed to drivers and passengers in these vehicles, dealerships are offering free replacements.
If you own a 2006 Ford Ranger or 2006 Mazda B-series pickup truck, the manufacturers recommend that you don’t drive them unless absolutely necessary or if you’re taking them to have their airbags replaced. These vehicles are known for posing higher airbag explosion or malfunction risks than other vehicles and should be kept off the road until they’ve been serviced.
Let Us Help You Get Paid After a Defective Airbag Injury
Defective, exploding, and under-inflating airbags have already injured or killed dozens of Americans. If you or someone you love was hurt by a recalled airbag, you deserve compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. The California defective product attorneys at Berg Injury Lawyers have protected the rights of people who were hurt by a variety of dangerous products, including medical devices, household items, and vehicular components.
We know what it takes to win, and we don’t settle for less than what our clients deserve. It’s our goal to help you get maximum compensation so you can move forward with your life. Contact us today for a free consultation. We’re ready to put our experience to work for you.
February 10th, 2020|
When you read an article about self-driving cars or interactive dashboards, what do you feel? Do automated vehicles fill you with dread, or are you excitedly anticipating the day when you can get in your car and have it drive itself?
As a law firm that pays close attention to road and vehicle safety, we know that these advances will present both good and bad consequences for all of us.
In other words, there are pros and cons of new vehicle technology, which we should all consider as we cruise into this brave new world. Before we dive into the potential downsides of emerging technologies, let’s focus on the perks.
Pro – A Safer Commute
More than 35,000 people die in vehicle crashes every year in the United States. For each of those deaths, even more motorists are involved in nonfatal crashes that often result in injuries. The biggest upside of improved vehicle technology is the potential to reduce the number of overall crashes.
This is exactly what the U.S. Department of Transportation and countless road safety advocates are hoping automated systems will accomplish. Officials also hope that automation will bring less traffic and improved fuel efficiency in vehicles.
Pro – A Better Experience for Motorists
From smart displays on windshields to brain wave technology that helps drivers avoid crashes, new vehicles could offer features we can’t even imagine. Many of these innovations might dramatically improve our experience behind the wheel and, in some cases, improve our health.
For example, vehicle technology could not only get better in diagnosing problems with vehicles, but also diagnosing the health of drivers. Ford is currently developing technology that monitors a driver’s heart health through sensors placed in the seats of its vehicles.
Con – The Growing Pains of New Technologies
Over the years, manufacturers have made safety features available that were anything but safe. For example, seatbelts and airbags are some of the most basic but useful features in vehicles. However, several incarnations of the technologies have posed a threat to vehicle occupants. The latest examples of potential dangers include Takata airbags that could cause shrapnel injuries when deployed and allegations of Honda seatbelt defects.
Automation is likely to become integrated into our vehicles slowly as cars edge toward being fully autonomous. During this transition, we will need to learn how to operate new semi-autonomous systems. That could present an entirely new learning curve for drivers. So far, manufacturers and safety officials don’t seem to know who will be responsible for educating buyers on how to operate semi-autonomous vehicles safely.
Con – Smart Cars are Vulnerable to Hackers
An increasingly digital world has made our lives easier in many ways. But we are also more vulnerable to fraud and hackers. As our vehicles become more reliant on technology, they too are susceptible to hackers.
Cybersecurity concerns prompted a 2015 recall involving 1.4 million vehicles after researchers discovered that it was possible to disable vehicles’ brakes and steering capabilities while they were on the highway. Hackers have already found ways to access the information of drivers and even shut down some engines remotely.
Understanding Your Rights as a Consumer
You likely have your own list of pros and cons of new vehicle technology. If you’re skeptical of automakers’ capacity to address some of our biggest road safety challenges, we understand your reservations. Manufacturers often make mistakes that have serious consequences for all of us.
Consider some of the fatal defects in vehicles over the past few decades. From GM’s faulty ignition switches to Takata’s defective airbags to the top-heavy design of Ford’s Bronco II, manufacturers haven’t always inspired hope in car buyers.
When a defective product harms a consumer, the consumer have the right to hold the manufacturer accountable through product liability claims. These claims don’t just offer consumers a pathway to compensation; they also make the market safer for others who might purchase potentially dangerous products.
Schedule a Free Case Assessment with Berg Injury Lawyers
The good news is that you have the right to hold a manufacturer accountable if they sell you a product that causes you harm. If you have been sold a defective vehicle or vehicle part, we encourage you to contact the team at Berg Injury Lawyers.
Our California defective product lawyers have years of experience handling these claims. We believe that unless consumers take a stand against negligent manufacturers, companies will continue to sell dangerous products to buyers. Don’t pay the price for a manufacturer’s mistakes.
We know you might have questions you want answered about your legal options, which is why we offer free consultations. Fill out our online contact form today to get started with a case evaluation.
January 27th, 2020|
Whether it’s a product you purchased at a store, an item you use at work, or even a medical device that’s implanted into your body, you expect the products you come into contact with to be well-tested and safe. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. In fact, there are a nearly endless number of products that are potentially dangerous.
How does this happen? In an effort to save money and ensure their products get released, manufacturers sometimes skip important testing phases, putting consumers at risk. Manufacturers might poorly design a product, use inferior parts, or improperly label a commonly used good.
3 Types of Products That Might Harm Consumers
Safety advocates have linked many types of products to serious injuries, illnesses, and complications, such as:
- Medical devices—Because medical devices are often surgically implanted, their risk level is high. Devices in this category include birth control implants, joint replacements, pacemakers, hernia and transvaginal mesh, and many more.
- Military earplugs—3M provided the U.S. military with a double-sided earplug for many years. The evidence now shows that these earplugs are defective and don’t provide enough protection. As a result, thousands of servicemembers have developed hearing loss and tinnitus.
- Dangerous chemicals and substances—Builders used asbestos in construction for decades, and it’s still used in some applications. There’s a strong link between asbestos and mesothelioma, a deadly lung cancer. Other dangerous chemicals sold to consumers include glysophate and certain types of flame retardants.
This is only the beginning of the dangers that consumers face. There are many other types of products that are potentially dangerous, too. From defective automobile parts to improperly labeled children’s toys, we all encounter dangers when manufacturers don’t get it right.
What To Do If You’ve Suffered a Product-Related Injury
To avoid buying dangerous products in the first place, you can find a helpful resource in the Consumer Product Safety Commission website. However, you might have already purchased a dangerous product. If that’s the case, you should speak to a product liability attorney immediately.
At Berg Injury Lawyers, our California defective product attorneys are waiting for your call, and we’re ready to fight for your rights to compensation. If you suffered an injury due products that are potentially dangerous, don’t hesitate to reach out to our team now. Contact us today for a free consultation.
November 4th, 2019|
Whether it’s a medical device that was surgically implanted into your body, or a consumer product you purchased at the supermarket, you expect items manufactured by big corporations to be safe and thoroughly tested before going on sale for use by the public. However, that’s not always the case. To protect their profits and their sales, some product manufacturers have lax testing procedures, or they hide known flaws to get or keep their products on the market.
At Berg Injury Lawyers, our California defective product attorneys know that some products can be dangerous to the people who use them—especially when they aren’t properly tested. Defective products can range from toys contaminated with lead to exploding e-cigarettes to improperly designed medical implants and joint replacements that break down inside the body.
If you or someone you love suffered serious injuries because of a defective product, it’s important to get an experienced law firm on your side as soon as possible. Product manufacturers are reluctant to admit fault when their products cause harm to innocent people, and they often have big legal teams to intimidate victims into silence. But our lawyers know their tricks, and we know how to beat them at their own game.
You shouldn’t have to suffer because a multi-billion-dollar corporation valued profits over safety. Instead, you should get paid for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering—and it’s our goal to help you get the compensation you deserve. Contact us today for a free consultation.
August 14th, 2019|
Roundup is the world’s most popular weed killer, and it’s used not only on farms and commercial properties, but it can also be found in the garages and sheds of many ordinary people. That’s what makes recent revelations that Roundup may cause cancer so alarming.
If you are looking for ways to reduce your health risks as you care for your lawn or garden, you will likely want to look for safer, chemical-free alternatives. We’ve compiled seven Roundup-free methods of keeping your yard, driveway, and garden free of weeds and looking beautiful this summer which you can access by clicking the image below. And if you think your cancer diagnosis may be related to Roundup, don’t hesitate to talk to the team at Berg Injury Lawyers to see if you may be eligible for compensation.
May 29th, 2019|
In March 2019, a California federal jury ruled that exposure to Roundup® weed killer caused a Sonoma County man’s diagnosis of non-Hodgkin lymphoma. This is the first of three bellwether trials that could set the standard for future Roundup cancer cases and open the door for other victims to get compensation. In San Francisco alone, there are already more than 750 Roundup cases underway.
This is the second ruling in the U.S. within the last year linking glyphosate, Roundup’s active ingredient, to non-Hodgkin lymphoma. In August 2018, a former school groundskeeper was awarded $289 million—later reduced to $78.5 million—in a lawsuit against Roundup’s manufacturer, Monsanto Company.
How Are People Exposed to Roundup®?
Exposure to glyphosate can happen in the following ways:
- Breathing in airborne particles after spraying the product
- Absorbing the product through the skin after touching treated plants and weeds
- Drinking contaminated water that was exposed to the product
- Eating food grown in contaminated soil
If you or someone you love developed non-Hodgkin lymphoma or another type of cancer after exposure to Roundup or a similar product, the California Roundup cancer attorneys want to speak with you. We don’t think you should have to pay for an illness caused by someone else’s negligence, and we’re ready to help you get the compensation you deserve. Contact us today for a free, no-obligation consultation.
March 7th, 2019|
Before releasing new products or medical devices to the marketplace, manufacturers should conduct proper testing to ensure their products are safe and warn the public about any potential risks their products might pose. However, some big manufacturing companies put their own profits above safety. That means they often skip out on important testing phases or withhold their products’ potential safety risks in an effort to increase production times and put money in their pockets sooner.
At Berg Injury Lawyers, we’re not afraid to go up against big manufacturing companies when their negligence causes harm to innocent people. When victims come to us after a defective product injury, our California defective product attorneys do everything in their power to help victims get maximum compensation for their injuries.
Three factors we investigate during a product liability lawsuit include:
- Design defects—Even if a product is used as the manufacturer intended, poor design can lead to injury.
- Manufacturing defects—Product injuries may result from cheap materials, missing components, poor craftsmanship, and inadequate testing.
- Failure to warn or provide instructions—Companies that fail to provide adequate warning labels and instructions for use can be held liable when their products cause injuries.
California Product Liability Attorneys
If you or your loved one suffered injuries because of a defective product in California, the attorneys at Berg Injury Lawyers want to help. It’s our goal to hold manufacturing companies accountable when their carelessness puts innocent people at risk, and we’re ready to fight for your rights. Contact us today for a free case review.
March 4th, 2019|
If you served in a combat role in the U.S. military between 2003 and 2015 and experienced hearing loss or hearing problems, it may be due to defective earplugs you were issued during your service.
In 2018, the U.S. government alleged that 3M Company failed to disclose that its dual-ended Combat Arms Earplugs, Version 2, were defective and incapable of properly protecting users from combat-related sounds. 3M agreed to pay the U.S. government $9.1 million to resolve those allegations. However, the company is now facing hundreds of lawsuits from veterans who suffered hearing loss or hearing problems.
The dual-ended earplugs featured a yellow-colored end and an olive-colored end. The yellow-colored end was designed to significantly reduce combat-related sounds, while still allowing users to hear commands spoken by friendly soldiers and the advancement of enemy troops. The olive-colored end was supposed to block all sounds like traditional earplugs.
However, the earplugs were too short to be properly inserted into some user’s ears, causing them to loosen or fail to form a proper seal. 3M was aware of this defect as far back as 2000, but the company continued to supply them to the U.S. military, putting millions of veterans in danger of suffering severe ear and hearing-related damage.
If you or someone you love suffered hearing loss, tinnitus, or other ear-related problems after serving in the U.S. military between 2003 and 2015, the California defective product attorneys at Berg Injury Lawyers want to speak with you. Contact us today for a free consultation.