Articles Posted in Child Safety

A New Mexico couple has filed suit against Georgia companies, Simply Thick, LLC, the owners of SimplyThick, a product used to thicken breast milk and infant formula, and Thermo Pac, LLC, who manufactures and supplies the product in Georgia State Court. The complaint is believed to be the first filed following a warning issued in May of this year by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration that SimplyThick may cause the life-threatening necrotizing entercolotis (NEC). After the May warning, the FDA inspected Simply Thick’s Stone Mountain, Georgia manufacturing plant and found numerous deficiencies. At that point a complete recall was issued for every product manufactured at the Stone Mountain plant. The suit alleges that Simply Thick failed to properly thermally process and test the safety of its product, and as a result the SimplyThick ingested by the couple’s daughter was responsible her developing NEC.

The infant was born prematurely, and after being discharged from the hospital the couple was given samples of SimplyThick with instructions to use it when feeding. The couple says after using the product the baby’s health deteriorated so rapidly from the NEC that she had to be airlifted from a local hospital to a specialty Children’s Hospital in Albuquerque. NEC is a rare disease in infants post-hospital discharge that is normally life-threatening causing inflammation and death of intestinal tissue. NEC has a death rate of 25% and can cause severe impairment in children who survive.

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medical-malpractice.jpgA new study published by the Journal of the American Academy of Physicians Assistants finds that a majority of emergency room doctors do not believe the Physician Assistant’s (PA’s) are not more likely to commit malpractice. The study questioned 1000 members of the American College of Emergency Physicians in 2004 and then again five years later. 72% of doctors disagreed or strongly disagreed that PA’s were more likely to commit malpractice and the number dropped to 68% in 2009. The study also stated that doctors believe increased utilization of PA’s in emergency rooms may improve patient communication, decrease wait times, increase patient satisfaction, and therefore decrease malpractice risk.

Doctors in the study said they felt the most important factors in decreasing the risk of malpractice with PA’s was increased clinical experience, completion of post-graduate residency programs, and appropriate supervision by physician.

As a Georgia Medical Malpractice Attorney I can only hope this study is accurate as both PA’s and nurse practitioners are being used more and more frequently in most areas of health care, and I have seen the horrific consequences that can result from medical malpractice. Over 225,000 people die each year due to medical malpractice, with nearly half of those being in the emergency room, according to the Journal of the American Medical Association. In fact, medical malpractice is the third leading cause of death in the United States after heart disease and cancer.

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Lee County Alabama has come up with a fool proof plan to catch and arrest parents who are delinquent on child support payments: offer them free tickets to the Iron Bowl, the annual game between Auburn University and the University of Alabama. According to the Opeika-Auburn News, the Lee County Sheriff’s Office set up a plan called “Operation Iron Snare” where they sent letters out to 140 parents who were delinquent on their child support payments telling them they had won tickets to the Iron Bowl. The letter said that all they had to do was bring photo ID to a specified location to claim the tickets.

The officers went all out decorating the room in balloons with banners on the wall, news cameras, and arresting officer dressed in both Auburn and Alabama gear. Unfortunately when the “winners” were greeted it was with handcuffs rather than tickets.With the plan, coined “Operation Iron Snare,” the department was able to catch about a dozen violators who owed an estimated $270,000 in back child support.

Tylenol.jpgJohnson and Johnson said Thursday that it is reducing the maximum daily dose of Extra Strength Tylenol to reduce the risk of consumers accidentally overdosing from acetaminophen, which is the active ingredient in Tylenol and a top cause for liver failure. Extra Strength Tylenol is the number one over-the-counter pain medication in the United States with over 50 million Americans using it each week to treat pain, fever, and other conditions associated with cold, flu, and allergy symptoms.

The current dosage of 4000 mg per day or eight pills is being lowered to 3000 mg per day or six pills. Doctors say that acetaminophen is common in many prescription medications as well as over the counter medications and many times people do not realize the amount they are actually taking because of failure to properly read directions on labels.

Another problem according to Dr. Michael Wolf, associate division chief of General Internal Medicine at Northwestern University, is that people don’t feel like they have to stick to the recommended daily dose. Presumably because they feel Tylenol is a safe drug and nothing harmful will happen when they don’t follow the recommended dosage. Though Doctors warn that an overdose can easily cause liver damage, possibly resulting in death. Acetaminophen is the leading cause of liver failure in the United States, with 56,000 Americans going to the hospital each year, with 400 of those cases resulting in death.

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General Motors is being pushed by safety organizations and trial lawyers to recall its older vehicles and install trunk safety switches. This year alone 20 children have died as a result of being locked inside hot cars with three of those deaths from children being trapped inside car trunks that were manufactured by GM. In Oklahoma this month, an 8 year-old boy died in the trunk of his parents 1998 Chevy Cavalier. Last month there was a similar story when two brothers were trapped in the trunk of their mother’s 2000 Chevrolet Malibu and also died.


The safety organization is calling on GM to recall all vehicles with trunks from the 2000 and 2001 model years and retrofit them with internal releases. Beginning in the 2002 model year all cars came equipped with a glow in the dark release handle inside the trunk. This is not the first time that GM has been called on to retrofit cars from the 2000 and 2001 model years with internal trunk releases. also tried to persuade GM in the 2009 after the death of a 5-year-old Arkansas boy and his 4-year-old sister in a 2000 Chevrolet Malibu. Janette Fennel of says that no one has ever died in the trunk of newer models that have the safety releases.

GM’s response provides little comfort to consumer advocates as they responded by stating that because they make more cars than any other company accidents are bound to happen in vehicles. They go even further by putting the responsibility back on the parents stating they have “worked . . . to alert parents and caregivers to the dangers of leaving children unattended in or around vehicles.” They also stated they have no plans to issue a recall.

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child_safety_seat_check.jpgAs of July 1, 2011 any child who has not reached the age of 8 must be restrained in a car or booster seat while riding in any vehicle. In addition, the car seats must be in the back seat, and the seats must be designed for the proper age, weight, and height of the child, as well as meet all U.S. Federal Guidelines.

Motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of death from children 3 to 14 years old, but when they are properly restrained it greatly reduces the risk of injury against everything from sudden stops to head-on collisions. Children who do not use child passenger seats are three times more likely to be injured than those who are using them. It is also very important to use child seats properly per the manufacturing guidelines as research shows that nearly 75 percent of child safety seats are not properly installed.

The Georgia Office for Highway Safety director Harris Blackwood, calls this new law, “a landmark in child safety.” Blackwood feels that the new law greatly improves the overall safety of 6 and 7 year olds riding in cars in Georgia.

The new law will apply to passenger vehicles, vans, and pickup trucks. It will be a few months before law enforcement will fully enact the law, but the first violation of the car seat law will result in a $50.00 fine, while second and subsequent convictions will result in $100 fines. The first conviction will add one point to a driver’s license, and the second and subsequent violations will add two points. Repeat offenders may also face losing their license all together.

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generic.jpgIn a 5-4 decision on Thursday, the United States Supreme Court ruled that manufacturers of generic pharmaceutical drugs could not be sued under state law over allegations that they failed to provide adequate label warnings about potential side effects. This ruling should be of a great concern to anyone who uses generic pharmaceuticals.

In the original lawsuit, Gladys Mensing, alleged that taking a generic form of metoclopramide, a common drug used to treat heartburn, gave her a severe neurological movement disorder. None of the generic manufacturers and distributors of metoclopramide made any effort to include warnings on the label for metoclopramide. Manufacturers of the generic metoclopramide, Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, UDL Labratories, and Actavis Inc. argued that federal law barred such a suit becausethe drug is approved by the FDA, (federal law requires generic drugs only to have the same labels as their brand name equivalents). They argued that because government regulations only require them to have the same label on metoclopramide as is on its brand name equivalent, Reglan, that they had no duty to include additional warnings for their generic form of metoclopramide.

The majority of the court, including Justice Clarence Thomas, who wrote the opinion, sided with the pharmaceutical companies. Thomas stated in his opinion that the federal drug regulations applicable to generic drug manufacturers directly conflict with and thus pre-empt state lawsuits. The net effect of this opinion is that it gives generic drug manufacturers zero liability for medication injuries that could have been avoided by an updated warning label.

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Pit bull.jpgAs dog bites have become more and more of a problem throughout metro Atlanta, one community has decided to try and combat the problem. City officials in College Park are now requiring dog owners of breeds deemed “potentially dangerous” to register with the city and pay an yearly fee of $25.00. The dogs must be registered whether they have bitten someone or not. The breeds include:

-German Shepard
-Staffordshire Bull Terrier
-American Staffordshire Terrier
-Pit Bull
-American Pit Bull Terrier
Dogs not included in this list that have bitten someone in the past without provocation must also be registered with the city. If owners do not abide by the new rules they will face fines.

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chuckecheese1.jpgThe Consumer Product Safety Commission has ordered the recall of 1.1 Million light up rings and 120,000 star glasses because these defective products can cause serious injury to children. These toys were manufactured in China and distributed at Chuck E. Cheese restaurants in birthday party packages and promotions. The toys are dangerous because children are able to remove the small button sized batteries. These batteries pose a choking risk to children and can cause stomach and intestinal problems. Parents should return the products to Chuck E. Cheese or throw them away.

titanicslide.jpgA huge focus of my blog deals child safety issues, because in addition to being a personal injury lawyer, I’m a father of three. Like most parents my number one goal is keeping my children safe. Recently I’ve discovered moon bounces and inflatable slides can pose a serious injury risk. More and more I’m hearing about deaths and serious head injuries from incidents on inflatables, or as my kids call them “jumpy jumps.” Naturally I’m worried and want to read more to find out how these incidents happen.

I started with last year’s report by the U.S. Consumer Consumer Product Safety Commission on the estimated number of injuries and deaths associated with inflatable amusements from 2003 – 2007. According to the study, approximately 6,000 people are injured every year from the use of inflatables. Most of the incidents involved moon bounces (91%) and the most common injuries were fractures (29%). Of course what scared me the most were the reported deaths. How did they happen? From the report and other sources I found numerous death reports.

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