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Atlanta Georgia Personal Injury Blog

Rock 'n Play Sleeper recalled after 30 infant deaths reported

The Consumer Product Safety Commission has linked over 30 infant deaths since 2009 to the Fisher-Price Rock 'n Play Sleeper, causing the toy company to issue a recall of its product. Parents of infants in Georgia should know about this because the recall is set to affect 4.7 million of the sleepers.

While Fisher-Price has not reported on what caused the infants' deaths, it is clear that the infants died while rolling around unrestrained in the inclined baby seats. All of the victims were 3 months or older, the age at which babies start to roll around.

Physicians urge company to recall infant sleeper after deaths

In April, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) issued a sternly worded statement calling for Fisher-Price to "immediately" recall its "Rock 'n Play Sleeper." The device is marketed to help fussy infants fall asleep, but as many as 32 babies' deaths have been linked to the portable bassinets.

The Academy's call to action came after Consumer Reports attributed the 32 infant deaths to use of the product. A week prior, Fisher-Price and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) addressed the claims. Fisher-Price then admitted that 10 infants who were more than 3 months old had died during use of their device.

Mesothelioma victim in talcum powder case awarded $29.5 million

Pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson faced a flood of product liability lawsuits from consumers in Georgia and around the country after researchers linked asbestos in its popular baby powder with deadly cancers like mesothelioma. Johnson & Johnson has been found to be at fault in some of these lawsuits but not others. In July 2018, a Missouri jury awarded 22 women who claimed that they developed ovarian cancer after using the company's talcum-based powder $4.69 billion in damages. However, juries in New Jersey and California rejected similar claims made by women diagnosed with mesothelioma.

Another California case involving these issues was recently decided, and this time the jury found Johnson & Johnson mostly responsible for the plaintiff's mesothelioma. The woman testified in court that she had used the company's baby powder for decades and faced a long and painful death as a result. The jury ruled that the New Jersey-based manufacturer was aware of the risks posed by asbestos but failed to adequately warn consumers about them.

Businesses seek to escape liability with mandatory waivers

People in Georgia may wonder about the legal impact of the waivers they are asked to sign before participating in activities at gyms, bounce houses, water parks and other public entertainment venues. They may not be certain about their rights if they are seriously injured while engaging in activities at these locations. In some cases, these releases may be effective in disclaiming liability; in other cases, the businesses in question may remain responsible for the damages done.

The language of the waiver may be particularly important in determining whether the business has effectively contracted away its obligations under premises liability. In most cases, these kinds of waivers and releases are not favored by courts, and they are generally understood as strictly as possible against the business that is seeking to enforce them to avoid liability. However, in some cases, courts have upheld liability waivers and denied payouts to people seeking compensation after an incident.

Fatal crash sparks concerns about Tesla's semi-autonomous cars

Some tech-minded car buyers in Georgia have a tendency to pay more attention to vehicles that offer the latest features. However, Tesla's high-tech vehicles have sparked some concerns because of a fatal crash and multiple battery fires. There is some debate as to whether or not these results say something about the future of high-tech vehicles.

What is known is that one of Tesla's all-electric models was involved in a fatal crash. The vehicle, which was equipped with semi-autonomous driver-assist technology referred to as "autopilot," crashed when it left the road for unknown reasons and crashed into a median and trees before bursting into flames and killing the driver. This is the second fiery and fatal crash involving a Tesla vehicle in less than a year in Florida.

Asbestos strongly linked to mesothelioma

Individuals in Georgia may be at risk for getting mesothelioma if they are exposed to asbestos for too long a period. This was one of the conclusions reached in a study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology. Individuals who are exposed to asbestos at work for more than 20 years are 5.4 times more likely to get the condition.

However, individuals could experience a risk of getting mesothelioma after working for as little as a year in an environment that contains asbestos. While researchers are not sure that asbestos is the only strong risk factor for getting this type of illness, it does appear to be the most obvious. Of course, it's important to understand that a risk factor does not cause a person to get sick. Instead, it simply increases the chances that a person could get sick in certain conditions.

Conditions that cause an indoor slip-and-fall accident

You may not spend much time thinking about the potential of a slip-and-fall accident, but this could happen at any time. For example, you could slip when walking into your office. Or maybe you trip on your way through the grocery store or shopping mall.

Understanding the most common conditions associated with a slip-and-fall accident can help you prevent trouble. With this knowledge, you can keep your eyes open for anything that may get in your way.

Woman sustains fatal injuries after falling down subway stairs

In Georgia and elsewhere in the country, business owners have a legal responsibility to keep areas accessible to the public as safe as possible. In one incident involving a subway in New York City, a 22-year-old woman reportedly took a tumble down a flight of stairs and died from her injuries. She was said to be carrying her baby in a stroller at the time the accident occurred. The subway station is one of hundreds in New York City without an elevator.

Issues with premises liability have yet to be discussed. However, the New York Times reports that the woman was unconscious when assistance arrived. Her infant daughter was conscious and taken to family members.

Understanding sarcomatoid mesothelioma and its impact

Even though asbestos isn't widely used today because of a known association with mesothelioma and similar illnesses, individuals in Georgia who were exposed to this material several years or decades ago may still be affected by it. Of the typical cell types associated with mesothelioma, the rarest is sarcomatoid mesothelioma. As with similar conditions, sarcomatoid mesothelioma is primarily associated with asbestos exposure.

While this type of mesothelioma is rare, it's also the most aggressive form of the disease. This means it's more likely to be resistant to treatment. Most of the tumors that can result from this form of mesothelioma are found on the lung's protective lining. Diagnosis may initially involve the suspicion of some type of benign or malignant condition since symptoms that may include shortness of breath, persistent coughing, unexplained weight loss and fatigue can be fairly vague. If a patient's work history suggests asbestos exposure, a doctor may perform image tests and take a tissue sample (biopsy) to identify the specific cell type.

New breath test could detect early mesothelioma

Asbestos can still be located in many old buildings in Georgia. This means that residents are still at risk for exposure. Mesothelioma, often caused by asbestos exposure, is one of the deadliest cancers around, and many diagnoses come too late. Patients often die within a year of diagnosis. However, a study is underway that could develop a test for early detection.

Current tests, which look for cancer biomarkers in the blood and lung fluid, are not effective for early mesothelioma. This led scientists in the U.K. to develop a breath test that can capture the volatile organic compounds that a cancer patient exhales. VOCs are the result of biochemical changes in the body caused by the cancer, and each cancer produces its own unique VOCs.

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