October 2010

Child Injuries and Deaths Lead to Drop-Side Crib and Stroller Recalls and CPSC Warnings About Infant Sleep Positioners and Baby Monitor Cords

October 31, 2010, by Michael A. DeMayo

Our Charlotte, North Carolina personal injury lawyers know how important it is for parents and caregivers to feel that they are doing everything possible to keep their kids’ safe. This includes buying furniture, appliances, accessories, other products that do not pose a danger to their child. Unfortunately, there are products that continue to make it into the marketplace that can cause injuries and deaths. In the event that this happens, you may have grounds for a NC products liability case.

Recently, the US Consumer Product Safety Commission announced the recall of 40,650 drop-side cribs—taking the total of drop-side cribs recalled in the past several years to some 9 million. Drop-side cribs and 3-in-1 convertible cribs affected by these latest recalls were made by Ethan Allen, Victory Land Heritage Collection, and Angel Line.

Drop-side cribs are linked to at least 32, possibly 46, toddler and infant deaths over the last decade. Safety advocates are hoping that a vote to ban drop-side cribs will soon pass.

Also recently, Graco banned about 2 million Graco Quattro Tour™ and MetroLite™ strollers following four babies died in strangulation accidents. deaths. Infants that are in the strollers but aren’t strapped in risk similar injury should they end up stuck between the stroller tray and the seat.

Meantime, six child deaths by strangulation has prompted the CPSC to issue a safety warning about baby monitor cords. The agency says that placing baby audio and video camera monitors with cords (or any type of cord, for that matter) within reach of a child can prove fatal.

In September, the CPSC and the US Food and Drug Administration issued another warning to parents and caretakers—this one involving infant sleep positioners. The agencies are reporting 12 reports of infant suffocation deaths in the last 13 years. An infant in a sleep positioner can suffocate if he/she rolls to a stomach position or gets entrapped between the positioner and the side of the crib.

The Problem With Drop-Side Cribs: More Than 40,000 Recalled, Time, October 25, 2010

Crib Recalls: Ethan Allen, Victory Land Group, Angel Line, ModernMom, October 22, 2010

4 Deaths Prompt Graco Stroller Recall, MSNBC, October 20, 2010

Infants can strangle in baby monitor cords, CPSC (PDF)

Deaths prompt CPSC, FDA warning on infant sleep positioners, CPSC/FDA, September 29, 2010

Related Web Resources:
Safe Kids USA

Choosing Safe Baby Products, KidsHealth

Eye Complications Can Develop in Children Suffering from North Carolina Dog Bite Injuries to the Face

October 29, 2010, by Michael A. DeMayo

According to a recent study, approximately one in seven children who are treated for facial dog bite injuries end up with ophthalmic injuries. These injuries can lead to health complications and the need for revision surgery.

The retrospective review examined 537 kids who were treated at a hospital for their facial dog bite injuries between 2003 and 2008. 77 of the kids suffered from ophthalmic injuries. All of the injuries involved the eyelids. The authors of the study say that ophthalmic injuries, more than nonophthalmic injuries, can lead to complications, such as:

• Epiphora
• Upper eyelid ptosis
• Nasolacrimal duct obstruction
• Eyelid notching

Surgical repair was more likely required with ophthalmic injuries.

Charlotte North Carolina Dog Bite Injuries
Regardless of whether the victim of a North Carolina dog attack is a child or an adult, dog bite injuries can be extremely painful, traumatic, and disfiguring. Facial injuries can be especially difficult to heal and repair—especially for young children, who are still growing and changing at a rapid rate. A child who has serious facial injuries after being mauled by a dog or another animal may have to wait years before undergoing reconstructive surgery. Facial injuries can lead to all sorts of emotional and psychological traumas.

Facial Dog Bite Injuries in Children Affect the Eyes More Often Than Previously Reported, Medscape, October 29, 2010

Cat and Dog Bites, Family Doctor

Related Web Resources:
Prevention and Treatment of Dog Bites, American Family Physician

Dog Bite Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Charlotte, North Carolina Injury Accident: Exploding Pen Injures CMS Student

October 18, 2010, by Michael A. DeMayo

A spokesperson for Turning Point Academy in north Charlotte is reporting that a student sustained minor injuries this morning when a pen that he was holding exploded. A bomb squad was called to the scene. At this time, no one is sure about exactly what caused the ink pen to send shards of plastic into the 14-year-old’s hands as he took off its top.

Police reportedly found some type of residue on the victim, who was taken by Medic to Presbyterian Hospital-Huntersville. Fortunately, his injuries do not appear to be life-threatening.

Middle and high school students that have experienced disciplinary issues in regular Charlotte-Mecklenburg school settings are housed at Turning Point Academy. The school has counseling resources that are there to help kids so that they can eventually go back to their former schools.

School Accidents
If your child was injured during an accident at school, you should contact a Charlotte, North Carolina personal injury law firm to determine whether you have grounds for filing an injuries to a minor claim.

School accidents do happen. However, if the school or another party was negligent in causing the injury accident, you may able to seek damages for the harm that your son or daughter has suffered. Examples of injury accidents that can occur at school:

Slip and fall
• Playground accidents
• Pool drownings
• Injury accidents while playing sports
• Accidents in the classroom
• Accidents involving defective, hazardous, or dangerous items or substances
• Inadequate security-related accidents

Your child can also get hurt because of a crime that occurs on the school grounds. Fights between kids, sexual assault crimes, and other violent crimes have been known to occur. It is important that schools take the necessary steps to keep children safe.

House searched, teens arrested in connection with school pen explosion, Charlotte Observer, October 18, 2010

Student Injured in Small Explosion at Charlotte School, MyFox8, October 18, 2010

Related Web Resources:
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools

Do I have a personal injury case?, Nolo

Evenflo Recalls 13,792 Maestro Child Safety Seats

October 14, 2010, by Michael A. DeMayo

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Evenflo is recalling 13,792 Maestro child safety seats because of a possible crack that can form near the harness adjuster that could result in a child becoming improperly restrained. Evenflo will fix the safety issue by giving consumers a metal reinforcement plate to better support the area of the adjuster. There are no injuries reported so far.

Models affected by the recall start with the number 310. These child safety seats were made between November 24, 2009 and April 9, 2010. If you own one of these child booster seats you should contact Evenflo right away to ask for your free reinforcement plate. While you are waiting for your repair kit, NHTSA says your child can still use the seat as long as the owner’s manual is followed.

With motor vehicle crashes as the leading cause of accidental death to kids under age 15, our Charlotte, North Carolina products liability attorneys and injuries to a minor lawyers know how important it is to make sure that your child is safely buckled in, whether with a seat belt or in a child safety seat.

Having your son/daughter use a defective car seat can lead to catastrophic consequences during a North Carolina car accident. You may be able to hold the product manufacturer liable.

Examples of child safety defects:

• Poor construction
• Harness defects
• Separation of base/shell
• Handle malfunctions
• Flammable material
• Sudden release
• Unanticipated rotation
• Improper or unclear instructions

A defective car seat can even make your child’s injuries from a traffic crash worse than they otherwise would have been.

Consumer Advisory: Evenflo Company Recalls 13,792 Evenflo Maestro Child Safety Seats, NHTSA, October 15, 2010

Evenflo Initiates Voluntary Safety Recall of Certain Maestro Combination Booster Seats, Evenflo, October 15, 2010

Related Web Resources:
Car Safety Seats, American Academy of Pediatrics

Child Passenger Safety, CDC

City of Charlotte, North Carolina Sued for Wrongful Death From Falling Tree Accident

October 9, 2010, by Michael A. DeMayo

The family of Kay Plyler, the 53-year-old woman who died last year after a tree fell on her car, is suing the city of Charlotte for wrongful death. The civil lawsuit contends that the tree was a public hazard that should have been removed.

The North Carolina premises liability accident happened on March 8, 2008, when a tree, located close to the corner of East and Asheville Place, fell on Plyler’s black SUV. Plyler’s 14-year-old daughter was in the motor vehicle with her. While the teenager did not sustain physical injuries, the complaint says that she suffered emotional trauma from the deadly accident.

Also according to the wrongful death lawsuit, the tree, which was suffering from 90% root decay, should have been removed. Other trees in the area that were suffering from similar health issues were taken away.

This is not the first time Charlotte has been sued over a tree. In 2003, the city was sued for personal injury because of a tree. Another lawsuit for property damage involving a tree was filed in 2005.

Just last week, a 35-year-old woman was in Charlotte driving her two young children in her car when she was almost struck by a giant oak tree that fell. Fortunately, no one was injured.

Over 400 people died because of falling trees or limbs between 1995 and 2007. In Charlotte, high winds and soggy soil are just some of the conditions that can cause the city’s older trees to fall, potentially causing injury to motorists, pedestrians, and residents, as well as damage to power lines. There are steps that city officials and property owners can take to make sure that such accidents do not happen.

Some 160,000 trees are planted in Charlotte’s public areas. Each year, workers cut down some 300 to 400 trees that are in poor health.

Family suing city over tree that killed woman, Charlotte Observer, January 11, 2009

Our cherished trees can be a danger, Charlotte.com, January 11, 2009

Related Web Resources:

Who Is Responsible When Your Tree Falls?, Realty Times, January 12, 2009

8 Signs of a Sick Tree, Treejob.com

North Carolina Wrongful Death Lawsuit Filed in Carbon Monoxide Fatality

October 5, 2010, by Michael A. DeMayo

The family of Monique L. Carpenter is suing Old Republic Home Protection, homeowner Willie McKinney, Windham Heating and Air Conditioning, and its owner Paul “Eddie” Windham for her North Carolina wrongful death. Carpenter and her friend Darryl Gregory died on November 14, 2008 from carbon monoxide poisoning.

According to the North Carolina wrongful death complaint, Carpenter had gone to visit Gregory at the home that he was renting in Greensboro. McKinney is the owner of the home.

Gregory had reportedly told McKinney on several occasions that the furnace needed to be fixed. Old Republic, a home-warranty company, hired Windham to fix the furnace. On November 12, 2008, Windham went to the rental and discovered that the access doors and flue pipe connection to the furnace weren’t in place. Despite a recommendation by a technician that a new furnace be brought in, Windham did not install a new one. The family’s North Carolina wrongful death complaint is accusing Windham and his company of “willful and wanton conduct” that reflect an “intentional disregard of and indifference” to others’ safety. They also claim that Windham did not check the ventilation system to ensure that the carbon monoxide gas couldn’t enter the house.

On November 14, Gregory, who was told that the furnace had been fixed, used it for the first time. He and Carpenter died of carbon monoxide poisoning that day.

Carpenter’s family is accusing Old Republic of failing to investigate Windham, who had been disciplined twice by the by the N.C. State Board of Examiners of Plumbing, Heating and Fire Sprinkler Contractors. He has been placed on probation twice.

Carbon Monoxide
Nearly 500 people are killed in the US each year because of carbon monoxide poisoning from fuel-burning appliances, charcoal burned inside a garage, car, home, or tent, or cars that were left running in garages attached to residences. The Centers for Disease Control says that more than 15,000 hospital visits a year are a result of CO poisoning. CO is a tasteless, odorless, colorless gas. Signs of CO poisoning include fatigue, nausea, and headaches. Co poisoning can cause brain injury and death.

Family sues over death, Winston-Salem Journal, October 2, 2010

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning, eMedicineHealth


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