Yearly Archives 2012


CPSC Sues Maxfield & Oberton Over Buckyballs

Maxfield & Oberton, manufacturer of the toys Buckyballs and Buckycube, has been sued by the Consumer Product Safety Commission over hazards posed by those products. These products both include high-powered rare earth magnets that have been shown to pose a substantial risk of injury to people, particularly children, under certain circumstances. Following the failure of an effort to negotiate a voluntary recall with the manufacturer, the CPSC filed an administrative complaint.

The Hazard

Buckyballs and Buckycube both include high-powered rare earth magnets that have caused injuries resulting in surgeries in several instances. In total, the CPSC has learned that there are over two dozen such incidents related to these products that have occurred since 2009. These products were labeled as being safe for people ages 13 and up but, following investigation, it was found that they did not meet the requirements for that safety label.

Each of these sets includes up to 216 of the powerful magnets, according to a press release by the CPSC. These magnets can pose a risk of serious injury and even death under certain circumstances.

The injuries were reported when the magnets were ingested accidentally or intentionally by young children and teenagers. When the magnets enter the stomach and intestinal tract, the attraction between them is powerful enough that they can make holes in the digestive system or stick together through the tissues of the digestive system, causing an array of problems. The problems can range from obstructions to blood poisoning to death and, because of that, the CPSC was demanding a recall. The current lawsuit seeks to stop Maxfield & Oberton from selling these products any longer.

Some of the injuries were caused when very young children swallowed the magnets. Other injuries were caused because teenagers and older children were using the magnets to imitate lip piercings and tongue piercings, according to the press release, and they accidentally inhaled or ingested those magnets. Rare earth magnets are powerful enough to attract one another through the tissues of the body and therein is where the hazard lies. If your child has been injured by one of these products, you may want to consider contacting a product liability lawyer to see if filing a lawsuit over the injuries would be an option for your family.

Filing a Lawsuit

Product liability claims can be filed over products that are found to be defective in manufacture, advertising or design. Because these products were advertised as being safe for children ages 13 and over but do not meet the standards for that labeling, you may be able to file a lawsuit if your child was injured.

Talking to a Houston product liability lawyer is the first step in determining whether or not this is an option for you. These attorneys will generally offer you a free consultation where they can listen to the details of your situation and determine whether or not it would be appropriate for you to press forward with a lawsuit. Contacting a lawyer as soon as possible is advisable.

For a FREE consultation, call us at 713-771-5453

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Oil Firm Nailed for Millions in Employee Injury Suit

An oil company that was found to be negligent in protecting its workers from harm was sued successfully for $4.1 million in damages by an employee. The incident in which the employee was injured occurred in Colorado, on an oil field where the employee worked as a roughneck. While working in oilfields is a notoriously dangerous profession, employees still do have a reasonable expectation that their employers will look out for their well-being as much as is possible, which they failed to do in this case, according to the jury’s finding.

The Wrong Parts

In the Colorado case, the oil drilling firm was found to have used improper parts in a drilling operation and, because of that, the employee ended up being crushed. The employee did survive, but suffered serious injuries. What made this particular case interesting was that the oil company had sold its operation and, because of that, both the oil company that originally owned the equipment and the company that had only recently purchased it were found to have both been liable to different degrees.

The case also found that the environment in which workers toiled for this oil company was one where intimidation was common. Employees feeling intimidated by supervisors and the company for which they work itself is far too common. In some cases, that intimidation ends up creating a corporate culture where injuries become much more common than they should be, simply because employees do not feel free to voice their concerns.

In the Colorado case, the employer failed to have the employees connect the safety line to the machinery on which they were working, in addition to the fact that they had been trying to use an incorrect part, both of which led to the injuries. The employee, unfortunately, ended up sustaining injuries to his back and to the spine that had impacts on his quality of life.

In any situation where an employee feels that they are being put in needless danger, reporting the incident is absolutely necessary. If one employee is being put in such a situation, it’s likely that others are, as well, and it’s only a matter of time before someone ends up getting hurt. If employers fail to adhere to federal and state regulations regarding their operations, they may end up being cited upon an inspection. In the worst-case scenarios, employees end up being hurt before any action is actually taken.

Taking Action

Intimidation, the fear of losing a job and other factors oftentimes dissuade employees from taking completely justified actions against employers who have put them at risk. If you have been put at risk and have been injured as a result of that, talking to an attorney right away is imperative. There may be limitations on how long you have to act, so speaking with a Houston personal injury attorney right away is your single best option. You can sit down with such an attorney for free, at which time they will determine whether or not it seems likely that you have a good case on your hands.

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Amputation Threat Posed by Recalled Stroller

The US Consumer Product Safety Commission and Health Canada have announced that the manufacturer of a stroller has voluntarily recalled the device due to an amputation hazard. According to a press release, the Kolcraft Enterprises, Inc. Contours Options strollers, in both the three- and four-wheeled configurations, poses a risk of amputating the fingers of children and adults. In fact, there have already been incidents reported where both have happened.


According to the press release, there have been five injuries involving the defective part. The defective part is a hinge mechanism located on the handle of the stroller, near the basket area. This hinge can fold up, cutting or even amputating fingers. There have been three children who have had their fingers amputated and two adults who suffered lacerations and smash injuries due to the hinge.

If you’re concerned that you have one of the strollers, look for the following model numbers, which will appear on a sticker above the left wheel:

  • ZL002

These products were retailed by,, and at toy stores in the United States and Canada. They sold for between $150 and $160 and were on the market starting in January of 2006, with the recall being effective June 14, 2012, according to the press release.

Defective Products and Responsibility

It is illegal to sell or trade any defective product. They have to be returned, replaced or refunded in accordance with the product recall. If you have one of these strollers, you can contact Kolcraft at 1-800-453-7673. They will explain what to do with the device. You should stop using the stroller immediately and, upon contacting the company, you will be provided with a repair kit that can be used to fix the hazard.

Defective Designs, Manufacture and Advertising

Defective product lawsuits hinge on whether or not the product was defective in its design, in its manufacture or in its advertising. In this case, the product could be found to have been defective in its design or its manufacturing, due to the presence of the hinge that was capable of causing such grievous injuries. If you or your child were injured by this product, you should contact an attorney right away. One of the options you have as a consumer is suing a company that sold you a product that proved to be dangerous.

Filing a defective product lawsuit is generally a time-limited option. The most important thing to do is to contact an attorney as soon as possible and to let them know what happened. If they believe that you do have a good case, they may be willing to take it and argue it for you in court. These cases sometimes end up paying out into the millions of dollars, which is entirely fair, when you consider the life-changing injuries that some people end up suffering because of defective products. In this case, it’s already been reported that at least three children had their fingertips amputated because of the particular defect.

If you have been injured by this stroller, call us for a FREE consultation at 713-771-5453

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Be Careful at the Pool this Summer

Houston has already heated up for the summer, and that means a lot of people are heading to the pool. Whether you’re at a public pool or private pool, exercising a bit of caution may prevent you from sustaining a grievous injury or worse. According to a report released by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an average of 390 children between the ages of zero and 14 died in drowning deaths through the period extending between the years 2007 and 2009.

High Risk Groups

According to the report, the highest risk group for drowning deaths are those between the ages of zero and five years old. They constituted 293 of the 390 deaths reported from 2007 2009. This translates to roughly 75 percent of those deaths, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

Mitigating the risk posed to children by drowning starts with paying attention. Children should not be allowed to go to swimming pools where there is no supervision or where there is no lifeguard on duty. Keep in mind that, even though other well-intentioned parents may be willing to bring your child down to the swimming pool, there still may be a risk to those children that you’re not considering. Unless those well-intentioned parents happen to have first aid training for drowning victims, they may be able to do little for a child who suffers a submersion injury.

Liability and Swimming Pools

In some cases were children or adults are injured at swimming pools, filing a lawsuit might be an option. There are certainly plenty of swimming pools out there that are swim at your own risk affairs. Even though this is the case, it’s still worth it to speak with an attorney if you or your child happens to have been injured at a swimming pool. The best possible thing you can do, however, is to provide your child with the tools they need to stay safe.

Swimming Instruction

When you don’t live next to any large bodies of water, it’s easy to make the mistake of thinking that swimming lessons may be frivolous for children. Remember: even large cities without any recreational lakes or rivers nearby tend to have a lot of houses with swimming pools. Taking a child to a facility that provides qualified instruction in swimming is always a good idea. It may be a skill that they never need to use to save themselves but, if they do, it is literally the difference between life and death.

Make certain that you visit any recreational facility where your child goes to swim so that you can see what kind of a safety culture they have. While an attorney can certainly help you if your child suffers an injury due to negligence on the part of somebody who should’ve intervened or provided a safer environment, the best case scenario is one where you see negligence before it causes injury and where you are able to remove your child from that situation before the worst happens.

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Bath & Body Works Named in Lawsuit

A Woman in Beckley, WV is suing Bath & Body Works for injuries sustained while using one of their products, according to a recent report in the The report says that the woman suffered both property and physical damage from the product, leading her to file a claim.

The Product

According to the report, the woman was using fragrance oil warmer in July of 2010 when it burst into flames. TI was on a wooden table and the woman, acting to put out the fire was burned when hot oil got onto her skin. The claim details a great deal in terms of how defective product lawsuits work.

According to Instructions

The woman who filed the lawsuit was using the product according to directions at the time, which is vital to filing a successful claim for product liability. Generally speaking, if you’re not using a product in an approved manner and you get injured, the manufacturer is not responsible for those injuries. In such cases, it’s far more likely that the jury will determine that your improper use of the product resulted in your injuries or property damage. In order to file one of these lawsuits, you have to have been injured by a product that was defective in some regard, not by a product that injured you because you used it contrary to its recommended usages.

Medical and Property Damage

The woman filing the lawsuit is claiming medical and property damage. She is also suing for pain and suffering, which is a common addition to these lawsuits. It’s not frivolous. Many of the people injured by defective products go through intense pain and suffering. Some of them end up losing their jobs because of their injuries or, at least, losing income while they convalesce.

Texas Law

Texas law is different than West Virginia law, of course, and that means that having a defective products attorney who is responsible for Texas’s laws represent you is vital toward maximizing your chances of winning your claim. There are limitations on how long you have to file these claims, so it’s a good idea to contact and attorney to determine how much time you have remaining. This will let you know whether you need to act right away or whether you have some time to consider whether you want to file a lawsuit.

If you’re not sure whether or not any defective product related injuries you suffered were really the fault of the manufacturer, contact and attorney to get their input. There are complex laws that surround product liability and you need expert advice if you want to make sure that you pursue compensation if you have a chance of winning it. Ask about a free consultation with a defective products attorney. They usually handle these claims on a contingency basis, so they need to meet with you to determine whether or not they’re a good match for your claim. If they are, they may be able to win you substantial jury awards or settlements.

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Product Recalls : Step Stools Recalled

On May 10, 2012, the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced the recall of Folding Step Stools by Kennedy International of Dayton, NJ. The stools were found to have been a flaw that causes them to break or collapse when in use. As of the press release, there had been at least 15 reports of the stools breaking or cracking. There were three injuries reported, which included a broken leg and a back injury. Consumers must stop using these products immediately and contact Kennedy International. You will be issued a refund by the company.

The Product

The step stools are 9- and 13-ince folders. They are plastic and equipped with a carrying handle. Look for the following style numbers:

  • 3575 for the 9-inch
  • 3576 for the 13-inch

You’ll find the model number printed on a sticker. It’s located on the legs. There is also a label that says “Kennedy Home Collection” on some of the stools, but not all of them. They were produced in a wide variety of colors and color combinations, so any stool of any color may be affected.

These stools retailed at the following stores:

  • HomeGoods
  • TJ Maxx

They were also sold at other stores. They are manufactured in China.

Trip and Falls and Product Liability

Trip, slip and fall injuries are among the most hazardous. It’s possible for a healthy adult to die from a fall, so it’s imperative that you stop using these products right away. In addition to the threat of being killed, serious injuries can and have results. A broken leg can cost thousands and thousands of dollars in medical expenses, so it’s important to remember that even reparable injuries such as these can be enormous financial hardships.

Getting a Slip & Fall Attorney

Lawsuits provide a way for the victims of defective products to get compensation for their injuries. There are some instances where these claims end up paying a great deal of money to the plaintiffs involved, so be sure to investigate whether or not this is an option for you. The easiest way to do so is to simply sit down with an attorney and to discuss the matter with them. There are some instances where you may have a claim and others where you do not, so you’ll have to talk to an attorney specializing in personal injury law to get sure about the mater.

Other Considerations for Personal Injuries

Remember that it’s illegal to sell any recalled product. If you have a product that was recalled in your possession, the right thing to do is to contact the manufacturer or the retailer where you purchased it. There are generally remedies offered right away. If you were injured using the product, write down what happened and be sure to contact an attorney about the matter. You’ll want to make sure you know what types of medical expenses you endured because of the product and you’ll want to make sure you were using it according to instructions. Any property damage should also be noted. An attorney may be able to file a winning lawsuit for you.

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Eye Surgery and Medical Malpractice

Corrective surgeries such as LASIK are becoming extremely popular. It’s no wonder that this is the case. People with very compromised vision, through these surgeries, are sometimes restored to 20/20 vision. The idea that you could go from being dependent upon eyeglasses or contact lenses to seeing with the same level of clarity you did when you were a child is certainly appealing. Unfortunately, these surgeries can go horribly wrong and, when they do, the consequences can be dire.


One of the common side effects of botched LASIK surgery is the appearance of halos around any source of light in the patient’s vision. Unfortunately, this is sometimes damage that cannot be corrected with other surgeries. This type of medical negligence injury can make it extremely difficult for people to drive at night or, if they happen to be dependent upon their eyes for their work – such as if they are a graphic designer – it may make it virtually impossible for them to continue on in the field for which they are trained.

Destroyed Vision

There are instances where people have had their vision destroyed by LASIK. Some of the damage includes permanent double vision, nearsightedness or farsightedness that can no longer be corrected with glasses, and astigmatism.

People have ended up with these types of injuries for many different reasons. There had even been instances when doctors have left debris underneath the lens of the eye or when they have improperly reattached the lens, leaving folds in it that obstruct vision. Obviously, these situations can lead to blindness.

Medical Negligence

Any physician, including the physicians that perform LASIK surgery, is responsible for providing their patients with competent care. When they fail in this regard, they can be sued for medical malpractice. A LASIK provider that failed to deliver on giving you competent care may be liable for being sued because of this. It’s important to speak with an attorney, however, because medical malpractice claims are complex and the attorney needs to understand whether or not what actually happened points to negligence. The consultation is generally free when you’re speaking with a lawyer who handles medical malpractice, so don’t be afraid to phone a Houston lawyer and ask them if they would be willing to represent you or, at least, if they would be willing to sit down for a free consultation.

Discount Surgeries and Negligence

LASIK has become so common and so accepted that surgeons compete on price. When you consider this, it’s a lot different than how most surgeries work. Physicians generally do not compete for price on necessary procedures, such as removing your appendix or removing a tumor. When profits become more important than people, people sometimes end up being permanently injured because of physician negligence. If you had LASIK surgery performed and you ended up suffering permanent eye injury as a result of it, don’t hesitate to contact an attorney. Losing one’s vision permanently, or having it compromised in some way, is a nightmare. With effective representation, you may at least be able to receive compensation for your injuries and pain and suffering.

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Talking to an Attorney About Medical Malpractice

Medical malpractice claims can be very complex. Most of the time, when they’re being discussed, they are addressed from the standpoint of explaining the complexity involved and why you need a good attorney to handle them. There is a very important human dimension to these cases, however, that is seldom discussed. If you’re debating whether or not to speak with an attorney about a medical malpractice claim, the following information may answer some of your questions.

Confidential Information

Many of the attorneys that handle personal injuries and medical malpractice claims will offer to meet you for a free consultation. When you’re dealing with medical malpractice issues, it’s sometimes understandably embarrassing to discuss what actually went on at the doctor’s office. These are very sensitive issues, obviously, and it’s understandable if you hesitate when considering whether or not you should discuss them with someone.

Everything you discuss with an attorney under the auspices of a free consultation is considered confidential. In addition to that, realize that medical malpractice attorneys deal with these issues all the time. They are as unlikely to be shocked by anything you tell them as is your physician or anyone else who is commonly involved with medical issues. You do not need to be embarrassed when discussing these issues with an attorney, nor do you need to be worried about the information you discuss with them being divulged without your consent.

The Necessity

Oftentimes, it’s the desperation caused by incredibly high medical expenses that result directly from physician negligence that finally persuade someone to speak to an attorney. Unfortunately, this also sets up a situation where people who can handle the expenses may wish to just let the matter go. It’s important to remember that negligent physicians may well end up doing the same thing to somebody else. If you have the means to handle whatever medical expenses, lost wages or other damages were caused you by the negligence, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re doing yourself a favor by not confronting the issue.

In some cases, the expenses are so intimidating that it’s tempting to just take a settlement and let the whole thing go. Don’t do this. If the physician’s insurance company or the healthcare facility presents you with a settlement without you even having contacted an attorney in advance, they’re likely making a very cynical calculation that involves, essentially, paying you off in exchange for you not pressing the matter any further. Talk to an attorney about this before you accept a check. An attorney working for you has your interests at heart. The physician’s insurance company and the healthcare facility only have their own interests at heart.

Texas has very strict limitations on how long you have to file a medical malpractice claim after the fact. You need to speak with an attorney to get this information. At the very least, it will let you know how long you have to debate the issue before all of your options are off the table. It’s important to talk to an attorney as soon as you possibly can.

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Recovering Property and Medical Damages with a Personal Injury Attorney

The lawsuits that get the most publicity tend to be the ones that win plaintiffs millions of dollars. This is simply because they’re eye-catching, interesting and the public tends to be fascinated by lawsuits. It tends to, however, lead people to an erroneous belief that the point of the lawsuit is simply to punish someone by getting money out of them. Sometimes, lawsuits do include sums that are added simply because of the egregious negligence that led to the lawsuit in the first place, but this is usually not the case. Personal injury attorneys mostly help people get compensated for real damage that they suffered.

Property Damage

These days, most people live an existence that is accurately described as check to check from a financial perspective. Being hit by a drunken driver or a driver who was simply negligent and having your car destroyed is devastating for most people. In fact, it may well cost them their employment, if they depend upon their car to commute. When you see large sums of money given to a plaintiff in a lawsuit, remember that they very well may be replacing their car. Consider how much a vehicle costs. If someone’s negligence cost them their vehicle, there’s really no reason that they should have to foot the bill themselves.

The same applies to damage to property. Negligent drivers sometimes end up driving into people’s yards, and even crashing into their houses. This sort of damage can be very expensive and, because personal injury lawyers can step in and offer assistance, the people who are victimized in this way sometimes file a lawsuit to recover those damages. The large sums that they receive are usually related to the large amount of damage that they suffered.

Medical Expenses as a result of Personal Injury

Medical expenses have bankrupted far too many people. Unfortunately, even though property damage is bad enough, car wrecks, medical negligence and other types of negligence oftentimes result in very high medical expenses for the victim. Rather than staying a victim and not taking any action, people who end up in this situation sometimes contact a personal injury attorney so that they can get assistance recovering those damages. Whether it’s a hospital, physician, a negligent driver or a store owner who didn’t flag a hazard that caused someone to slip and fall and hurt themselves, a personal injury attorney may be able to offer assistance.

Coming up with the figure that you want to seek in the lawsuit is difficult and it does require real expertise. Part of what a personal injury attorney does is make an accurate assessment of the real financial damage that has been done to you as a result of somebody else’s negligence. By doing so, they provide you with a way to go to court and to seek that money in compensation.

Speak to a Personal Injury Attorney

If you believe that someone’s negligence has resulted in you suffering unnecessary financial or medical hardships, be certain to contact a personal injury attorney about the matter as soon as possible or call us for a FREE consultation at 713-771-5453

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Suing for Workplace Injuries

Many people are fortunate enough to have an employer that cares about their health and welfare. Beyond that, such people are also fortunate enough to have an employer who follows the guidelines put forth by OSHA and other regulators that are designed to keep people safe in the workplace. Unfortunately, there are too many people who do not have these types of employers and who end up being treated as if they were machines that can simply be replaced when they are broken due to their work. If you are injured on the job and you believe your employer was negligent, you need to speak with an injury attorney.

Workplace Regulations and Obligations

There are some jobs that are notoriously dangerous. For example, oil workers face some of the most brutal and dangerous working conditions imaginable. Even though this is the case, their employers are expected to keep them as safe as possible, given the circumstances of their work. This applies to all workers. There is a complex set of regulations in place that apply to just about every industry out there that has a certain number of employees.

When employers fail to adhere to these regulations and their employees are injured, a personal injury attorney may be able to help you. There are numerous cases of people being injured in ways that should’ve never happened. Safety equipment isn’t replaced or repaired as needed, employees are not given the training they need to do their jobs safely or employers, relying on the fact that they have the intimidation of holding the employee’s paycheck in their hand, ask employees to do unreasonably dangerous things. None of these things are legal and all of these things are negligent.

Fighting Back

Sometimes, people end up in the unfortunate situation of still relying on the employer who is responsible for their injuries and, therefore, they feel that they are in a position where they cannot file a lawsuit. Speaking with an attorney is always confidential. Speak with an attorney and ask them what they can do for you. They may well advise you to go ahead and file a lawsuit. Some injured employees are put in the insufferable situation of still having to draw a paycheck that is not enough to pay for the expenses caused them by the actions of a negligent employer. Some employers can be very manipulative about this. They may actually make it sound like they’re doing you a favor by keeping you on at your unreasonably dangerous job.

Experienced attorneys understand negligence. Simply put, they can see right through the smokescreen that employers will put up to protect themselves and they are certainly not intimidated by going up against a large corporation. You may feel that you have all of the odds stacked against you in these cases simply because the company you work for has, essentially, limitless resources to defend themselves. Realize that you have the law on your side. And, with a good attorney to represent you, that can be incredibly powerful and may provide you with the means you need to recover financially.

The Law offices of Blaine Tucker provides FREE initial consultation for victims of workplace injuries in the Houston and surrounding areas. Contact his office at 713-771-5453 today.

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