Black & Decker to pay $1.5 million penalty for hiding electric mower injury hazard

By Ronald V. Baker, Senior Legal Writer, Westlaw Journals

From Westlaw Journal Products LiabilityThe U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and Black & Decker have announced the company will pay a $1.5 million civil penalty for failing to timely report defects in electric lawn mowers that caused them start spontaneously.

The agreement resolves a CPSC investigation of charges that Black & Decker delayed acting on reports that its model CMM1000 and CMM1000R cordless electric lawnmower could start independently even if its safety handle was released and an accompanying safety key removed.

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Medtronic pays $4 million to settle claims it falsely labeled products as U.S.-made

From Westlaw Journal Medical Devices:

By Ronald V. Baker, Senior Legal Writer, Westlaw Journals

Medtronic Inc. will pay more than $4 million to resolve allegations that it violated federal law by repackaging foreign-made medical devices with “made in USA” labels before selling them to the U.S. government.

The U.S. Justice Department announced April 2 that Medtronic entered into a settlement in the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota that ends a two-year investigation sparked when the company was named as a defendant in a suit three whistleblowers jointly filed under the False Claims Act, 31 U.S.C. § 3729(a)(1)(A).

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Medtronic insulin pump failure caused N.J. man’s death, suit says

By Ronald V. Baker, Senior Legal Writer, Westlaw Journals

From Westlaw Journal Medical Devices: Medtronic Inc. is named in a multi-count lawsuit alleging a New Jersey man’s insulin pump failed as he slept, sending him into a deadly diabetic coma.

The complaint, filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey, says ongoing operational problems with Medtronic insulin pumps and repeated federal regulatory actions against the company validate the claim that Medtronic’s negligence caused Charles J. Slack Jr.’s death.

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TV maker must face design, warning claims in toddler death suit

By Ronald V. Baker, Senior Legal Writer, Westlaw Journals

From Westlaw Journal Products Liability: Philips Electronics North America must face design defect and failure-to-warn claims in a lawsuit filed by the parents of an Indiana toddler killed when a television tipped from a dresser and fell on him, a federal judge has ruled.

U.S. District Judge Theresa L. Springmann of the Northern District of Indiana said the parents of Mark Simmons Jr. offered sufficient preliminary evidence to pursue their claim that the 27-inch television had a design defect that posed an unreasonable risk of tipping over during foreseeable use.

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Blood filter injury suit properly tossed after expert disqualified, 11th Circuit finds

From Westlaw Journals Medical Devices: A federal appeals court has affirmed the dismissal of a suit alleging an implanted blood filter was defectively designed and manufactured, finding dismissal was proper because the plaintiff’s main expert was disqualified.

The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said a Florida federal judge properly granted summary judgment to medical device maker C.R. Bard Inc. because plaintiff Anthony Payne was left without nothing to support his claims after his lead expert was declared unqualified to testify.

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Manufacturing defect claim advances in suit over failed Synthes bone fixation plate

From Westlaw Journal Expert and Scientific Evidence: A West Virginia woman can pursue claims for negligence and manufacturing defect in a suit alleging a Synthes Inc. bone plate used to stabilize her broken leg failed because the plate was cracked before being implanted, a federal judge has ruled.

Plaintiff Linda O’Bryan provided sufficient expert testimony that the Synthes 1 mm plate attached to her right fibula was distributed with a crack that resulted from a faulty manufacturing process, U.S. District Judge Irene C. Berger of the Southern District of West Virginia said.

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Georgia man repleads suit claiming failure of Globus bone screws

From Westlaw Journal Medical Devices: A Georgia man has filed his third complaint in a suit alleging manufacturing and design defects caused the failure of two Globus Medical Inc. pedicle screws used in his spinal fusion procedure.

Anthony Lonon’s second amended complaint follows a March 9 dismissal order by U.S. District Judge William T. Moore Jr. of the Southern District of Georgia, who said the first two filings over the fracture of Globus’ Transition screws lacked sufficient detail.

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Illinois class suit alleges defects in Whirlpool self-clean ovens

By Ronald V. Baker, Senior Legal Writer, Westlaw Journals

From Westlaw Journal Products Liability: A proposed federal class-action suit filed in Illinois claims that certain Whirlpool ovens become damaged beyond repair if their self-cleaning feature is used as few as five times.

Chicago resident Beth Kljajich claims she spent an extra $300 to have a Whirlpool oven model that offered self-cleaning convenience, but says after using the feature once, her oven’s motherboard burned up.  She was forced to buy a replacement oven when, after five attempted repairs, the Whirlpool remained inoperable, according to the complaint, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois.

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New Jersey man’s suit over failed brain stimulators federally preempted

From Westlaw Journal Medical Devices: A federal judge in Camden, N.J., has dismissed as federally preempted a multi-count suit filed by a man who says he underwent four surgeries to implant a Medtronic brain stimulator because the first three devices were defective.

U.S. District Judge Renee M. Bumb of the District of New Jersey ruled that Jack Millman’s 12-count suit against Medtronic over the allegedly faulty Activa deep brain stimulation systems is void because it challenges the Food and Drug Administration’s exclusive regulatory jurisdiction as outlined by the Medical Device Amendments, 21 U.S.C. § 360c, to the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, 21 U.S.C. § 301.

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9th Circuit won’t revive Zicam user’s toxic injury suit

From Westlaw Journal Expert and Scientific Evidence: The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has declined to disturb a summary judgment order for the former producer of Zicam nasal spray in the case of a user who alleged toxic ingredients in the product caused his permanent loss of smell.

The appeals court panel said a California federal judge correctly found plaintiff Michael D. Nelson failed to produce sufficient expert testimony on the cause of his injuries.

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