July 2010 Archives

July 31, 2010

Danny's Law Changes Recalls for Parents

Parents in Kentucky and Indiana should rejoice over Danny's Law, a consumer protection statute which recently went into effect. Starting on June 28, 2010, parents who purchase a covered product will be provided with a registration card which should be sent back to the manufacturer. In the event of a recall, the parents will be notified. The information provided to the company by parents can only be used in the event of a recall, and cannot be used for marketing purposes. Further, the product will have to be labeled with the manufacturer's name and address, model name and number, as well as the manufacture date.

This law effects eighteen product categories including:

  • full-size cribs

  • non-full-size cribs

  • toddler beds

  • high chairs

  • booster chairs

  • hook-on chairs

  • bath seats

  • gates

  • play yards

  • stationary activity centers

  • infant carriers

  • strollers

  • walkers

  • swings

  • bassinets

  • cradles

  • children's folding chairs

  • changing tables

  • infant bouncers

  • infant bathtubs

  • portable toddler bed rails

  • infant slings

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July 27, 2010

U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission Issues Kids Safety Education Effort

Each year hundreds of children are injured or die because of negligent safety measures in and around swimming pools and spas. This year alone, more than 210 children have died in the United States since Memorial Day in pool related accidents. A 2008 report by the Commission stated that the "average number of drowning deaths involving children younger than 5 in pools and spas has increased from a yearly average of 267 (for 2002-2004) to 283 (for 2003-2005)." Further, "the average number of emergency room treated pool and spa submersion injuries decreased from an annual average of 2,800 (for 2004-2006) to 2,700 (for 2005-2007)."

1224249_lesson_of_swimming_4.jpg In response, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has introduced a kids education program which includes a video series featured on the Safe Kids website and the NDPA website. The videos feature Ming-Na, the voice of Mulan in the Disney film.

Many pool accidents are preventable and a result of negligence. Drowning accidents can occur at public pools, rivers and lakes, in the backyard, and even in the bathtub. These accidents happen quickly; in fact, a short submersion of four or five minutes can cause lasting brain damage.

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July 15, 2010

Kentucky Text Ban Effective Today

Today, a new Kentucky Law goes into effect banning texting while driving. Until January 1, 2011, drivers found in violation of the law will receive a warning ticket. After the new year, law enforcement will impose fines of $25 for the first offense and $50 for subsequent offenses.

The law, of course, was imposed to curb distracted driving which has been cited by the United States Department of Transportation as significant problem on America's roads. According to one report, more than 57,000 crashes in Kentucky were attributed to driver distraction and inattention. According to Acting Transportation Secretary Mike Hancock,"The message to drivers is to eliminate distractions and stay focused on the road. Driving a motor vehicle requires your undivided attention."

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July 9, 2010

Kentucky Supreme Court Opinion on Products Liability

Kentucky products liability attorneys are not happy with the latest Kentucky Supreme Court case, Fluke Corporation v. LeMaster (Rendered March 18, 2010). The court reversed a 2008 Appellate decision which held that equitable estoppel barred a product manufacturer's statue of limitations defense because the company hid product defects from government regulatory agencies.

The case stems from an explosion injuring several people. After filing a lawsuit, the plaintiffs added another defendant, Fluke Corp., after the statute of limitations date had passed because they later learned that Fluke's defective voltage meter may have contributed to the accident. Fluke's summary judgment motion was granted and the plaintiffs appealed claiming Fluke's failure to properly comply with the Consumer Product Safety Commission bared their defense.

The Supreme Court reversed, holding that plaintiffs were not protected by the company's failure to properly report to the government agencies. Instead, the plaintiff was bound by the one-year statute of limitations for products liability cases. The plaintiff knew or should have known that there was potentially a problem with the voltage meter at the time of the accident.

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