Ikea Faces Another Wrongful Death Lawsuit over Tipped Dresser

Ikea-furnishing

A second lawsuit has been filed against Ikea over a dresser that tipped onto a toddler, killing him. Philly.com reports that the lawsuit was filed in the Philadelphia Common Pleas Court. Allegedly, Ikea knew the dresser was unstable but sold it regardless. A similar lawsuit was filed over the death of a 2-year-old in February 2014.

In response to the deaths, Ikea announced a joint “repair program” with the Consumer Product Safety Commission in July. The program offers replacement restraint kits; 27 million dressers are affected. While the repair program is a type of recall according to the safety commission’s laws, Ikea has intentionally avoided classifying it as such. The Swedish furniture giant pointed out that it has not offered to replace or buy back the dressers.

According to the lawsuit, Ikea dressers do not meet furniture industry safety standards for stability. In October, Ikea told The Inquirer that it believes these standards do not apply to dressers. The complaint states that the toddler became pinned under the dresser when it tipped over on June 11, 2014. His father removed the dresser and his mother performed CPR before transporting him to a hospital. The boy was placed on ventilation for four days before his parents removed him from life support. The suit seeks compensatory and punitive damages for medical expenses, funeral expenses, their son’s pain and suffering, and the family’s emotional distress.

Sure Signal Heat-Activated Fire Alarms Recalled Due to Malfunction

Fire Alarms Recalled Due to Malfunction
Fire Alarms Recalled Due to Malfunction

A recall is being issued for roughly 375,000 Sure Signal heat-activated fire alarms because they can malfunction, failing to alert consumers in case of a fire. “A defective fusible link sensor (fuse) on the fire alarm can cause the alarm to fail to alert consumers of a fire.” a recall notice posted on the U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) website states.

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NHTSA Says Fiat Chrysler Under-Reported Injuries and Deaths

NHTSA Says Fiat Chrysler Under-Reported Injuries and Deaths
NHTSA Says Fiat Chrysler Under-Reported Injuries and Deaths

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Fiat Chrysler under-reported the number of deaths, injuries and legal claims it is required to report to regulators. NHTSA says the number of under-reported incidents is “significant”. Under the Tread Act, carmakers are obliged to report certain information to regulators. Financial Times reports that Fiat Chrysler found “deficiencies” in its system while looking into discrepancies.

NHTSA’s administration Mark Rosekind said “FCA [Fiat Chrysler] has informed NHTSA that in investigating that discrepancy, it has found significant under-reported notices and claims of deaths, injuries and other information required as part of the early warning reporting system,” according to Financial Times. The under-reporting stemmed from “a number of problems” said Mr. Rosekind. “This represents a significant failure to meet a manufacturer’s safety responsibilities.”

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3 Cigarette Companies Receive FDA Warning Letters

3 Cigarette Companies Receive FDA Warning Letters
3 Cigarette Companies Receive FDA Warning Letters

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has sent warning letters to three cigarette companies for making “additive-free” and/or “natural claims. ITG Brands LLC for Winston and Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Company Inc. for Natural American Spirit cigarettes were cited for making “additive-free” claims. The FDA also warned Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Company and Sherman’s 1400 Broadway N.Y.C. Ltd. for Nat Sherman cigarettes for labeling their products as natural.

In 2009, the FDA gained authority to regulate cigarettes and other tobacco products. The warning letters mark the first time the agency has ever exercised that authority. Mitch Zeller, director of the FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products, said in an FDA news release, “The FDA’s job is to ensure tobacco products are not marketed in a way that leads consumers to believe cigarettes with descriptors like ‘additive-free’ and ‘natural’ pose fewer health risks than other cigarettes, unless the claims have been scientifically supported,”

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Government Data Shows Rise in Recalls of Organic Foods

Government Data Shows Rise in Recalls of Organic Foods
Data Shows Rise in Recalls of Organic Foods

Data from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Department of Agriculture shows a sharp increase in the number of recalls of organic food products.

Stericycle, a company that handles recalls for businesses, uses this government data to compile quarterly reports on food recalls. Organic food products accounted for 7 percent of all food units recalled so far this year, compared with 2 percent of those recalled last year, according to the New York Times.

Organic food accounted for only 1 percent of the total units recalled in 2012 and 2013. Kevin Pollack, Stericycle vice president, said the growing demand for organic ingredients was at least partly responsible for the increase in organic food recalls. Pollack said it is “striking” that since 2012, “all organic recalls have been driven by bacterial contamination, like salmonella, listeria and hepatitis A, rather than a problem with a label.” Bacterial contamination can cause serious illnesses and deaths, especially for the very young, the elderly, and those with weakened immune systems. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that food-borne illnesses cause about 3,000 deaths annually. The overall amount of food recalled because of suspected bacterial contamination has increased this year, adding to an upward trend in food recalls since 2012, according to the Times. Stericycle predicts a 24 percent increase in the number of food units that will be recalled this year, the Times reports.

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APA Review Indicates Violent Video Games are Linked to Aggression

APA Calls for Greater Parental Controls in Violent Games
APA Calls for Greater Parental Controls in Violent Games

Playing violent video games is a risk factor for aggressive behavior, a review by the American Psychological Association (APA) task force on violent media indicates. The review looked at more than 300 violent video game studies published between 2005 and 2013. Aggressive behavior was not caused by a single influence but was an “accumulation of risk factors”, the report showed. It stated that “The research reviewed here demonstrates that violent video game use is one such risk factor.” according to Press Association.

“Scientists have investigated the use of violent video games for more than two decades but to date, there is very limited research addressing whether violent video games cause people to commit acts of criminal violence.” said Dr. Mark Appelbaum, who chaired the APA task force. “However, the link between violence in video games and increased aggression in players is one of the most studied and best established in the field…We know that there are numerous risk factors for aggressive behaviour.”

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