Articles Posted in Product Liability

After several months of investigation, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that manufacturers of over-the-counter and prescription drugs containing ranitidine, such as Zantac, must immediately pull their products from the market. The FDA’s announcement comes after researchers discovered that many of these drugs contain unsafe levels of a contaminant, commonly referred to as NDMA. New Hampshire individuals who suffered injuries after consuming an unsafe medication, such as Zantac, may have a claim for damages under the state’s product liability laws.

Despite numerous studies indicating the link between ranitidine and cancer, for years, doctors and pharmacists have recommended these drugs for heartburn, stomach pains, and gastrointestinal issues. Moreover, evidence suggests that to protect their financial interest, some pharmaceutical companies concealed the link between cancer and the products for several years.

The FDA began conducting more extensive preliminary testing of the products’ NDMA levels after an online retailer alerted the agency of the extremely high levels of the cancer-causing agent in their products. Although, many food and drinks contain small levels of NDMA, the agency warns that the drugs in issue contain levels that are unsafe for human consumption. Some of the samples they tested contained insignificant levels of the contaminant; however, others had significant levels of the impurity. They discovered that the impurity level increased when the product was left out at higher temperatures for more extended periods.

Many popular baby product brands who sell infant recliners are receiving intense scrutiny after several babies have died while using these products. These products were designed with incorrect and unsafe beliefs about infant sleep, and as a result, many families have suffered traumatic losses. Under New Hampshire products liability laws, families whose babies have died using a baby infant sleeper may be entitled to monetary compensation for their damages.

Although, many of these companies boasted that these products were a useful remedy for infants who had sleeping difficulties because of acid reflux, experts contend that there is no scientific evidence that an incline is helpful for this condition. Further, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) advises parents to abide by safe sleep guidelines. These guidelines include always placing infants on their backs on a flat, firm surface without any objects in the area. They report that deviating from these standards can result in suffocation and subsequent brain injury or death. Despite the AAP’s baby sleep guidelines, Fisher-Price continued to market its products as a “sleeper.”

In April 2019, the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) issued a consumer warning advising parents not to use their highly-reviewed Rock n’ Play infant sleeper. The CPSC, in conjunction with the AAP, urged the company to issue a recall following several reports that babies died while sleeping unrestrained in the recliner. Following intense pressure and negative exposure, the company voluntarily issued a recall, allowing customers to receive a voucher or refund for their product.

Recently, a state appellate court issued a written opinion in a New Hampshire personal injury case giving the court the opportunity to discuss product liability law as it pertained to the plaintiff’s claim that he contracted salmonella at the defendant restaurant. Ultimately, the court affirmed the jury’s $750,000 verdict in favor of the plaintiff.

According to the court’s opinion, the plaintiff contracted a case of salmonella shortly after consuming a hamburger while dining at the defendant restaurant. The plaintiff filed a New Hampshire personal injury case against the restaurant, claiming that it was liable for his injuries under the theory of strict product liability.

In its defense, the restaurant made several arguments, mostly focused on attacking the plaintiff’s theory of causation. For example, the restaurant pointed out that another person in the plaintiff’s party also ate a hamburger and that the plaintiff owned a pet lizard which could have been the source of the salmonella. The defendant also argued that the plaintiff ate other meals in between the meal at the defendant’s restaurant, and when he contracted salmonella.

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