KENNETH J. ALLEN LAW GROUP - INJURY ATTORNEYS
Illinois and Indiana Personal Injury Lawyers and Attorneys Trial and Civil Litigation Law Firm.
Accident & Injury Law
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Those three words best describe the driving forces behind Kenneth J. Allen Law Group. Our firm is devoted exclusively to the practice of Accident and Injury Law, and exclusively to the people - not corporations - seriously hurt or killed in incidents as varied as on-the-job accidents, semi-truck crashes, injuries from a defective product, or loss of life because of a doctor's medical malpractice.
As the only multi-state law firm in Valparaiso Indiana, Merrillville Indiana, Indianapolis Indiana, Northwest Indiana, Chicagoland, Joliet Illinois, Tinley Park Illinois, Chicago Illinois accepting serious injury and wrongful death cases, exclusively, Kenneth J. Allen Law Group is experienced and knowledgeable in the details and procedures that can make or break a case.
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RECALLS GET NEW FEDERAL RULE TO FIGHT AGAINST DANGEROUS CARS ON THE ROAD AND ACCIDENTS FROM VEHICLE DEFECTS: INDIVIDUAL VIN SEARCH FOR RECALLS BY AUGUST 2014
Cars, SUVs, Pickups, Minivans, Sedans, Passenger Vans, Convertibles, Motorcycles, Mopeds, Motorized Scooters – no matter the type of motor vehicle you drive, chances are high that the manufacturer of that vehicle has issued a recall of some of its products, or the federal government has recalled the manufacturer on its own. Recalls are commonplace among automobile manufacturers these days – and some of the recalls are more dangerous (and scary) than others.
Remember the Ford recalls for Ford trucks and sedans bursting into flames while parkedor the recent Toyota Lexus recalls for spontaneous acceleration? Also, consider some of our past coverage of automobile manufacturer recalls including:
- FORD WINDSTAR MINIVAN RECALL IMPACTS ILLINOIS AND INDIANA: IS YOUR MINIVAN DANGEROUS?
- MORE RECALLS – 2011 HYANDAI SONATA RECALLED, SALES STOPPED ACROSS THE NATION
Recalls Are The Result of Defective Products Being Sold and Driven on American Roads
The bottom line of any car recall is that the car has a problem, a defect, that needs repair or replacement at the automobile dealer. Sometimes these recalls are minor defects, and in more serious cases, the defects are major problems that can result in accidents and crashes where people are seriously injured or killed.
Wrongful deaths cases in car accidents may well point to a defective product or defective design in the car as the proximate cause of the accident. Complicated car crash injury lawsuits involve disputes not only regarding driver fault and road conditions, but whether or not the machines themselves played a role in the accident.
Currently, drivers have to depend upon media notifications or finding a notice in their mailbox to learn that their vehicle is subject to a recall. Anyone curious about their vehicle’s safety or perhaps suspicious that the vehicle is subject to a recall can go online and if they have the correct information, they can surf through recall information for that make and model and year via sites like SaferCar.Gov.
It’s troublesome for many drivers and car owners to do this. This week, the federal government announced that a new federal rule will be changing things.
New Federal Regulation Will Require Individual VIN Search for Manufacturer Recalls
The National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA) released news of a new federal requirement regarding all car recalls in the United States, to make it easier for everyone to find out about their particular vehicle and whether or not it is subject to a serious and dangerous recall situation: beginning in 2014, you will be able to surf using your own VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) to find out the details about any and all recalls that pertain to your specific vehicle.
This is especially important for those who own used vehicles as well as those who are considering buying a pre-owned vehicle. As the federal agency rule amendments (read them here) goes into effect, it will require all automobile and motorcycle manufacturers in the United States to place on the web as a free service a current roster of recalls pertaining to their products, searchable for free by VIN (they are required to update at least once a week). All these companies must have these web pages up and running byAugust 14, 2014. The Department of Transportation’s SaferCar.gov site will also have the free VIN recall search feature, compiling all the manufacturers’ information into one database.
“Every day NHTSA is working for the American consumer to ensure that automakers and motorcycle manufacturers address safety defects and non-compliances, and that they also recall affected vehicles in a timely manner,” said NHTSA Administrator David Strickland. “By making individual VIN searches readily available, we’re providing another service to car, light truck and motorcycle owners and potential owners – the peace of mind knowing that the vehicle they own, or that they are thinking of buying, is safe.”
This final rule requires large volume car, light truck and motorcycle manufacturers to provide search capability for uncompleted safety recalls on their websites. In addition, the rule will require manufacturers to inform NHTSA about exactly what type of propulsion system and crash avoidance technologies vehicles have. This new information will assist NHTSA’s efforts to spot defect trends related to those systems and technologies. Manufacturers also will be required to provide vehicle owners with direct notice of recalls within 60 days of notifying NHTSA that a recall is occurring.
Recalls happen every day in this country – all sorts of products are either voluntarily recalled by their manufacturer, or recalls are issued by the government to get dangerous items out of the public marketplace. Consider this — this week, so far, the following national recalls have happened:
- Stouffer’s Frozen Lasagna has been recalled by Nestle Food Company because some of its product can make people with fish allergies sick.
- Hospira is recalling some of its Morphine Sulfate Injection because they have more than the appropriate dosage.
- Office Depot is recalling desk chairs because they have a dangerous fall hazard.
It is very good news for all American consumers that manufacturers issue these voluntary recalls of their products when it is discovered that the product can hurt or seriously injure (even kill) someone. Of course, there are those who will point out that this is in the manufacturer’s best interests, since they are legally liable for any injuries that their products cause.
And this is true. Under state law as well as federal statute, manufacturers of products as well as those in the distribution chain (those who had the task of getting the product from its maker to the injury victim) can be held financially responsible for the injuries caused by a defective and damaged product.
This is what is referred to as products liability law. Many recalls have become the basis for major personal injury litigation based upon products liability laws, where state legislatures (like those in Indiana and Illinois) as well as the U.S. Congress, have passed laws for safe products that have been violated. Consider this — this week, the following recalls are now among those making national news as they proceed as major products liability personal injury lawsuits:
- This week, a wrongful death lawsuit has been filed by the parents of a baby whose death inspired a national recall. Johnson & Johnson and subsidiary McNeil PPC have been sued by the grieving parents of their 2-month-old infant son, Markus Cherry, who died after being given Concentrated Tylenol Infant Drops (which was later found to have been defective, as it contained harmful bacteria). Baby Markus’ death led to the national recall of 40 different types ofinfants’ and children’s medications. This is probably not the only lawsuit that will spring from this recall.
- Yesterday, it was announced that the parents of a 2 year old little boy had settled their wrongful death lawsuit – although at least ten (10) other similar cases remain active – after they filed a wrongful death action against Triad Group and its sister company, H&P Industries, claiming that their son Harry Kothari died because of Triad’s defective product, contaminated baby wipes. Triad and H&P did issue a voluntarily recall after little Harry died from contaminated wipes and swabs containing harmful bacteria. The Food and Drug Administration also shut down the Triad plant after U.S. Marshals entered and seized $6 million worth of products.
- Defective products made and recalled by DePuy Orthopaedics are now the subject of over 3500 different lawsuits, as victims of its defective ASR hip implants are joined together in multi district litigation before an Ohio federal district court, with trial predicted to start soon. We’ve been monitoring those hip replacement product lawsuits for awhile now, see our earlier post that provides details.