Fisher-Price and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission have announced a voluntary recall of millions of tricycles, toy cars, high chairs and inflatable ball toys due to reports of injuries – including genital bleeding.

The products involved in the recall include:

    1. Fisher-Price Tough Trikes toddler tricycles. So far, 10 injuries in 2- to 3-year-old girls have been reported to Fisher-Price and the CPSC, and six of those required medical attention. The girls were injured by falling on the disc-shaped or D-shaped plastic key that protrudes from the seat by at least 5/8 of an inch, and is located 3 inches in front of the seat. Approximately 7 million of the tricycles were sold in the United States between January 1997 and September. The tricycles involved in the recall have a manufacture run number higher than 1670Q2; the run number can be found under the seat below the model number. Fisher-Price Trikes and Tough Trikes toddler tricycles were recalled in the United States, as well as some in Canada, because of a protruding, plastic “ignition” key that could result in injury and even genital bleeding if a child fell on it.
    2. Approximately 100,000 Little People Wheelies Stand ‘n Play Rampway toys in the United States and Canada. The toy is sold with small cars that have wheels which may detach and pose a choking hazard. The cars at issue are the purple and green cars marked with the word “MEXICO” and don’t have a yellow dot on the bottom.
    3. Nearly 1 million Fisher-Price Healthy Care, Easy Clean and Close to Me High Chairs were recalled in the United States and Canada, because children can fall on the rear pegs, used for high-chair storage, and suffer injury or laceration. All three high chairs have a folding frame and reclining seat. Families can find the manufacture date by looking at the date code on the back of the seat — if the fourth digit in the date code is 6 or less, it’s included in the recall.
    4. Nearly 3 million Fisher-Price infant toys with inflatable balls were recalled because they may pose a choking hazard . Forty-six incidents in which the valve came off the ball were reported, and in 14 reports, children put the valves in their mouths. In three reports, a child had begun to choke. This recall includes the following Fisher-Price products:

A. All Baby Playzone Crawl & Cruise Playground,

    B. Baby Playzone Crawl & Slide Arcade,
    C. Baby Gymtastics Play Wall
    D. Bat & Score Goal
    E. Ocean Wonders Kick & Crawl Aquarium The date code for the Ocean Wonders toy is located on the back of the fabric tag on the quilt, if the fourth digit of the date code is 7 or lower, the product has been recalled.
    F. 1-2-3 Tetherball toys manufactured before 2008. The date code for the Tetherball toy is located on the bottom of the base. If the fourth digit of the date code is 7 or lower, the product has been recalled.

Some of the toys have been marketed by Fisher-Price for 10 years. The Fisher Price spokesperson Juliette Reashor said it took the company several years to agree to and to announce these recalls “because it’s important for the company to find repetition in injury reports, to determine if incidents are isolated or if there’s a pattern related to the toy.”

Families can contact Fisher-Price at 800-432-5437 or for free replacements or fixes for the recalled toys. The company recommends all families to remove all recalled items from their children’s reach.

Montes Law Group, P.C.
Rachel Montes
1121 Kinwest Parkway, Suite 100

Irving, Texas 75063

Telephone (214) 522-9401

Facebook @ Montes Herald Law Group, L.L.P.


ABC News has reported that in 2009 Johnson & Johnson engaged in an attempt to buy up defective Motrin packages in order to avoid an official recall. The ABC News story reported that the president of Johnson & Johnson directed contractors to go into 5,000 convenience stores around the country and to quietly purchase all of the defective Motrin product in the store to avoid alerting the public as to the defect in the Motrin.

One of the alleged contractors, Lynn Walther, said he was given instructions: “You should simply act like a regular customer while making these purchases, the document said. “There must be no mention of this being a recall of the product. Run in, find the product, make your purchase and run out.”

ABC News reported that the defect with the Motrin product was that the capsules did not dissolve after it was ingested.

This investigation arose as a result of a previous investigative probe of numerous recalls of other Johnson & Johnson products since last September involving tens of millions of bottles of Tylenol and other Johnson & Johnson non-prescription medicines for allegedly containing the wrong doses of active ingredients and investigations concerning contamination of the medicines with bacteria or tiny metal shards.

The FDA claims it was unaware that Johnson & Johnson engaged in this secret recall, but Johnson & Johnson is claiming that the FDA was aware of this effort.

Congress is currently investigating whether Johnson & Johnson’s attempted the “phantom” recall was conducted without the knowledge of the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) and whether it violated federal laws. The hearing is scheduled for September 30, 2010.

Montes Law Group, P.C.

Rachel Montes and Tom Herald

1121 Kinwest Parkway, Suite 100

Irving, Texas 75063

Telephone (214) 522-9401

Facebook @ Montes Law Group, P.C.


McNeil Consumer Healthcare has issued the voluntary recall late Friday in the United States and 11 other countries after consulting with the FDA. The recall involves children’s versions of Tylenol, Tylenol Plus, Motrin, Zyrtec and Benadryl, because they don’t meet quality standards.

According to McNeil and the FDA, some of the products recalled may have a higher concentration of active ingredient than is specified on the bottle. Others may contain particles, while still others may contain inactive ingredients that do not meet internal testing requirements.

The FDA called the potential for serious medical problems “remote,” but it advised consumers to stop using the medicine as a precaution. It said a health care professional should be consulted if a child has recently taken any of the recalled products and is exhibiting unexpected symptoms.

The FDA also says parents in the interim should consider substitute child medications, such as generic versions. It does not recommend that children be given adult-strength Tylenol or Motrin because they are not intended for younger age groups.

The FDA said it was reviewing procedures at McNeil, which appears to be the sole source of the problems. “We are following through with the facility to make certain that everything has been checked,” said FDA spokeswoman Elaine Gansz Bobo.

Details of the recall are also available on the internet or by telephone at 1-888-222-6036.

Montes Law Group, P.C.

1121 Kinwest Parkway, Suite 100
Irving, Texas 75063
Telephone: (214) 522-9401

Facebook @ Montes Herald Law Group, L.L.P.

TOYOTA EXPECTED TO PAY RECORD FINE OF $16.4 MILLION | Dallas, Texas Personal Injury Attorney Blog

Toyota faces a deadline today to file a contest to the nearly $16.4 million fine issued by the Department of Transportation over evidence it knew about sticking gas pedals in September but did not issue a recall until January. Under federal law, automakers are required to notify the government within five business days when they find a potential safety defect.

The fine, announced by the Transportation Department April 5 is the largest civil penalty ever against an automaker. Toyota Motor Corp. is expected to agree to pay the fine, the largest government penalty ever levied against an automaker, for Toyota’s four-month delay in telling federal authorities about defective gas pedals on its vehicles. If Toyota does not file a contest, then it must pay the fine within the next 30 days. However, even if Toyota pays the fine, it is not agreeing that the payment of the fine constitutes and admission of liability over these problems.

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said early this month that documents obtained from the Japanese automaker showed that Toyota knew of the problem with the sticking gas pedals in late September 2009, but that Toyota did not issue a recall until late January, 2010. The sticking gas pedal recall involved approximately 2.3 million vehicles. “We now have proof that Toyota failed to live up to its legal obligations,” Secretary LaHood said in a statement. “Worse yet, they knowingly hid a dangerous defect for months from U.S. officials and did not take action to protect millions of drivers and their families.” The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said documents provided by Toyota showed the automaker had known about the sticky pedal defect at least since September 29, 2009, when it issued repair procedures to distributors in 31 European countries to address complaints of sticking pedals, sudden increases in engine RPM and sudden vehicle acceleration. The documents also showed that Toyota knew that owners in the United States had experienced the same problems. For those reasons, LaHood said, the government is a seeking fine of $16.375 million, the maximum penalty possible.

The government has linked 52 deaths to crashes allegedly caused by accelerator problems in Toyotas. The recalls have led to congressional hearings, a criminal investigation by federal prosecutors, 100 personal injury and wrongful death cases in federal courts lawsuits as well as 138 potential class action lawsuits, and an intense review by the Transportation Department. The company has been named in 138 potential class-action lawsuits over falling vehicle values and about 100 personal injury and wrongful death cases in federal courts. Federal prosecutors and the Securities and Exchange Commission are conducting investigations related to the recalls.

Transportation officials have not ruled out additional fines. The department is reviewing whether Toyota also failed to comply with notice requirements by delaying for about six weeks before issuing the January, 2010 recall of the 2009-2010 Venza in the United States to address floor mats that could entrap the accelerator pedal after making a similar recall in Canada. Toyota recalled the Venza in Canada in December and reported to the U.S. government on December 16, 2009 that the floor mats could move forward while the vehicle is in use and “may interfere with the accelerator pedal.” Toyota told U.S. authorities at the time that the floor mats in question were not imported into the U.S. but the Venza was added to the floor mat recall in late January.

Obviously, this chapter in Toyota’s history is far from over as it continues to face mounting scrutiny of its products and its disclosures to consumers and to federal officials. There is no dispute that historically, private lawsuits have been a major positive influence in forcing manufacturers to make safer products. Even when the government is conducting its own investigation, as it is in this case, private lawsuits often uncover even more evidence and facts that the manufacturer was aware of the defects and the dangers of its products. As a result, the individual lawsuits against Toyota pose a real threat to Toyota if it has not fully and truthfully disclosed all of the information it has. We will continue to monitor the developments and periodically update you on some of the significant events.

Montes Law Group, P.C.

Attorneys: Rachel Montes

1121 Kinwest Parkway, Suite 100

Irving, Texas 75063

Telephone (214) 522-9401

Facebook at Montes Law Group, P.C.

Warning About Amputation Hazards With Dog Leashes | Dallas, Texas Personal Injury Attorney Blog

In 2007 there were 16,564 hospital-treated injuries associated with leashes, according to Consumer Union’s analysis of statistics collected by the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Of those, about 10.5 percent involved children 10 and younger; 23.5 percent involved injuries to the finger. The CPSC’s data does not parse the leashes into types but it’s likely that the amputations were caused by retractable leashes.

The most common injuries reported were burns and cuts, usually sustained when the cord came in contact with skin as it rapidly paid out from the handle of a leash. Others occurred when the cord got wrapped around part of the owner or the dog.

The Consumer Product Safety Council (CPSC) has announced only one recall of retractable leashes in recent years. Last September 223,000�@”Slydog” brand retractable leashes were recalled after several complaints were received by the agency about the metal clip breaking and flying off.

The following story is a reminder of how dangerous some of these dog leashes are.

Heather Todd didn’t bring a leash with her the day she took her pooch Penny to a pond near Boston in 2005. So she borrowed a retractable dog leash to help keep her Labrador retriever in check.�@But it didn’t. The 90-pound dog suddenly took off running and dragged Todd across the sand.

When she came to a stop and recovered her wits, she spotted something lying on the sand. With horror, she realized it was a human index finger; with greater horror, she realized it was her own. The cord of the retractable leash had looped around her finger and pulled taut when Penny bolted.

“It just cut it off like a sharp knife,” Todd says.

She wrapped her hand in a towel, grabbed the finger, and headed to the hospital, but doctors were unable to reattach it. Todd, who’s now in nursing school, says there are times when her missing finger causes problems. “I get by. You just adjust,” she says.

Todd’s story may sound like a freak accident, but retractable leashes are responsible for a surprising number of injuries each year, including amputations. Todd sued the maker of the leash as well as the distributor, as have others who have been injured by retractable leashes. Todd told us that the company settled her case for an undisclosed amount.

Southlake Woman Killed When Her Toyota Corolla Went Out of Control. Meanwhile, Toyota Tells Congress Its Vehicles Are Safe. | Dallas, Texas Personal Injury Attorney Blog

While Toyota continues to assure Congress and the world that its vehicles are safe, police in Southlake, Texas are investigating another fatal collision involving a Toyota Corolla that killed Waynoka Ricord (77) of Southlake. Texas. On Sunday, February 28, 2010, as Ms. Ricord was driving home from work, her car veered off the road and hit a tree, bounced off and hit a second tree. Police have not had sufficient time to determine whether the crash is related to the recent recall problems that have been linked with so many Toyota vehicles. While the Corolla involved in this wreck was not on the list of vehicle recalls announced by Toyota, many critics of Toyota have been alleging that the scope of Toyota’s recall is too limited and is not covering all of the vehicles affected.Waynoka Ricord. She died early Sunday at Baylor Regional Medical Center at Grapevine shortly after the wreck.

As far back as 2004, government investigators were looking at 2002-2003 Toyota Camrys and Solaras and Lexus ES 300s to determine whether they were defective, gathering information about 37 owner complaints of sudden acceleration, according to the Center for Auto Safety.

Last week, during Congressional hearings, James Lentz, president and chief operating officer of Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc. testified, “We are confident that no problems exist with the electronic throttle-control system in our vehicles.” Lentz claimed Toyota conducted extensive testing of the system’s fail-safe mechanisms. But under questioning from Henry Waxman, Mr. Lentz conceded he was “not totally” certain that Toyota had fixed the problem. To safeguard against further occurrences, the company said it would install brake-override systems in its new North American vehicles by the end of year, and that Toyota would retrofit older models where possible.

Toyota’s failure to include a brake override system in its design has been widely criticized, especitally since over vehicle manufacturers foresaw the need for this safety design and included a brake override system in their vehicles. The brake override systems allow a driver to stop a car with the footbrake even if the accelerator is depressed and the vehicle is running at full throttle. “If the brake and the accelerator are in an argument, the brake wins,” a spokesman at Chrysler said in describing the systems, which it began installing in 2003. Likewise, Volkswagen, Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz have also installed such systems in their cars as far back as 10 years ago. In addition, General Motors installs brake override in all of its cars in which it is possible for the engine at full throttle to overwhelm the brakes. “Most other automakers have adopted this technology,” said Sean Kane, a former researcher at the Center for Auto Safety who now works at Safety Research and Strategies. Not adding the systems “is one of the mistakes that created this perfect storm for Toyota.” However, Toyota did not respond to questions about its decisions not to include a brake override as part of the design of its vehicles.

The following year models have been added to the list of vehicles which will receive brake override upgrade: 2005-2010 Tacoma, 2009-2010 Venza and 2008-2010 Sequoia. Toyota previously announced that the system would be installed onto the 2007-2010 Camry, 2005-2010 Avalon, and the 2007-2010 Lexus ES 350, 2006-2010 IS 350 and 2006-2010 IS 250 models. The brake override feature is not an integral part of the recall remedy, but is instead being added as an extra measure of confidence for Toyota owners. It will be installed on Tacoma and Venza at the same time as the recall modifications are performed.

Meanwhile, owners of Toyota vehicles are still finding it difficult to determine how they should respond to all of the safety concerns concerning Toyota vehicles. Representative Edolphus Towns, Democrat of New York, is trying to force Toyota to extend to all owners of Toyota vehicles the same type of protections that the New York attorney general, Andrew M. Cuomo, was able to get for citizens of New York. As part of that settlement, Toyota agreed that it would pick up cars and trucks at the homes of drivers, pay for out-of-pocket transportation costs and offer drivers free rental cars during repairs.