INSIGHTS On Massachusetts Personal Injury Law

Welcome to the SUGARMAN blog. We'll be sharing our perspectives on the state of the law and current legal issues in Massachusetts personal injury law. Issues relating to medical malpractice, construction site injuries, premises liability, product liability, motor vehicle accidents, insurance, and more will all be reviewed here by our team of lawyers who have prosecuted some of the most complex cases in Massachusetts personal injury law.

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2013 Holiday Hazard Guide: Read Before (And After) You Buy

With only eight shopping days until Christmas, many people will be scrambling to the stores to buy last-minute gifts. Before you purchase just any toy for that young child on your shopping list, take a look at the 28th annual “Trouble in Toyland” report, released last month by the U.S. Public Interest Research Group (PIRG). The report outlines safety issues in toys for small children, and provides safety guidelines for consumers. This year’s report focuses on potential choking hazards, “toxic” toys and noise hazards. PIRG investigated several different toys containing small parts for labeling compliance regarding choking hazards as well as appropriate age warnings. Potentially “toxic” toys were tested for the content of eight different metals and chemicals, among them, arsenic, lead and mercury. One example on the toxic toy list this year is the “Captain America Soft Shield,” sold by Toys R’ Us, which tested positive for lead content at 2900 parts per million, over twenty-nine times the allowable level in the U.S. for any toys manufactured after August 2011. Toys featured in the “noise hazard” section of the report are those that exceed eighty-five decibels, and are intended to be held close to the ear. Not surprisingly, this year’s featured “noise hazards” are variations of toy cell phones, which can potentially damage hearing in young children. No matter how strict the regulations, many “dangerous” toys make it to the marketplace every year. It is important to understand the dangers associated with toys for small children, and PIRG’s annual report provides education and guidance on these issues to consumers.

Once you have checked everyone off of your holiday list for 2013, take a look back at those gifts you purchased and received over the past year. On December 12, 2013, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPCS) announced the recall by eight retailers of the 32-inch Coby flat screen television. An electronic component within the television can catch fire, igniting items around it. CPSC also recently announced a recall of 2013 Trek Madone bicycles, which, because of a faulty front brake system, can cause a crash hazard to riders. The CPCS website is an excellent resource for product recall information and other consumer safety news.

Even your holiday decorations can be dangerous. Just this morning, CPCS announced the recall of Twinkling Pine 7.5 foot pre-lit artificial Christmas trees. According to the recall announcement, the “electrical components of the tree’s light strings can overheat and melt, posing fire, burn and shock hazards to consumers.” It is important to be knowledgeable about the products we use, and those we give and receive, so that we can keep ourselves and our loved ones safe this and every holiday season.

When you or someone you love is injured by a defective product, a personal injury lawyer should be consulted regarding the potential liability of the manufacturer and retailer. SUGARMAN has a team of dedicated personal injury attorneys who represent those who have been injured. If you have been hurt in an accident and wish to speak to one of our attorneys regarding liability, please fill out a Contact Form, call us at (617) 542-1000 or e-mail