Reports of Burns Prompt Coffee Maker Recall

Sunbeam Products, Inc. has announced a recall of over half a million Mr. Coffee brand coffee makers. The recall is in response to reports of a defect that has already caused injury to a number of users.

“Product safety recalls are serious business,” said Zephyrhills personal injury attorney Robert Alston. “The media do a good job of getting the information out there, but consumers need to do the legwork of checking to see whether their specific product has been recalled.”

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, Health Canada, and Sunbeam Products are cooperating on the voluntary recall. The announcement applies to certain Mr. Coffee Single Cup Brewing Systems sold in the United States and Canada. The product is just under one foot tall, has a removable drip tray, and comes in black with red, white, or silver trim. They were sold for up to $80 at retailers including Wal-Mart, Target, and Bed Bath & Beyond, as well as online merchants.

Reports indicate that steam can build up in the brewing chamber to the point where it forces the chamber open during brewing, ejecting hot water, steam, and coffee grounds. 164 users have reported the brewing chamber opening, and 61 have reported burns to their face, hands, or upper torso. 59 of those burn reports were in the United States, and two in Canada.

Sunbeam Products has created a website at where consumers can find out if their unit has been recalled and get further instructions. Eligible customers will be able to return to coffee maker and receive a replacement at no charge to them. In the meantime, those with recalled machines should stop using them immediately.

“Anyone injured by a consumer product should document the injury and speak to an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible,” added Mr. Alston.

Posted on Tuesday, October 9th, 2012. Filed under News & Press, Personal Injury.

Safety is Critical Now That the Home is Full of Toys

The Consumer Product Safety Commission announced late last year that toys were safer for the holiday season then they had been in years, but just because the holidays are over and all the presents are unwrapped does not mean parents can let up paying attention to their children’s playthings.

Injuries and recalls of dangerous toys are down for a number of reasons. New safeguards have limited the use of lead, third-party testing has highlighted problematic toys and the Department of Homeland Security is helping to track shipments leading to more toy seizures. The agency also set tight limits on the use of some phthalates and cadmium.

Toy recalls were down sharply in FY 2011. Only 34 toys were recalled last year – down from 46 in 2010, 50 in 2009 and 172 in 2008, according to a CPSC release.

Toys with small parts, balls and balloons continue to be the most problematic, according to CPSC chairwoman Inez Tenenbaum. Toys that are inappropriate for certain age groups can be deadly. There are about 15 toy-related fatalities every year and half of those are attributed to choking on balls and balloons.

“Strong toy standards support the production of safer toys in the marketplace,” Tenenbaum said. “Parents and toy shoppers also always need to be vigilant by choosing age-appropriate toys and keeping small parts, balls, and balloons out of the hands of young children.”

Deflated balloons should always be discarded immediately. Toys with small parts can be a dangerous choking hazard and should be kept away from children under 3.

Children under 6 years old should be kept away from magnets, which if swallowed can be potentially harmful and possibly fatal, according to the CPSC.

More than 180,000 children under 15-years-old went to the emergency room in 2010 because of toy-related injuries. More than any other toy, non-motorized scooters sent more kids to the ER with lacerations and broken bones, according to the CPSC press release.

Riding toys including scooters, skateboards and in-line skates should be used only with appropriate safety gear like helmets and knee pads. Safety gear should be fitted properly by an adult.

Even though the main gift-giving month is over, the CPSC advises diligence from parents as toys are exchanged or bought with gift cards received during the holidays. Now that parents have a house full of toys, it is important for parents of children of different ages to keep toys separated from younger siblings that can be hurt by them.

Posted on Wednesday, January 18th, 2012. Filed under Personal Injury.

Children Most Susceptible to Serious Head Injuries as Outdoor Summertime Fun Nears

Zephyrhills, Fla. – With the warm months of summertime quickly approaching, kids are bound to be outside playing with friends and running around. Climbing in trees, bouncing on trampolines and having contests are what being a kid is all about. But without supervision or some rules, kids can become victims of slip and fall injuries.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that an estimated half a million hospital visits are made for head injuries by children 14 years old and below. Slip and fall accidents account for 50 percent of the cases. And children from zero to four years old and teens from 15 to 19 years old are the most susceptible to these traumatic brain injuries.

“Kids should have fun and enjoy their friends and the outdoors,” said Robert Alston, Zephyrhills serious injury attorney. “Your duty as a parent is to prevent these accidents as much as possible – actively look out for dangers in and around your house and ask your child about the games or activities they are doing at a friend’s home.”

Parents can do everything to ensure their home and property is safe, but the same cannot be said of public places. Alston has dealt with cases of unsafe retail shops, restaurants, sidewalks and more, and knows that it sometimes takes legal action to rectify these perils. Hazardous conditions can lead to severe head trauma and cause seizures, neurological defects and sometimes death.

The Florida-based Traumatic Brain Injury Resource and Support Center advises parents to seek medical attention if their child has the following symptoms:

–          very sleepy or hard to wake up

–          unable to focus the eyes normally, loss of smell and taste

–          difficulty walking

–          vomits multiple times after hitting head

–          seizures

–          head, neck or back pain

–          difficulties with memory, processing information, paying attention

–          anxiety and egocentric behaviors

“When your child is trying to recover, the last thing you need to do is try to fight the legal and insurance issues on your own,” said Alston. “Legal counsel is critical in protecting your child’s and your family’s right to adequate compensation and medical care.”

The best advice for prevention of slip and fall accidents for kids is to not leave young kids unsupervised, use baby gates to prevent jumping from stairs, always buckle the kids in shopping carts and high chairs, and have them wear a helmet during sports activities.

The Disability Law Firm has more than a decade of experience in serious injury law matters. They are known for their tenacity and compassion to efficiently resolve a child’s devastating injuries.

For more information please contact:

Robert C. Alston, Tampa and Zephyrhills Serious Injury Attorney

Posted on Saturday, July 2nd, 2011. Filed under News & Press, Personal Injury.