Today’s question comes from Robert W. in Pinole who asks “I bought a [name of brand deleted] bike recently and when I was using it the front fork cracked, broke, and sent me over the handlebars where I landed on my head and shoulder. Thank God I was wearing a helmet. My head is OK, but I broke my shoulder. My research shows that the bike frame was probably made in China. I bought the bike at a local store, not a chain, they said they would refund me my money or give me a replacement frame. When I asked if they would pay my medical bills they told me that they are not responsible, and I need to go after the manufacturer in China. How do I do that?”
Lisa from Petaluma asks, “I see so many young people vaping today. Is vaping safe? Why do e-cigarettes explode? If someone is burned, what are their legal rights?”
Lisa, the use of e-cigarettes, e-pens, e-pipes, e-hookah, and e-cigars is seen by many as a “safer” way to ingest nicotine than smoking. Sales of these devices are skyrocketing and expected to exceed $10 billion by 2018. While users do not inhale cigarette smoke, which is a witches’ brew of toxin and carcinogens, nicotine itself is not safe. Moreover, multiple studies have shown the vapor from e-cigarettes contains harmful chemicals.
Ikea announced a voluntary recall of 29 million chests and drawers, after three children died in the past two years because of dresser tip-over accidents. The recall affects MALM dressers and chests of drawers with three or more drawers, as well as a number of other Ikea models.
This week’s question comes from Susan in Bernal Heights. She asks, “Chris, I heard recently that thousands of young kids are poisoned each year from eating laundry pods they think is candy. Why isn’t anything being done to protect our children?”
Susan, thank you for raising this issue. As a parent myself, I find it deeply troubling that some of the nation’s largest corporations are selling an extremely toxic household product and have failed to take all reasonable measures to safeguard our children from accidental exposure to the product.
Editor’s Note: If your child suffered a grave injury after accidentally ingesting detergent in a laundry pod, please click here to contact. We will review your claim for free and with no obligation on your part.
This week’s question comes from Randolf G. in the Sunset who asks “I heard that there has been a recall of cars with certain airbags because they are exploding and causing injury to people with sharp metal flying out with the airbag. I own a 2005 Ford Ranger. Am I in danger?”
Randolf, you may indeed be in danger and you should take your car to a dealer to have the air bag checked to see if it is in the lot or batch of defective airbags. Ford is recalling nearly 391,000 of its Ranger pickup trucks because the driver’s side airbag inflators can explode with too much force causing injury or death.
This week’s question comes from Craig F. who lives in the Mission District. It is a follow up on last week’s article on “Hover Boards/Power Boards.” Craig asks: “I am 15 and I got a Hover Board for Christmas. I was riding it on the sidewalk and a cop told me I couldn’t ride it on the sidewalk, that I was too young to use it, and that, anyways I needed a helmet. He said I could either get off and walk or he could write me a ticket and confiscate the board. I felt like he was just busting my chops. Is this for real? What’s the dealeo Dolan?”
I am glad to see that the S.F. Examiner includes readers of all ages and I thank you Craig for the question, it’s a timely one.
Gary from Berkley writes: “I bought one of the popular hoverboards for my teenage son for Christmas. The first time my son used the hoverboard he rode in our house from the hallway to the living room. He went flying from the hoverboard and crashed into our coffee table after he encountered a small rise in the floor due to the living room rug. I thought hoverboards were safe and easy to ride even by teens. I feel misrepresented to. What are my legal rights?”
Gary, you were one of countless parents that recently bought a hoverboard for their children. The motorized, two-wheeled, self-balancing scooters – which can accelerate to 10-12 miles per hour – were one of the most popular gifts during the holiday season.
My college age son came home from college for the Thanksgiving Holiday and went out with a bunch of friends. He isn’t a smoker, but one of the boys he was with had an E-Cigarette and he wanted to try it. He has never used one before. This was a brand new device that the friend had just purchased. When my son attempted to use the cigarette, it became a ball of fire and severely burned his face. My son is no longer on our insurance, and is not working. We are now facing very large medical expenses, and no one can tell us if his face will completely heal. What are our rights, and how is such a dangerous thing allowed on the market?
Finding out that your car has been recalled is an unpleasant experience. You might worry for your safety or the safety of your family. At the very least, it is an irritation providing one more thing to deal with in your busy life. How people respond to this situation varies greatly from individual to individual. The record number of recalls in 2014 provides an excellent opportunity to analyze how recall notices are handled by the driving public.
In 2006, a police investigator in Wisconsin was looking for the cause of an accident that claimed the lives of two teenagers. With the limited resources of a single office looking into a solitary crash, that investigator was able to conclude that a defective ignition switch caused the car to lose power, veer off the road and collide with a guardrail. Because the defect turned the car’s power off, the air bags did not inflate. This was not the first time the defect had claimed a life.