San Francisco Injury Lawyer Blog

Articles Posted in Product Liability

Last summer, Californians and the nation watched in disbelief as the story of the Berkeley balcony collapse unfolded.  Six people died and many others were injured in the tragedy.  The pictures were shocking and made many of us think twice before stepping out onto our own balconies and terraces.  Some ten months later, lawmakers and others are trying to figure out what went wrong.  As a San Francisco construction law firm committed to helping people injured or left grieving by dangerous structures, the Brod Law Firm is following the developments.

State Senate Looks at Safety Records and State Law in Balcony Collapse Review

As KPIX reports, a California State Senate subcommittee is looking into what caused the deadly balcony collapse last June.  State Senator Jerry Hill focused the discussion on the history of the construction company that has been accused of performing shoddy construction that allegedly led to the structural failure.  Hill noted that the company has paid some $26.5 million to settle construction defect cases in the past.

hoverboard2It had been hailed as a star of the 2015 holiday season, until things started going terribly awry.  For several months now, our San Francisco product injury law firm has been following the problem of hoverboard fires in the Bay Area and throughout the nation.  In addition to the fires, falls and other hoverboard injuries are filling emergency rooms nationwide and causing great risk to riders of all ages.

Hoverboard Fire in Daly City Just One in a Continuing Trend

Late last week, according to CBS SF, police reported that a hoverboard caught fire in a Daly City home on April 4.  Police say the hoverboard was charging in the kitchen of a home on Merced Boulevard when it allegedly combusted.  Luckily, a resident of the home was able to put the fire out using a fire extinguisher, although fire officials still responded to ensure safety.  While no one was injured, it is not immediately clear if the fire caused property damage.

A problem we reported on in mid-December continues to endanger people, including children, in Northern California and nationwide – hoverboard fires.  Hoverboards certainly turns heads the first few time you encounter them (even if it isn’t quite what those of us old enough to have watched the Back to the Future trilogy think of when we first hear the name!) and they can take time to master.  A few bruises from tumbling off while mastering the ride are one thing, severe burns from an explosion are quite another and our team is here to serve as a law firm for hoverboard fire injuries in San Francisco, Santa Rosa, and Oakland.

Petaluma Fire Adds to List of Alleged Hoverboard Explosions

According to CBS SF, a hoverboard is being blamed for a home fire in Petaluma on Monday night.  The hoverboard was allegedly charging and plugged into a wall outlet when it exploded, catching fire and sending burning debris throughout the home.  Thankfully no one was injured, but officials estimate the damage to the home at around $10,000.

Fires have been in the news a lot in recent years.  While wildfires are tragic, causing substantial property damage and endangering lives, they are not the only type of blaze that impacts Californians.  Home structure fires are a very real danger that, as revealed in the discussion below, claims nearly 2,500 civilian lives a year (and we cannot ignore the deaths of brave first responders who make the ultimate sacrifice).  As an Oakland apartment fire lawyer, Attorney Greg Brod helps the injured and grieving recover monetary compensation from those responsible for apartment fires whether it is the manufacturer of a faulty device or a landlord who does not provide appropriate fire safety equipment.

Oakland Fire Claims Two Lives

On Monday morning, the danger of home fires became all too real for people residing in the 6200 block of Eastlawn Street in Oakland.  CBS reports that firefighters arrived around 1:15 AM, but the fire quickly grew to two alarms and it took crews an hour to finally extinguish the flames.  Sadly, a man and woman perished in the blaze.  The fire rendered two apartment units uninhabitable and CBS reports that there had been previous fires at the same building.  The fire remains under investigation.

It is hard to miss the signs that the holiday giving season is upon us.  For many children, the top item on their list for Santa is a so-called “hoverboard.”  Although it isn’t quite the air-riding skateboard some of us remember from Back to the Future II, hoverboards offer both transportation and excitement attracting both the young and young-at-heart.  If a hoverboard is on the wish list for someone you love, or if it makes your own “Dear Santa” letter, you need to know about the growing number of hoverboard fires.  As an injury lawyer with a keen understanding dangerous product and recreational injury claims, Attorney Greg Brod can help people injured by hoverboard fires as well as other injuries caused by toys r recreational equipment.  With three offices serving Northern California, his San Francisco, Santa Rosa, and Oakland product liability law firm wants to ensure holiday gifts don’t become holiday tragedies.

The Hoverboards of 2015

First things first: What exactly are the hoverboards of 2015?  Buzzfeed, a social and entertainment news site, published a fairly comprehensive report this summer titled Everything You Need to Know About the Hoverboard Craze.  The article references multiple types of hoverboards including a mothoverboardorized skateboard and a board with a single wheel in the center.  For those looking for a “true” hoverboard (a la Marty McFly), boards that actually hover above ground are largely in the development and testing stages.

droneOne of the most controversial tools used by the military and domestic government authorities has become the season’s most in-demand gift.  Drones are becoming more powerful and more accessible, with hobbyists of all ages taking the controls.  Drones are fascinating, but drone injuries are a very real danger.  From interfering with aircraft to injuring an operator or a bystander, drone accidents happen and our Northern California drone injury lawyer is prepared to use a variety of legal theories to advocate for those injured by drones in San Francisco and the surrounding regions.

Drone Nearly Collides with CHP Helicopter Over Martinez, CA

A close call in our area last weekend highlights a potential safety threat from privately operated drones and has the California Highway Patrol (“CHP”) urging operators to take care when flying the devices.  According to ABC7, on Saturday night a CHP helicopter was working with Martinez police and flying above Highway 4 when they spotted a small red light.  The light turned out to be a drone flying at nearly the same altitude as the helicopter, approximately 800 feet, despite the Federal Aviation Administration’s (“FAA”) recommendation that drones remain under 400 feet.  Luckily, the CHP pilots, travelling nearly 100mph, spotted the drone in time and banked allowing the drone to fly by the helicopter.  CHP officials believe they have identified the drone’s operator and have turned the incident over to the FAA to determine an appropriate response.

Eating healthy has never been so easy…or so hard.   Thanks to the Internet and increased access to information about nutrition and other health topics, consumers have a wealth of information at their fingertips.  Still, sometimes all that information becomes overwhelming, especially with more products appearing on store shelves making a wide range of promises.  Useful and accurate labeling is critical to enabling consumers to make informed choices.  Food labeling lawsuits allow consumers to fight back when companies make false and potentially dangerous promises.  As a food safety law firm in San Francisco, the Brod Law Firm believes consumers must be able to trust food labels and rely on companies to produce safe foods that live up to company promises.

herbsCalifornia Supreme Court Rules in Organic Labeling Case

Last week, the Supreme Court of California issued an important ruling in favor of consumers in a food labeling lawsuit.  At issue according to NBC7 was whether consumers could file suit in California alleging that a product was falsely labeled “organic.”  A lower appeals court had ruled such suits were barred by federal law which typically supersedes state law.  That decision, handed down in 2013, held that Congress intended that government officials would be solely responsible for policing the term in order to create a uniform national standard.

The family has gathered, the feast has been eaten, and the hosts are contemplating the inevitable leftovers.  Today is the unofficial kickoff to the holiday shopping season, although it seems like some stores have been holiday-ready for weeks!  As you begin to think about gifts for the youngest set, we urge you to consider the issues of toy safety.  Some of the hardest cases we see in our office involve children and our San Francisco, Oakland, and Santa Rosa toy injury lawyer wants children in Northern California and worldwide to enjoy a fun and safe holiday season.

WATCH Releases 2015 10 Worst Toys Listgifts2

World Against Toys Causing Harm,  a mouthful of a name that lends itself to the handy acronym “WATCH,” believes (as does our firm) that “One injury to one child as a result of a poorly designed or manufactured children’s product is one too many.”  Sadly, the group explains on its website, the toy industry makes some $70 billion worth of sales worldwide each year and with thousands of avoidable toy injuries occurring every year, WATCH believes that “safety often takes a back seat to earnings.”

It seems like food safety is in the news more and more.  Last week, officials announced that an e. coli outbreak tentatively linked to a major chain restaurant has hit California (CBS News).  Foodborne bacteria LOVE the holidays.  As you contemplate Thursday’s feast, our San Francisco food safety law firm has some advice on holiday food safety to ensure foodborne illness doesn’t hit your Thanksgiving table.

Foodborne Illness and Holiday Celebrations

thanksgiving2Foodborne bacteria can strike at home as well as in commercial dining establishments.  The Centers for Disease Control (“CDC”) webpage Tracking and Reporting Foodborne Disease Outbreaks reports that 48% of the outbreaks linked to a known single setting from 2009-2010 involved a restaurant or deli while 21% involved food consumed in a private home.  We suspect these numbers might be skewed since it is easier to trace a larger outbreak to its source.  Regardless, consumers have much greater control when it comes to home cooking.

From hard corners softened with cushions to outlets plugged with guards, parents spend hours making their homes safe for their children.  Still, even the most diligent parent can’t spot every potential danger in their own homes or in other places children visit.  That truth is one of many reasons we demand that companies produce and sell safe products, a demand backed up by California’s strict liability rules in product liability cases.  At The Brod Law Firm, a San Francisco child injury law firm, we believe in both prevention and accountability.  Today’s blog entry looks at a danger lurking in many buildings including children’s homes, child care centers, and the residences of relatives or other caregivers – window blind cords.  We encourage every parent to be alert for this danger, but we also believe the manufacturers should be held responsible when unnecessarily dangerous products harm our children.

ABC7 Reports on Strangulation Danger Despite Industry Standards

The threat of strangulation by window blind cords is not an unknown danger, but ABC7 recently investigated and found the danger remains despite industry standards intended to prevent child injury and child deaths.  According to the report, the government estimates that one child dies every month after being strangled by blind cords.  The news channel relays the story of one California toddler whose mother had tied the pull cord out of reach to protect blindsher children and then, one tragic day, found her son dangling from blinds near his crib.  Sixteen month old Jacob had gotten trapped in the inner cord of the window coverings.