Trampolines Recalled by Sportspower Due to Injury Hazard; Sold Exclusively at Sports Authority

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has announced a voluntary recall of the following consumer product because the product could cause personal injuries or death due to product liability. Consumers should stop using recalled products immediately unless otherwise instructed. It is illegal to resell or attempt to resell a recalled consumer product.

Name of Product: Trampolines

Units: About 23,400

Manufacturer: Sportspower Ltd., of Hong Kong

Hazard: The trampoline’s metal legs can move out of position and puncture the jumping area, posing a risk of injury, including deep, penetrating puncture wounds, cuts and bruises to children and adults on the trampoline.

Incidents/Injuries: Sportspower is aware of one incident of the trampoline leg separating from the frame while in use, causing the leg to puncture through the jumping surface. No injuries have been reported.

Description: This recall involves Sportspower Parkside model TR-14FT-COM trampolines. The trampolines are 14 feet in diameter and were sold with an enclosure net. The trampolines have blue or light blue fabric on the safety matting and enclosure pole sleeves. The model number is marked on the packaging and instruction manual. “Parkside” is printed on the enclosure net.

Sold exclusively at: Sports Authority stores nationwide from April 2007 through May 2012 for about $540.

Manufactured in: China

Remedy: Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled trampolines and contact Sportspower to receive a free repair kit.

Consumer Contact: Sportspower; toll-free at (888) 965-0565, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET Monday through Friday, online at www.sportspowerltd.net or email customerservice@sportspowerltd.net for more information.

Sportspower trampoline

Source:  http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml13/13051.html

Advertisements

Employer Liability For Negligent Hiring, Supervision, Or Retention Of Employees

An area of law that does not get a lot of attention in personal injury, wrongful death, motorcycle crash, and motor vehicle accident cases is an employer’s potential liability for negligent hiring, supervision, or retention of its employees.  Basically, employers have an obligation to use care when selecting, supervising, training, and deciding whether to keep their employees.  Failure to do so can result in direct employer liability if the employee injures someone.

Employers can be liable for the negligent or reckless employment of improper persons in work involving risk of harm to others, for the inadequate supervision of employees’ activities, or for permitting, or failing to prevent, negligent or other wrongful conduct by persons, whether or not employees or agents, upon the employer’s premises or with instrumentalities under the employer’s control.   Such claims are available even if the employee does not cause physical injuries to the other person.

A cause of action based on negligent hiring, supervision, or retention allows an injured party to recover even when the employee’s conduct is outside the scope of employment, because the employer’s own wrongful conduct has facilitated in some manner the negligent acts or wrongful conduct of the employee.  But a necessary element of a claim for negligent hiring, supervision, or retention is an underlying negligent or wrongful act committed by the employee.  Thus, an injured party must show that the employee’s underlying negligent or wrongful act caused a compensable injury, in addition to proving that the negligent hiring, supervision, or retention by the employer was a cause of those injuries.  If the employee didn’t do something wrong that caused harm to someone, then the employer cannot be liable for negligent hiring, supervision, or retention under any circumstances.

American Honda Recalls Portable Generators Due to Fire and Burn Hazards

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has announced a voluntary recall of the following consumer product because the product could cause personal injuries or death due to product liability. Consumers should stop using recalled products immediately unless otherwise instructed. It is illegal to resell or attempt to resell a recalled consumer product.

Name of Product: Portable Generators

Units: About 150,600

Distributor: American Honda Motor Co. Inc., of Torrance, Calif.

Hazard: The generator’s fuel hose can leak, posing fire and burn hazards.

Incidents/Injuries: Honda is aware of four incidents of fuel leaks. No fires or injuries have been reported.

Description: This recall involves Honda gasoline-powered portable generators with model number EU2000i and serial numbers EAAJ-2260273 through EAAJ-2485025. The generators are black and red in color or have a camouflage design. They measure about 20 inches long by 11 ½ inches wide by 16 ½ inches tall. “Honda,” “EU converter” and the model number 2000i are printed on the side of the generator. “Companion” is printed on the side of some EU2000i models. The serial number is located on the lower right side, rear corner of the generator.

Sold at: Honda Power Equipment dealers, Camping World, Gander Mountain, Grainger, Hertz Rental, John Deere, National Pump & Compressor, Northern Tool, Scheels Sporting, Sportsman’s Warehouse, Sunbelt Rentals, True Value, United Rentals, White Cap and Wholesale Sports store nationwide and online from October 2011 through September 2012 for between $1,150 and $1,400.

Manufactured in: Japan

Remedy: Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled generators and contact the nearest Honda Power Equipment dealer to schedule a free inspection and repair.

Consumer Contact: American Honda; Phone toll-free (888) 888-3139, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET Monday through Friday, or online at http://powerequipment.honda.com and click on “Recalls and Updates” under “Service and Support” for more information.

Source:  http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml13/13042.html

Honda Portable Generator
Honda Portable Generator
Serial Number Location
Serial Number Location

Honda Portable Generator
Honda Portable Generator

The Administrative Exemption Under Federal Overtime Law

Another major overtime exemption is the “administrative” exemption.  Remember that “exempt” employees are not entitled to overtime, ever, no matter how many hours they work.   So what are the requirements for an exempt administrative employee?

A few easy things off the top.  First, any employee, regardless of job title or duties, must generally be paid on a salary or flat fee basis to be eligible for the administrative exemption.  Hourly workers are almost never within the scope of the overtime exemptions.  Second, this is an area where I encounter lots of fancy-sounding titles, like “premiere executive assistant to the president.”  But job titles don’t mean anything in overtime cases.  What matters is what the employee does, not the employee’s title, so bestowing the employee who fetches your coffee and bagel every morning with a grand title will not be enough to confer exempt administrative status on that person.

Now we move on to the harder areas of the administrative exemption.  To qualify an employee as administratively exempt, an employer must prove that the employee engages in (a) office or nonmanual work, which is
(b) directly related to management or general business operations of the employer or the employer’s customers, and (c) a primary component of which involves the exercise of independent judgment and discretion about (d) matters of significance.  A lot of lawyers’ blood gets spilled fighting over those four components of the administrative exemption test.  An employer has the burden of establishing each aspect of the test in order to prove that an employee is exempt administrative.

The administrative exemption is designed for relatively high-level employees whose main job is to “keep the business running.” A useful rule of thumb is to distinguish administrative employees from “operational” or “production” employees. Employees who make what the business sells are not administrative employees. Administrative employees provide “support” to the operational or production employees. They are “staff” rather than “line” employees. Examples of administrative functions include labor relations and personnel (human resources employees), payroll and finance (including budgeting and benefits management), records maintenance, accounting and tax, marketing and advertising (as differentiated from direct sales), quality control, public relations (including shareholder or investment relations, and government relations), legal and regulatory compliance, and some computer-related jobs (such as network, internet and database administration).

To be exempt under the administrative exemption, the “staff” or “support” work must be office or nonmanual, and must be for matters of significance. Clerical employees perform office or nonmanual support work but are not administratively exempt. Nor is administrative work exempt just because it is financially important, in the sense that the employer would experience financial losses if the employee fails to perform competently. Administratively exempt work typically involves the exercise of discretion and judgment, with the authority to make independent decisions on matters which affect the business as a whole or a significant part of it.

Questions to ask might include whether the employee has the authority to formulate or interpret company policies; how major the employee’s assignments are in relation to the overall business operations of the enterprise (buying paper clips versus buying a fleet of delivery vehicles, for example); whether the employee has the authority to commit the employer in matters which have significant financial impact; whether the employee has the authority to deviate from company policy without prior approval.

Merely clerical work may be administrative, but it is not exempt. Most secretaries, for example, may accurately be said to be performing administrative work, but their jobs are not usually exempt. Similarly, filing, filling out forms and preparing routine reports, answering telephones, making travel arrangements, working on customer “help desks,” and similar jobs are not likely to be high-level enough to be administratively exempt. Many clerical workers do in fact exercise some discretion and judgment in their jobs. However, to “count” the exercise of judgment and discretion must be about matters of considerable importance to the operation of the enterprise as a whole.

Overtime cases require legal analysis of federal statutes, U.S. Department of Labor regulations, and court decisions.  I can help you with any employment law or labor law questions that you might have.  Please feel free to contact me for a free initial consultation about employment law or labor law.

 

CPSC Approves New Federal Safety Standard for Infant Swings

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) voted unanimously (3-0) to approve a new federal mandatory safety standard to improve the safety of infant swings to prevent injuries and deaths to children.

Infant swings are stationary juvenile products with a frame and powered mechanism that enables an infant to swing in a seated position. An infant swing is intended for use with infants from birth until a child is able to sit up unassisted. Cradle and travel swings are also included in the standard.

The new federal standard, which incorporates provisions in the voluntary standard ASTM F2088 – 12a, requires the following:

  • a stronger, more explicit warning label to prevent slump-over deaths. The warning advises consumers to use a swing in the most reclined position until an infant is 4 months old and can hold up its head without help;
  • a stability test that prevents the swing from tipping over;
  • a test that prevents unintentional folding;
  • tests on restraint systems, which are intended to prevent slippage and breakage of the restraints during use;
  • the cradle swing surface to remain relatively flat, while in motion, and while at rest;
  • electrically-powered swings to be designed to prevent battery leakage and overheating.;
  • toy mobiles to be designed to ensure that toys do not detach when pulled;
  • swings with seats angles greater than 50 degrees to have shoulder strap restraints; and
  • dynamic and static load requirements to ensure that the infant swing can handle specified loads without breaking.

Between May 2011 and May 2012, CPSC received reports of 351 infant swing-related incidents that occurred between 2009 and 2012. Two of the 351 incidents resulted in fatalities, and 349 incidents were nonfatal; 24 of the nonfatal incidents resulted in injuries.

The effective date for the mandatory infant swing standard is May 7, 2013. The Danny Keysar Child Product Safety Notification Act, Section 104 of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008, requires CPSC to issue safety standards for durable infant or toddler products, including infant swings. In addition to infant swings, CPSC has issued mandatory safety standards for full-size and non-full-size cribs, play yards, children’s bed rails, baby bath seats, baby walkers, and toddler beds.

Source:  http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml13/13037.html

Please feel free to contact me if you have a personal injury or products liability matter that you would like to discuss.

LG Electronics Recalls Electric Ranges Due to Burn and Fire Hazards

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has announced a voluntary recall of the following consumer product because the product could cause personal injuries or death due to product liability. Consumers should stop using recalled products immediately unless otherwise instructed. It is illegal to resell or attempt to resell a recalled consumer product.

Name of Product: LG Electric Ranges

Units: About 161,000

Manufacturer: LG Electronics Inc., of South Korea

Hazard: Burners on the electric ranges can fail to turn off after being switched off and the temperature setting can increase unexpectedly during use, posing burn and fire hazards to consumers.

Incidents/Injuries: LG has received 80 reports of incidents involving burners failing to turn off or the temperature setting increasing unexpectedly during use. No fires or injuries have been reported.

Description: The recalled ranges involve models LRE30451, LRE30453, LRE30755, LRE30757, and LRE30955ST. They were sold in black, white and stainless steel and with a smooth black ceramic glass top cooking surface. The recalled ranges have serial numbers starting with 512, 601, 602, 603, 604, 605, 606, 607, 608, 609, 610, 611, 612, 701, 702, 703, 704, 705, 706, 707, 708, 709, 710, 711, 712, 801, 802, 803, 804, 805, 806, 807, 808, 809, 810, 901, 902, 903, 904, 905, and 906. The model and serial numbers can be found on a label that can be seen by opening the storage drawer at the base of the unit. The electric ranges are about 47� inches tall to the top of the backguard, 29 inches wide and 28 inches deep.

Sold at: Best Buy, Home Depot, Sears, and regional appliance retailers nationwide from January 2006 to June 2010 for between $800 and $1999.

Manufactured in: South Korea and Mexico

Remedy: Consumers should immediately contact LG to schedule a free in-home repair. Consumers whose burner heat setting cannot be regulated by using the controls or who experience problems with a cooktop burner remaining on, should immediately stop using the recalled electric range until it is repaired.

Consumer Contact: LG; toll-free at (855) 400-4638, from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. CT Monday through Friday, and from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, or www.LG.com/us and click on Public Notices in the Customer Services section for more information.

Source:  http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml13/13031.html

Master Forge Gas Grills Sold at Lowe’s Stores Recalled Due to Fire and Burn Hazards; Made by Guangdong Vanward Electric

New information from the federal government about fire and burn hazards stemming from gas grills.  Please feel free to contact me if you have a personal injury or wrongful death or products liability matter that you would like to discuss regarding grills or grilling safety.

Name of Product: Master Forge Gas Grills

Units: About 37,000 in the U.S.

Manufacturer: Guangdong Vanward Electric Co., Ltd., of China

Importer: L G Sourcing, Inc., of North Wilkesboro, N.C.

Hazard: If improperly installed, the hose connecting the gas tank and regulator to the burner control can touch the burner box and cause the hose to melt and rupture when the grill is lit. This poses a fire and burn hazard.

Incidents/Injuries: Guangdong Vanward is aware of two reports of hoses melting and rupturing. No injuries have been reported.

Description: This recall involves Master Forge four-burner gas grills with a single-door base. “Master Forge” is written on the grill’s hood. The model number GD4825 is located on a label inside the door of the grill’s base. “Item 94227” is written on the cover of the instruction manual.

Sold exclusively at: Lowe’s stores nationwide from November 2011 through May 2012 for about $270.

Manufactured in: China

Remedy: Consumers should immediately stop using the grill and inspect the grill to make sure that the gas hose runs along the outside of the grill cabinet and passes through the round hole in the side panel. Consumers should contact Guangdong Vanward Electric for revised instructions and a warning label to apply to the grill that shows how to properly install the hose and the regulator.

Consumer Contact: For additional information, contact Guangdong Vanward Electric toll-free at (888) 584-3648 between 8 a.m. through 6 p.m. ET Monday through Friday, or visit the firm’s recall website at www.94227info.com

Source:  http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml13/13028.html

Picture of recalled gas grill

Master Forge Gas Grill