The Verdict - The Lombardi Law Firm Blog
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In Iowa consumers can’t sue companies under Iowa’s anti-fraud act; only the A.G. can. Iowa’s policy is not to trust its own citizens to know when a manufacturer should be sued. Instead Iowa law treats manufacturer’s as if they were royalty, perhaps because of how the legislature feels about campaign contributions from the manufacturing sector. Too dumb, not royal enough or just a campaign money issue; whatever camp you’re in, this legislature is giving it another look-see.
Pamela Dowd thought she was buying a high-efficiency furnace; instead she bough four-years of aggravation and legal wrangling. AARP backed the Attorney General’s proposal to allow Iowan’s the right to sue, but the blue suits carrying briefcases full of promised campaign contributions posed a formidable opponent.
“To defuse the opposition from business interests, the measure this year exempts many businesses and professions from the law.
On Wednesday, that effort didn't appear to work as business lobbyists jammed the hearing room.
Jim Carney, a Des Moines lobbyist representing cable television interests, said many communications companies were exempted, but cable didn't make the list.
"They exempt telephones and utilities, but they don't exempt cable," said Carney.
The effort has drawn a strong advocate, however, with AARP backing the proposal. The organization represents politically powerful senior citizens, who AARP spokeswoman Ann Black said have a special interest in the legislation.”
Iowa Consumer Fraud Act Code of Iowa (Iowa Section 714.16) Prohibits unfair and deceptive trade practices in the sale, lease, or advertisement of a product or service, and in the solicitation of charitable contributions. Authorizes the Attorney General to issue subpoenas, hold hearings, adopt administrative rules, and file lawsuits to obtain temporary and permanent injunctive relief, consumer reimbursement, costs and attorney fees, and civil penalties up to $40,000 per violation.
Don’t hold your breath for change, because even in Iowa the moneyed interests usually win out over common sense.
Being six-year old is tough enough, but when your parents make you wear ugly plastic shoes like Crocs, life can get pretty tough. A young Baltimore boy was apparently injured while riding the escalator at the National Aquarium in Baltimore in April causing injury to a toe. The toe must be extremely valuable as they sued for more than $7.5 million.
“According to a document Crocs filed in a separate case, more than 200 people worldwide have reported similar incidents, but the company has said its shoes aren't to blame. Crocs did not immediately return calls for comment.”
Apparently the lawsuits are having an effect because Crocs is reported to be adding a warning tag next year to its shoes. I wonder what that warning will state. Here let me venture a guess.
“WARNING! 200 KIDS WHO WORE THESE UGLY PLASTIC SHOES WHILE BEING ON ESCALATORS GOT THEIR TOES SMASHED! OOPS! WE SUGGEST PARENTS PURCHASE SNEAKERS AND LET THEIR KIDS DO KID STUFF RATHER THAN WEAR THESE UGLY AND STUPID PLASTIC SHOES THAT MAKE THEM LOOK LAZY AND SHIFTLESS.”
Okay, this isn't funny but really can a toe ever be worth $7,500,000.00?
According to the Associated Press report Crocs filed documents in a separate case, revealing that more than 200 people worldwide have reported similar incidents, but the company has said its shoes aren't to blame.
What is going on with Crocs and getting caught in escalators? According to reports of a similar incident in New York the Crocs can get caught in the teeth at the bottom of the escalator. In this case it was a three-year-old girl. That lawyer cautioned that negligence can be the parents, the escalators and the shoes.
I’d like to see those documents of the 200 accidents and blog about how they happened. If anyone can provide them I’d appreciate it.
If you’d like to read the complaint (lawsuit papers) follow the link to Pregliasco vs. Crocs, Inc., Case No. 3:08 – CV – 349, U.S. District Court, Western District of Kentucky, Louisville Division.
For those lawyers pursuing product liabilities lawsuits against Crocs, Inc. they should consider the patent and securities litigation that may produce documents relevant to the issues in the products case.
Consumers need reform and they need it now so we can determine what products come from China and other parts of the world that sell contaminated foods.
Here is the current problem. Look at the coding systems in place for product identification. Just like user manuals coming in different languages, here is different identification coding systems being used.
What is the Global Trade Item Number (GTIN) or the Global Location Number (GLN) or the Serial Shipping Container Code (SSCC) or the Global Returnable Asset Identifier (GRAI) or the Global Individual Asset Identifier (GIAI) or the Global Service Relation Number (GSRN) or the Global Document Type Identifier (GDTI)? Confused? You should be confused, and I have to wonder if this isn’t part of the reason for using numbers to identify products, instead of using the English language. If manufacturers and shippers need numeric codes then why not also include English descriptions of the country of origin?
And there is the Universal Product Code (UPC) or the UCC-12 and then the EAN/UCC-13 codes (The EAN-UCC-13 codes use 13 numbers.) and the consumer is terribly confused on how to tell a product’s country of origin.
We need to reform the coding of products to make the country of origin easily read and understood by the consumer. The global language of business isn’t necessarily conducive to transparency for humans – and it’s humans that need to understand. The GLN or Global Location Number isn’t the Kings English.
Consumers cannot protect our families and our country’s manufacturing industries without knowing a products country of origin. Go to the store and see if you can tell from what country a product originated and was manufactured? You may be surprised at what you find. I’ll have more on that tomorrow.
Identifying country of origin for drugs and foods are the most critical. In this blog I’m dealing only with food products. Food products are the toughest. The older I get the more it appears the most obvious problem is the reason for the problem or the answer to the motivation that created the problem. In this case the most obvious problem is the consumer can’t determine the country of origin. That is the motivation, at least in part, for this coding system. If consumers can’t tell the country of origin they are unable to select products based on country of origin. Is this the intention of the Republic of China Free Trade Agreements?
In the end the bar-coding system may as well be written in Chinese.
I I heard it said that the first casualty of any war is the truth. More and more I've asked myself questions concerning food production, processing and distribution. The melamine contamination from China imports has everyone's stomach upset with worry about what we are eating and whether our government can protect us from future incidents of poisoning. You too must be asking yourself these questions.
Where do legitimate sale's tactics cross the line into outright lying and fraud?
And, at what point must a company examine its collective conscience of the board of directors and stop the company's sales force from making claims that improve the bottom line while exposing the end-user-consumer to unreasonable health risks?
As consumers, how can we know what is safe?
The sugar wars are a place to start examining food safety. The sugar wars have gone on long enough to have produced some useful consumer information. When two countries have industry's that make a healthy profit from selling competing products it gets hard to appreciate from all that they publish what is fact and what is fiction. In the sugar wars the products competing for your sweet tooth are sugar cane, aspartame and honey. These wars include stories about disease and birth defects along with tumors, obesity, diabetes and cancer.
First let's look at what is aspartame.
There is even an aspartame website (AW) where you can be told or sold I'm not sure, the facts in a way too positive for myself. Here is what they say about aspartame.
Aspartame is said to be "Great taste without the calories for today's healthy lifestyles." But is it? What is aspartame?
The AW recommends the Mayo Clinic website as a reliable source for the truth.
Searching the Mayo Clinic site for, what is an amino acid? I was then directed to several articles. The first was about phenylketonuria, a well-known birth defect. (PKU) That wasn't very reassuring but there was some basic information about PKU. The Mayo Clinic tells me that amino acids are building blocks for protein and that too much phenylalanine can cause a variety of health problems. The cause of PKU is a defective gene needed to process phenylalanine and without the ability to process this amino acid (phenylalanine) builds up when a person eats foods high in protein. Those foods are milk, cheese, nuts or meats. If mother and father have this PKU they will pass it on to junior.
What complications can arise from PKU if goes undiagnosed and treated?
If untreated PKU leads to irreversible brain damage and mental retardation. It can cause damage to the central nervous system in a child that shows up as irritability, restlessness and destructive behavior.
What everyone seems to agree with is the conclusion that Aspartame is not good for children who suffer from PKU. This neutral ground should lead mothers and fathers to conclude that the use of Aspartame for infants and children is prohibitive. A can of diet Pepsi ingredients label shows that the product contains phenylalanine and Aspartame but offers no warning about who should not drink this diet soda. I would hope no parent would give diet soda to an infant but what about other products?
Next time let's look at all those foods containing phenylalanine and Aspartame.
One of the moieties of the aspartame molecule is phenylalanine, which is unsafe for those born with phenylketonuria, a rare genetic condition. Phenylalanine is one of the nine essential amino acids and is commonly found in foods. Approximately 50% of aspartame (by mass) is broken down into phenylalanine, which is considered safe for everyone except sufferers of phenylketonuria. Because aspartame is metabolized and absorbed very quickly (unlike phenylalanine-containing proteins in foods), it is known that aspartame could spike blood plasma levels of phenylalanine. Scientists have reported that a rise in blood plasma phenylalanine is negligible in typical use of aspartame and their studies show no significant effects on neurotransmitter levels in the brain or changes in seizure thresholds. In addition, they say that proven adverse effects of phenylalanine on fetuses has only been seen when blood phenylalanine levels stay at high levels as opposed to occasionally being spiked to high levels.
An alternative sweetener, neotame, has been developed apparently to solve the phenylalanine problem said to be associated with aspartame."