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Following a disturbing trend, Mercedes-Benz has announced another recall of nearly 750,000 vehicles in the United States.  The recall, which is due to faulty sunroofs at risk to detach from the car, impacts Mercedes-Benz model years spanning over a decade.  The model years in question are 2001-2011; the models in question are the C-, CLK-, CLS-, and E-Class.

The National Highway Safety Traffic Administration (NHSTA) has been on top of this recall and elaborated on exactly what the defects are and how they can impact your Mercedes-Benz.  Last week, they offered this, “The bonding between the glass panel and the sliding roof frame may deteriorate, possibly resulting in the glass panel detaching from the vehicle.” The National Highway Safety Traffic Administration also claims Mercedes-Benz will notify its owners on or after February 14th.  The company is expected to offer free inspections and replacements to those possibly afflicted by the recall.

The following is a comprehensive list of all models possibly affected:

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Four major automakers have landed squarely in the crosshairs of a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration investigation.  According to documents posted on December 19th, 2019, Audi, Toyota, Honda, and Mitsubishi are the companies under investigation.  The probe revolves around a Takata airbag recall, which involved 1.4 million airbag inflators.

The inflators are reported to have a unique problem that can cause them to blow apart, sending metal shrapnel into drivers’ and passengers’ faces and bodies.  The issue stems from problems caused by insufficient seals and a chemical deterioration within the product.  Takata, the maker of the air bags, has already recalled approximately 100 million inflators worldwide, while 19 automakers have recalled approximately 70 million inflators, making it the largest grouping of automotive recalls in United States history.

Takata, who has gone bankrupt due to the recalls, believes it’s made about 4.5 million of the faulty inflators.  However, Takata claims only a portion are still in use, because the vehicles equipped with the inflators are so old.

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Impossible really is nothing—or so a recent class-action lawsuit would have you believe.  Philip Williams is suing Burger King: Williams v Burger King Corp, U.S. District Court, Southern District of Florida, No. 19-24755. He claims a heavily advertised “Impossible Whopper”, which famously does not contain beef, was contaminated by meat when it was prepared on the same surfaces as the traditional beef burgers and consumed by him.  Williams, who ordered his “Impossible Whopper” at an Atlanta Burger King drive-through, claims he would not have paid the above average price, had he known the patty would be “coated in meat by-products.”

His lawsuit, which was filed in Miami federal court, is seeking damages for all United States purchasers of the “Impossible Whopper” and includes an injunction that requires Burger King to “plainly disclose” the preparation surfaces of both “Impossible Whoppers” and beef burgers will be the same.

Burger King declined a comment to Reuters, citing its lack of willingness to comment on pending litigation.  The official Burger King website, describes the “Impossible Whopper” as “100% Whopper, 0% beef” and notes, “for guests looking for a meat-free option, a non-broiler method of preparation is available upon request.”

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Weird, quirky, and unique legal cases are always the source of intrigue.  Many times, lawyers, law firms, and those familiar with law are confronted with questions regarding individuals’ or their kin’s rare legal issues.  Most legal knowledge found online and through casual sources will be generic and almost definitely not personalized, which makes it tough to find answers regarding these unique cases.  A recent legal battle involving a woman, a country club, and a staff member of the country club highlights the hoops you may have to jump through just to receive proper compensation.

The battle stems from an October 29th lawsuit filed by a female patron of the Alpine Country Club of New Jersey, in which the woman claims a waiter of the club spilled wine on her seemingly irreplaceable $30,000 handbag, while she enjoyed dinner at the club.  The club denied all liability for the incident and even went as far as to sue their own employee (the waiter) for the damages caused to the woman’s handbag.  The handbag, which is typically a relatively inexpensive accessory, was a rare, discontinued Hermès Kelly bag that was gifted to her by her husband for her 30th birthday.

The representation for the woman affected by the spill admitted it was an accident, but also mentioned it was necessary to specify exactly what happened and who did it.  According to documents, the waiter is not mentioned by name, but rather “John Doe.”

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Cigarettes, once a staple in American society and culture, reached a record low 14% usage rating among adults in 2017, according to the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). For comparison, at the height of U.S. adult usage, the CDC reported 42.4% of adults smoked.  Many factors play into this decline, but perhaps the most relevant is the emergence of e-cigarettes or “vapes”.

Vapes, or vaporizers, act as an alternative nicotine option to cigarettes and chewing tobacco.  They work as follows: 1.) A sensor in the device acknowledges an inhalation 2.) The sensor triggers a vaporizing device that heats up the nicotine-containing flavored liquid to such an extreme temperature, it turns into vaporized smoke 3.) The smoker extracts and inhales the vaporized smoke through a mouth piece.

There has been an immense amount of controversy surrounding the flavored liquids; those who oppose them argue that companies like San Francisco-based Juul, and their flavors, target minors and young people.  Juul, who named its vaporizing device “juul” as well, made headlines recently when it pulled its tasty flavors, limiting its production to just “Virginia Tobacco, Classic Tobacco, Mint, and Menthol”.

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Once thought to be a fad of the late 1990s and early 2000s, “scooting”, or the act of riding a scooter, has once again become popular among young teens.  It’s also become a popular mode of transportation in cities among business professionals, tourists, and citizens alike. All summer, rural and urban communities alike saw an influx of rentable and purchasable scooters being ridden around their communities, creating yet another obstacle for pedestrians and motorists.  Because of the popularity of scooters, manufacturers have increased production; this increase has resulted in a manufacturer’s recall for a particular model.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission reports that fluidfreeride, the maker of popular kids’ scooters, began recalling their Mercane WideWheel electric kick scooter, due to hazardous malfunctions of the brake caliper, on October 4th, 2019.  When this malfunction occurs, riders have been found to lose the ability to brake, lose control of their scooter, and suffer injuries.  The injuries reported thus far include flesh wounds, deep bodily bruises, and lower body sprains.

The problematic scooters were manufactured in China and sold online at fluidfreeride.com, Amazon.com, and ebay.com for $1,000 to $1,200.  Fluidfreeride has decided to remedy the situation by offering to repair all scooters free of charge.  If you or someone you know has a fluidfreeride scooter, you should immediately stop using it and check to see if yours is one that’s been recalled.  Telltale signs include: scooter is foldable and electric, has “WideWheel” and “Mercane” printed on its platform, made of gray aluminum alloy, and includes a single 500W motor with an 8.8Ah battery or dual 500W motors with a 13.2Ah battery.

Auto Accidents

Tractor Trailers Driving Side By Side
The Facts About Truck Accidents 

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration ( FMCSA ) makes new laws and regulations regarding our safety all the time. But, regardless of how many laws and regulations are put in place to keep us safe, if we don’t actively do our part to keep ourselves and others safe, none of those things will matter. 

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Mary Edwards Vs Coca-Cola 

Okay, so here’s the case; in August 2013, the plaintiff Mary Edwards was struck by Willie Lee Jr., A Coca-Cola vendor, while she was shopping at Walmart. After amending her original complaint to include Willie Lee Jr. in the lawsuit, Coca-Cola accepted responsibility but denied negligence, and Walmart was later dismissed from the suit. 

So where did the case go wrong.

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We have all seen more than our fair share of recalls over the years for all different parts, of all different makes of cars. We have even had a few recalls over the last few years for seatbelts and airbags which are obviously big safety issues for these cars and trucks. We have had engine parts that cause fires. We have had electrical parts that cause fires.  What we haven’t seen in recent memory are seatbelts that can cause fires. There typically are not any parts in a seatbelt that you would even think of that could cause a fire.

Ford has reports of over 23 vehicles having an issue where smoke was generated. The seat-belt pretensioners can malfunction and send sparks out when activated. What is a seatbelt pretensioner? It’s a small part that you likely have never seen in action because it typically only fires when your car is in an accident. Similar to how the airbags in your car will deploy when you hit something, the seatbelt pretensioner will fire when you are in an accident which causes a piston to block the seatbelt from allowing you to move forward.

The National-Highway Traffic Safety Administration received reports of 5 fires caused by the seatbelts, with 3 of those leading to the car being engulfed in flames.