Archive for February, 2010

Little Brownie Bakers recalls Lemon Chalet Creme cookies because of an off smell and taste

Friday, February 26th, 2010

Little Brownie Bakers has recalled one kind of Girl Scout Cookies because of a strange smell and taste.  The maker of Girl Scout Cookies, the Louisville, KY based Little Brownie Bakers has recalled the Lemon Chalet Creme cookies because of a strange smell and taste from the cookies.  The company states that the cookies are safe to eat, but the recall is because they are not up to their quality standards. 

The company has received a few complaints about the issue with the Lemon Chalet Cookies, but no reports of anyone becoming ill from eating them.

The following lot codes are from the cookies that are affected by this recall:

7455881
7455882
7455883
7456741
7456742
7456743
7457661
7457662
7457663
7458521
7458522
7458523
7459401
7459402
7459403

If you have purchased Lemon Chalet Creme cookies please contact the manufacturer for more information.  Their website is www.littlebrowniebakers.com and the phone number where you can reach them is 800-962-1718.

To read the article where I found this information, click here for a link to it.

Copco Recalls 132,000 Tea Kettles

Wednesday, February 24th, 2010

Copco, a division of Wilton Industries Inc., has voluntarily recalled 132,000 Copco and Wild Leaf Tea Co. Bristol model and Martha Stewart Collection and 142,000 Copco Harmony tea kettles.

The Copco and Wild Leaf Tea Co. Bristol model and Martha Stewart Collection tea kettles were recalled because the handle may become loose, causing burns. There have been eight reports of handles coming loose or becoming deformed, with one consumer reporting minor burns.

The Copco and Wild Leaf Tea Co. Bristol model and Martha Stewart Collection tea kettles being recalled have enamel finishes in white, crème, blue, cobalt, sand, red, and green and were sold online, through mail order, and at retailers such as Macy’s and Linen ‘n Things for $35 from October 2005 until January 2010.

Consumers owning the Copco and Wild Leaf Tea Co. Bristol model and Martha Stewart Collection tea kettle should stop using them immediately and contact Copco at (866) 255-9237 between 8 am and 4:30 pm Monday through Friday for a refund.

The Harmony tea kettles were recalled because of reports of the lid coming loose when handling, which resulted in burns. There have been 25 reports by consumers of lids coming off, with some reporting second-degree burns to hands and fingers.

The Harmony tea kettles have either stainless steel brushed, polished finishes, or enamel finishes in red, white, black, turquoise, orange, yellow, and blue. They were sold at retailers nationwide for $30 between March 2006 and June 2009.

Consumers owning the Harmony tea kettle should stop using them immediately and contact Wilton at (800) 794-5866 between 8 am and 4:30 pm Monday through Thursday or 8 am and 3 pm Friday for a refund or replacement.

Harvard Law Student Files Class Action Lawsuit Against Google Buzz

Saturday, February 20th, 2010

Harvard law student Eva Hibnick has filed a class action lawsuit against Google stating that her personal information was made public on Buzz, Google’s new social networking service. The suit was filed by law firms in both San Francisco and Washington, D.C.

Hibnick says she was frustrated when she was automatically opted into Google Buzz without her consent (all Gmail users were opted-in upon Buzz’s launch) and it made her contact list available to the public. This allows many people – people she had not spoken to in months – to follow her profile. The service notified Hibnick’s followers of her status updates.

In disclosing her personal information, the lawsuit says that Google violated federal laws such as the Federal Electronics Communications Privacy Act, the Federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, the Federal Stored Communications Act and California common and statutory law.

Hibnick said, “I feel like they did something wrong. They opted me into this social network and I didn’t want it.”

The lawsuit is open to all 31.2 million users of Buzz and seeks injunctions to prevent Google from automatically adding users to new services in the future and an undisclosed monetary amount.
Google has issued an apology and now has it set up so users can hide their contact list as well as block followers they don’t know.

Lower Merion School District Sued for Remote Webcam Usage

Friday, February 19th, 2010

Angry students and parents have filed a lawsuit against the Lower Merion School District of Ardmore, Pennsylvania for “”unauthorized, inappropriate and indiscriminate remote activation” of webcams. The webcams were part of MacBook laptops issued to 1,800 students at the two high schools in the district as part of a government funded intiative. The lawsuit claims the webcams were activated without the student’s knowledge or consent.

The use of the webcams came to light when a student, the son of Michael and Holly Robbins, was informed by Harriton High School assistant principal Lindy Mastko that he was “engaged in improper behavior in his home.”

When the student and his father confronted Mastko about the allegations, they were informed that the school district had the right to remotely activate the webcam.” It was believed that the student took a photo of himself and accidentally uploaded it to the school network.

The Robbins family filed the lawsuit, which seeks an unspecified amount for compensatory and punitive damages as well as an injunction to prevent the school district from activating the webcams.

Christopher McGinley, the superintendent, issued a statement on the school district’s website which admitted that “the laptops do contain a security feature intended to track lost, stolen and missing laptops. This feature has been deactivated effective today.” The statement went on to read that the school district would not be “reactivating the tracking-security feature without express written notification to all students and families.”

Lawsuits Filed Against Biggest Loser’s Jillian Michaels for Weight-Loss Pills

Thursday, February 18th, 2010

“The Biggest Loser” Trainer Jillian Michaels has had three separate lawsuits filed against her in the last week for the Maximum Strength Calorie Control diet supplement that she endorses.

The first plaintiff, Christie Christensen, filed a class action lawsuit against Michaels which states that the pills are “worthless,” “purportedly will cause weigh loss by itself with any additional effort,” and that taking them is “contrary to everything that Ms. Michaels has ever instructed.” Christensen is suing Michaels and Thin Care and Basic Research, the makers of the pills, for $5 million in damages. The lawsuit is also asking that the sale of the product be prohibited.

The second plaintiff, Stephanie Creer, filed a class action lawsuit just one day after Christensen. Her lawsuit claims that the product doesn’t live up to its packaging, which says “two capsules before main meals and you lose weight…That’s it!” Creer claims to have fought her weight her entire life and that the supplement pills didn’t help her lose any weight.

The third plaintiff, Kathy Hensley, said that the diet pills are potentially dangerous because they contain the ingredient citrus aurantium. In rare cases, citrus aurantium can cause high blood pressure and cardiac arrest. Hensley is suing Michaels, and Thin Care and Basic Research, and Walgreens, which sells the pills. The lawsuit is asking for less than $5,000.

The pills contain guarana, coffee bean extract, kola nut seed extract, citrus aurantium, and other herbs. The label does say that the product has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Michaels has issued a statement saying the claims are “baseless” and that she still supports the product. Thin Care pointed out that the company offers consumers a money-back guarantee and has said, “We are confident we will prevail.”

Pennsylvania Ambulance Providers Sues Health Insurers

Monday, February 15th, 2010

The city of Pittsburgh and 11 other paramedic service providers have joined a suit which pits them and the Ambulance Association of Pennsylvania against statewide Blue Cross Blue Shield health insurers for what it calls “a pattern of attempted extortion.”

The suit accuses the defendants of violating the federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization Act by forcing or attempting to force the non-contract ambulance providers into below market rate contracts by refusing to pay them directly for their services. Instead of paying the non-contract providers for their transport services, the insurers have been accused of making payments directly to the patients, who may or may not in turn pay the providers.

The suit contends that providers have the right to be paid directly, whether they have entered into a contract with the insurers or not. By not sending payment to the providers directly, it is estimated that the providers have been “losing millions over the last four years.”

The suit goes on to state that the plaintiffs have also violated state law, including the Quality Health Care Accountability and Protection Act. This may turn into a class action suit involving up to 200 state paramedic services.

The complaint was filed against Capital Blue Cross, Highmark, Hospital Service Association of Northeastern Pennsylvania, Independence Blue Cross, Keystone Health Plan Central and Keystone Health Plan West in the U.S. District Court’s Western Division by attorney Charles Kelly of Kelly Hayden LLC. The city council voted last Thursday to pay $5,000 to Kelly Hayden to represent the city in the suit.

In addition to the city of Pittsburgh and the Ambulance Association of Pennsylvania, the plaintiffs also include Monessen Ambulance Service, Mon Valley Emergency Medical Services, Robinson EMS, Goodwill Hose Company Ambulance Association, Lancaster EMS Association, United Hook & Ladder Co., New Oxford Community Fire Co., Penn Township Volunteer Emergency Services Inc., Tremont Area Ambulance Association, Valley Ambulance Authority, Yoe Fire Company Ambulance Service and Northwest EMS.

Generation 2 Worldwide/ChildESIGNS Cribs Recalled After Deaths

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

Three children have died due to use of Generation 2 Worldwide/ChildESIGNS cribs. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has asked consumers who have purchased these cribs to stop using them immediately.

It is believed that half a million Generation 2 Worldwide/ChildESIGNS cribs were sold by the company, which is no longer in business. The cribs were sold at retailers such as Buy Buy Baby, Kmart, and Wal-Mart for between $60 and $160.

The CPSP said that children are at risk of strangulation or suffocation from the cribs due to plastic hardware breaking, which causes the side to detach and leaves a gap which could trap a child. There have also been reports of the mattress detaching.

So far, three deaths – that of an 8 month old child in Newark, Ohio, a 8 month old child in Richmond, Ind., and a 6 month old child in Stauton, Va. – have been reported between September 2002 and July 2007. There have also been 20 other reports of accidents from children becoming trapped to falling out of the crib.

Consumers who own these cribs may or may not receive a refund or replacement by returning to the retailers where the crib was purchased. Those who are not offered a refund or replacement should contact the CPSC at (301) 504-7923 Monday through Friday between 8:00 am and 4:30 pm ET.

Disney’s Tiny Tink and Friends Jewelry Recalled

Tuesday, February 9th, 2010

It’s another recall for Disney children’s jewelry as the Playmates Toys has said that the metal charm connector of certain jewelry sets contains lead.

The company, whose jewelry is made in China, issued a voluntary recall of 180,000 sets of Tiny Tink and Friends Children’s Toy Jewelry Sets. This recall includes Tinker Bell’s Lil’ Tinker Bracelet, Rosetta’s Rosebud Key Chain, and Silvermist’s Water Lily Necklace. A metal connector that links the charm to a necklace, bracelet or keychain is the part that contains lead. The company said that once it became aware of the excessive levels of lead in the connectors, it contacted the Consumer Product Safety Commission to stop sales of the items.

The jewelry sets were sold nationwide from November 2008 until November 2009 for between $6 and $8. Similar sets with plastic rather than metal charm connectors are not included in the recall.

Consumers who purchased these recalled sets should contact Playmates Toys at (888) 810-1133 between 12 pm and 8 pm EST Monday through Friday or see the company’s web site to fill out a replacement form.

The Princess and the Frog Pendants Recalled

Tuesday, February 2nd, 2010

FAF Inc. has made a voluntary recall of approximately 55,000 pendants with “The Princess and the Frog” theme due to toxic metal.

The pendants, a crown pendant (model # 4616-4187 and UPC number 72783367144) and a frog pendant (model # 4616-4190 and UPC number 72783367147), have been sold exclusively at Wal-Mart since November for $5. Wal-Mart said it pulled all the pendants on January 11th as soon as it was notified by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) that the pendants contained cadmium.

After the Associated Press published an article about cadmium being found in children’s jewelry, the CPSC has been testing children’s jewelry for the potentially harmful metal. Cadmium, when ingested, can lead to kidney and bone damage as well as possible damage to brain development.

Although the CPSC has not received any reports from consumers of cadmium poisoning, it stated it will continue to investigate children’s jewelry. The Walt Disney Co. has issued a statement saying that all jewelry which bears its images will be tested for cadmium, which is not a federal requirement, and if any products are found to contain the metal, production of the product will be stopped.

Customers who bought the pendants can return them to their local Wal-Mart for a refund or replacement. For photos of the items, please visit the FAF Inc. web page.

Starbucks Recalls Glass Water Bottles

Monday, February 1st, 2010

Starbucks has issued a voluntary recall of 12,200 clear glass water bottles sold in the U.S. and Canada after 10 people reported to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission that the glass stopper or bottle shattered and eight consumers received lacerations due to the glass.

The bottles, which held 20 ounces of liquid, were sold at Target, Safeway, and Starbucks for approximately $9. The recalled bottles have the SKU number 11003503 and the words “Glass Water Bottle” printed on the blue label stuck to the bottle. They were made in Taiwan and have been available for purchase since January 2010.

Starbucks is asking consumers to quit using the bottles and return them to the store from which they were purchased. If returned to a local Starbucks, the consumer will also receive a free drink. For more information, contact Starbucks at (877) 492-6333 between the hours of 8 am and 11 pm Monday through Friday.