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E&F CLIENT’S CASE ABOUT SOFTHEAT, SMARTHEAT, DUNLAP AND KAZ HEATING PADS IS CERTIFIED AS CALIFORNIA CLASS ACTION!
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On January 7, 2013 the United States District Court preliminarily approved a settlement of California class certified claims being made against SoftHeat, SmartHeat, Dunlap and other branded Kaz manufactured and distributed electric heating pads. The settlement pays between $10 and $20 to each California Kaz heating pad owner and requires Kaz to change the words and pictures on its heating pad boxes. Kaz has agreed to add a warning to its electric heating pad boxes that states “WARNING: During use, do not sit on or against, or lie on, sleep with, fold or crush the pad. Not for use with infants. Do not use with ointments or salves. Check skin frequently. ADDITIONAL IMPORTANT SAFETY WARNINGS INSIDE BOX.” Kaz has also agreed to describe its “auto shut-off” feature as time based and not to include images of people lying-down with their eyes closed while using an electric heating pad.
The Plaintiff and her lawsuit contended that SoftHeat, SmartHeat, Dunlap and Kaz electric heating pads had the propensity to burn people and things, that this was known by Kaz, that Kaz warned how not to use its heating pads, that they could burn people regardless of control setting, and could not be sat or lied on in a manual inside the boxes in which the heating pads were sold; yet Kaz failed to disclose the risk of injury, the restriction of how heating pads should be used and who should not use heating pads on the boxes in which the heating pads were sold. Plaintiffs claimed that by failing to disclose these matters on the heating pad boxes Kaz was deceiving the public into thinking heating pads were safe when used in ways they should not be. Plaintiffs contended that the heating pads were worth less than the amounts paid because they were purchased without consumers being fully informed of the risk or injury, restrictions of use and users.
For more information about the SoftHeat, SmartHeat, Dunlap and Kaz Electric Heating Pad settlement go to www.electricheatingpadsettlement.com. If you have questions regarding this settlement or claims involving other brands of heating pads email Eppsteiner & Fiorica – or Call 800-237-0538 to speak with an attorney.
On October 5, 2012 the United States District Court certified a class action that asserts breach of warranty and consumer protection statute violations involving SoftHeat, SmartHeat, Kaz and Dunlap heating pads. The class is comprised of Californians that purchased SoftHeat, SmartHeat, Kaz and Dunlap heating pads since October 13, 2006. The case alleges that Kaz USA, Inc, and Kaz, Inc, the manufacturer of these heating pad brands, did not disclose, at the point of sale, the risks of injury, limitations and prohibitions of use at the point of purchase. The lawsuit further alleges that people bought Kaz heating pads which they either a) would not have purchase or b) would only have purchased for less than they paid had Kaz disclosed the material information at the point of purchase.
If you have been the unwitting victim of heating pad manufacturer deception please contact Eppsteiner & Fiorica. We are specialists in heating pad claims. We can help YOU with your heating pad claim.
Call us toll-free and without obligation at 866-548-8857, or contact us online, to discuss your legal rights regarding heat pads.
THE HEATING PAD STORY:
Heating pads are sold as pain relievers. Little did you know they are dangerous, and can harm you or damage your property regardless of the setting selected. On the other hand, maybe you’ve come to this webpage because you have already been hurt by a heating pad or heating device sold on the promise it would relieve your pain.
One of America’s leading heating pad manufacturers is Kaz. It markets its heating pads under many names. Regardless of the many brands under which it markets its heating pads, the responsibility comes back to Kaz. (Some of the many brand names under which Kaz heating pads are marketed are: SoftHeat, SmartHeat, Dunlap (sold in WalMarts), Meijer (private labeled for the Meijer department store chain), and Bergen Brunswig (plain brown wrapper delivered to this retailer).)
Important news about heating pads: They are Class II medical devices that are supposed to be regulated by the Food and Drug Administration. However, under a loophole, since heating pads were sold before the FDA began regulating medical devices, heating pads have been grandfathered into FDA approval. What does this mean? The FDA really has not investigated and scrutinized heating pad safety as part of its regular approval process. However, in 1995, the FDA and CPSC issues an advisory that reported 1600 American are treated every year for heating pad burns. The number of Americans injured by heating pads is obviously much higher than 1600 because many people see their primary care physician, dermatologist or self-medicate instead of going to emergency rooms. Does this information shock you? It did us?
Kaz defends its sale of heating pads that can burn you regardless of the control setting by saying they meet an Underwriters Laboratory (UL) Standard – UL 130. However, UL has does not know:
1) how people use heating pads
2) how they are burned using heating pads
3) is unaware that a heating pad is an FDA Class II regulated medical device
4) does not know whether heating pad users read warnings or instructions on heating pads or heating pad user manuals
5) does not know whether users understand the warnings and instructions
6) does not know how many Americans are burned every year using heating pads
Doesn’t this make you wonder about the value of a “UL” approved label? What does this describe? In our opinion, manufacturers rely on a standard, which in our opinion is almost worthless, so that people will buy them because they believe they are safe. (After all it is UL approved!)
Kaz, as of at least a year ago, stated that its heating pads provided ”Soothing Therapy” or “Therapy for Pain Relief.” How can a heating pad be soothing or therapeutic if it burns you?
However, inside the heating pad box, in its user manual Kaz states that its heating pads:
1) could not be used by diabetics or people with insensitive skin or reduced circulation unless there heating pad use is “attended,” (Who has someone attend to them when they use a heating pad?)
2) you can be burned by a Kaz heating pad regardless of the control setting, (Doesn’t sound very soothing or therapeutic!)
3) you cannot lie or sit against or on a heating pad, (How else does anyone use a heating pad?)
4) you must frequently check your skin while using a heating pad; (Sure, I’m in pain so I put on the heating pad, but I’m going to get up frequently to check my skin?)
Now keep in mind you are supposed to be lying on your stomach while the heating pad is on your back and yet supposed to get up frequently, go to a mirror and check the condition of your skin, while using this product that is supposed to provide ”Therapy for pain relief” or “Soothing Therapy.” Has the question entered your mind of why would you buy a heating pad if the manufacturer told you all of this before you bought it? Well that is the point of the case Eppsteiner & Fiorica is presently prosecuting against Kaz. The lawsuit contends that Kaz has deceived people by not disclosing the risk of injury, and use and user restrictions at the point of purchase.
If you have a Kaz, SoftHeat, SmartHeat, Dunlap, Meijer, Bergen Brunswig or other heating pad and are shocked by what we have described, or have been injured by a heating pad, contact us. (Other brands of heating pads include Sunbeam.)
Do you use a heating pad when you feel great? Doubtful. You use a heating pad when you are sick or have pain and discomfort. When people are sick they are either 1) drowsy, 2) take medication that makes them drowsy, 3) aren’t as alert as usually, 4) are lying in bed or on a sofa, and 5) use a heating to help relax them and get to sleep. Would you be surprised that deep inside the your heating box, in a booklet, in small print, among many other words, there may be a warning that you should not use your heating pad when you aren’t 1) alert, 2) taking medications that make you drowsy, 3) lying in bed or on a sofa, or 4) trying to fall asleep. The heating pad box you saw in the store, likely stated things that you made you believe that heating pads are safe, relaxing, soothing , and will help you feel better. However, deep inside a booklet you will never read (who needs to read instructions on how to use something you plug-in and it works): you are told that the product you just bought to help you feel better is not intended to be used in the manner everyone uses. E.g. lying on it. WHY DIDN”T THEY TELL YOU THIS BEFORE YOU BOUGHT IT?
If you have been the unwitting victim of heating pad manufacturer deception please contact Eppsteiner & Fiorica. We are attorneys that know a lot about heating pads. We can help you with your heating pad claim.
Call us toll-free and without obligation at 866-548-8857, or contact us online, to discuss your legal rights regarding heat pads.Stuart Eppsteiner
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