Feds Recall Tainted Pine-Sol

The voluntary Clorox recall includes over 37 million bottles of the popular cleaning product which were made between January 2021 and September 2022.

Company officials admitted that “some” of the affected Pine-Sol products “might” contain a bacteria called pseudomonas aeruginosa, which can harm people with compromised immune systems or people with external medical devices, because they pose “a risk of serious infection that may require medical treatment,” according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

Eight different versions of Pine-Sol have been recalled, including Pine-Sol scented multi-surface cleaners (lavender clean, sparkling wave and lemon fresh scents), CloroxPro Pine-Sol all purpose cleaners (lavender clean, sparkling wave, lemon fresh, and orange energy scents) and Clorox Professional Pine-Sol lemon fresh cleaner.

If you purchased an affected product, click here to learn more about the recall and request a refund.

Harmful Effects of Bacteria

Like many other bacteria, pseudomonas aeruginosa is especially dangerous to people with pre-existing conditions. This bacteria is associated with a number of serious hospital infections, primarily pneumonia and sepsis.

This versatile bacteria usually targets damaged human tissues. If pseudomonas aeruginosa collects inside the body, especially in the lungs, urinary tract, kidneys, or other vital organs, the results can be fatal. Because it thrives on moist surfaces, this bacterium is also found on and in medical equipment, including catheters, causing cross-infections in hospitals and clinics.

The nature of pseudomonas aeruginosa injuries may or may not require a New York personal injury attorney to pursue a separate legal action.

Typically, insurance companies cannot use a victim’s pre-existing condition as an excuse to reduce or deny compensation. This legal doctrine is known as the eggshell skull rule. Basically, tortfeasors (negligent actors) must take victims as they find them. If the victim has an eggshell skull and a minor fall causes a serious injury, the tortfeasor is fully responsible for all damages. The same principle applies to most other pre-existing medical conditions.

These damages normally include compensation for economic losses, such as medical bills, and noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering.

Hospital infections are usually different. Typically, medical negligence causes such infections. Sepsis and other such issues often occur quickly and without warning. Unless the surgical team is on its toes, bacterial exposure quickly becomes bacterial colonization. We discussed these impacts above.

In addition to compensatory damages, a New York personal injury attorney is often able to obtain additional punitive damages in medical negligence cases. That’s because doctors have a very high duty of care. As the old saying goes, the bigger they are, the harder they fall.

Liability Issues

Basically, negligence is a lack of care. The aforementioned higher duty of care is a fiduciary duty. Doctors must disregard financial, work-life balance, and all other matters, and only do what’s best for their patients, no matter how much it costs or how long it takes. 

Generally, a New York personal injury attorney partners with an expert doctor in medical negligence cases. This doctor explains the standard of care to jurors and points out where the doctor fell short.

Typically, a number of defenses are available in negligence cases. However, since the duty of care is so high, these defenses are usually ineffective. In most cases, if a victim establishes a link between medical negligence and personal injury, that’s enough.

Defective product claims are different. Generally, manufacturers are strictly liable for the injuries their defective products cause. 

Typically, manufacturing defects result in tainted products. SOmewhere along the line, whether in manufacturing, shipping, or distribution, the product is tainted. As mentioned, pseudomonas aeruginosa is a tough bacteria that thrives in moist environments. Most likely, excessive moisture was the problem, and the company did nothing to address the risk.

The unforeseeable misuse defense is the only effective defense in a products liability case. This doctrine only applies in limited situations. For example, if Homer hurts himself when he reaches into a vending machine, that’s a foreseeable misuse, and the company is liable for damages. If Homer reaches into two vending machines, that’s an unforeseeable misuse, and the company is off the hook.540

Resolving Your Claim for Damages

Negligence and product liability claims have different nuts and bolts. However, they usually end the same way. Almost all civil cases settle out of court.

Such resolutions benefit victim/plaintiffs. The trial process, especially in a defective products claim, usually takes several years. In contrast, the out-of-court settlement process usually takes several months. Additionally, a trial verdict is often only a preliminary win. Defendants almost always appeal these cases. A settlement is a final resolution. Defendants simply quit.

Professional mediators often help parties reach an agreement. Usually, both sides agree on broad principles, such as bacterial infections are bad and negligent doctors are bad. They only disagree on specific liability and damage issues. Highly-trained mediators know how to translate broad agreements into specific agreements.

Injury victims are entitled to substantial compensation. For a free consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney in New York, contact Napoli Shkolnik PLLC. We do not charge upfront legal fees in these matters.