The baby wipe manufacturer, Newtek Disposables, issued the recall after receiving consumer complaints that the baby wipes had a bad odor and an odd discoloration. Testing of the baby wipes revealed that some of the wipes were contaminated with a type of bacteria called Burkholderia cepacia (B. cepacia).
As of October 25, 2014, Newtek had not identified the cause of the bacterial contamination and investigations into the source of the bacteria were continuing. In the interim, Newtek has stopped shipping baby wipes manufactured at its McElhattan, Pennsylvania facility.
The baby wipes manufactured by Newtek were sold under the brand names such as Member’s Mark, Simply Right, Fred’s, Kidgets, Femtex, Cuties, Sunny Smiles, Tender Touch, Diapers.com, and Well Beginnings. The wipes were distributed prior to October 21, 2014 to retailers that included Walgreens, Sam’s Club, Family Dollar, Fred’s, and Diapers.com.
To check if specific baby wipes have been recalled, consumers can check the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) website.
B. Cepacia Bacterial Infections
Bacterial infections can be quite serious, especially to infants, children, older adults, and others who may have a compromised immune system. For example, the type of bacteria found on the Newtek baby wipes, Burkholderia cepacia, can be particularly dangerous to individuals with lung or breathing problems, such as those with chronic lung disease or cystic fibrosis.
As explained by one expert, B Cepacia poses a threat to individuals because, once the bacteria enters the body, it can colonize (or grow) in the lungs, causing inflammation and a slow deterioration of lung functioning. In the worse cases, B. cepacia can spread throughout the body causing “cepacia syndrome,” which causes rapid deterioration of lung functioning. Because the bacteria is highly resistant to most antibiotic treatments, B. cepacia infections or cepacia syndrome can lead to death within a few weeks.
Legal Help For Bacterial Infections Caused By Contaminated Personal Health Products
Harmful bacterial infections can be caused by contaminated medicines, personal hygiene products, and health care products and devices. In the past, pneumonia and other infections caused by bacteria were associated with contaminated mouthwash and over-the-counter nasal spray. More recently, alcohol prep pads, alcohol swabs, and alcohol swabsticks were recalled due to potential microbial contamination.
Florida law allows manufacturers and retailers to be held responsible for products that cause injury to consumers. That liability rests on whether the manufacturer or retailer sold or supplied a product that was defective when it left the possession on the alleged wrongdoer and whether the defect caused physical injury, loss, or damage.
There are a variety of ways a product can be defective, including situations where a product is not reasonably fit for the uses intended or uses that are reasonably foreseeable. At Fasig & Brooks, our Tallahassee product liability attorneys represent clients in cases involving harmful or dangerous products that cause damages due to manufacturing, design, and marketing defects. If you have questions about whether you may have a Florida products liability lawsuit claim, call us today at (850) 222-3232 or use our online contact form for prompt legal help.