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Icy Hot Too Hot to Handle

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Chattanooga, TNIt may have been little more than a month ago that Chattem Inc, of Chattanooga recalled almost two million boxes of Icy Hot Patch over concern for second, and third-degree burns. However, the TV ads are back on the air—assuming they were pulled along with the recall—leading one to assume that whatever issue was at play in allegedly causing these injuries, has been rectified.

What other conclusion could one draw? There he is, basketball star Shaquille O'Neal, expounding the virtues of the Icy Hot extra-large back patch in a high-profile ad that obviously appeals to jocks.

Back BurnHowever, the patch itself doesn't appeal to everyone—including a guy on You Tube who is seen shooting bullets into an extra-large Icy Hot patch. The disgruntled consumer, obviously a weapons enthusiast, writes that the patch fails to stay in place. He then peers into the camera, and claims that 'this is what happens when products don't work,' before walking off to what appears to be an abandoned building in an open field, takes aim, and fires several rounds into what we assume is the patch in question. After he's done, he walks over to the camera and shows an extra-large Icy Hot patch riddled with bullet holes.

This man's discontent and bravado is palpable, and certainly demonstrates his frustration in unique ways. Others have simply contacted the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), or have made contact with the manufacturer after suffering more serious complaints than the patch simply failing to stay in one spot. Burn units in hospitals have observed users of the Icy Hot patch coming in with serious burns.

The manufacturer admitted at the time of the voluntary recall that 200 'adverse events' had been reported to the FDA in the 13 months immediately prior to the recall. Most of those burn injuries, according to a company spokesperson, were the result of the product not being used properly. The company told ABC News at the time of the recall that it had been aware of potential problems since the patches were first introduced in December of 2006, but allegedly took no action until the voluntary recall nearly 14 months later.

Those so-called 'adverse events' were personified in the story of Robbie Bender, a young Texas boy who applied an Icy Hot patch to his legs to ease muscle cramps from playing soccer, only to be left with burns and painful blisters on his skin. His mother told a television reporter that she filed information with the manufacturer right away, yet response was slow in coming. In the end, it has been reported that the Benders were offered a couple of hundred dollars in compensation, together with the assurance that the product label had been changed as the result of Bender's injury. Still, the family is incensed that it took the manufacturer almost a full year to formally recall the product.

It has been reported that the recall will cost Chattem Inc. between $6 and $9 million. However, the number of burns reported "represents less than one-tenth of one per cent of the approximately 1.8 billion unit sold at retail.

"Since its introduction, the Company has received some consumer reports of first, second and third degree burns and skin irritation resulting from the use or possible misuse of the product," Chattem said in the statement to investors.

The following autumn, Chattem said it "began shipping product that included more information on the product's label in order to clarify the directions for use and added expanded warnings and precautionary statements to further guide the consumer as to proper product usage and to prevent product misuse."

But the FDA, according to Chattem, recently "suggested that further action was needed."

That sentiment was echoed by a contributor to the comments section for this issue on the ABC News web site: "Believe it! It happened to me on February 16th. When I pulled the patch off my lower back, my skin was attached to the patch and I was left with open sores on my back. Very painful!"

If you, or a loved one have experienced painful burns as the result of the Icy Hot patch, and find fault with the manufacturer for marketing a product and allegedly delaying a recall for nearly 14 months while knowing about potential problems and actual adverse event reports, consult an Icy Hot patch lawyer.


Icy Hot Patch

If you have suspect you have suffered burns or side effects from an Icy Hot Patch, please contact a lawyer involved in a possible [Icy Hot Patch Lawsuit] to review your case at no cost or obligation.


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