Brian White | January 25, 2017 | Product Defects
Product manufacturers bear a great responsibility to the safety of consumers. Manufacturing techniques and the finished product must adhere to strict industry rules and regulations to ensure they are safe for the general public and their intended consumers. Unfortunately, mistakes happen and defective or dangerous products come into the hands of unsuspecting consumers. Keeping up with product recalls and knowing your rights in the event of a product-related injury can serve you well in the future.
Recent Product Recalls and Product Liability Laws
There are several websites that serve to keep the public informed about recent product recalls, including recalls for food, drugs, vehicles, children’s toys, and medical devices. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) keeps a real-time list of current recalls with the date of recall, brand name, product description, reason for the recall, and company responsible. For recalls unrelated to food and drugs, visit Recalls.gov. You can sign up to receive emails regarding new recalls. Here are recalls posted in the last week:
- Item: Vintage car mobiles. Brand: RH Baby & Child. Reason: Choking hazard. The wheels on the cars may detach and fall off, posing a choking hazard to young children.
- Item: Breaded okra. Brand: Pictsweet Farms. Reason: May contain glass fragments. The company has announced that some packages may contain glass fragments, which are harmful if consumed.
- Item: LIFEPAK 1000 defibrillator. Brand: Physio-Control. Reason: Device may unexpectedly shut down. There have been reports of this defibrillator shutting down in the middle of patient treatment.
- Item: Cargo trailer. Brand: C&M Trailers Inc. Reason: Certain 2016 5×10 cargo trailers may be missing license plate illumination lights, increasing the risk of a crash.
- Item: Infant carrier. Brand: Thorley Industries LLC D/B/A 4Moms. Reason: Carrier may not secure to base. Self-installing rear-facing infant car seats may not properly engage, preventing them from securely attaching to seat base.
Recalls may occur for a number of reasons, from failure to list an ingredient on a food label to dangerous manufacturing mishaps. Most recalls stem from human error, such as a mistake on an assembly line. If a consumer suffers an injury because of a recalled product, he or she may be able to take legal action against the negligent manufacturer or distributor. Product liability cases can potentially reimburse an injured victim for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
There are three main types of issues that can lead to manufacturer liability in a recall: manufacturing error, design defect, or improper warning labels. In a product liability case, the plaintiff only has to prove that he or she suffered an injury from a defective product. The plaintiff does not need to prove a manufacturer’s negligence.
What to Do with a Recalled Product
If an item you have shows up on a product recall list, you have a few different options. The recall posting will typically list the remedies available to consumers, such as tossing the item out or returning it to the store for a full refund. Often, the brand responsible for the mistake will notify owners and replace the defective item or component free of charge. This is especially true when the defective item poses a major health threat, such as the above-mentioned infant carrier. The company’s contact information will be available on the recall listing for more information about your particular product.
Remember, if a defective or inherently dangerous product injured you or a loved one, there is a legal remedy to compensate you for your damages. Contact an attorney to discuss your case in detail and to find out if you have the grounds to bring a products liability claim.