A government safety agency estimates that deaths, injuries, and property damage from consumer product incidents cost the nation more than $1 trillion annually. The majority of the serious product recalls in the U.S. each year involve children’s toys, cribs, heaters, food, auto and pharmaceutical industry products.
Once a product is released and is in widespread use, unforeseen safety issues can lead to a recall. Sometimes companies discover a problem and recall products on their own. Other times, a company is forced to recall a product after consumers, safety agencies and lawyers raise concerns.
Because so many products are put to market every day, several large U.S government safety agencies work to regulate safe commerce. These include the U.S Consumer Product Safety Commission, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) also work alongside these agencies, and alert the public when they discover a potential consumer and public health hazard.
Joe Lyon is a highly rated Cincinnati Consumer Product Recall Attorney and catastrophic injury lawyer representing plaintiffs nationwide in a wide variety of civil litigation claims.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) aims to protect the public from risks of injury or death associated with the use of the thousands of types of consumer products. They work to ensure the safety of products like commonly pose dangers, such as children’s toys, cribs, power tools, and household chemicals. Consumers and families face potential injury from products that pose fire, electrical, chemical, and mechanical hazards.
The most common hazards that prompt recalls include the following:
• Fire and burns
• Choking, suffocation and strangulation
• Fall Hazard
• Electrocution / Electric Shock
• Vehicle Accident
• Poisoning (lead, carbon monoxide)
• Explosion / Projectiles
Food safety is a huge issue through the nation each year. According to the CDC, one in six Americans get sick from contaminated food each year. More than 3,000 annual deaths are attributed to food-related illnesses, most of which are preventable. The CDC works with the Food and Drug Administration to identify health risks in consumables, but the outbreaks are sometimes overwhelming and spread too quickly to prevent public health risks.
Some recent food disease outbreaks include the following:
• In July, 2016, the U.S. Department of Agriculture reported a salmonella outbreak in pork, identified by the Washington State Department of Health, after a number of reported illnesses.
• In August, 2016, Michael Angelo’s Gourmet Foods, Inc. recalled frozen shrimp scampi and meat lasagna products due to misbranding and undeclared allergens, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service. The products may be mislabeled and contain known allergens. The problem was identified as a result of consumer complaints.
• In July, 2016, PT Farm, LLC recalled approximately 8,800 pounds of raw beef products that may be contaminated with E. coli.
When an FDA-regulated product like a drug or medical device is either defective or potentially harmful, the FDA is responsible for issuing product recalls, which is the most effective means for protecting the public.
The FDA is usually alerted of an issue when a company discovers a problem, the agency inspects a manufacturing facility and determines the potential for a recall, or the FDA receives reports of health problems through various reporting systems. In many cases, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) contacts the FDA, often after the drugs and devices have already injured or possibly caused the death of unknowing consumers.
FDA guidelines categorize all recalls into one of three classes, according to the varying seriousness of the hazard:
• Drugs for human use
• Drugs for animal use
• Medical devices
• Radiation-emitting products
• Blood and blood-related products
• Transplantable human tissue
• Animal feed
• 80 percent of the foods eaten in the United States
In the auto industry, the number of product recalls has increased recently. Low priced production often leads to a hit in quality throughout the supply chain. As a result, technical failures are more likely to occur now than in the past.
In a recent, massive consumer product crisis, nearly 70 million Takata air bag inflators are under recall in the U.S. The defective Takata air bag inflators show a high risk of ruptures during air bag deployment.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) says the risk posed by the airbag inflators in recalled vehicles is grave, and it is critical they be repaired now to avoid more deaths and serious injuries. Eight confirmed U.S. fatalities have been found due to Takata ruptures.
The oversight of the CPSC, FDA and NHTSA has contributed to a decline in the rate of deaths and injuries associated with consumer products over the past 40 years, however, each year many new dangerous products still hit the market and face recalls.
Because of the risks posed, and the negligence of manufacturers, there are thousands of pending lawsuits against makers of unsafe consumer products. Victims of hazardous products, such as contaminated food, faulty drugs and medical devices, and defective auto parts may have claims against a company and receive compensation. Contact an experienced attorney to find out what legal options may be available.
If you or a loved one suffered an injury due to a consumer product incident and have questions about the root cause and the legal remedies available to improve quality of life and medical care, contact The Lyon Firm (800) 513-2403. You will speak directly with Mr. Lyon, and he will help you answer these critical questions