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, sleepers, heaters, strollers, 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. 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.
A product recall is a warning to consumers after the discovery of safety issues or product defects that could endanger consumers or patients, or place manufacturers and distributors at risk of legal action.
Unfortunately, some products on the American market pose dangers for months or even years before a recall is issued, often only when a company is forced to recall a product or when legal pressure mounts from a Product Recall Lawyer. Common consumer product recalls often include the following:
Joe Lyon is a highly-rated Cincinnati Product Liability Attorney representing plaintiffs nationwide in a wide variety of catastrophic injury and civil litigation claims.
A product recall issued by a company or safety agency is a recommendation to return a product to the manufacturer due to a faulty product or a consumer safety issue. The U.S. Consumer Protection Agency works to protect the public from defective products that have the potential to cause injury by burns and fires, electrocution, toxic exposure, and inherent design defects.
Many products produced abroad and imported into the U.S. must meet safety guidelines regardless of where they are manufactured. Manufacturers or retailers may be held responsible for any injuries sustained by consumers, and can be accountable by product liability laws.
It is important to note that not all product recalls are handled by the U.S. Consumer Protection Agency. The FAA oversees aerospace safety, the FDA handled drugs and medical devices, and the NHTSA handles automotive products. A few other government agencies handle the remainder, including contaminated foods.
Serious injury caused by consumer products can prompt safety agencies to either issue a warning to recall a consumer product. It is crucial for individuals, manufacturers, and retail distributors to report serious injuries that occur from use of a defective product. Be sure to always report a product-related injury to the proper safety agency.
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 home gym equipment, children’s toys, clothing, 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 product recalls include the following:
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.
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
• Contaminated foods
Defective drugs and unregulated nutritional supplements fill the U.S. market each year, endangering consumers and American patients. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) initiates weekly recalls for defective drugs, often after injuries have occurred and lawsuits are filed against negligent drug makers and pharmaceutical companies.
The FDA recalls defective drugs for a myriad of safety issues, including a lack of pre-market testing, drug contamination, and drug injuries reported by patients. Sometimes only after hundreds or thousands of adverse event reports are filed by doctors and patients are drugs taken off the market, discontinued or voluntarily recalled by manufacturers.
Warning labels and “black box” warnings may be applied, and consumers are left wondering if the drug they have been taking for years may be dangerous or the root cause of an existing injury or illness.
Pharmaceutical companies tend to understate the risks of a drug and hype the benefits of a drug, in order to sell more and build profits. Even as the FDA works to regulate the giant drug market, their efforts often lag and injury cases must be filed by plaintiffs and an Ohio defective drug lawyer and product liability attorney.
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.
Product liability law holds manufacturers responsible for a large portion of liability regarding injuries directly related to defective or faulty consumer products.
America’s manufacturers have a moral and legal duty to ensure the safety of all products they market and distribute. More importantly, they have a responsibility to properly warn consumers of any defect their product may contain and issue prompt safety recalls.
In the event of an injury or death, compensation can be sought to cover medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages, as well as punitive damages against a manufacturer for negligence and a disregard for the safety of consumers.
For a complete investigation and to build the strongest case possible, contact an attorney with considerable experience in product liability law and product recalls.
Many product recall lawsuits have had a positive impact on consumer health and safety, and we have witnessed improved lives and prevented future injuries as companies are forced to recall products and change designs and warnings as a result of litigation.
Following an injury caused by a recalled consumer product, a claim may be filed. Product liability lawsuits typically contain a cause of action for strict liability, negligence, and breach of warranty.
Safety agencies and companies themselves are responsible for recalling products when they pose safety and health risks. Common recalled consumer products include food, medical devices, pharmaceuticals, ATVs, automobiles, toys, home appliances and power tools.
A product may be considered by law “defective” if it is unreasonably dangerous for its intended use. If a consumer is injured in part because of a product defect, legal action can be taken. Plaintiffs may sue a manufacturer, distributor, or retailer if they were aware of risk and failed to warn the public.
Defective products that are sold to consumers present safety hazards for adults and children. Cheap and defective products may pose fire and burn risks; electrocution, strangulation and choking risks; and severe health risks. The manufacturers of inferior consumer products have a duty to foresee potential injury and properly design and test products before they are released to the public.
Companies must properly warn consumers of any risks associated with their products. Any failure to protect consumers or recall a product that results in an accident or injury can lead to lawsuits filed by plaintiffs and a product recall lawyer.