Parties that are responsible for making products available to the public
may be held liable for the injuries they cause.
When parties including manufacturers, distributors, suppliers, and retailers,
make products available to the public which cause injury or damage, they
may be held liable for the resulting loss. This product liability may
arise as a result of a variety of circumstances. There may be a defect
in the manufacturing process or a defect in the product’s design.
It could also result from the party’s failure to warn the public
regarding a non-obvious but inherent dangers associated with the product.
In some instances, a party may be held liable for product liability based
on consumer protection laws which provide specific remedies for certain
types of product defects such as, lemon laws for automobiles.
A product recall can minimize litigation expenses and help protect a company’s
A party that realizes that there may be an issue with their product that
can lead to product liability may take proactive steps to minimize their
legal liability and exposure to lawsuits. This can help save the company
money as well as, minimize damage to their reputation. One way to do this
is to initiate a voluntary
product recall. A product recall provides the public with notification regarding the
product’s defects and requests that the public no longer use the
product. Often, a company that issues a product recall will replace the
defective product and/or pay for injuries or damages caused by the product.
For example, a company that produces baby food recently recalled three
of their products after learning of a
manufacturing defect that resulted in spoilage of those products. The company is offering customers
who purchased the defective products with product replacement vouchers.
In some circumstances, companies may be required to issue a product recall
by the consumer production agency that oversees the type of product at issue.
However, not all product recalls are voluntary. In some cases, companies
are ordered to recall their product because it fails to meet the minimum
standards set by the federal or state consumer protection agency responsible
for overseeing the defective product. These consumer protection agencies
include the following:
· National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA);
· Consumer Product Safety Commission (CSPC);
· Food and Drug Administration (FDA);
· Environmental Protection Agency (EPA);
· Department of Agriculture (USDA); and
· United States Coast Guard.
Consumer protection agencies learn of defective products by tracking and
investigating consumer complaints and other data that help reveal when
a product is defective and hazardous to the public.
If you have been injured as a result of a defective product that has been
recalled, you should contact an attorney immediately. An attorney can
review the facts of your case and determine whether you may have a viable
product liability case. If so, your attorney can help you seek the compensation
you deserve for your injuries and losses.