Each year, thousands of products in America are recalled from consumers. When a company recalls a product it can create additional liability for the company in addition to the existing challenges of the manufacture, sale, and distribution of a product. Businesses already have legal liabilities in the form of warranties and they also must be compliant with government entities, such as the Consumer Product Safety Commission or the Food and Drug Administration. Companies are hesitant to issue recalls unless they absolutely have to because doing so can damage their brand and profitability.
What Causes a Product to Be Defective?
There are many reasons for a product to be considered defective. Some products are defectively designed, while others are negligently manufactured. There can also be a claim that the product has inadequate warnings. As a result, thousands are injured or may even die from such products.
What Should Injured Parties Do?
Injured victims should consult with an attorney as soon as possible. Typically, victims will want to sue any party in the supply or distribution chain of the defective product. Injured parties are generally required to prove:
- That they are actually injured;
- The product used was defective in some way or lacked adequate warnings;
- The defect or inadequate warning was the cause of the injuries;
- The product was used by the injured in essentially the manner in which it was intended.
The statute of limitation may vary based on the injury alleged and the type of product.
What Should Companies Do?
Product recalls routinely result in class action lawsuits so it would be prudent to consult legal counsel and prepare for the possibility of litigation. Keep in mind that initial suits may be for physical injuries as a result of the use of the product and later litigation may be for economic injuries, namely purchase of the product. Voluntary recalls can help the manufacturer defend against many types of lawsuits. Insurance companies offer policies for these types of unforeseen circumstances. Government regulators may need to be contacted about the upcoming recall. The next thing for a company to do is to carefully plan what will be said during a product recall. This is evidence that can be used against a manufacturer so it is wise that the message be consistent and accurate. After that, manufacturers need to figure out the extent of the issue. This may include investigating plants to figure out the source of the defect or researching warnings on similar products. Finally, manufacturers need to take care to preserve evidence. There can be harsh penalties for failing to do this. If you are facing the possibility of a product recall or others have been injured by your product, it is best to seek a local attorney immediately to get advice that is specific to your circumstances.
This article is for informational purposes only and is not to be construed as legal advice. Your case may be different. In considering the statute of limitation this firm is not giving an opinion on when the statute of limitation expires. The statute of limitation requires a claimant to file a lawsuit by a certain date. Failure to file a lawsuit before the expiration of the statute of limitation bars a claimant from filing a claim and from being compensated. Hiring an attorney immediately will protect your rights. Consult an attorney in your area for further guidance. If you were injured by a recalled product please call one of our attorneys at David K. Kremin & Associates, and we will give you a free consultation. We never charge unless we collect for you. Please call 1(800) ASK-A-LAWYER or 1(800)275-2529.