Consumer product recalls often offer interesting insights into the concerns manufacturers have about the risk of injury posed by their products. Recalls happen when a flaw in a product’s design or manufacture creates an unacceptable danger. Examining them reveals the sort of injuries that may give rise to products liability lawsuits.
Manufacturers often voluntarily recall their products that have proven dangerous. Sometimes these recalls are triggered by lawsuits bringing risks to the manufacturers’ attention, while in other situations the problem is discovered through the manufacturer’s internal testing procedures, or through investigations by regulators. Sometimes regulators sue manufacturers to force recalls for violations of safety standards or other compliance problems. Regulators maintain lists of recalled products on their websites. Two examples are the U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
In 2018 there were plenty of product recalls to watch. The recalls ran the gamut:
- Many products designed for children were recalled for choking hazards, such as this jacket with a zipper that could become detached.
- Numerous high-profile lettuce recalls due to coli and other contaminants disrupted supplies enough to force many restaurants to stop serving lettuce altogether.
- Major home appliances like this water heater are often recalled for problems with minor parts that can be replaced with a minor, manufacturer-provided repair.
- An elevator model was recalled due to the alarming possibility that it could “fall unexpectedly to the bottom of the elevator shaft and abruptly stop.”
- Nearly 1.4 million units of this printer power supply were recalled due to a fire hazard.
Manufacturers issue recalls to prevent injuries to their customers. Besides not wanting to hurt people, these companies also want to avoid expensive products liability litigation. Issuing a recall doesn’t absolve a business of its products liability obligations, but it may reduce the chance that someone will be seriously injured and sue.
Consumers should take recall notices seriously. A consumer who knows about a recall and is injured while using the product anyway should still consider filing a lawsuit, but may have a more difficult legal case to make. Even in such cases, products liability law provides consumers with powerful tools for pursing compensation from manufacturers who sell defective goods.
If you have been injured by a defective or improperly designed product you should consult with an attorney as soon as possible to explore your legal options. The attorneys at Greenman Goldberg Raby Martinez have represented Nevada clients in products liability cases for over 45 years. Call today for a free attorney consultation at 702-388-4476 or request a call through our website.