In America, we are surrounded by products that we trust and depend upon daily: the products and appliances we use to clean our clothes, dishes, and homes; the vehicles we use to get us to and from work, running errands, or sharing a trip with our families; the food we eat and serve; and the medical equipment that helps us maintain good health.
When these products fail or cause more harm than good, people can be injured—especially if the product has been “recalled.”
Product liability claims can be very complex and are very confusing to handle without an experienced attorney. If you or a loved one have suffered an injury due to a product, whether recalled or not, you may have a claim against the manufacturer, distributor, or retail establishment that made or sold the product.
How a Product Recall Works
A recall can be voluntarily issued by the manufacturer, distributor, or retail establishment if they have been notified that they have produced or sold a defective product that has caused harm. A recall can also be mandated by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).
A defect can be the result of a manufacturing or production error or from the design of, or the materials used in, the product. A defect can also occur in a product’s contents, construction, finish, packaging, warnings, and/or instructions.
The majority of recalls come voluntarily from the manufacturer, who will then send notices to advise the public via distributors, sellers, and known buyers of the product. This notice usually contains an explanation on how the consumer can get a replacement, repair, or refund.
There Are Multiple Parties That May Liable
Identifying every party involved in the chain of distribution can increase your chances of receiving compensation for your injuries. Liability often begins with the manufacturer, who may have improperly designed the product or made an error during production or during quality control checks. Suppliers, distributors, and retailers may also be held liable depending on the circumstances of the case and their role in creating or furthering the defect.
What to Do If You’ve Been Injured by a Recalled Product
If you are injured by a recalled product, seek medical attention immediately. Keep as much of the defective product as you are able, including the product itself and any packaging, user manuals, and safety warnings. An expert can evaluate all the materials to determine where the fault lies and who may be liable in your situation.
Then check the appropriate website to see if the product was recalled:
- National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recall site: The NHTSA covers recalls involving vehicles, tires, car seats, and other equipment.
- FDA recall and safety alert site: This will inform you if food and beverage, cosmetics, medical devices, or pharmaceuticals have been recalled.
- USDA Food Safety and Inspection Services: FSIS monitors meat and poultry product recalls that aren’t covered by the FDA.
- CPSC recall site: monitor products that do not fall under the previous three agencies. Home décor, clothes, toys, and appliances.
Make a note or print out the recall and the directions given to replace, repair, or returning the product.
The attorneys at Serrano Law are skilled in handling product liability cases, and our team is here to answer any questions you might have during a free consultation.