In the United States there are several products recalled each year. The product recall usually occurs after a safety issue or defect is discovered that presents a risk to the consumer. Common categories of recalls include baby products (toys and furniture), children’s jewelry, appliances, other electronics, prescription drugs, cars, and food. It is estimated that unsafe products cause 27,000 deaths each year, in addition to many other injuries. Children are the most frequent victims of injuries due to recalled products- over one third of recalls each year involve those for children and babies. However, the number of recalled products continues to grow each year.
A product recall can be issued by a number of different parties. Most originate from the Consumer Product Safety Commission, or CPSC, which is the government agency in charge of product recalls. Over 15,000 different types of consumer products fall under the umbrella of the CPSC. Any products that are not covered by the CPSC are covered by other federal agencies. These include the US Food and Drug Administration, which oversees food, drugs, and cosmetics, and US Department of Transportation, which oversees automobiles and motorcycles.
In many cases, a product that poses a danger to consumers can remain available for purchase as claims are investigated. Even after a recall occurs the product can remain in consumer homes. Recent statistics have shown that only 15-30% of recalled products are returned.
How Product Recalls Occur
There are two different ways that a product recall can occur. The first of these is when a government agency issues the recall. For this to occur, the agency must find that the product poses a significant risk to consumers due to either a defect or safety violation. Consumer complaints are often key in the occurrence of this type of recall. The second is when the manufacturer of the defective product makes the recall voluntarily. Companies do not have a legal duty to recall unsafe products, but can do so. A company will usually issue a product recall to limit liability or in anticipation of recall that the government will issue.
Responding to Recalls
If a product you own has been recalled, immediately discontinue use and remove the product from your home. Next, find the recall notice and read carefully to see what steps you should take. Recalls for toys, food and other common items can be found online at recalls.gov.
Injuries from Recalled Products
If you or someone else in your household has been injured due to a recalled product, you should hire an experienced product liability lawyer. There are many specialized issues relating to product recalls. The sooner you decide to take action, the more evidence the lawyer will be able to recover and preserve to help with your case.
You do not need to be the one who purchased the product or even the user to recover damages. If the product caused your injury while in use by another person, you could still be eligible to receive damages.
Find Out If You Have A Product Liability Case For A Defective Product
If you have suffered an injury due to a defective or dangerous product, contact us for a free confidential case review and receive a response within hours, or call (617) 886-0500 . If you need a product liability lawyer outside of Massachusetts, contact us for a referral.