As a consumer, you expect the products you purchase online or at a retail store to be safe for use in your home, but unfortunately, that isn’t always the case. Many products get recalled because they are defective and have the potential to cause serious injury or even death.
Three main types of product defects are known for causing harm and commonly give rise to product liability claims.
If a whole product is unreasonably dangerous when used as intended, more than likely, it was poorly designed or not properly tested. For example, a top-heavy SUV that narrows at the wheelbase, making it more likely to roll over, or an infant bouncy chair that doesn’t have a safety belt to keep babies from falling out.
The product’s design was safe, but a defect or error occurred during the manufacturing process. Therefore, the entire product line may not be dangerous, but just a batch. For example, if the parts of a product were not assembled correctly, or some products had missing or damaged components.
It is considered a marketing defect when a product’s instructions are inadequate at helping consumers avoid injury, or it does not come with proper warning labels. For example, a food product that doesn’t have a label listing potential allergens or a medication that doesn’t warn of a potentially dangerous drug interaction.
In these cases, the manufacturer and any other party involved in the product’s distribution chain can potentially be held responsible for any resulting damages.
Injuries from dangerous or defective products often include the following:
When there are many reported safety or quality concerns related to a product, a product recall may occur. A product recall can be voluntary by the manufacturer or mandated by a regulatory body, such as the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). It is a public announcement that the product or a batch of products is dangerous, and customers should either return or discard it and will usually be given a full refund or replacement.
For example, in February 2022, the manufacturer Abbott Nutrition recalled three brands of powdered baby formulas, Similac, Similac Alimentum, and Elecare. The recall involved a batch from close to 50 individual products that may have been contaminated with Cronobacter sakazakii—a type of bacteria that can make you sick if ingested and is especially dangerous for babies.
If a product injures you, immediately seek medical care. Even if you don’t think you need it, medical documentation is critical in case you are more severely injured than initially anticipated and to link your harm to the product. Secondly, be sure the product is preserved as is and do not discard or attempt to repair it. Doing so can unintentionally hurt your claim. Also, look for and keep any original packaging material, such as the box, manual or operating instructions, and receipt of purchase. Lastly, consult a Mount Juliet Product Liability Lawyer as soon as possible. They can help you preserve the product, gather evidence, and will advise you on the steps to take next to ensure you can bring a product liability claim.