Defective consumer products cause many serious injuries in the United States each year, and they can leave victims with extensive damages with which to contend. Products can be defective in a variety of ways and on many different levels. As such, defective products are sometimes recalled in an attempt to help protect consumers from whatever potential dangers lurk within. While these recalls help save lives and reduce the incidence of injuries, they do little to help the consumers already harmed by the products (and who likely helped alert the companies and the governmental agencies involved to the inherent dangers in the first place). If you’ve been injured by a product that has since been recalled, you need the professional legal counsel of an experienced Huntsville product recall attorney on your side.
Product Recall Lawyers in Huntsville – Helping People Hurt by Defective Consumer Products
When you make a purchase, you certainly don’t expect the product in question to be unreasonably dangerous – after all, it’s brand new. The fact is, however, that consumer goods can be dangerously defective for any number of reasons, and you may not know about the inherent danger until it’s too late. Product recalls – regardless of who issues them – can serve as viable warnings that the products in question are, indeed, dangerous.
Additionally, recalls can alert consumers to the fact their injuries may have been caused by a product defect (as delineated in the recall). If you’ve been injured by a product that’s been recalled, the experienced product recall lawyers at Cloud, Ryan & Rouse, LLC, in Huntsville are here to help. Our legal team helps victims like you obtain the compensation necessary to move forward with their recoveries post-injury.
What Are Product Recalls?
Product recalls happen when a significant number of the product in question is determined to be unsafe. Upon this recognition, either a specific government agency or the product manufacturer itself notifies the public of the danger by issuing a recall. A recall recommends a specific action related to the product that can include an outright ban of sales, instructions that inform you to dispose of the product in a specific way, instructions that inform you to return the product for repair or replacement, and more. Commonly recalled products include:
- Cars and other vehicles
- Child safety seats
- Children’s toys and clothing
Different agencies preside over different kinds of recalls, but these six distinct federal agencies have banded together at recalls.gov to help gather and disseminate comprehensive information related to government recalls. These agencies and the type of product recalls they govern include:
- The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) – CPSC has comprehensive jurisdiction over thousands of consumer goods that we use in our daily lives, such as clothing, appliances, furniture, sports equipment, household goods, children’s products, appliances, electrical goods, and more.
- The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) – NHTSA is a division of the U.S. Department of Transportation, and its jurisdiction is vehicle and equipment recalls (dating back to 1966). NHTSA’s campaigns focus on motor vehicles and related products that either don’t comply with federal safety standards or that have a defect that negatively affects safety. In addition to motor vehicles, their reach includes recalls of child safety seats, tires, school buses, and other recalls in this vein.
- The U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) – USCG has jurisdiction over recreational boats and boating equipment and also issues current alerts and advisories for anyone on or near the water.
- FoodSafety.gov – FoodSafety.gov is responsible for providing updated information about all food alerts, food illness outbreaks, and food recalls.
- The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) – FDA’s jurisdiction includes recalls related to drugs, vaccines, blood and plasma products, other biologics, medical devices, and veterinary products. Additionally, FDA presides over all cosmetic products.
- The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) – EPA’s jurisdiction extends to vehicle emission testing and pesticides, rodenticides, and fungicides.
In total, these six governmental agencies preside overall consumer product recalls.
Current High-Profile Recalls
Recalls come in nearly every variety, but several recent recalls that have reached high-profile status include:
- Fisher-Price’s Rock ‘n Play Baby Sleeper – The Rock ‘n Play quickly became one of the best-selling baby products in the country because of the rest it afforded sleep-deprived parents. This baby sleeper had several features that helped lull one’s infant to sleep while safely cradled within its confines, but it also puts infants at risk of asphyxiation due to the baby’s reclined positioning. While Fisher-Price eventually issued a warning to stop using the Rock ‘n Play once a baby could turn over at around three months, CPSC ultimately recalled the sleeper from the market entirely in April 2019, affecting an estimated 4.7 million of the baby sleepers.
- Takata Airbag – Certain airbags of Japanese manufacturer Takata were deemed to inflate too forcefully, causing them to explode in some crashes and to send metal shrapnel-like pieces flying around and injuring car occupants in the process of an accident. The resulting May 2015 recall of 34 million vehicles – made by 11 separate automakers – is the largest vehicle recall in United States history. Many vehicles that still contain defective airbag inflators are presumed to remain on our roads
- MacBook Pro – Apple released a recall in June of 2019 for many of its older 15-inch MacBook Pros because the batteries were determined to pose a fire hazard. About 432,000 laptops in the United States were affected.
- Zantac – The FDA detected NDMA (a cancer-causing chemical) in Zantac and in several other generic versions of the drug in 2019. Several manufacturers of the generic over-the-counter medication took speedy action and recalled their tablets. In October of 2019, the maker of Zantac followed suit and undertook a voluntary recall of the drug – several drugstore chains had already stopped selling the product.
As these examples illustrate, product recalls can have significant and sweeping consequences.
Are Recalled Products Dangerous?
The fact is that recalled products can be very dangerous – and even deadly – as the airbag and baby sleeper recalls above illustrate. Prominent examples include:
- Drugs that lead to serious illnesses
- Food products that lead to food poisoning and secondary complications
- Unstable furniture that leads to falls and resulting broken bones and spinal cord injuries
- Baby products that lead to asphyxiation, that don’t reach the level of flame retardancy required by federal regulations and thus exacerbate burns, and/or that contain lead and are, therefore, poisonous
- Vehicle defects that lead to broken bones, deep cuts and lacerations, serious burns, spinal cord injuries, and/or traumatic brain injuries.
In fact, the dangers associated with recalled products are difficult to overstate.
What Should I Do if I Have Recalled Products in My Home?
If you discover that you have a recalled product in your home, there is no reason to panic. Instead, you should find out all the information you can from the website of the governmental agency with jurisdiction over the product (as defined above) and carefully follow the directions posted. You are well-advised to quit using the product immediately and to adhere to all further instructions provided.
Can I Recover Compensation if I Am Injured by a Recalled Product?
If a product is recalled – either by the company that makes it or by the U.S. government agency with jurisdiction over it – it is recalled because it is defective and not safe for consumers to use (either as intended or at all). If you or someone you care about was injured by a product that is later recalled, you were injured by a defective product – that the maker either admits is defective or accepts as defective – and this means that you likely have a viable case for recovering on the damages you incurred as a result.
Product liability law is specifically designed to help victims like you recover more effectively on the losses they experience as a result of defective products. The basics of product liability law include the following:
- You do not have to be the original purchaser of the product to bring a claim (but someone must have purchased it to begin with).
- Product liability can lie with any entity that participates in the creation of the product – from design to manufacturing, packaging, advertising, and beyond.
- You must be able to prove that the product was dangerously defective (as indicated by a product recall).
- You must be able to show that the defect directly caused you to be harmed.
Call Us Today to Schedule a Free Case Evaluation with a Huntsville Recall Lawyer
If you or a family member has been injured by a product that’s been recalled, you’re going through a very difficult time, but you are not alone. The dedicated recall lawyers at Cloud, Ryan & Rouse, LLC, in Huntsville are committed to working closely with you in the protection of your rights. Our results-driven legal team has the experience and resources to aggressively advocate for the compensation to which you are entitled. Your case is important, so please do not hesitate to contact us online or call us at 256-801-1000 to schedule a free case evaluation today.