Posted in News on May 30, 2018
It seems that every news cycle brings warnings about defective products or recalls. Whether it’s romaine lettuce, eggs, or dressers, both the government and manufacturers issue recalls in an attempt to assure public safety. What should you do if a product you use has a recall?
Here’s everything you need to know:
- Know which products have a recall.
Recalls.gov has a comprehensive list of recalls based on the collaboration between 6 different agencies. These involve recalls mandated by the U.S. government, such as those issued by the FDA. The Consumer Product Safety Commission also provides recall information, whether government-mandated, or voluntary actions by the organization. Check the site regularly to make sure the products you use are safe.
- Stop using any products that have a recall.
Manufacturers and the government issue recalls for a product because they have reason to believe that using the product poses an unnecessary risk to the consumer. For example, IKEA issued an extensive recall of their MALM dressers after reports of young children climbing on them, leading to tip overs, serious injuries, and even death. In this case, the company recommended getting the dressers out of the reach of children immediately.
Stop using a product that has any recalls, whether it’s food or a playground set. In the case of food, know that only certain batches may be subject to recall. Check batch number, sell by dates, or any other information provided by the manufacturer to see if your food qualifies. When in doubt, dispose of the item as soon as possible.
- Read the recall information carefully.
Most recalls will provide you with important information: what the recall affects, the danger it poses to the consumer, and what actions you can take to address the problem. Some products request that you return the item to the store for a full refund, others suggest contacting the manufacturer for a free repair kit. If the recall affects a large or complex item like a car, the manufacturer will request that you visit a dealership for a free repair.
In some cases, you’ll learn about a recall via a letter from the manufacturer. This letter will detail the specifics of the recall and what actions you can take to address it. Follow all the instructions to receive a refund, replacement, or other solution to the problem.
What Should I Do If I Sustain an Injury from Using a Product?
If you or a loved one suffered harm from using a defective product, you may be able to file a claim against the manufacturer, distributor, or retailer to receive compensation for all of your damages. A product liability claim can help provide reimbursement for medical bills, lost wages, or any other expenses associated with your experience.
Product liability claims follow the rule of “strict liability,” which means you won’t have to prove that a manufacturer committed negligence or even knew that the product was defective. You need only show that a product was defective, and the defect led to your injuries.
The following might be examples of viable product liability claim:
- Contracting listeria from contaminated lettuce while pregnant, presenting a danger to your unborn child
- Sustaining injuries in a car accident because your seatbelt failed to function properly
- Your child sustaining injuries from climbing on a dresser that presented a tip over risk
If a product you use has a recall alert, take immediate action. Don’t use the item. Dispose of it right away or return it to the store for full refund. Follow any directions provided by the manufacturer regarding the recall. If you already sustained injuries from a product that has a recall, contact a product liability attorney for further guidance.