US Manufacturers generally owe a duty to consumers to look out for potential defects in their product line. Many defects, however, aren’t discovered until after the products have been sold and have caused an injury. For instance, side effects from medications may not become clear until consumers use the product; and sometimes vehicles or its components only reveal flaws in certain situations after purchase.
When this occurs, manufacturers may need to recall the product from the marketplace, repair the defective product, replace it, or discontinue its use. Manufacturers often recall their products in order to avoid the risk of multiple lawsuits, class action lawsuits, or to maintain good public relations.
To help protect consumers from products that present an unreasonable risk of injury, the US Congress enacted The Consumer Product Safety Act of 1972 and later The Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008. To implement these Acts, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) was created.
There are also six agencies in the United States that can require recalls including the Consumer Product Safety Commission, the Food and Drug Administration, the Food Safety and Inspection Services, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the Coast Guard, and the Environmental Protection Agency. Each agency has its own rules.
Over recent months, various agencies have recalled numerous consumer products that present an unreasonable risk of injury to consumers. In April 2020, there were numerous vehicle recalls that included vehicles made by Chrysler, Dodge, and Jeep due to rearview camera images remaining displayed after shifting from reverse which can distract drivers. Chevrolet also issued a recall due to a possible retention failure of the truck bed cover that could lead to separation and become a road hazard. These problems can increase the risk of a crash and injury.
On April 1, 2020, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) ordered all heartburn and ulcer medications sold under the brand name of Zantac taken off store shelves immediately. This represents the latest step in an ongoing investigation of a contaminant known as N-nitroso dimethylamine (NDMA) in ranitidine medications (commonly known by the brand name Zantac).
The agency has determined that the impurity in some ranitidine products increases over time and when stored at higher than room temperatures, may result in consumer exposure to unacceptable levels.
CLASS ACTIONS LAWSUITS
Class action lawsuits typically arise when a group of people, possibly hundreds or thousands, have sustained the same or similar injuries or have suffered an otherwise unlawful action caused by the same product from a manufacturer, and seek relief by suing the manufacturer as a group.
Ordinarily, when people sue a manufacturer for strict liability for a defective product, they must prove this element by presenting expensive expert testimony. But if a defect has already been established, then the plaintiff(s) must prove the defect caused his or her injury to recover compensation.
When personal injuries occur from defective products that have not been recalled, manufacturers can face liability. When a plaintiff is injured after a recall notice has been issued, manufacturers often argue that those injured “assumed the risk” by continuing to use the recalled defective product. Assumption of the risk is an affirmative defense for manufacturers against a product liability lawsuit. In these cases, manufacturers often argue that the injured has comparative or contributory negligence.
If you have been injured or have suffered an otherwise unlawful action caused by a product, person, organization, or business regularly conducting business in the U.S., and you think there are others in your situation, you should seek legal counsel from an attorney, like a recalled products lawyer in Las Vegas, NV who is experienced in representing classes of injured people in this specific type of lawsuit.
Thanks to The Law Firm of Eglet Adams for their tips on recalled products.