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Posted in Dangerous Products on August 26, 2022   |  by Gary Burger

Defective Product Recalls and Consumer Rights

Defective Product Recalls and Consumer Rights. If a dangerous or recalled product injured you or a loved one, you have the right to seek compensation for your injuries. When a manufacturer makes a product and a vendor sells it, they are essentially telling you that the product is safe for you to use. But sometimes an error isn't caught, or the manufacturer overlooks something crucial, and the product becomes unsafe. In those cases, issuing a recall and a refund isn't enough; they need to be held accountable for their actions and you need to be compensated for all of your damages. If an unsafe product injured you, call the Missouri and Illinois product liability lawyers of Burger Law at (314) 500-HURT or contact us online.

What Makes a Product Defective?

Defective products can occur in three ways:

  • Design defects — This is an inherent defect in the product itself that makes it dangerous when used for its intended purpose. Examples can include a safety guard on a power tool that doesn't adequately protect the user, an electric appliance that can lead to fires or an SUV that is too top-heavy and is prone to rollover accidents.
  • Manufacturing defects — This occurs when a product is designed safely but an error occurs while it is being made. Examples can include a prescription drug or beverage that becomes contaminated, a swing with a cracked chain or a mistake on the assembly line which causes a vehicle not to brake or steer correctly.
  • Failure to warn — Also called inadequate instructions, this refers to a manufacturer not letting the consumer know about inherent dangers when a product is used in a reasonable manner. This can include toys for small children that do not designate that they are choking hazards, not advising that an electric appliance or tool should not be used near water or failing to warn that a car's seat might fall backward if the occupant is overweight.

Types of defective products include:

  • Defective medical devices
  • Defective vehicle parts
  • Defective drugs
  • Defective children's toys and cribs
  • Toxic chemicals such as weedkillers and cleaning products
  • Defective household appliances
  • Defective industrial equipment and machinery

Can I Sue For a Recalled Product?

You have a right to seek compensation when a recalled product injures you. In the United States, manufacturers, the Consumer Product Safety Commission, the Food & Drug Administration and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration all have the authority to issue recalls of a product if it is found to be unsafe after it hits the market. When that happens, notices will be sent out to people who have purchased the product. Often, the manufacturer will then also have to issue refunds or pay for replacements.

But what if the product already injured you? Or you continued using the product and got hurt because you never received a notice? Then you have the right to seek compensation in a lawsuit. In order to make a claim for product liability, you must have been injured by the product while using it in the manner intended or in a predictable manner, and those injuries must have led to damages, such as lost wages, medical expenses and pain and suffering. If you own the product but were never injured by it, or you suffered a small bruise or cut that did not lead to an emergency room visit or time off work, you would not be able to make a claim as the manufacturer does not have to compensate you for simply owning the product.

Burger Law is currently litigating claims in an Exactech recall lawsuit, because the medical device manufacturer Exactech was negligent in how they packaged their knee, ankle and hip replacements, causing them to fail early.

How to Pursue a Product Liability Claim

Compensation for a defective and/or recalled product is based on one of two types of liability claims:

  • Negligence Just like a driver who takes their eyes off the road to look at their phone, or a restaurant that doesn't clean up liquid on the floor, the manufacturers of a product can also be held negligent. For example, if an auto manufacturer fails to test whether airbags deploy in certain crash conditions, they could be held liable for negligence if you are in an accident.
  • Strict Liability In strict liability, anybody involved in the distribution channel, meaning anyone involved in the design, manufacture, shipping or sale of the product can be held liable regardless of their actions. Meaning, you do not have to prove negligence to make a financial recovery, you just need to prove that the product was defective and that the defect caused your injuries.

Large corporations like product manufacturers and insurance companies love to try to blame people for the injuries their dangerous products caused. That's why you need a fierce and experienced product liability and recall lawsuit attorney by your side to stand up to bullies and defend your rights.

Missouri and Illinois Consumer Rights Lawyers | Burger Law

Burger Law fights relentlessly on behalf of clients throughout Missouri and Illinois when companies do not safely design, produce and test their products. If you were injured by a defective product, call Burger Law today at (314) 500-HURT or fill out our online form for a free consultation and to learn more about your rights as a consumer.