Experienced Attorneys Aggressively Pursuing Justice on Behalf of those Injured by Defective Products in Chicago
Manufacturers will often recall defective products, whether on their own or after being told by a government agency to do so. When this happens and you have a pending product liability claim, you may wonder how that recall will affect the outcome of your injury claim and compensation.
Understanding Product Liability Basics
An individual who is injured by a product may sue the manufacturer, retailer, or even the distributor for the injuries. The claim may be based on a defective design or failure to advise consumers of a risk, or even a defective manufacturing process. The plaintiff can collect compensation for all financial losses associated with the injury as well as emotional trauma.
How Recalls Work in the United States
If a manufacturer becomes aware of a potential defect on one of their products, they may recall that item. They may be promoted by a government oversight agency, such as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).
It is usually a voluntary recall issued by the manufacturer. If they do not issue a voluntary one, the CPSC or other authority may force a recall themselves. A notice is sent to owners of the defective device (those that have been registered), as well as the distributors and retailers of the product. The notices are also placed in general media – depending on the extent of the recall. The recall will also instruct owners of the defective products as to what steps they need to take next.
Recalls Do Not Count as Liability
Even if a manufacturer recalls a product or is forced to recall a product by the government, it does not mean that they are liable for injuries and damages. There have been instances where the courts have allowed information from a recall to establish a product’s defective design, but that doesn’t automatically equate to liability.
If the recall is issued, but the consumer is not warned, it is still the manufacturer’s issue. Also, the manufacturer may be able to sue the distributor or retailer in return for not issuing proper notification to the consumer.
To quash a lawsuit, the manufacturer would need to prove to the court that the plaintiff received the notice of the recall and was adequately warned of the dangers posed by the product’s defect.
Real Life Recall Examples
There are some recalls going on right now that are perfect examples of manufacturer recalls and product liability. These include:
- Tire Manufacturer Recalls: A major tire manufacturer had been warned that they needed to recall a tire because of its safety defects. When they failed to order the recall, the company faced multiple lawsuits because multiple plaintiffs were injured. The courts allowed evidence of the recall request to be used as evidence against the tire manufacturer, but the letter could not be used as evidence of a defect.
- Dealer Liability and Auto Manufacturer: There was an instance where a plaintiff was injured because of a defective brake light. The manufacturer sued the dealer, as well as the leasing agency that leased out the vehicle, in order to recoup their costs. The manufacturer had already sent a recall notice to that dealership, where they then failed to bring in the defective vehicle.
Were You Injured by a Defective Product or Device?
If you were injured by a defective product, regardless of whether there is a recall, you may be entitled to compensation. The specifics of the defect and the type of recall pending (if any) will determine what type of claim you may have and who you may bring your claim against.