It seems like not a day goes by where we do not hear about the latest product recall. From peanut butter to car seats, product recalls serve to terrify parents across the country. The need for adequate product recall warnings becomes more apparent each day that consumers continue to use products that have displayed tendencies to cause injuries. Unfortunately, one person has to be the first victim who discovers the need for a product recall, after which the manufacturer may decide to issue a recall. During a product liability claim, the existence of a product recall may lead to further complexities during the claim process and a series of questions as to whether the manufacturer is strictly liable or whether the victim received adequate warnings.
Product Liability Claims
Product liability cases often involve three different theories of recovery:
- Breach of warranty
- Strict liability
In negligence claims, an injured consumer must be able to prove that the manufacturer or store owner was negligent in the design, manufacture and promotion of the product. Breach of warranty claims have their foundation in contract law, and a victim may recover the amount of damages based on a claim that the manufacturer breached their warranty to the consumer.
Generally speaking, the majority of product liability claims are based on design defects, failure to warn of a risk or defective construction.
A product recall is usually the result of months or even years of investigations wherein the product manufacturer or distributor becomes aware of a serious defect with the product which is likely to cause injuries to consumers. This could be due to ongoing legal disputes or direct guidance from federal agencies, such as the Food and Drug Administration. At this point, a manufacturer may issue a voluntary recall with a notice sent out to distributors and the known purchasers as well as on the product website.
However, even the existence of a product recall does not automatically make a manufacturer liable for resulting injuries from the product. The victim must still prove the basic elements of any product liability lawsuit: that the product was defective and this defect led to the resulting injuries. On the other hand, a victim may be subject to scrutiny by the manufacturer after any product liability claims during a recall if the manufacturer is able to prove that the consumer received notice of the recall and the recall warned of the defects. It is important to consult with an experienced product liability attorney during this time to determine what your options are and whether your claim may be limited due to the recall.
Malley Law Firm | Houston Product Liability Attorney
If you or a loved one have been injured by a defective product which is currently in the process of a recall, do not hesitate to contact the Malley Law Firm. Product liability cases which occur when a manufacturer is in the midst of a recall often require a complex look at the timing of the recall and what notice the consumer received prior to the injury. Contact our Beaumont or Houston offices today for your initial free consultation.