Most consumers are aware of when a product is being recalled. After all, it is hard to turn on the TV without seeing some form of advertisement for a recall or a news announcement. With the internet, recalls reach more consumers faster now, too. However, a consumer who is engaging in a product liability claim may wonder how a recall affects the case; and, whether it will negatively impact the outcome.
The impact will depend on the type of recall and when the recall was issued. Before getting into those answers, however, one must first understand the basic concept of product liability.
If someone is harmed by a product, he or she may be able to file a product liability lawsuit against the company that manufactured the product, the company that distributed it, or the retailer that sold it. However, the consumer must show that the product was inherently dangerous, manufactured defectively, or that there was inadequate warning of potential danger. Sometimes, a product may have incorrect usage instructions, which leads to injury. In this case, the consumer may still have a claim against the manufacturer.
Recalls can be issued voluntarily by the manufacturer, or they can be forced by a government agency, such as the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) or Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
When a recall is issued, the manufacturer is recognizing that there is a risk for injury to consumers. However, even if there is evidence that the product could result in harm, the recall itself does not mean that the manufacturer is liable. The court may not even allow you to use the fact that a recall was issued in your lawsuit.
Instead, the plaintiff has the burden of proof to establish that the product was dangerous or defective, and the defects led to injury.
Equally, a recall does not excuse the manufacturer from liability. The manufacturer must instead prove that their recall was clear, and warned the public of all dangers. Then, the company must prove that the injured person had received the recall notice and was warned prior to the injury for them to be absolved of any liability. This is a very difficult task to take on, let alone succeed in.
If you have been injured by a defective product that was recalled before or after your injury, you may still be entitled to compensation. You must first meet with a product liability attorney. Contact Berkowitz and Hanna LLC today to schedule a no-obligation case evaluation. Call us or contact us online to get started.