• Nov
    Posted in:
    Posted by: Jarve Kaplan Granato Starr

    Who is Responsible for Injuries Caused by Recalled Products?

    We’ve become accustomed to news reports and social media alerts heralding the recall of a wide variety of consumer products. Sometimes a recall involves a part that needs to be replaced in the recalled products and consumers are provided with the opportunity to have that service performed at no charge. Other times the recall involves a product that consumers are told to dispose of or return to the store. While recalls, whether voluntary or spurred by the government, are meant to protect the public, there are times when they come too late or that consumers don’t get the word not to use the product. When that occurs, many people assume that the manufacturer will automatically be responsible, but that’s not always the case.

    When a defective product is blamed for an injury, the injured person has a wide range of entities that may be liable. It might be the product’s manufacturer, its distributor, the companies responsible for transporting the product and the retailer or wholesaler that sells it. The answer to who is responsible is often dependent upon what the defect actually is. In the case of recalled products in which there is a defect in design, in the manufacturing process, or even regarding warnings about its usage, the fact of the recall will certainly be brought up as having caused the injury but will not be considered direct evidence. The injured party will have to provide more proof that the use of the product and the defect behind the recall was responsible for their injury.

    An example of how this works is very much in the news today surrounding Johnson & Johnson’s Baby Powder. The product has been named in numerous personal injury lawsuits by people claiming that asbestos in the product was responsible for their malignant mesothelioma or ovarian cancer. In the midst of these lawsuits being heard (and another 15,000 pending), the U.S. Food and Drug Administration reported having identified asbestos in a bottle of the product purchased online in 2018, and the company immediately responded with a voluntary recall of 33,000 bottles. Since that time the company has exerted tremendous energy in refuting the FDA results and it is likely that the cases will continue. If they are successful in disproving the FDA’s findings, then the facts of their recall can be painted as a good faith effort to defend the public rather than an admission of a problem with the product.

    If you or someone you love has been injured by a product that has been recalled, our attorneys can help to guide you through understanding your rights and options. Contact us today to set up an appointment to discuss your situation.



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