Whenever you order something online or buy a product in a brick and mortar store, you have the right to reasonably expect that the item you purchase will serve the purpose it is designed to fulfill in a safe and effective manner. Sometimes, things go wrong and a piece of a product might malfunction or some other issue arises that affects the product's usability. Many companies will replace your product for you; in fact, some products come with warranties to ensure that you get replacements.
It's a whole other story, however, if you suffer an injury or illness because a product you purchased was defective. Manufacturers, distributors and storeowners are responsible for making sure they do not knowingly place defective products into consumers' hands. Whether a product causing you or your loved one injury happens to be a food item, clothing or a child's toy, you can seek recovery for your losses if you can show that a defect existed.
Past recalls that occurred after serious injuries and fatalities
You might be one of many New Jersey residents who eat spinach. Do you know that in 2006, close to 200 people became seriously ill because of bacteria-infected spinach that came out of a California food factory? The following list tells more about this tragedy and other major recalls in recent history:
- Reports say that three of the 199 people who fell ill after eating spinach ultimately succumbed to their infections. Multiple brands of spinach were included in the massive recall.
- If you've ever taken Tylenol pain reliever, you'll want to know that the company issued recalls in 1982 and 2010. In fact, the more recent recall involved more than 60 million units that someone laced with cyanide.
- Automobiles are often the subjects of manufacturers' recalls as well. Design flaws or defective parts can place vehicle operators and their passengers at great risk.
- If you're a parent of a toddler, you'll want to review recall lists before using a highchair. Popular highchair brand company, Graco had to call back more than a million units in 2010.
- Graco also placed many consumers at risk for finger amputations because of defective strollers they placed on the market that same year.
Not every injury or illness that arises from the use of a product is the fault of a manufacturer or distributor, however. If you buy a product and do not use it according to its safety labels or instructions, and then you or your family member gets sick or suffers an injury, you may have no recourse. As a consumer, you have an obligation to use the products you purchase according to instructions and to pay attention to any and all warning labels attached.
What if there is no label?
The problem is that many manufacturers fail to properly label their products, leaving consumers at risk for serious injury or death. The price of your product can turn into exorbitant costs for medical bills and other expenses associated with a product injury. There's no reason you should have to bear the financial burden if someone's negligence is to blame for your condition.