How a Recall Can Affect a Product Liability ClaimProduct liability lawsuits arise when a dangerous or defective product injures someone. These claims are usually based on the idea that a product was designed defectively, manufactured defectively, or failed to come with adequate warnings of the risks involved in using the product. When it is discovered that a product is defective in some way and is likely to cause harm to a consumer, there may be a product recall.
What is a Product Recall?
When it is discovered that a product is defective and potentially harmful to consumers, the manufacturer or a government agency, such as the Consumer Product Safety Commission(CPSC) will usually institute a recall. The goal of a recall is to get the defective product out of the hands of consumers or to provide a repair option for the product to prevent it from causing more harm.
The Effects of Recalls on Product Liability Claims
Depending on the circumstances, a product recall can be helpful or harmful to a person making a product liability claim. Product recalls can be:

  • Evidence of a Defect—while not always admissible in court to prove a defect, evidence of a product recall can be a great starting point for an investigation into why a product caused someone an injury. Of course, evidence that the defect in the product was the cause of the injury will still be essential.
  • Evidence of a Safer Alternative Design—manufacturers sometimes try to argue that their products could not be designed in a safer way. Evidence of a recall that involves the repair of a defective product can go a long way toward showing that a safer alternative design was available.
  • Evidence that the Injured Party was Negligent—if a person uses a defective product after a recall and is injured by that product, the manufacturer may claim that this was negligence on the part of the injured party. The manufacturer would have to establish, however, that there was notice of the recall.
  • Evidence that the Manufacturer Acted Responsibly—a manufacturer may try to use evidence of a product recall to show that it made efforts to improve the product and protect the public. This is especially helpful to manufacturers facing punitive damages. However, a recall does not absolve a manufacturer of all liability for a defective product.

If you’ve been injured by a defective product, you should contact an experienced attorney to evaluate your case. At Bonina & Bonina, P.C., we have over 50 years of experience helping injured New Yorkers. Contact us onlineor call us at 1-888-MEDLAW1 to schedule your free consultation. Home and hospital visits are available. Se habla español.