Recall Lawsuit: Can You Sue After a Recall?

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When you buy something new, the hope is that the product works and serves its purpose. The product should be safe, whether it’s a car right off the assembly line or your long-time comfort food. However, there are times when products are defective and unsafe. The defect may even result in injury to you or a loved one. Legal claims for compensation may be made as a result of a defective product. Read on to learn more about product liability claims.

What is Product Liability?

Product liability is a body of law that allows consumers to bring claims against manufacturers and distributors of defective products. 

 There are three primary types of product liability claims:

  1. Design defect
  2. Manufacturing defect
  3. Failure to warn

Each type of product liability claim requires knowledge of the law and the product. Many times attorneys will bring in expert witnesses on various types of products to determine and document the defect. If you have questions about a product liability issue, you should contact an attorney who handles these types of claims. The attorneys at WKW have handled many different types of product liability claims over the years and are happy to discuss your potential case. 

Click the link to learn more about product liability in Indiana.

Defective Design

One of the more difficult cases to argue is a defective design product liability lawsuit.  You must demonstrate that the cause of your injury is the design itself. Many times courts require a plaintiff to show that there was a feasible alternative design to the product. These claims also involve requests for the defendant product designer to produce documents about the product’s design, including drawings and testing data.. 

Defective Manufacturing

Defective manufacturing product liability claims occur when something wrong happens in the manufacturing process. In other words, the product design was fine, but the product was not manufactured according to the design.  Industry design standards may be raised to show that the manufacturer did not comply with design regulations. Sometimes strict liability can apply to a manufacturer who makes a product with a manufacturing defect. Food product recalls are a good example of a manufacturing defect.  

Failure to Warn

The manufacturer may become aware of the product’s dangers during manufacturing. A failure to warn lawsuit happens if a manufacturer is aware of the dangers and fails to warn consumers.

For example, Pepto-Bismol works wonders for heartburn. Still, the label directs pregnant women to ask a medical professional before taking it because it may cause birth defects. Products like latex balloons or bean bags usually have choking hazard labels to keep small children and pets safe. Pepto-Bismol, latex balloons, and bean bags are not innately dangerous to everyone but pose dangers to some people. Warning labels are present to notify the buyer that there are risks. 

Products that are inherently dangerous to some people are allowed to be distributed but the risks must be disclosed in order to keep the general public safe. If consumers are not made aware of the risks, they may suffer injury or even death. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), recalled drugs are an “effective way to protect the public from a defective or potentially harmful product.” 

What Is A Product Recall?

Product recall occurs when a manufacturer or government agency becomes aware of a product defect and sends a public notice. 

A recall is sent to distributors, sellers, purchasers, and other public outlets such as commercials, online publications, and more. A recall typically gives instructions on repairs or replacements. It should also include warnings of any dangers. In extreme cases, a recall will warn you to stop using the product altogether.

Reasons for Product Recall

If a product is found to have a defect or problem that is harmful and could potentially cause injury, the manufacturer or government agency will issue a recall. 

Who Recalls A Product? 

The manufacturer issues many recalls voluntarily once they discover an issue with the product.

 Government agencies may issue a recall based on consumer complaints if the manufacturer fails to issue a recall. 

Some of the most common government agency recalls come from:

Visit for a comprehensive look at all recalls in the United States. The website provides links to all government recalls for the following categories:

  • Consumer products
  • Motor vehicles
  • Boats
  • Food
  • Medicine
  • Cosmetics
  • Environmental products

Check the site to find out if a product you bought has been recalled. Doing so can save you from potential injury.

Product Recall Procedure

A product recall does not happen overnight. Recalls are a process that involves necessary steps. Read on to see how a typical recall is issued. Note that this is only one way recalls can happen. If the manufacturer or designer notices any defects, they may also issue a recall. 

  1. Consumers or other government agencies file complaints of a defective product to the company or the government agency responsible for the product.
  2. The government agency investigates the complaint and product. They will then rate the defect on how dangerous the product is.
  3. The manufacturer is informed of the defect. The manufacturer will then decide whether to recall a product or not. If they do not, the government agency can take action.
  4. The manufacturer then repairs, replaces, or destroys the defective product.

These steps show what happens on the manufacturer’s side of a recall, but they are not the entire picture. A recall is one thing, but the injuries you experience could have a long-term impact on your daily life. . It is our goal to ensure that those responsible for injuries are held accountable for their actions or inactions.   

Can You Sue After A Recall?

The answer to this question depends on the circumstances of the recall. You must sustain an injury to pursue a lawsuit. In a personal injury case, there must be a proven cause, which might be any harm done to you or your property.  

Recalls Used to Prove a Defect

Recalls may be used to show that a product is defective, depending on the court. If the court allows, you may be able to use the recall as evidence of the defect. Some courts will not accept a recall as evidence. If you use a recall as evidence, the manufacturer may claim that the consumer knew, or should have know of the defect and attempt to place blame on the injured party. 

In contrast, the presence of a recall may not necessarily work in the manufacturer’s favor. The manufacturer has to prove that you-the plaintiff- received the recall. They can still be liable if they do not try to reach you directly. The distributor could also be liable if the manufacturer informed the distributor and the distributor did not notify the consumer. However, the liable party varies depending on each case. 

If you have been injured due to a product defect, know that you are not alone. Click on the link to learn how class action lawsuits work. You may be able to fight for justice alongside those who experience the same injuries you have due to a product defect. 

Injury Damages From Product Defects

Product recalls and defects can lead to the recovery of damages from an injury.  A product liability lawsuit makes it possible to seek compensation for the following potential types of damages

  • Medical bills that need to be paid, including hospital visits, rehabilitation, check-ups related to your injury, medical equipment such as wheelchairs or crutches, ambulance costs, and more
  • Lost wages for the period(s) of time you cannot work due to trauma or healing from your injury
  • Pain and suffering for the lasting mental, emotional, and physical harm you endure because of your injury
  • Disfigurement from an injury
  • Loss of enjoyment of life after an injury

Injuries from a product defect can be life-changing. The experienced WKW product liability and product recall attorneys can help you recover damages caused by product defects.

Contact An Experienced Product Recall Attorney at WKW

The knowledgeable attorneys at WKW are here to help you after you’ve been injured by a defective product. We understand how frustrating and scary it is to sustain an injury from a product you thought you could trust. Together, we’ll work to help you through this difficult time in your life. ! Call us today at 317.886.1924 or fill out an online form for a free consultation! We look forward to hearing from you.

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