The Role of Auto Defects in Car Accidents
Posted in: Legal Blog
Sometimes manufacturers make errors in the production of their goods. Product recalls remind us of this fact. If a defective product is recalled in a timely fashion, the potential exists to prevent many lives from experiencing harm and injury due to the product’s flaws.
However, for anyone who has suffered an injury from a product that has been recalled, the recall itself is not sufficient enough to compensate for the harm endured. As a victim of a serious injury stemming from a recalled product, you may have the opportunity to recover legal compensation for your losses from any and all responsible parties.
Regardless of the product involved, or the injury you have suffered due to a defective product, our team at Kisling, Nestico & Redick has the experience and resources to successfully represent you in a product liability claim.
To explore your grounds for legal action with a free consultation, call us today at 1-800-HURT-NOW.
A product liability lawsuit commences when a person (the plaintiff), injured as a result of a defective product, sues the manufacturer, distributor, and/or retail or wholesaler of the product. Such a claim may be filed based on one or more several causes, each of which creates a danger for the end-user. These include:
As the plaintiff in a product liability lawsuit resulting from an injury caused by a recalled product, you can sue the responsible party for any physical harm you endured, as well as any and all of the financial losses you faced as a result of the product defect.
The manufacturer may be liable for any above-mentioned injuries only if several conditions are met. These include:
If your injury and the product causing the injury match this criteria, the potentially liable parties may also extend beyond the manufacturer to include the distributor, any related consultant, the retailer, or wholesaler.
The manufacturer is not the only entity with the ability to issue a product recall. Other agencies that have federal oversight over consumer products may issue recalls as well. These include the Food & Drug Administration, Consumer Product Safety Commission, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
The entity issuing the product recall will usually send a notice to all distributors, sellers, and purchasers of the product. As well, this notice of recall will often be given to the general media and particular trade journals in order to get the word out. The recall itself will warn consumers of the current defect in the product and the danger(s) posed by said defect. It will also include instructions to past purchasers on how to have the product replaced or repaired.
As an owner of a recalled product, it is important that you follow the instructions provided with the recall notice, which may include returning the product for repair or replacement along with a possible refund.
Although the court hearing your product liability case may permit evidence of a recall to help establish the defective nature of the product, this evidence alone does not automatically make the manufacturer, or any other possible responsible party, liable in a civil case.
As the plaintiff, you are required to prove elements of your product liability case – specifically, that the product is defective and that the defect caused your injuries. The product recall may serve as circumstantial evidence to help establish the nature of the defect (if allowed by the court), however, additional direct evidence such as photos of the product and witness testimony are often required to establish manufacturer liability.
Some courts may not allow evidence of recall to be included in your product liability case. The reason for the disallowing of such evidence is that a jury having knowledge of the recall may give undue weight to the recall itself and not consider all of the other evidence without prejudice in a fair manner.
Even though the manufacturer or other entity issues a recall on the manufacturer’s product, the recall itself cannot negate any product liability claim filed against the manufacturer by you, the plaintiff. To avoid liability, the manufacturer is required to prove that any particular plaintiff received notice of the recall, and that the information provided in the recall notice sufficiently warned the plaintiff of the possible dangers of continuing to use the product.
The issuance of a general recall that does not include the success of efforts to deliver the recall notice directly to any and all potential plaintiffs is not sufficient enough grounds to protect the manufacturer from potential liability. The manufacturer may not shift the responsibility to the distributor or seller for failing to properly notify customers of the recall.
The manufacturer, however, may potentially use a product recall in their favor during a product liability case by showing that the consumer received adequate notice of the recall and defect, and despite the notice, continued to use the product.
In such a case, the consumer may not have grounds to win. An experienced Ohio product liability attorney can help you determine who may be liable for your injuries in a case where a recall was issued.
The issues surrounding product recalls and product liability lawsuits can be complicated. Multiple entities, such as the manufacturer, distributor, seller, plaintiffs, and defendants may all have a part in such a case. This is why it’s important to have an experienced Ohio product liability attorney on your side if you’ve been injured by a defective product. Our team at Kisling, Nestico & Redick is here to help you.