New Orleans, LA Product Recall Lawyer
There are times when products are recalled, either because of defective manufacture or design. A product recall is the process of returning a dangerous or defective product or group of products to the manufacturer because an issue has been identified that can cause serious injury or death. Products produced or imported into the United States must meet safety guidelines or the products can be recalled and the manufacturer, distributor, or retailer can be held responsible for any injuries sustained by consumers.
It is important to note that you may not be entitled to a product liability claim if the product was recalled and you continued to use it after it was recalled. This makes it extremely important to keep track of recent recalls, which you can do on the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) website. Because there are so many different types of products out there, there are several different government agencies that have the authority to issue recalls. Anything from diapers to airplanes, appliances to pharmaceuticals, can be recalled if it is dangerous.
The Federal Regulatory Agencies
There are several federal agencies tasked with regulating products to ensure the safety of people using those products, and that have the power, where necessary, to issue product recalls to remove dangerous or defective products from circulation. The CPSC is tasked with regulating products that reach the shelves. The U.S. Consumer Protection Agency protects the public from dangerous and defective products that can cause injury by fire, electrocution, chemical exposure, mechanical malfunction, or are hazardous to children. However, there are other agencies that also protect people from dangerous and defective products. The Federal Aviation Commission oversees aerospace safety and is responsible for recall of defective products on aircraft. Automobiles, child restraints and vehicle parts are subject to regulation and product recall by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Importantly, the Federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is responsible for food safety and drug/pharmaceutical safety, and can order recalls of dangerous food products and drugs.
Products can be recalled for many different reasons. For example, parts may be improperly made, food may be contaminated, they are unsafe for children, or there may be serious side effect to a drug. Unfortunately, many products are not recalled until multiple consumers report injuries. When accidents are reported, the regulating agencies will then step in to run tests on the product, or ask the manufacturers to run additional tests on their products.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission
The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is the governmental agency that is responsible for recalling defective products. The commission will announce product recalls so that the general public can be warned of them. Recalled products should immediately stop being used so as to avoid injury. The CPSC will have instructions for what consumers should do if they find out they have a defective product in their possession. Anyone can report an unsafe product to the CPSC for investigation. Typically, if there are multiple similar reports, then a product or a certain batch of products will be recalled. Products that have been distorted by manufacturing defects typically get recalled in batches, since only some products were likely affected. Not all claims are investigated by the CPSC, and only some claims will be sent to the product manufacturer for review.
The FDA and Medical Device and Drug Recalls
The Federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates the development, manufacturing, testing and marketing of medical devices and drugs. The FDA can either approve or deny approval for drugs and devices, based upon a examination and review of research and studies related to drugs and medical devices. Because of the potential for serious side effects, this regulation of drugs is extremely important. The FDA study and examination of drugs often continues beyond the date a drug or medical device is approved. If dangerous side effects come to light after the approval of a device or drug, the FDA can issue a safety alert, order that a “black box” warning on the label of the drug or product be added, or instruct a manufacturer to change its labeling to reflect the potentially dangerous side effects. If the benefits of using a product are outweighed by the danger that product poses to the public, the FDA will issue a medical recall or instruct the pharmaceutical company to issue a medical recall of a product or drug. A recall order normally results from situations where ongoing studies, or new studies indicate serious risks of severe health effects related to continued use of the product. If a medical recall is issued, the product will be removed from circulation, all use should cease, and it should no longer be available to patients and consumers.
There are times, where so many people are injured in the same way by a defective product, that there are class actions against the manufacturers. In these class action lawsuits, many injured people and their families band together to assert numerous claims against the manufacturer of the defective or dangerous products.
If you or a loved one has been injured by a defective or dangerous product, learn about your legal rights from an experienced Louisiana product recall lawyer by calling 504-581-4892 or by filling out our free, no obligation case review form.