Do Products Have to be Recalled to Sue Their Manufacturers for Dangerous Defects?
Product safety is a vital concern in today’s consumer-driven society, where individuals trust manufacturers to deliver goods that are not only functional but also safe for use. However, the unfortunate reality is that defects and hazards can occasionally emerge, potentially leading to injuries, damages, and even loss of life.
In Wisconsin, individuals harmed by defective products can seek compensation from negligent manufacturers. Many product liability cases involve items that have been recalled, but that’s not always the case.
If you were hurt by a product still on store shelves, you may still be able to file a lawsuit to receive a settlement. Our Green Bay defective product injury lawyers can help you navigate your rights and hold negligent manufacturers accountable, regardless of whether the product was recalled.
A product recall is a formal process through which a manufacturer, distributor, or regulatory agency takes action to remove a product from the market. Recalls usually happen due to safety concerns, defects, or violations of regulatory standards.
Recalls help prevent potential consumer harm and allow the manufacturer to fix issues that may compromise the product’s intended use or safety. They typically result from consumer reports regarding a defect in the product. These reports initiate an investigation by regulatory agencies into the product’s safety.
If a product is found to be defective, the company must communicate its removal and notify the public. Upon doing so, the manufacturer essentially admits their mistake and fixes it before producing and selling additional items.
Suing for dangerous defects in a product does not always require a formal recall. All manufacturers have a responsibility to ensure the safety of their products, and when they fail to do so, they can be held liable.
A previous recall can certainly bolster a legal case by providing evidence of a known defect. However, if a defective or dangerous item hurts you, you can still pursue a product liability claim, even if the product remains available to consumers.
For example, Monsanto, the weed killer Roundup manufacturer, has paid out around $11 billion in settlements to those harmed by the product. Despite another 30,000 pending legal actions, it is still widely available to consumers.
Proving a product liability claim requires gathering evidence that demonstrates the existence of a defect, the product’s unreasonably dangerous nature, and its direct role in causing harm or damages.
While product recalls are one of the best forms of evidence, other types include:
- Product documentation: Comprehensive records of the product’s design, manufacturing process, specifications, and safety protocols can reveal lapses in quality control or inadequate safety measures.
- Product testing: Detailed reports from testing conducted during the product’s development and production stages can uncover flaws, defects, or hazardous properties that may have contributed to the injury.
- Photographic evidence: Clear photographs showcasing the product’s design, defects, warnings, or hazards can vividly illustrate its shortcomings and potential risks to users. Photos of your injuries or other damages caused by the product can also provide its dangerous or defective nature.
- Medical records: You can use medical documentation of your injuries to prove product liability. Documentation includes medical diagnoses, treatment records, and expert opinions linking the injuries to the product’s defects.
- Expert testimony: Knowledgeable professionals in engineering, medicine, or product design can offer expert opinions on the product’s defects, hazards, and potential consequences.
- Consumer complaints: Records of consumer complaints, whether filed with the manufacturer, regulatory agencies, or online platforms like the Better Business Bureau, can provide evidence of recurring issues or known dangers associated with the product.
- Industry standards and regulations: References to relevant industry standards, guidelines, and governmental regulations can establish a benchmark for product safety and highlight deviations from accepted norms.
- Warnings and instructions: Product warnings, labels, and instructions can demonstrate whether adequate measures were taken to alert consumers to potential risks.
While the presence of a product recall can help support your claim, it isn’t necessary to win your case. At Brian Hodgkiss Injury Lawyers, our attorneys have extensive experience with product liability claims.
We will guide you through your legal options if you are harmed by a dangerous or defective product, helping you to receive fair compensation from the responsible parties.
Contact our legal team today to schedule a free initial consultation. We can protect your rights when going after a negligent manufacturer and negotiate a reasonable settlement to pay for your damages.