Defective Products in Texas
Over the course of a lifetime, many people will purchase a countless number of products – groceries, automobiles, cosmetics, appliances, and children’s toys, just to name a few.
Most of the time, these products function as expected. But when they don’t, consumers could be at risk for serious or fatal injury.
When a manufacturer becomes aware that a defect exists in one of its products, it is required by law to report that defect to the appropriate federal agency. Some businesses, however, choose to ignore incidents of illness and injury resulting from their products and deliberately avoid reporting such events. Companies that attempt to circumvent the law in this manner are knowingly putting people in harm’s way.
Recent Product Recalls
Between May 2014 and September 2015, 12 automakers recalled approximately 19 million vehicles due to a potentially deadly defect in air bags manufactured by Takata. That recall and several others – including a series of recalls from Chrysler – prompted the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration to create a separate website in 2015 for the sole purpose of educating consumers about vehicle recalls.
In October 2015, the Consumer Product Safety Commission issued an update to the bed handle recall, after a fourth person’s death was blamed on the product. The portable handles attach to the sides of a mattress and provide a bar that can be grabbed for support when getting into or out of bed. Modern iterations of this product include safety straps that keep the bars from slipping out of place, but three models manufactured between 1994 and 2007 don’t have safety straps. Four women in assisted living facilities died when the bed handle shifted and they were trapped between it and their mattress.
Dangers for Children
The CPSC reports an alarming number of recalls involving children’s products. Toys, highchairs, cribs, strollers, and clothing are among the items that have been recalled due to risk of injury or death. And parents may be shocked to learn some manufacturers try to cover up reports of their products’ harming children.
In September 2015, the CPSC fined the manufacturer of a portable clip-on high chair $3.5 million for knowingly failing to report a serious product defect as required by law. The high chair’s clamps – the sole means of securing the chair to the edge of a table – can detach and cause a child to fall to the ground. If a single clamp detaches, a child’s hand can be crushed between the clamp and the high chair’s front bar. The company received multiple reports between September 2009 and October 2010 of the chairs’ detaching, including two incidents in which chairs amputated children’s fingers, but it didn’t notify the CPSC until January 2011. Even then, it did not disclose the amputation hazard and it presented an updated high chair to the CPSC for inspection – not the original model that was causing injuries.
Manufacturers that disregard the safety of consumers should be held accountable when their products cause injury. And, thankfully, the legal justice system provides families the opportunity to pursue compensation in such cases. If you believe a defective product caused your injuries, or an injury to a loved one, we may be able to help you. We’re based in Austin, but our legal team can handle personal injury cases throughout the state. Call us today for your no-obligation consultation, at (855) 414-1012.
Many foods, cosmetics, medicines, and other products that contact the body or are ingested have been recalled over the years because of contamination. In August 2015, the Food and Drug Administration recalled tattoo ink contaminated with bacteria that can cause severe and life-threatening infections when injected into the skin. The cause of the contamination was unknown at the time of the recall, but often, bacterial contamination is the result of unsanitary manufacturing processes.
In September 2015, the FDA announced a recall of plain caramel apples due to possible peanut contamination, resulting from “a temporary breakdown in the company’s production and packaging processes.” Texas was one of eight states that had received shipments of the product.
A Violation of Trust
Consumers generally expect products they use every day are safe and that manufacturers wouldn’t knowingly put them at risk of injury. But the numerous recalls that occur every year indicate that many companies are at least somewhat careless about consumer safety, and some are downright negligent.
If you’ve been harmed by a defective product, you need an attorney who can stand up to corporate lawyers. The Evans Law Firm has proudly represented the people of Texas in such cases, and we know how to get the best results for our clients. Find out how we can help you. Call us today at (855) 414-1012, or fill out our online contact form to request your free consultation.