Unsafe or Defective Products and Product Recalls

Apr 02

Unsafe or Defective Products and Product Recalls

Different federal agencies exist in order to protect America’s buying public from the possible harm defective or dangerous products can cause. These agencies, which are tasked to regulate the manufacture and sale of certain consumer products, include:

  • The Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which regulates products, such as drugs, cosmetics, medical devices and food;
  • The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), which has jurisdiction over motor vehicles;
  • The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), which has jurisdiction over the ;
  • The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, which controls alcohol, tobacco & tobacco products;
  • The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, which is in charge of firearms and ammunition; and,
  • The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), which regulates products, like cribs, toys, appliances, fireworks, lawn mowers and other household items.

These agencies ban whatever causes, or have the potential to cause, danger; establish safety requirements; issue recalls on products already on the market; and, research about the possible hazards products can cause.

The NHTSA, for instance, since 1966, has ordered hundreds of recalls that have affected more than 390 million mopeds, motorcycles, recreational vehicles, cars, trucks and buses; 66 million different motor vehicle parts; 46 million tires; and, 42 million child safety seats.

In 2014, it was the United States Consumer Products Safety Commission’s that issued recalls which affected 17 million units of children’s products; these included certain play yards, stationary activity centers, infant slings, swings, toddler beds, walkers, strollers, portable cribs, full-size and non-full-size cribs, high chairs, hook-on chairs, infant carriers, and infant bathtubs.

Millions of other products, from children’s food and toys to house appliances, vehicles, machinery, chemicals, and so forth, have caused either injuries or death to users. Though, harmful products still make their way into store shelves, this failure cannot be totally blamed on federal agencies due to the billions of products entering the U.S. market every year and the lack of manpower each agency has.

Manufacturers are fully aware of their legal responsibility to design and create only safe products. Despite this awareness, many manufacturers fail to act responsibly; they, rather, continue to manufacture products, despite their defects and/or harmful chemical contents, and then release these on the market despite the risks of injury or death that these can cause.

Aside from toys, cars and car parts, appliances and items used in homes or offices, harmful products also include food and pharmaceutical products. The 2011 listeriosis outbreak is one example of serious food poisoning. This outbreak caused 30 deaths, 1 miscarriage, besides infecting 146 people. There are so many other ingredients that manufacturers mix with the food children love to eat. Though these ingredients will not cause immediate harm, their effects slowly destroy the health of children.

With regard to pharmaceutical products, many kinds of prescription drugs and medical devices also end up causing adverse effects that not only aggravate patients’ condition, but also cause more injurious results, sometimes, even death. Examples of these products are morcellators, hip or shoulder implants, oral contraceptive and prescription drugs meant to treat serious conditions, like type 2 diabetes, severe migraine attacks or seizures kidney failure, epileptic seizures, and manic episodes due to bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder.

Adverse effects depend on the drug taken and the patients who take it. Some of the most common reported adverse effects, though, regardless of the type and brand of drug taken, include gall bladder injury, birth defect, bladder cancer, cardiac arrest, low blood pressure, cerebrovascular accidents (CVA, which is a failure in the functioning of the brain due to disturbance in the brain’s blood supply), myocardial infarction (or damage of heart tissues), acute pancreatitis (or sudden inflammation of the pancreas) heart attack, stroke, or sudden death.

Drug side effects are real and can cause great harm to patients. Thus, when a particular medicine is linked to adverse effects, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issues orders either to require manufacturers to include in their drug’s prescription label the risks associated with the use of their drug or to have the harmful drug recalled.

It is explained in the website of the law firm Truslow & Truslow that “A personal injury case begins when someone is hurt, disabled, or even killed as a result of someone else’s behavior or negligence. The injuries suffered can be physically and emotionally devastating, not to mention life changing, to both you and the ones you love.

If you or a loved one has experienced a personal injury, there are some instances where you are entitled to receive fair compensation for medical bills, emotional damages, disfigurement, pain and suffering, loss of income and even punitive damages. So, before you consider accepting any kind of settlement from an insurance company, be sure to contact a seasoned personal injury lawyer, who understands the hardship you are experiencing and wants to help protect your rights.”

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