Consumers are protected by products liability laws when harmed by a defective or dangerous product. Automaker Ford recently increased the number of vehicles it is recalling for door latch problems by an additional 156,000 vehicles, bringing the total number of vehicles recalled for the defect to 545,906. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration provided the directive for Ford to add the most recent number of vehicles to the recall. The defect involves a broken pawl spring tab that prevents the car door from properly latching. Because of the defect, the car door can open while the car is in motion, while driving.
It is common to hear about product recalls in the news. Unfortunately, it seems like every day there is another news story about a consumer injury that resulted from the use of a defective product. Such stories are shocking despite their frequent occurrence because we do not expect to be injured or harmed by the products or medical devices or prescriptions that we use on a day to day basis. Such injuries do occur, however, and the effects can often be severe and long-lasting.
Many Virginian's are aware that the designers and manufacturers of products--including automobiles, toys, prescription drugs, medical devices and many other products--can be held liable for the injuries caused by use of those products if the products had a design flaw or were manufactured improperly. However, there is another way that products can be considered dangerous or defective, which can also result in legal liability for injuries: insufficient warning.
Products liability lawsuits often occur when a consumer is injured by a defective product. One of the most common products that cause injury is drugs and medicines. It is important to understand that not all injuries resulting from use of a drug or medicine can form the basis of a products liability lawsuit, however. The Food and Drug Administration requires that all pharmaceutical companies and drug manufacturers adequately test drugs, according to industry standards, before releasing them onto the market for consumer use. Satisfying this obligation and legal duty is not sufficient to avoid all potential liability, however. If the drug proves to be defective, a consumer injured by the drug may win a products liability lawsuit against the drug manufacturer even if the drug complied with FDA standards.
Suffering an injury from the use of a product that you believed to be safe and harmless is often quite shocking. While many of us look for danger and risks in our surroundings in an effort to be safe, the majority of us do not expect the risks to come from our day-to-day use of common products. Unfortunately, consumer injury due to a defective product is not uncommon. Some of the most common dangerous and defective products that cause consumer injury include prescription drugs or medical products, motor vehicles, and household appliances. However, there are many other types of products that pose dangers, as well, including baby products and toys.
Even though we expect the products we use every day to be carefully designed and manufactured to be safe and not cause harm when used for their intended purposes, this is unfortunately not always true. Some of the most commonly defective products include automobiles, home appliances and prescription drugs and medical devices. There is a process of testing and evaluating products to help protect against dangerous defects, but problems still occur frequently. Many companies will issue product recalls once they receive reports of a defective product, but these recalls do nothing to help consumers who may have already suffered an injury from a product.
If you have been injured by a product you bought or a medication you took, you might not know where to turn. It can be quite shocking to realize that a product or medicine you believed to be completely safe actually resulted in consumer injury. Unfortunately, defective products are far more common than many people realize and consumers have the right-and in some ways, the responsibility-to hold the manufacturers of those products accountable for their mistakes or negligence.
It can come as a shock to realize that a product that you purchased and used, thinking it was safe for its marketed purpose, caused injury, harm or illness to you or a loved one. Unfortunately, harm resulting from an unsafe or defective product is all too common.
Most people generally do not expect to be at risk from the products they choose to use on a frequent basis. However, the reality is that there are many products that cause injury that remain on the market. Sometimes, the product maker is unaware of the risk of injury or harm until an incident occurs. However, in other cases, the maker is well aware of the risk posed by a defective product, but fails to disclose or warn due to profit motives.
Americans are known for being a consumerist society. For this reason, it seems that new products continue to be developed and flood the marketplace, all with the goal of improving or simplifying people's lives. Unfortunately, in addition to the products that make lives better, there are many products that cause injury. Virginia residents should know that there is legal recourse to hold the manufacturers of dangerous products responsible for any damages or injuries that result from use of such products.