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Do I Have a Case if I Was Injured By a Product That Was Already Recalled?

Posted on April 23, 2024 in Products Liability

Defective and dangerous products cause many serious injuries and deaths each year. Recalls are an attempt to warn the public about a product defect before it causes harm. A recall does not protect product manufacturers from liability, or legal responsibility, for related injuries. If you are injured by a recalled product, you still have the right to seek financial compensation through a product liability claim.

Injured by a recalled product

Product Liability Laws in California

A product liability claim is a civil lawsuit brought against a manufacturer, distributor or retailer of a defective product. It allows an injured consumer to seek justice by claiming financial compensation for any injuries, property damage or losses caused by the defective product.

Product liability claims in California are typically based on one of three legal doctrines:

  • Strict liability: most cases abide by strict liability laws, which hold manufacturers responsible for their defective products regardless of the question of negligence. These cases only require proof that the product contained a defect and caused the victim’s injury.
  • Negligence: if the strict liability doctrine does not apply, a case may be brought on the grounds of negligence instead. Negligence refers to a manufacturer’s failure to act with ordinary care, resulting in harm to consumers.
  • Breach of warranty: another option is filing a claim based on a breach of warranty, or a violation of a promise or guarantee made to consumers regarding the safety or quality of a manufacturer’s product.

Consumers in California can hold manufacturers responsible for defective products that cause injuries and deaths regardless of whether the product was recalled prior to the incident. If anyone suffers an injury, develops an illness or dies after using a defective product, he or she can seek damages with or without a recall in effect.

How to React to a Recall Notice

 A product recall occurs when the manufacturer of the item or a safety regulation agency, such as the Consumer Product Safety Commission, becomes aware of a potentially dangerous defect. A recall is a public notice that is sent to known purchasers, retailers and distributors to issue a warning about the defect and give instructions on repairs or replacements.

If you receive a recall notice about a product in your possession, read the recall carefully and follow its instructions. If the recall warns you to discontinue the use of the product altogether, do not use the product. If there are instructions for contacting someone for free repairs or a replacement, do so if you wish to continue using the product.

Can You Sue the Manufacturer of a Recalled Product?

A recall is a protective measure for consumers; it is not a legal tool that can be used by a manufacturer to protect itself from liability. Issuing a recall does not allow a manufacturer to shirk the responsibility of paying for damages caused by the defective product. However, a manufacturing company and its legal team may try to use a recall against you during a claim.

If you were aware of a product recall at the time of your injury, you will most likely encounter a defense that tries to blame you for your own losses. However, you are still entitled to financial compensation if a defective product hurts you. It is important to hire a Los Angeles injury lawyer to represent you in this situation. A lawyer can help you hold a manufacturer or distributor responsible for a defective product despite a recall.