Posts tagged with "product recall"

No lawsuit can happen without these three components, no matter how terrible the conduct of the people involved.

No matter how outrageous a defendant’s conduct may be, there’s one thing you can never sue for:

Picture this: A person is walking down the sidewalk, enjoying a warm Spring day, when out of nowhere a drunk driver hops the curb and strikes them over from behind. The pedestrian flies through the air, lands on his feet and finds himself to be completely unharmed. A miracle occurred, as most people would have been permanently injured or killed.

On what grounds can that pedestrian, unharmed only by a stroke of luck, sue that driver, who clearly acted negligently and was at fault for what happened.

The answer is, none. There is no chance of a lawsuit here. The pedestrian does not have a case.

Why? Because you can’t sue for what could have happened, only what did happen. In this case, no one was injured.

Lawsuits aren’t some kind of bad luck lottery ticket, where people profit off of their own misfortune. No, personal injury lawsuits are about compensating people for their suffering and to help them adjust to life-changing events.

The three elements of a lawsuit

A lawsuit requires liability, causation, and damages. In this example, the driver was liable for what happened as he got behind the wheel of a car while intoxicated, which is a clear case of negligent behavior. He is also the one who caused the pedestrian to be struck, it wasn’t a faulty steering wheel or other mechanical problem. Both of those elements are required for a case, but so is damages. In this example, there were no damages as no one was injured.

Sometimes people say things like “I could have been killed.” They rightly find themselves shocked by how terribly things could have gone because of someone else’s bad behavior. Those issues shouldn’t be ignored. There may be some kind of legal consequence that will fall on the person who caused that problem. However, a lawsuit is not the solution for things that could have happened but didn’t.

Study reveals brands with most product recalls

Parents all across the country use many products to help them take care of their children, and Massachusetts residents are no exception. From bottles to baby formula and high chairs to safety restraints, we entrust the well-being of our children to dozens of different manufacturers. We feel safe in this practice because we assume most dangerous products are recalled, so we know what products are and are not safe. However, because this system relies mostly on self-reporting, product recalls may not be as reliable as you think.

A safety advocacy group recently analyzed major recalls on children’s products in the last five years. The group, aptly called Kids in Danger, made some interesting discoveries about the relationships between number of injuries and time of recalling. These findings revealed the companies that issued the most product recalls:

  1. Target with 24 recalls after 30 injuries and 106 reported incidents.
  2. Fisher-Price with 19 recalls after 130 injuries and 828 incidents.
  3. Dorel Juvenile Group with 11 recalls after 10 injuries and 808 incidents.
  4. IKEA with 11 recalls after 12 injuries and 55 incidents.
  5. Pottery Barn Kids with 11 recalls after 17 injuries and 86 incidents.
  6. Walmart with 11 recalls after two injuries and six incidents.

What is most interesting about these data is that Target issued more recalls than Fisher-Price despite having barely one-eighth of the reported incidents and only about one quarter of the injuries. This indicates that some Fisher-Price products caused many more injuries before being recalled than Target products.

These findings illustrate how important it is to investigate any injury by a product. Even if the product has not been recalled, it could still be a defective product, and if you are injured by a defective product, you could be entitled to compensation.

Source: WTSP, “Which sellers have the most kids’ product recalls?,” April 20, 2015

3.4 million car recall may affect Massachusetts consumers

Automobiles are a mainstay of our culture, and may be considered a necessity by many. Every day Massachusetts residents drive their cars to work, school, shopping and to visit loved ones. No innocent driver expects to become the victim of a defective product. Yet defective automobiles have the potential to cause serious damage and injuries to people nationwide.

Four major automakers have issued massive recalls affecting nearly 3.4 million vehicles sold worldwide. The vehicles were sold with an allegedly defective airbag system. When the passenger side airbags deploy, they do so with enough power to cause fires or injure passengers with flying debris. The vehicles affected were made by Toyota, Mazda, Nissan and Honda. All the airbags came from a single supplier. Although the vehicles are being recalled world wide, specifically, 561,000 Hondas sold in the United States and 170,000 Toyotas sold in the United States are subject to the recall. Nissans and Mazdas sold in the United States may also be affected, although it is not yet known how many vehicles will be recalled.

When a victim is injured due to a defective vehicle, in order to hold the manufacturer and seller of the vehicle liable, the victim may bring a lawsuit under the doctrine of strict liability. Through this doctrine, if the victim may be awarded damages if they can prove they were injured because the vehicle or one of its parts were unreasonably dangerous. In addition, the victim must show that they were injured even though they were using the vehicle in its intended manner and had not altered the vehicle in any substantial way. It is becoming increasingly common for punitive damages to be awarded in strict liability lawsuits, as a means to hold the makers and sellers of defective vehicles accountable and to encourage these entities to fix these defects in the future.

Defective products, such as automobiles, can injure thousands of unsuspecting consumers. Those injured by defective products may wish to consult with a personal injury attorney, to see what compensation, if any, they may be entitled to.

Source: Christian Science Monitor “Toyota, Honda, Nissan recall 3.4 million vehicles for faulty airbags,” Schuyler Velasco, April 11, 2013

Massive recall of defective minivans sold in Massachusetts

Most cars are designed to keep drivers and passengers safe. But when something goes wrong and a vehicle needs to be recalled, companies may face a product liability lawsuit from those injured due to the defective product.

Nearly 230,000 Ford Freestar and Mercury Monteray minivans have been recalled in Massachusetts and 20 other “salt belt” states. The vehicles had a rust defect in the latching ability of the third row passenger seats, which became loose after having corroded. Fortunately, although 80 complaints have been filed, there have not yet been any reports of injuries.

The federal government sets minimum safety standards for all vehicles in the United States. These standards cover the parts related to the safe operation of a vehicle, such as brakes or tires. However, there are also standards for a vehicle’s safety features, such as airbags and seatbelts. A car may be recalled if it does not conform to the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards. In addition, recalls may be made if the vehicle is later found to be defective in a manner that has the potential to harm people. This recall can extend to all vehicles of the same manufacture and design, if they all contain the same defective component. Some examples of safety defects include steering wheels that suddenly break, accelerators that stick and seats that fail to remain in their proper position while in use.

Defective vehicles can cause serious damage or even injury if they malfunction while on the road. Through proper recall procedures, manufacturers can keep these cars off the road and keep their buyers safe.

Source: Torque News, “Ford recalls over 230k minivans due to rust problem,” Anthony Faccenda, March 8, 2013

Massachusetts pharmacy issues fertility drug recall

When someone is sick, they put their trust in pharmaceutical companies to provide safe and effective medications for their treatment. However, it is not unheard of for dangerous and defective drugs to reach unsuspecting consumers.

A Massachusetts pharmacy has recalled six fertility medications used for in vitro fertilization. Village Fertility Pharmacy of Waltham Massachusetts issued the recall after discovering a foreign substance floating in a vial. Patients affected by the recall include nearly 2100 women who took Progesterone Injection Cottonseed Oil 50 MG/ML, Progesterone Injection Olive Oil 50 MG/ML, 100 MG/ML, Progesterone Injection Sesame Oil 50 MG/ML, 100 MG/ML, Progesterone Injection Ethyl Oleate 50 MG/ML, 100 MG/ML, Hydroxy Progesterone Caproate 250 MG/ML or Compounded Leuprolide Acetate 1MG/.2ML. It should be noted, however that each patient would have had the medication specially formulated for their needs.

When a company produces a product that turns out to be defective or dangerous, they could find themselves the subject of a product liability lawsuit. Generally, products must adhere to a consumer’s ordinary expectations, free from unanticipated dangers or defects. Potential defendants include any party in the chain of distribution, including manufacturers, wholesalers and retail sellers.

To prevail in a product liability suit, it must be shown that the injury was caused by the defective product and that due to the defect, the product was unreasonably dangerous. There are three possible types of defects: design defects, manufacturing defects and marketing defects. A design defect is some sort of problem originating with the initial design of the product. Manufacturing defects occur when the manufactured product does not meet the designer’s or manufacturer’s intended specifications. Finally, marketing defects could include improper warning labels or unclear instructions. Any of these defects could give rise to a lawsuit.

Dangerous and defective drugs can cause serious harm to patients who consume them. If a patient suffers such an injury, a products liability lawsuit may provide them with the financial compensation they need to assist with their recovery.

Source:, “Massachusetts pharmacy recalls fertility medications that were shipped to Michigan,” Feb. 25, 2013