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Do Recalls Affect Your Product Liability Claim?

When you have been affected by a defective product, you might think that a recall on that product has your case made. After all, doesn’t that serve as proof that the company agrees that their product is defective? Not exactly.

While a recall can serve as useful evidence in your case, it is still up to you and your personal injury attorney to prove that your injuries were caused by a defective product in the first place. Manufacturers will recall products on their own or by the urging of the government. However, this does not always mean that they are ready to admit fault in any injuries their products have caused.

What Is Product Liability?

When an individual is harmed by a product they have purchased or used, they may pursue a lawsuit with the manufacturer, seller, or distributer to cover their injuries and related expenses. This is product liability, and the claim can be based on a few different arguments:

• Defective Design – The injured party may claim that the design of the product is defective, which makes the product dangerous to use. This argument must be backed by proof that the design is what led to their injuries when using the product.

• Manufacture Errors – The injured party may also claim that the product was manufactured incorrectly based on the intended design and that it is this manufacturing defect that caused the injuries in question.

• Failure To Warn Of Risks – An injured party may also claim that the manufacturer, seller, or distributor of the product failed to warn customers of certain risks associated with the product.

Essentially, one or more of these arguments will need to be used as the basis of your product liability case, regardless of product recall.

What Is A Recall?

When a manufacturer is made aware of a product defect, whether by their own learning or by a notification from a government agency, they will issue a recall. This means a notice will be sent to all distributors, sellers, and buyers to alert them of the potential defect and inform them that the product has been recalled.

Notices will be sent to the media and covered by local news stations. Those will be published in trade journals, and they will often be spread across social media platforms as well in order to reach as many potentially affected individuals as possible. Individuals with the product will then return their products either for a replacement or for a refund covering their product purchase.

Recalls may be considered voluntary if the product defect does not pose a safety risk and doesn’t greatly impact the use of the product. All relevant information about the defect will typically be outlined in the recall notices.

Manufacturer Recalls Do Not Automatically Establish Liability

When a manufacturer issues a recall on a product, it is natural to assume this would admit fault or responsibility in a product liability situation, but that is not the case. Most courts in Florida will allow recall information to be brought to the case as evidence, but an injured individual must still prove that their injury falls under one of the three product liability case arguments. Photos of the product, photos of injuries, and witness testimonies will still be required to prove your case.

If you have been injured by a defective product in Florida, having a skilled personal injury attorney in your corner can ensure that your case has the best possible odds. Contact us at today to see what our personal injury team can do for you and your case.

Stephen M. Fernandez developed a strong belief in justice and fairness in public policy while earning his Political Science degree prior to attending law school. Since joining the Florida Bar Association in 2004, Stephen Fernandez has combined his background in public policy, business administration and civil law to serve as a highly effective trial lawyer fighting for Florida's injured, working hard every day to make sure his clients get what they are owed.

Do Recalls Affect Your Product Liability Claim?

Goldman Babboni Fernandez
Murphy & Walsh

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