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What If You Are Hurt By Product After A Recall?

For some defective products, if you’ve been following the news at all in the USA, it can be almost impossible not to be aware of the danger. The Takata airbag scandal, for example, was all over the news for years, and many car owners were concerned about the viability of their own vehicles. When the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 was found to explode, smartphone owners were up to date and informed about whether their own phone was at risk or not, and acted appropriately.

However, these types of high profile product recalls are the exception, not the rule. Unless there is a string of deaths involved, few defective products—even if they cause injury—rarely get this kind of attention by the media. The information is made public, usually on important websites, such as the Consumer Product Safety Commission, but news channels, newspapers, and social media don’t often cover these product recalls.

So what happens if you miss a product recall, but are hurt or impacted by a defective product?

Delayed Reaction

That was what happened in Canada recently, when a London, Ontario man, Geoff Evans, found that his home was in danger of being set on fire by his dishwasher. He had turned it on to wash the dishes and then returned to his television to watch something when he heard a buzzing noise in the kitchen. Upon returning, he saw flames coming from the dishwasher. Upon opening the door of the dishwasher, there was a small explosion, and soot covered the kitchen.

Confused, Evans went online and looked up information about his dishwasher, a Whirlpool KitchenAid model. He found out that in certain Whirlpool models between 2000 and 2006 were part of a settlement in court. That settlement was because certain models with a particular control board were prone to overheating. Evans’ dishwasher fell into this class of defective dishwashers.

However, Evans didn’t know about any of this until he’d done the research. The dishwasher, unsurprisingly, had been built into the kitchen as a fixed appliance. It had simply been part of the existing appliances he “inherited” when he bought the home and moved in. As a result, because he did not buy the dishwasher new, and there was no registration or paperwork required, as there might be when someone buys a used car, his possession of the dishwasher was not alerted to Whirlpool, and Whirlpool did not reach out to him to warn or tell him about the product recall.

The Statute Of Limitations

In Florida, if you are injured by a defective product, there is a statute of limitations on just how long you may take a case to court and have that case recognized. In this case, it means four years from the injury. If you’re concerned that there may be complications because there was a product recall for said product, but you missed it, because you weren’t aware, quickly address your doubts. Talk to a lawyer experienced with personal injury through defective products, and find out exactly what your legal rights are.

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.

What If You Are Hurt By Product After A Recall?

Goldman Babboni Fernandez
Murphy & Walsh

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