New Survey Finds That Consumers Don’t Feel Protected

by Terry Bryant

How safe do you feel as a consumer? Do you believe that there are adequate protections set in place to protect you from harmful products? Apparently, most consumers in the U.S. say no, according to a new survey from Consumer Reports.

65% of those surveyed said they don’t have faith in oversight of consumer goods. Nearly half of Americans don’t believe that the auto industry is being held to high standards, a 7% increase since the beginning of the year. There was also a jump in the number of respondents who believed they don’t have access to quality healthcare.

Making Sense of the Numbers

It would be tempting to see the results of this survey through the prism of our political climate, which is highly polarized. While there are some differences in consumer confidence among partisan lines, the increase in consumer skepticism is prominent among all Americans. Consumer protection is proving to be a bipartisan issue, and there’s a far better explanation for growing fears of consumers.

Consider the fact that 2014 and 2015 were record-breaking years for vehicle recalls, or that a Johns Hopkins study released in 2016 said that medical error was the third-leading cause of death in the United States. In 2016, a watchdog report from the FDA’s parent agency, the Department of Health and Human Services, called into question the agency’s effectiveness at issuing timely food recalls. The report said that the “FDA did not have an efficient and effective food recall initiation process that helps ensure the safety of the Nation’s food supply.”

Americans’ faith in their institutions has been decreasing because of real threats to consumer safety. We’ve seen from our own experience with clients that our institutions also fall short when it comes to issuing recalls over medical devices. One of many examples is the recall of St. Jude Medical pacemakers, which one medical device safety advocate cited as an instance in which the FDA should have been involved much sooner.

Institutional Failings Don’t Absolve Negligent Companies

The Consumer Reports survey deals specifically with issues of oversight, but we shouldn’t ignore the role of manufacturers and sellers of dangerous products. Companies have an obligation to consumers to ensure their products don’t pose a significant threat. We believe they should be held accountable when they fall short of that obligation.

At Terry Bryant Accident & Injury Law, we are dedicated to helping clients in product liability claims. We have seen a countless number of people who have suffered dearly from the negligence of manufacturers, and we are proud to stand up for our clients to make sure they get the compensation they deserve.

Product liability claims offer consumers a path toward compensation for the injuries they’ve suffered, including medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. When a company sells a defective product, it should be responsible for the damage that product causes consumers.

If you or a loved one has suffered injuries, illness, or even death due to a defective product, we encourage you to reach out to our experienced team to learn more about your options. To schedule a free consultation with Terry Bryant Accident & Injury Law, contact us today by filling out our online contact form or giving us a call at 1 (800) 444-5000 or locally in the Houston area at (713) 973-8888.