The Laws Surrounding Products Liability For Defective Items

by Terry Bryant

Companies that produce consumer products assume liability in the event that their goods cause injury, but even though businesses face several legal and financial penalties if they release a defective item to the public, it still happens regularly. In fact, there are safety recalls every week regarding consumer and medical products, and while many of these recalls are done before injuries occur, some companies delay recalls even though they are aware of possible risks to consumers. It is these companies that are acting negligently and victimizing people for the sake of profit.

There are many products that represent particular liability concerns for companies, but anything that is sold to consumers can be the subject of a claim if it harms someone. Furniture, clothing, toys and appliances are some basic consumer items that often come up in legal claims. Motor vehicles, medications, medical devices and heavy machinery, though, represent the bulk of major injury claims.

For example, in 2015, airbag manufacturer Takata instituted a safety recall that involved millions of vehicles and several popular car manufacturers. The fear was that the airbag could degrade to the point that when activating, it would break apart and shower the cabin with metal fragments. Several fatalities were reported before Takata recalled the vehicles, even though there were serious safety lapses at the company’s manufacturing facility.

This is one example of how a defective item can violate consumer safety, and as a result, Takata will be paying out millions to victims and their families. While this kind of judgment is not common, victims may be able to attain compensation for their injuries and suffering no matter the severity of their injury, as long as they can prove the item was defective and caused harm.