You bought (or were gifted) a product that promised to do something, solve a problem, or make your life easier. Unfortunately, that’s not what happened, and it ended badly.
A defective product could be anything from a vegetable peeler, baby monitor, TV, prescription medication or a power tool to an automobile or other large product.
You were planning on filing a lawsuit, and then the company issued a recall for the product. Can you still file a product liability lawsuit?
What Is Product Liability?
In simple terms, a product failed either because of faulty design, defective manufacturing or other reason and caused an injury, damage or loss. Alternately, the company did not adequately warn consumers of a possible risk involved with the product. An individual who has been injured or harmed by this product can sue the manufacturer for damages.
The defendant could be a manufacturer, distributor or retailer (such as Walmart.)
When a company discovers that the product is defective, they may issue a product recall. For instance, if a grocery store brand of ice cream may contain salmonella, public announcements (including social media postings), press releases and other methods of dissemination are used to inform people who may have purchased the ice cream, and ask them to return any unused portion to the grocery where they bought it for a refund. This doesn’t mean that the ice cream was contaminated, just that it may have been.
Companies may be notified by agencies such as the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) or the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) that there is a problem with their product, but may not be required to recall anything. A company will usually issue a recall; if they don’t, the FDA, CPSC or other governmental agency may step in and issue one.
A recall may not necessarily make the manufacturer liable, but it doesn’t absolve them, either. In fact, in a product liability suit, a company’s recall effort can be supporting evidence that the product was, indeed, defective and caused an injury.
However, it’s up to the plaintiff (and the attorney handling the case) to prove that the particular product in question caused the injury.
Product Disclaimers And Warnings
These are labels on products (or on packaging) that inform the end user that there is a risk involved, how to handle it and how to avoid the risk. (i.e., warnings about taking a hair dryer into the shower.)
Should you ignore the disclaimer and/or warning, you may be unable to prove product liability.
If A Product Injures You
Just like a car or other accident, you should:
- Get medical treatment for your injuries immediately
- Obtain medical records and all associated treatments for the injury
- Save the defective product as evidence (or take as many pictures as you can and save it)
- Document injuries and the events that led up to it as soon as possible
These pieces of evidence will be very helpful in a litigation action. Depending on the severity of your injuries, you’ll also need to prove your claim (if applicable) with other evidence, such as:
- Statement of lost wages, including future wages (if applicable)
- Medical expenses
- Loss of health/quality of life
Five Year Statute Of Limitations
Missouri allows five years for you to file a product liability lawsuit, from the date of your injury. You have a better chance of recovery the earlier you begin your claim, so don’t put it off. As soon as you are able, contact a product liability attorney in Kansas City to begin your claim immediately.
We’re Kansas City’s Premier Personal Injury Firm
Since 1918, The Popham Law Firm has been representing people just like you in all types of personal injury cases, including product liability. We’ll be happy to review your case, let you know if you have one, and how to proceed. Contact us at (844) 243-2288 or (use our online contact form) to get started.