There are agencies and procedures in place to safeguard the public through information and recalls. The Consumer Product Safety Commission, for example, recalls products every year that fit the criteria of posing an unreasonable risk. The Commission reports deaths, injuries and property damage from consumer product incidents total about $1 trillion annually.
The problem for the average consumer is that so very often the recall comes too late. It takes multiple injuries, fatalities and time-consuming investigations before a product is deemed unsafe enough to be recalled. What do those people do to recover?
Seeking compensation from the manufacturer and others in the supply chain is a course of action to be considered. Some cases have so many affected consumers that a class action representative of numerous plaintiffs is appropriate. Other situations are individualized losses, and civil legal action provides financial and emotional recovery for that one family. Either way, holding businesses accountable and legally assigning liability for the dangerous circumstance is fitting.
New Jersey law states that unless a product is made as safe as practically possible without destroying its utility, it is considered to be unsafe. While the intent is clear, wading through the complex waters of interpretation requires skill and experience. Recalls are important tools to protect consumers, but the rights and well-being of those harmed before such a determination is made must be protected as well.
In order to see if you have a case against the business responsible for your injuries, you may want to speak with an attorney who can provide more information and guidance.
Source: United States Consumer Product Safety Commission, “About CPSC” Dec. 31, 2014