What is the Process for a Product Recall?

At Joye Law Firm, we’ve spoken and worked with many South Carolinians who have been injured by defective products or severely harmed by prescription and over-the-counter medications. Many of these defective drugs and products are dangerous enough to have been recalled.

While you can still seek compensation for an injury or illness caused by a defective product or drug that hasn’t been recalled, a recall order can act as an effective and persuasive piece of evidence in your case.

What Is a Recall?

Recalls are issued when a consumer product is discovered to be defective and has the potential to cause illness or injury in a way that is not a result of an intentional aspect of the design. For example, a kitchen knife can cause injury, but isn’t considered defective since it is designed to cut. When defective products are recalled, they are removed from store shelves and consumers are urged to return them for refunds or get them repaired or replaced for free.

Commonly recalled products include food, medication, cosmetics, toys, and vehicles.

How Do Recalls Happen?

When safety hazards become known, usually through complaints from consumers or reports by watchdog groups, an investigation is launched to determine if the product is defective and needs to be recalled.

Sometimes manufacturers recall their products voluntarily. If manufacturers fail to report a safety hazard within 24 hours of becoming aware of it, even if they don’t believe a recall is necessary, they could be hit with enormous fines, often millions of dollars.

Other times, recalls are requested or ordered by government agencies such as the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), Food and Drug Administration (FDA), or National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

How to Report a Defective Product or Drug

There are several resources consumers can use to submit a complaint or report a safety hazard, depending on what the product is.

Reporting a defective product: Visit www.saferproducts.gov and fill out the form.

Reporting a problem with an animal-based food product (meat, poultry, eggs): Call the USDA hotline at 1-888-674-6854 or file the complaint online.

Reporting a problem with a non-animal-based food product: Call the FDA hotline at 1-866-300-4374.

Reporting a vehicle safety complaint:  Visit www.nhtsa.gov and fill out the form.

What Happens When a Recall is Issued?

  1. Production of the product is halted, and the affected inventory is identified and isolated.
  2. The distribution chain is informed so that any shipments containing the affected inventory can be seized, and any product already on shelves can be removed before being sold.
  3. The recall is publicly announced. Every effort to reach anyone and everyone who may have purchased the defective product should be made, including announcements in the paper and on television, posters placed in retail locations, and mailers sent to consumers.
  4. Consumers will either be required to bring in the defective product for repairs at no cost or will be asked to throw out the defective product, in which case they will receive instructions on how to receive a full refund or replacement.
  5. The defective product is redesigned to eliminate the safety hazard, if possible, and the model number is changed to distinguish the redesigned product from the defective product.
  6. The manufacturer adjusts their quality control measures to be more effective in the future.

Have You Been Injured by a Defective Product?

Our product injury attorneys know how shocking and painful it is to be injured by a product or medication you thought was safe. When this happens, we want to help you hold the negligent manufacturer responsible and get the compensation you need to recover.

You can check to see if the product that injured you has been recalled at www.recalls.gov. But whether a recall is currently in effect or not, we want to hear from you. Contact our firm today for a free case review.

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