Victim of Product After a Recall: What Are My Rights?
New Jersey law only allows product manufacturer’s to be held accountable for their products when they contain manufacturing defects, are defectively designed or fail to contain adequate warnings of the dangers resulting in the product being unreasonably dangerous so they are unfit and unsafe for use by the public. What if, however, there was also a product recall? What are your rights?
Defective and Recalled Products
If you are injured as the result of a defective product, you may be entitled to seek compensation from the makers or sellers of that product. Also, if your injury occurred at work while using a defective or recalled product that caused an injury, you may still sue the product manufacturer while simultaneously filing a lawsuit against your employer for workers’ compensation benefits. In some rare cases, an employer may also be held responsible for allowing you to be an injured on a defective workplace machine if they were “substantially certain” that your using the machine could cause serious injury or death.
Proving a Defect
To show that a manufacturing defect occurred, you must demonstrate that the product in question, “deviated from the design specifications, formulae, or performance standards of the manufacturer or otherwise identical units manufactured to the same manufacturing specifications or formulae.” Similarly, to prove that you were not provided sufficient warning, you must demonstrate that a prudent individual, in the same circumstances, would have seen and followed the warning to avoid the dangers inherent with the product.
Legal precedent can be found in the New Jersey Supreme Court case of Lewis v. Cyanamid. That court ruled in determining whether a product is defectively designed, a plaintiff, “must prove either that the product’s risks outweighed its utility or that the product could have been designed in an alternative manner so as to minimize or eliminate the risk of harm.” Further, when advancing an alternative design theory, the plaintiff must be able to show that the proposed alternative design is “both practical and feasible.”
Filing a Product Liability Claim
If you are the victim of an injury caused by a defective product, there are specific steps you should follow immediately. These steps are:
- Save the defective product.
- Do not use the product again.
- If you can, protect the defective product from the weather.
- If another person has the product, tell them to keep the product, then make sure to contact an attorney, so steps can be taken to preserve the product.
- Save all receipts, manuals, or anything else which can help identify the product and where it came from.
- Collect contact information from any relevant witnesses.
- Contact the Consumer Product Safety Commission immediately to alert them to the defective product and to see if the product had previously been recalled.
Any number of products may be defective, including the airbags or brakes on a car, a prescribed medication, workplace machines, consumer products, or construction equipment found on a job site. Because liability cases in the State of New Jersey can be extremely complex, it is critical you contact a knowledgeable attorney immediately.
Contact an Experienced New Jersey Product Liability Attorney Today
At Rossetti & DeVoto P.C., we’ve successfully represented hundreds of individuals who were victims of defective products. Our results speak for themselves: a $5.5 million jury verdict against General Motors when Harold Tucker, a 69-year-old man was paralyzed from the chest down in an automobile accident as a result of a defective seatbelt; $3.5 million for a client that was scalped by workplace conveyor; and $2.75 million for a client who suffered severe brain injuries as a result of a defectively designed delivery van.
At Rossetti & DeVoto we work tirelessly for our clients and aggressively and passionately fight for their rights. If you are the victim of a defective or recalled product, give us a call today at 844-263-6260.