Recalls happen every day in this country – all sorts of products are either voluntarily recalled by their manufacturer, or recalls are issued by the government to get dangerous items out of the public marketplace. Consider this — this week, so far, the following national recalls have happened:
- Stouffer’s Frozen Lasagna has been recalled by Nestle Food Company because some of its product can make people with fish allergies sick.
- Hospira is recalling some of its Morphine Sulfate Injection because they have more than the appropriate dosage.
- Office Depot is recalling desk chairs because they have a dangerous fall hazard.
It is very good news for all American consumers that manufacturers issue these voluntary recalls of their products when it is discovered that the product can hurt or seriously injure (even kill) someone. Of course, there are those who will point out that this is in the manufacturer’s best interests, since they are legally liable for any injuries that their products cause.
And this is true. Under state law as well as federal statute, manufacturers of products as well as those in the distribution chain (those who had the task of getting the product from its maker to the injury victim) can be held financially responsible for the injuries caused by a defective and damaged product.
This is what is referred to as products liability law. Many recalls have become the basis for major personal injury litigation based upon products liability laws, where state legislatures (like those in Indiana and Illinois) as well as the U.S. Congress, have passed laws for safe products that have been violated. Consider this — this week, the following recalls are now among those making national news as they proceed as major products liability personal injury lawsuits:
- This week, a wrongful death lawsuit has been filed by the parents of a baby whose death inspired a national recall. Johnson & Johnson and subsidiary McNeil PPC have been sued by the grieving parents of their 2-month-old infant son, Markus Cherry, who died after being given Concentrated Tylenol Infant Drops (which was later found to have been defective, as it contained harmful bacteria). Baby Markus’ death led to the national recall of 40 different types of infants’ and children’s medications. This is probably not the only lawsuit that will spring from this recall.
- Yesterday, it was announced that the parents of a 2 year old little boy had settled their wrongful death lawsuit – although at least ten (10) other similar cases remain active – after they filed a wrongful death action against Triad Group and its sister company, H&P Industries, claiming that their son Harry Kothari died because of Triad’s defective product, contaminated baby wipes. Triad and H&P did issue a voluntarily recall after little Harry died from contaminated wipes and swabs containing harmful bacteria. The Food and Drug Administration also shut down the Triad plant after U.S. Marshals entered and seized $6 million worth of products.
- Defective products made and recalled by DePuy Orthopaedics are now the subject of over 3500 different lawsuits, as victims of its defective ASR hip implants are joined together in multi district litigation before an Ohio federal district court, with trial predicted to start soon. We’ve been monitoring those hip replacement product lawsuits for awhile now, see our earlier post that provides details.