Recall Lawsuits: How and When To File

June 13, 2023

Recalls are often issued by manufacturers to remove defective and dangerous goods from the market, such as faulty products and contaminated foods. This is done to protect the public from physical injuries and potential health risks. However, recalls aren't always effective, and in some cases, consumers may still be harmed. If you or someone you know was injured by a defective product, you may have the right to seek compensation by pursuing a recall lawsuit.

As soon as a product harms or injures you, you should prepare to file a recall lawsuit immediately. There are typically filing deadlines for these types of cases, and you risk losing your ability to pursue compensation if you don't meet them. While it may seem intimidating to file a recall lawsuit, having the proper legal representation can make the process feel straightforward and rewarding. When you believe you have a valid claim, get in touch with an attorney. Your attorney can help hold all responsible parties accountable and seek the compensation you deserve for your injuries and losses.

What Is a Recall Lawsuit?

A manufacturer, distributor, or retailer can face legal action if they produce or sell defective products that cause health issues or physical harm. An affected individual or group can file a recall lawsuit against the manufacturers, such as a product recall lawsuit, medical recall lawsuit, or automotive recall lawsuit. The lawsuit alleges that the product is defective and that the manufacturer knew or should have known about the defect but failed to take appropriate action to recall the product effectively. 

How To File a Recall Lawsuit

Recall lawsuits are essential for holding manufacturers, distributors, and retailers accountable and compensating those affected. Whether you are filing a lawsuit for a product recall, medical recall, or automotive recall, it is crucial to know your rights and understand the legal process. Follow the steps below.

Have a Lawyer Check Out Your Case

To ensure that a recall lawsuit has the strongest chance of success, it is essential to seek help from a knowledgeable product recall attorney. Your lawyer may seek compensation for associated medical bills, including those anticipated for future care; lost income due to an inability or decreased capacity to work; and pain, disfigurement, emotional suffering, and loss of quality of life. In some cases, your lawyer may seek punitive damages.

Manufacturers or sellers of recalled products may be required to pay large settlements or damages awards as a result of litigation involving recalls. This gives them a strong incentivize to ensure their products are safe and defect-free as well as to administer a thorough and effective recall campaign when needed. 

Pinpoint Facts and Punitive Damages 

A recall lawsuit must be supported by as much evidence as possible in order to be successful. A pinpoint fact is a specific piece of evidence that establishes the causal link between a defective product and the harm it caused. To support your case, your lawyer will gather evidence such as medical records, product information, witness statements, and other relevant documents. Your lawyer will also help you determine the extent of damages and whether you are entitled to punitive damages.

Punitive damages exceed simple compensation and are intended to punish a manufacturer or seller for their actions in a recall lawsuit. The purpose of punitive damages is to deter others from engaging in similar behavior in the future. When a lawsuit proves that a manufacturer or seller has acted maliciously or recklessly, punitive damages may be awarded to the victim. 

File Your Complaint

Your lawyer will help you file a complaint with the appropriate court. Information about the product, such as its name, model number, and identifying characteristics, should be noted. You should also include a description of the product's defects and dangers and any injuries or harm caused by it.

Government Agencies Investigate Complaint

Once your complaint has been filed, government agencies may investigate and determine whether the product presents a public health risk. Among these agencies are the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA),] and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

Manufacturers Are Informed, Recall Is Issued, and Action Is Taken

A recall will be issued when a government agency determines that a product is defective or poses a health risk. The CPSC, which works to reduce the risk of injuries and deaths from consumer products, issues approximately 300 product recalls each year, including many products found in childcare settings.

Once the recall is issued, the manufacturer will typically take immediate action and begin notifying consumers of the recall as well as providing instructions for returning the product. This process may involve contacting retailers, issuing press releases, and issuing notices on the manufacturer's website and social media pages. However, many consumers, unaware of product recalls, continue to use potentially unsafe products. A plan will then be developed to prevent future incidents of this kind. 

When You Should File Your Lawsuit

When filing a recall lawsuit, personal injury lawsuit, or wrongful death lawsuit in Pennsylvania, it is imperative to understand the legal requirements and file the lawsuit as soon as possible. The time limit established by the state's statute of limitations is two years from the date of the injury or the discovery of it. You may lose your right to compensation if you wait too long to file a claim.

Having the Right Legal Team Makes the Difference

Recall lawsuits can involve manufacturers, distributors, and retailers along with multiple forms of evidence, making them incredibly complex. Having the right legal team in your corner through McEldrew Purtell can make all the difference in your case. Whether navigating challenging legal proceedings or going up against powerful corporations, an attorney can help protect your rights and pursue the compensation you deserve.