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Some things parents should know about product liability

People generally assume that products available to consumers are reasonably safe when used in the proper manner. However, the reality is that each year many products have to be recalled because they pose an unreasonable risk of injury or death, even if the products were initially approved by government regulators.

The Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) has grown significantly in recent years, with the number of employees increasing from 175 to 500. The commission has also taken important steps to make it easier for consumers to watch out for dangerous products. You can easily keep track of recalls of children's products and other items by visiting CPSC.gov.

While the importance of ensuring the safety of consumer products is undeniable, the term "recall fatigue" has arisen of late, particularly among parents who feel overwhelmed by the number of recalls of children's products. In response to this issue, U.S. News & World Report recently published a concise article, "5 Things Consumers Should Know About Dangerous Products."

Following are those five things:

  1. It is important to understand that product recalls often stem from parents' reports of child injuries. We might expect that manufacturers and sellers of children's products would ensure that those items are safe for children, but in many cases, that expectation is not met.
  2. Just because a company puts up a fight over the recall of a product does not mean that the product is safe for consumers. Manufacturers, distributors and sellers are concerned with profits, and often that concern wrongly takes precedence over consumer safety.
  3. The fact that a product has been available on the market for many years does not mean that the product is safe. It isn't hard to find examples of widely sold and dangerous products, including vehicles, that over time caused serious injuries and death.
  4. Children are not the only ones threatened by poorly manufactured or poorly designed products, though many of the CPSC's recalls focus on items intended for use by children.
  5. Finding information about recalls and defective products is easier now more than ever. Consumers can download an app called Recalls for Android to receive recall alerts from government agencies, including the Food and Drug Administration and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

If you or a loved one has been injured because of a defective or dangerous product, then it is important to be aware of your legal options. You can learn more about these matters at our Representative and Collective Litigation overview.

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