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It’s an unfortunate fact that not all products on the market are safe for consumer use. Many times, products can pose unforeseen dangers and suffer from defects that occur during the manufacturing process. When a defect or unforeseen safety hazard is discovered, manufacturers and federal regulators will often react by issuing recalls and ‘stop-sale’ orders for all affected products. Sadly, many defects are only discovered after consumers have suffered significant injuries or death.
PRODUCT-RELATED INJURY AND DEATH STATISTICS
The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) reports that an average of 29 million injuries and 22,000 deaths occur every year due to defective consumer products. This means that roughly 7-percent of all injury-related deaths that occur in the United States are the direct result of defective products. Among the leading categories of product-related death cited by the CPSC are:
- Off-road vehicles
The data becomes even more disturbing when broken down by age, as the CPSC has found that product-related injuries and deaths are most common among our nation’s most vulnerable populations.
While the average rate of product-related deaths in 2008 was measured at around 11.8 deaths per 100,000 persons, the product-related death rate for children under the age of 1 was determined to be 26.7 per 100,000 persons. Astonishingly, the rate of product-related deaths among elderly consumers over the age of 85 was estimated to be 189.8 per 100,000 persons.
It is important to note that these numbers only account for products regulated by the CPSC and do not include injuries and deaths caused by defective automobiles, defective medical devices, or defective pharmaceuticals.
WHAT ITEMS ARE MOST OFTEN RECALLED?
While any item on the market has the potential to be defective or adulterated, items that are often subjected to recalls are:
- Children’s toys
- Cutlery and knives
- Exercise equipment
- Medical devices
- Pharmaceutical and drugs
- Cabinets and shelves
WHAT TO DO IN THE EVENT OF A RECALL
If you receive a recall notice, be sure to follow all manufacturer and/or regulator instructions. For common consumer products, this will often include ceasing all use of the product in question. However, in recalls affecting pharmaceuticals and medical devices, it is essential that you contact your healthcare provider to determine the best course of action for your unique situation.
If you have been injured by a defective product or lost a loved one as the result of a product-related accident, contact Thomas J. Henry for a free legal consultation. Our firm has offices in Corpus Christi, San Antonio, Austin, and Houston, serving clients across Texas and nationwide. Seeking legal counsel can help ensure that you receive the representation you deserve, and your actions may also help prevent the injuries and deaths of countless others.