From airbags to baby sleepers to food, product recalls seem like everyday occurrences. With thousands of items recalled in the United States each year, many consumers wonder, “how do my family and I stay safe?”
First, be proactive, McNabola Law Group founder Mark McNabola recommends. If you’re shopping for anything from a car seat to a new vehicle, do your research. Know which products have been linked to recalls or safety issues. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and U.S. Food and Drug Administration are great resources.
When it comes to healthcare, make sure the drugs or medical devices you’ve been prescribed — such as hip or knee replacements — are not associated with defects. Don’t be afraid to ask your doctor or pharmacist questions.
If you hear of a product recall on the news, pay attention and act accordingly.
Finally, if you do become ill from a recalled food item or injured when your vehicle or medical device didn’t operate properly, seek medical help and consult a lawyer to protect yourself.
“The public has profound trust in the companies that produce what we eat, drive and consume in every aspect of our day-to-day lives,” McNabola said. “This is particularly true when there is a minimum stamp of approval by a government agency like the Food and Drug Administration. When those companies fail, attorneys can serve as victims’ advocates to ensure accountability and change.”
McNabola obtained a $1.8 million result in a product liability lawsuit filed on behalf of the family of a 3-year-old Chicago boy who died after tipping backward in an unstable chair. The high-back chair was part of a five-piece dinette set his mother bought at a well-known discount furniture store. The chairs were known to be unsteady from the start by the manufacturer, and tilted back easily if coats were set on the backs.
An autopsy determined the fall contributed to the boy’s death. He had an arterial venous malformation (AVM) at the base of his brain that ruptured when his neck snapped forward and back upon hitting the floor.
“Grieving families are often plagued by questions about how and why a tragedy occurred,” McNabola said. “We can never bring back a loved one, but we can try to prevent other families from experiencing the same heartbreak by always being overly cautious, asking questions and holding companies accountable before tragedy strikes.”