When a product gets recalled there are always lawsuits surrounding the recall in some form or another. Usually, a product gets pulled after it has caused harm to multiple people, who then brought legal claims against the manufacturer of the product. If you have purchased an item that has since been recalled, you are likely wondering whether you should participate in a lawsuit against the product’s manufacturer.
Whether it is worth your time to participate in a lawsuit against the manufacturer of a defective product depends on multiple factors. It is important to weigh these different factors before considering whether to bring a claim of your own.
Physical Injury or Damage to Health
When the damage caused by the defective product leads to a physical injury, the majority of lawsuits filed after the recall are in regard to financial matters rather than physical injuries. When users hear of the recall, they tend to stop using the product. As a result, these filters don’t have an injury claim. Instead, they are seeking financial compensation for the money that they paid for the product.
When the damage is health-related, though, things get a bit more complicated. After the recall, there are still many people that file a claim who have suffered damage that they were unaware of at the time of the recall. Determining eligibility for filing a lawsuit for medical damages in this situation can be a bit tricky.
Sometimes the damage can’t be determined immediately, and people harmed by the product won’t know the extent of the damage until years later.
If you purchased a product that was recalled because of the risk of physical injury, but you did not suffer any damage yourself, a lawsuit likely isn’t the answer. You will need to check the terms of the recall. In many situations, the initial cost of the product is not high enough to bother trying to seek compensation, or the manufacturer is already offering a refund, which is a much simpler path to compensation.
In cases where the damage is health-related, however, you will likely at least want to consult with a lawyer. A qualified lawyer will go over your options with you, even if you have not presented any health problems of your own. A competent mass tort injury claims lawyer will be able to advise you on whether or not a lawsuit is right for you.
Mandatory or Voluntary Recall
Another question is whether the recall was made voluntarily by the company when they discovered the dangers of the product or whether a government agency forced them to issue a recall for the safety of the public. While a voluntary recall does not completely shield a company from legal action, it can help offer some protection.
The company may receive protection from a class-action suit being filed if they issue a voluntary recall that offers a refund to consumers who purchased the product. That would make it so that each plaintiff needs to prove the specific harm they suffered from the recalled product. If you are simply hoping to jump on a money train even though you have not endured any direct injury, you are likely going to be out of luck.
Consider the Value
Whenever considering any sort of legal action, you should think about whether the cost is worth the reward. Of course, any time you have suffered any sort of injury you should certainly seek financial compensation to help pay your medical bills. The cost of any injury can end up being quite high, and you should not have to cover the expenses on your own.
When bringing a lawsuit against a company following a recall, a qualified lawyer can advise you on whether you should join a class action or mass tort injury lawsuit, or whether you will be better off bringing an individual case against the offending company.
Make sure you have proper representation anytime you are bringing a legal case against a big company. The company is sure to have a whole team of high-priced lawyers ready to fight on their behalf. Do not let a mismatch in representation end up costing you fair compensation.
About the Author
Wilma Wiliams is a law school graduate and a part-time freelance blogger, focused on various legal topics such as personal injury, and bankruptcy. She’s passionate about educating the public on fighting for their rights, which is why she’s currently collaborating with Ask LLP: Lawyers for Justice, whilst actively sharing a part of her experience as a former lawyer.