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What rights do you have when a product proves to be dangerous?

March 23, 2019

When people go to the store, they expect that the items for sale there are reasonably safe. For food, that would mean that the products where in the right kind of environment, whether that would be room temperature or refrigerated. For more durable goods, that would mean that the product received adequate safety testing prior to its release to the public.

Unfortunately, companies can and do cut corners when it comes to product safety testing. This can leave consumers in a vulnerable position. An item that you paid good money for could cause you injury or damage to your property. As a consumer, you likely want to know what your rights may be after a defective product causes you injury or financial losses.

The good news is that you could have the right to hold the manufacturer or even the company that sold you the product responsible for the damages you suffered.

Companies often recall products to avoid liability

When a company finds out that a product they have on the market is unsafe, they can either ignore the issue and hope no one gets hurt or issue a voluntary recall. If they don’t take action and an injury results, the government may mandate a recall.

The benefits of a recall are twofold. The first and most obvious benefit is that dangerous products get taken off of the shelves and consumers have an easy way to return a defective product that could injure them or damage their property.

The other benefit is that it reduces the liability that the company incurs for those products. Consumers have an obligation to follow through with a recall. Failing to comply with the terms of a recall could reduce or eliminate the rights of those who own the product.

Laptop battery recall highlights injury and property damage risk

Laptops and their various components are some of the most expensive tools the average American uses. Other than a car, a computer may be one of the biggest expenses a household incurs. With that expense comes the assumption that the product will be safe for use. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. A recall that started several months ago and is still ongoing demonstrates the wide range of consequences defective products can cause.

In January, the brand HP issued a recall for about 50,000 batteries due to a risk for them to overheat. Since then, there have been many more battery issues. One resulted in injury, and two caused substantial property damage. The recall has now expanded to include another 75,000 laptop batteries.

A laptop battery that catches on fire is obviously dangerous for the people who own it. If the laptop is actually in your lap at the time of the fire, serious injuries could result. As if that weren’t bad enough, the fire could also damage your property, harm your pets or even destroy your home if you aren’t there to stop it in time. Consumers who suffer massive personal property damage or medical costs because of a defective product may have rights to take action in Kentucky.