Dankner Milstein, P.C. — New York’s Top Product Liability Lawyers — Recommend Use of Comprehensive Consumer Watchdog Website to Stay Safe
When we go to a restaurant, or to the mall, or visit a car dealer, implicit in the experience is the assumption that the manufacturers of the products, and the people who take our money in exchange for those products, aren’t just 95 percent certain. We assume they are 100 percent certain that the products they are making and selling to us are safe for use.
We as customers are conditioned to take on faith the proposition that products sitting on a shelf, or in a showroom, or bought online wouldn’t be offered for sale if there was any reason to be concerned about their safety.
But, tragically, that is just not the case.
The Harsh Reality about Product Liability and Defective Merchandise
The truth is, hardly a day goes by where we don’t read yet another horror story in the news about Americans who are injured, sometimes even killed, by unsafe products, including those purchased in big brand-name retail outlets and supposedly reputable automobile dealerships.
For example, one of the most contentious aspects of the recent General Motors safety scandal is the company’s attempt to conceal from government regulators and the public vital information about a defective ignition switch that is tied to 13 deaths and dozens of other serious injuries.
A recent article in The New York Times revealed that for more than a decade G.M. was aware that a faulty ignition switch could cause some of their cars to stall and deactivate air bags.
According to The Times, the company “kept the danger hidden from regulators and from the public by reaching legal settlements with families that were contingent on the families keeping silent.”
“Manufacturers and retailers of any product, not just cars,” he added, “have a legal obligation to make certain that the products they make and sell perform as expected, intended and advertised and that they are safe for public use. When companies fail in that duty and someone is seriously injured or killed, consumers have the right to hold all of the parties involved in the manufacture and sale of that product legally and financially responsible for those injuries.”
Helpful Resources for Product Liability and Recall Information
A variety of federal agencies such as the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, the Federal Trade Commission, the Food & Drug Administration, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and others receive billions of taxpayer dollars each year to protect the public by serving as industry watchdogs. Their job is to regularly monitor the safety of the things we buy for our families and ourselves.
One comprehensive resource that is especially useful in alerting the American people to unsafe, hazardous or defective products is a website called www.Recalls.gov. www.Recalls.gov is an easy-to-use aggregation of six federal agencies with vastly different jurisdictions that have joined together to create a “one-stop-shop” for U.S. Government recalls.
Visitors to www.Recalls.gov can scroll within each of the nine frames on the homepage to see updated recalls for:
- Consumer Products
- Foods, Medicines, Cosmetics
- Meat and Poultry Products
- Motor Vehicles
- Child Safety Seats
- Vehicles Emissions
- Environmental Products
- Boats & Boating Safety
“We frequently check this site and strongly recommend the public do so as well. It is a valuable resource,” Dankner advised.