Consumer Product Safety Website Launched
On behalf of Thomas Ward Martin at The Law Office of Thomas W. Martin, LLC
The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recently launched saferproducts.gov, a website where consumers can list dangerous or defective products. The website originated through the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act, initially passed in 2008 in response to a wave of defective products coming in from China. The website finally went live in March of 2011.
At the site, consumers can submit information regarding defective products by listing the way the product harms the public, what the product is and information about victims of the harm. The CPSC screens the information and notifies the manufacturer of the alleged defective product. If the information is inaccurate, the CPSC will take down the information. Consumers can still submit information on defective products to the CPSC by mail, phone and fax, but the CPSC hopes that the website will encourage consumers to report harmful or risky products in a convenient format. The CPSC also encourages consumers to research products on the site they are thinking of buying to assess risks that product might pose.
There are currently about 1,500 products reported by consumers on the website. Information ranges from all product recalls from the current month, to specific products that have been known to cause harm, such as cribs that pose suffocation risks.
Product Liability Claims
Any time a manufacturer sells a defective product that causes a risk to the consumer, the person harmed may recover compensation for injuries and medical expenses, if any of the following occurred:
- There was a defect in the design of the product
- The manufacturer of the product made it incorrectly
- The seller failed to warn consumers about the dangers of the product
- There were inaccurate or incomplete instructions for the use of the product
State law governs product liability claims. For example, in Missouri, as in some other states, if the consumer contributed to his or her own harm, the claim can be reduced in proportion to how much the person harmed was at fault.
The laws regarding product liability are constantly changing and very complex, so if you have been injured by a defective product that you used as it was intended, contact a personal injury attorney experienced in product liability lawsuits to discuss your case.