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Who is Liable for a Defective Product Recall?

As consumers, we rely on the safety and effectiveness of numerous home and business products in our daily lives. When a product fails and someone is harmed, consumers need legal recourse. For those who have been harmed by a defective product, there can be multiple parties who may be liable throughout the manufacturing and distribution process. Consumers should be familiar with the basics of products liability but should always have the legal advice of a skilled products liability attorney due to the complexity of these cases.

Common Parties in a Products Liability Case

When a product fails due to a defect, there are multiple parties who may have had a role in the failure. This is important for the injured party due to the legal doctrine of joint and several liability. This means that every defendant is both jointly and separately responsible for damages. Therefore, the more defendants that can be identified, the more likelihood there is of the injured party receiving sufficient damages for the claim.

The manufacturer is generally the first party that comes to mind when thinking of products liability. This can be a large multinational corporation all the way down to a sole proprietor. In a recent 2019 case, a Fisher-Price infant sleeper was recalled due to more than 30 infant deaths. When a product is manufactured, the defect may be due to the produced device or design. The manufacturer may use a subcontractor for quality control or design consultants involved in the product. These are all parties that can be liable for the injury.

The retailer who sold the product is often the next entity who had a role. Even if the injured party is not the direct buyer, the retailer who sold the item can still be responsible. For example, if a piece of equipment was purchased from a retailer and installed in a vehicle, the retailer is still potentially at fault, even if the consumer did not directly purchase the item. If there is a middleman involved, such as a distributor, they are another potential defendant for the injury claim.

There are additional considerations when defendants include large corporations with subsidiaries or successors, which is why seeking the counsel of an experienced products liability lawyer is critical to a successful case. Identifying the multiple parties involved requires knowledge of complex corporate structures, as well as the types of defective product claims. Anyone unjustly harmed by a defective product should not go through this legal process alone.

Philadelphia Products Liability Lawyers at McCann Dillon Jaffe & Lamb, LLC Advocate for Those Harmed by Defective Products

If you or a loved one was harmed due to a defective product, contact an experienced Philadelphia products liability lawyer at McCann Dillon Jaffe & Lamb, LLC who will represent you with skill and compassion to obtain the maximum damages for your claim. Located in Philadelphia, Abington, and Media, Pennsylvania; Wilmington, Delaware; and Haddonfield, New Jersey, we represent injured parties throughout the surrounding areas. For a free consultation, complete our online form or call us at 215-569-8488.