Since then, these basic consumer rights have been enacted in the United States through various laws and regulations. However, there is still a large gap in the exercise of these rights, especially when it comes to being informed about safety issues.
ConsumerSafety.org seeks to close that gap by offering information about recalls and safety-related news through an easily searchable website. Learn more about our mission.
Responsible for most consumer goods, including furniture, toys, vehicles, and many other items.
Oversees safety regulations for automobiles.
Regulates the safety of food, drugs, and medical devices.
A bureau in the Treasury Department that enforces production, labeling, and taxation of the alcohol and tobacco industries.
Government laws and regulatory agencies are designed to keep individuals safe from the prescription drugs, medical devices, foods, and products they use. However, sometimes unsafe products still make it to market. If caught in time, such dangerous products can be recalled, either voluntarily by the company or enforced by an order from the appropriate regulating body.
Unfortunately, not all unsafe products are caught before people purchase and begin using them. In these cases, consumers can be hurt, disabled, or even killed by the unsafe products that slipped through the regulatory safety nets.
Product liability litigation offers a way for consumers to force companies to compensate for the harm their unsafe products have caused. Litigation also can result in companies changing risky business practices, which can help save lives down the road.
In most cases, litigation for product liability is brought under one of several legal theories:
When a company acts carelessly or fails to take appropriate safety measures.
When a product itself had an unreasonably dangerous defect that caused harm.
When a product fails to meet the manufacturer’s express (written or verbal) or implied (unwritten) warranty.
The level of liability a company assumes can change depending on the type of item that caused harm, the laws and agencies regulating that item, and prior litigation.
If you believe you have been negatively affected by a defective drug, medical device, food, or consumer product, the best thing to do is to seek out a reputable law firm with an established practice in litigating the type of product that harmed you. Your lawyer can assess your individual case and provide a realistic evaluation of whether you may be able to receive compensation.
Additional information about specific product recalls, safety guides, and news on safety-related topics are available here on ConsumerSafety.org.