A recent look at which companies have issued the greatest number of product recalls has revealed some surprising insight into the safety philosophy employed by these firms. The report not only revealed the number of recalls due to defective products, but how proactive these companies are in removing unsafe products from store shelves.
The companies with the highest number of child product recalls between 2009 and 2014 were:
When comparing these companies, what is most striking is the ratio of the number of recalls to the number of incidents reported that led to the recall. For example, although Target had the most recalls, the recalls were issued after an average of only 4.4 reported incidents. Conversely, Fisher-Price, with 19 recalls, waited until an average of 43 incidents were reported before recalling a defective product.
Walmart appears to be the most proactive of the group. Rather than waiting for consumers to report incidents, the retail giant itself identified defective or dangerous products and issued recalls before a great number of children were harmed.
Manufacturers, importers, distributers, and retailers of children’s products have a legal obligation to ensure that the products they market and sell are safe for their intended use. Because infants and children are some of the most vulnerable consumers, companies that make and sell products for children are held to particularly high standards of quality and safety.
As mandated by the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act, all children’s products must comply with certain product safety rules and be tested and certified by the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Consumer-reported incidents must be thoroughly investigated by the manufacturing or retail company. Products that fail to comply with applicable safety rules, or contain defects that create a substantial or unreasonable risk of injury or death, must be reported to the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Additionally, under the Child Safety Protection Act, companies must report choking incidents in cases where a child either dies, is seriously injured, or requires medical treatment.
Many argue that the terms “substantial and unreasonable” are too subjective and give too much leeway for companies to underreport potentially dangerous products. Companies found negligent in their duties to report defects and recall defective products in a timely manner face government penalties and civil lawsuits.
As a consumer, you have a right to expect that the toys, furniture, and other children’s products that you purchase are safe. When companies fail in their duties, and your infant or child is harmed as a result, you have a right to pursue justice and compensation. Philadelphia personal injury lawyers of Galfand Berger are committed to holding negligent companies accountable for their actions and will work tirelessly to make sure you receive the maximum compensation entitled to you under the law. To schedule your free consultation with one of our experienced Philadelphia product liability lawyers, call 800-222-8792 today or submit an online contact form.