When Do Defective Products Get Recalled?

Defective products and recalls are not synonymous terms: the former is often the result of an absent or ineffective recall; the latter is a process initiated by a manufacturer when a product poses a public safety risk.

Below, the personal injury lawyers from Cox, Cox, Filo, Camel & Wilson explore the differences between product recalls and defective products, how to avoid dangerous products, and what to do if a defective product causes injury.

Product Recall vs. Defective Product

A product recall is a request from a manufacturer to return a product after a safety risk or product defect has been discovered.

Recalls are used to ensure public safety and to reduce the risk of legal action against the product seller or maker.

Product recalls articulate a clear and distinct danger, whereas product defects don’t always pose a public threat.

For example, software patches are used frequently to fix defects in popular phones and tablets. However, these defects pose no risk to public safety. Therefore, a defect may not require the recall of a product.

Government agencies like the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Department of Agriculture (USDA), and the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) provide oversight and encourage recalls when a manufacturer isn’t aware of a problem.

Once a safety risk has been identified, the recall process begins.

How Does a Recall Work?

A recall is typically a voluntary process initiated by the manufacture, but often encouraged by a government agency.

A recall involves informing the public and removing the product from retail. A recalled product can’t be sold lawfully, and manufactures must remedy previous purchases with refunds, exchanges, or repairs.

The media is commonly used to distribute information about dangerous recalls. However, not every recall makes it into the news.

Fortunately, recalls are tracked online by various agencies and organizations:

The Louisiana Department of Health is another way to stay informed about local recalls and other dangers that affect our communities.

The best way to avoid defective products is to stay informed. Never purchase a product that’s been recalled, and check databases for updates on important consumer protection information.

Defective Product Injuries

People injured by a defective product may be eligible for compensation under product liability laws. Product liability claims help victims recover damages for things like medical bills and lost income.

Viable product liability cases typically include one of three defect categories:

  • Design defect – when the injury was caused by a flaw in the product’s design
  • Manufacturing defect – when the product suffers a manufacturing error like a missing part
  • Labeling defect – when the product failed to clearly mark warnings associated with normal use of the product

However, a product recall isn’t necessarily proof that a product manufacturer is liable; but a recall doesn’t necessarily alleviate them of fault, either.

When lots of people are injured by a product, claims are often rolled into a mass tort action or class action lawsuit.

Product liability laws are complex and require the expertise of an experienced attorney. If you have questions about a product-related injury, call our Louisiana injury lawyers at 377-240-9349, or contact us online.

Get the information you need to live a safe and happy life. ‘Like’ Cox, Cox, Filo, Camel & Wilson on Facebook for safety updates and relevant legal news.

Avoiding Burn Injuries: 4th of July Safety Tips [Infographic]

In addition to knowing what types of fireworks are legal in Louisiana, the safe handling of fireworks is critical to personal safety. Make this Fourth of July a fun and safe event for the whole family! Review state laws and safety tips below.

Louisiana Fireworks: Rules & Regulations

The selling period for fireworks in Louisiana begins on June 25 and ends July 5. Fireworks are also available December 15 through January 1.

According to Louisiana statute, pyrotechnic fireworks are not permitted for individual use, sale, or purchase. However, there’s a list of permissible fireworks that individuals can safely, and legally, enjoy in Louisiana.

Permissible fireworks include Class “C” (consumer fireworks) as defined by the Department of Transportation and the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

Examples of legal fireworks include (but are not limited to):

  • Spark/showering devices
    • Cone or cylindrical fountain
    • Flitter sparkler
    • Ground spinner
    • Illuminating torch
    • Wheel devices
    • Toy smoke
  • Aerial devices
    • Helicopter aerial spinner
    • Mine or shell
    • Roman candle
    • Bottle rockets
  • Audible devices (ground or aerial)
    • Firecracker
    • Multiple tube fireworks

Louisiana cities, counties, and perishes may have stricter rules on fireworks. For example, Lake Charles bans the use of all fireworks, unless permits are obtained for professional displays.

In Lafayette, the city allows permissible fireworks, but there are time restrictions on when they can be used.

Get to know your local laws before you buy and use any firework in Louisiana. Violators will be fined; fines increase for subsequent offenses.

Firework Safety Tips

Fireworks are a big part of Fourth of July celebrations, and burn injuries are particularly common around this time.

According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in 2016, fireworks caused 11,100 hospital visits and four deaths—the vast majority of these incidents occurred in July.

Even sparklers can be dangerous. Knowing how to safely handle fireworks is important if you want to avoid injury and potential property damage.

4th of July safety

How to avoid burn injuries:

  • Choose fireworks that are appropriate for the area you’ll be using them in.
  • Always purchase ready-made fireworks; avoid kits that require assembly.
  • Read labels and follow directions carefully.
  • Supervise children around fireworks at ALL times.
  • Light one firework/device at a time.
  • Always point fireworks away from people.
  • If a firework doesn’t seem to work, don’t go over to it or attempt to relight it. Stand back for a while. If you can reach it with a hose or bucket without getting too close, douse it with water.
  • When lighting fireworks, always keep a bucket of water or fire extinguisher nearby.
  • Stay away from dry grass or brush when lighting fireworks.
  • Soak all fireworks in a bucket of water before throwing them away.
  • Keep your dogs in a safe place. Fireworks stress them out, and that can lead to injuries.

 

If you follow local laws and exercise caution when handling fireworks, you should have no problem enjoying a bit of sparkle at your next Fourth of July event.

Remember, local laws vary. Check your city’s municipal code for specific details about permissible fireworks.

If you find yourself injured by a negligent party-goer, call the personal injury lawyers at Cox, Cox, Filo, Camel & Wilson for relief.

Got questions about an injury? Call our Lake Charles office at 337-240-9349, or contact us online.

SSD Denial: What You Need To Know

frustrated-woman-paperwork

Social Security Disability Insurance, or SSD, is a government-funded program managed by the Social Security Administration (SSA).

The program is funded by payroll tax contributions; it covers every employee paying into social security.

However, just because you’ve been injured doesn’t automatically mean you’ll get SSD benefits.

In fact, the majority of Louisiana’s SSD applicants are denied benefits during the application process—approximately 65 percent of initial claims are denied.

Rejected claims are typically the result of missing records, improper filing, or lack of legal advocacy.

If your Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits have been denied, don’t panic. Below, the social security disability lawyers at Cox, Cox, Filo, Camel & Wilson explain Louisiana’s SSD appeals process.   Continue reading “SSD Denial: What You Need To Know”

The Cost Of Offshore Injuries

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), onshore and offshore oil and gas extraction industries have a collective fatality rate seven times higher than all other U.S. workers.

Texas, Oklahoma, and Louisiana are overrepresented by oil and gas extraction fatalities; however, the public rarely hears about these accidents unless a significant disaster occurs.

Below, the maritime injury lawyers at Cox, Cox, Filo, Camel & Wilson discuss how these devastating accidents impact families and our community.

Loved Ones Lost

Fatal Injuries in Oil and Gas

In October 2017, an oil rig exploded in a Louisiana lake just west of New Orleans. Seven offshore workers were hospitalized for burns and serious injuries.

Twenty-four hours after the explosion, the coast guard called off the search for a missing 44-year-old contractor.

The missing man, Timothy Morrison, was found several days later. In a statement from his family, Morrison was a “beloved father, husband, brother, and friend.”

When maritime workers die, dependent family members may be eligible to receive certain benefits. For example, the Jones Act or the Death on the High Seas Act (DOHS) allows surviving family members to file a lawsuit against a negligent employer.

Maritime law and compensation can’t replace a loved one, but it can pay the bills and ensure children receive adequate care. An experienced offshore injury lawyer can help navigate maritime laws that offer financial support to families.

Over a five-year period from 2007 to 2011, there were 529 fatal injuries in oil and gas industries; 62 of these deaths occurred in Louisiana.

Scott Eustis of the Gulf Restoration Network, an environmental group said: “It’s always the workers who pay. And Gulf Coast workers will pay with their bodies, their lives, their children, who will grow up without fathers.”

Maritime Injuries Run Deep

Most people remember the Deepwater Horizon disaster, an explosion that took place approximately 40 miles off the coast of Louisiana. Eleven maritime workers died, and 17 were injured.

This offshore disaster made headlines around the world because of devastating oil spills—the most significant environmental disaster in U.S. history.

This April, on the eighth anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon explosion, thousands of BP-hired cleanup workers petitioned in New Orleans following exposure to oil and toxic chemicals.

Tiffany Odoms, a widow now, says her husband was exposed to toxic chemicals on a shrimp boat near Dulac and died of multiple myeloma, a type of cancer.

“It’s not right,” Odoms said, “…to hear my baby cry…and wonder why she can’t go to heaven and visit her dad.”

More than 22,000 claimants have been paid under the 2012 class-action settlement, but the average claim only paid out $2,940. Thousands of more claimants are awaiting their day in court.

The BP oil spill dumped at least 134 million gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico, which spread across 1,300 miles of shoreline spanning five states. Environmental disasters impact tourism in coastal states like Texas, Louisiana, and Florida.

“It’s not consistent with our vibrant tourism, fishing, and recreation,” said Frank Knapp, president of the Business Alliance for Protecting the Atlantic Coast. “…We all saw what happened to the Gulf Coast with Deepwater Horizon.”

BP Spilled Oil Affecting five states

Rolling Back Offshore Rules

In the wake of the Deepwater Horizon explosion, smaller oil and gas extraction companies suffered after new regulations were adopted to improve worker safety and environmental controls. According to The New York Times, many of these companies oppose the new rules.

President Trump is rolling back drilling restrictions in nearly all coastal waters and limiting safety rules in the Gulf of Mexico specifically.

One investigation found that “…several of the independent companies seeking the rollback…had been cited for workplace safety violations in recent years at a rate much higher than the industry average.”

Many of these small oil and gas extraction companies are backed by Wall Street or private equity firms that invest in old or deteriorating platforms. Many of these rigs were left behind by larger companies like Chevron, who have since “moved to deeper, more lucrative waters.”

Louisiana’s economy is tied to rich oil deposits that span from the Outer Continental Shelf in the Gulf of Mexico to beneath the sediment of the Mississippi Delta.

Offshore and maritime positions are among the most dangerous in the world, but they remain an important part of Louisiana’s culture and economy. But at what cost?

If you’re an offshore worker, be sure to ‘like’ Cox, Cox, Filo, Camel & Wilson on Facebook for important maritime updates and legal news you need to know.

Texting And Driving Statistics

Cell phone use while driving is a problem in Louisiana: according to one report, nearly half of all drives in Louisiana include unsafe phone use—that’s more than any other state.

When drivers get distracted, people get hurt. And when people get hurt in Louisiana, the lawyers at Cox, Cox, Filo, Camel & Wilson can help. Our car accident attorneys know how devastating a crash can be, especially one caused by a distracted driver.

Below, we’ve outlined state texting laws as well as important facts and statistics to underscore the importance of focused driving.

Share this information with your family and friends (especially teen drivers) to ensure their safety and the safety of others. Continue reading “Texting And Driving Statistics”

Why You Need a Personal Injury Lawyer in Louisiana

In September, The Institute for Legal Reform (ILR), an influential advocacy group raised by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce released the 2017 Lawsuit Climate Survey: Ranking the States. This annual report evaluates state liability systems through the economic lenses of corporate America and attempts to persuade state and federal changes through pragmatic research and reporting.

According to the report, the New Orleans or Orleans Parish in Louisiana ranks last among all states for its liability system. Louisiana respondents who include general and corporate council attorneys, corporate business owners, and executives graded judges’ impartiality, jury fairness, as well as the overall treatment of tort litigation worst overall.

ILR is attempting to shed light on the economic cost to the public of “frivolous” litigation and hopes to use survey data to initiate change at every level of government. According to ILR’s website, “frivolous” litigation discourages businesses from operating or expanding in certain states if the climate doesn’t benefit corporate interests.

Among other things, the report also highlights why people should seek professional counsel if an injury is suffered or property damage is incurred in Louisiana. Continue reading “Why You Need a Personal Injury Lawyer in Louisiana”

Louisiana HS Football Participation Increases While National Numbers Decline

As the national number of high school football players decreases, states like Louisiana are actually seeing an increase in high school football participation.

Since 2014, nationwide participation in high school football dropped 2.3 percent; in Louisiana, however, participation reached an all-time high in 2015. Continue reading “Louisiana HS Football Participation Increases While National Numbers Decline”

The Difference Between Mass Tort and Class Action Lawsuits

Taking on a corporation to receive compensation for an injury is as intimidating as it gets. Pharmaceutical and consumer product companies seem to have an endless supply of resources to suppress and dismiss individual cases.

So, what are people supposed to do if they’ve legitimately suffered harm?

Class actions and mass torts are common procedural actions used to implement corporate change or discipline on behalf of large groups of victims. In theory, these actions help expedite court cases and ensure individual victims receive fair representation.

While class action and mass tort are often used interchangeably, they are not the same type of procedural action, and they serve very different functions for individual victims. Continue reading “The Difference Between Mass Tort and Class Action Lawsuits”