In 1972, the United States Congress enacted the Consumer Protection Safety Act (CPSA). The purpose of the law is to protect consumers from injury or death from dangerous and defective products. The CPSA stipulates guidelines that companies are required to follow for safe production, packaging, labeling, and sales of consumer products. The law also stipulates the protocols that companies are required to follow if a defective or dangerous product is discovered.
Unfortunately, not all product manufacturers obey the CPSA. A glance at Recalls.gov, the federal website that provides consumers with information about all recalls issued by six different federal agencies for vehicles, consumer products, drugs, and more, shows just how much risk of defective product injury consumers are exposed to every day.
Prior to the passing of the CPSA, there were no laws in place that protected consumers and the market was filled with dangerous products – electronic appliances that would catch fire, toys that contained lead paint – that people had no idea the potential peril their families could be in.
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Today, consumers have the legal right under the CPSA to expect that the products they purchase are safe for use and consumption. Even if a product itself poses some danger to consumers – such as an electric table saw – a person purchasing that saw will not just start on its own. Consumers also know that whatever risks or potential dangers a product may pose must be clearly explained by a warning tag or product packaging.
If a company becomes aware that there is something wrong with a product that puts the safety of consumers at risk, they are required to notify the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). They must also notify the CPSC if a consumer suffered serious injury or death as a result of their product. Failure to adhere to these regulations can result in substantial payouts in compensation for victims injured or killed because of the product.
Contact the Legal Team of Shapiro & Appleton
At Shapiro & Appleton, our Virginia product liability attorneys know how devastating a defective product accident can be for a family. Our personal injury firm represented the estate of a man who was killed when the lawnmower he was on exploded and burnt him to death Not only was the manufacturer aware that the plastic fuel tank and fuel line connection was insecure, but they had designed a new fuel tank within a year after the victim had purchased his mower and never alerted consumers of the prior defect.
The company also denied there were any other reports of fires caused by their lawnmower, but an intensive investigation by our attorneys revealed not only were there other reports, but that the company was fully aware these reports existed. The jury found in favor of the victim’s family with an award of $2.5 million.
If you or someone in your family has been a victim of a defective or dangerous product, contact a Virginia personal injury attorney today at 800-752-0042 for a free and confidential case evaluation.