You probably assume the prescription drugs and household items you use every day are safe. Unfortunately, that is not always the case. If you’ve been injured by a medication or consumer product, you may want to talk with a personal injury lawyer.
Each year, thousands of items are recalled by manufacturers because they are defective or a threat to public safety. Faulty wiring may cause fires; small parts may choke children; and poorly researched prescription drugs may come with life-threatening side effects.
Pharmaceutical company Merck recalled its arthritis drug Vioxx in 2004 after it was discovered to raise the risk of a heart attack or stroke in certain patients. Within three years of the recall, Merck paid out $4.85 billion to settle 27,000 lawsuits.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission says more than 11 million cribs, bassinets and play yards were recalled between 2009-2011. Last year, cribs, mattresses and similar items sent 74,900 children younger than age five to emergency rooms.
A record number of cars and trucks were recalled by automotive manufacturers in 2014. More than 50 million vehicles – roughly one of every five on the road – were found to have critical defects.
Of course, it isn’t only recalled items that can pose a danger. In some cases, a company may not recognize the danger of a product or they may choose to ignore it.
That’s what seems to have happened at GM when a faulty ignition switch caused dozens of reported deaths. News outlets say some GM employees knew about the problem 10 years before the company recalled 2.6 million vehicles last year. The automaker has set aside $400 million to compensate victims.
Whether you were injured by a prescription drug, medical device or consumer product, you may be entitled to compensation from the manufacturer. Regardless of if the product has been recalled or not.