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Jun 16, 2015 in News Product Liability

Product Liability: How can product recalls be improved?

When a product is defective, companies announce recalls and the issues related to it. But sometimes customers aren't aware there's been a product recall.

A recent CBC News story illustrates this problem after an 18-year-old boy is in danger of permanent damage to his left eye after a wire from the goalie helmet he was wearing snapped off and cut a piece of his iris. A horizontal wire from the titanium cage snapped and hit his face after the boy was struck by a puck.

The boy underwent a three hour surgery and it was only after the incident that the family discovered that helmet manufacturer Bauer issued a recall two months earlier. According to the recall notice, a quality issue in the cage's manufacturing could result in the cage's metal wires breaking off, which poses a risk of facial impact or a laceration hazard, or it may not provide sufficient protection to a goalie when they're hit by a puck.

About 1,300 of these helmets, which were manufactured in Thailand and China, were sold in Canada during the period of April 2013 to February 2015.

Before issuing the recall, the company received nine injury reports during similar situations where the helmet cracked or broke after it was hit by the puck. From these reports, there were minor facial injuries in four of these cases.

Unfortunately, the 18-year-old boy may not be as lucky. He was told by a doctor that the chances of fully recovering his vision is slim and he may never play elite level hockey.

Companies can inform customers of a recall directly if they've registered the product, but not everyone registers when they buy a product. Recalls are typically announced on the news, but these are usually short news stories, unless it's a large widespread recall, such as the GM's ignition switch recall and the Takata airbags recall. While the government's Healthy Canadians website details all the recalls announced, not all Canadians monitor the website on a regular basis.

"We either forget about it or we often don't necessarily know for sure if we actually own or have purchased the product in the first place," says Sylvain Charlebois, an associate professor in the University of Guelph's marketing and consumer studies department, told CBC News.

In the hockey helmet case, the company says it stopped retailers from selling the product once the problem was identified and Health Canada and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission were informed, according to CBC News.

This incident comes after a US study found that there was only a ten per cent response rate to recalled children's products. Also, the transport minister recently introduced new legislation that gives the government the power to issue vehicle recalls.

Product recalls can have very real, unintended and harmful consequences for families and their loved ones and you have the right to file a personal injury lawsuit for a product's liability. The personal injury and accident lawyers at Neinstein Personal Injury Lawyers have handled personal injury cases throughout Ontario for over 50 years. Call us at 416-920-4242, set up a free consultation, and come speak with us.

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Greg Neinstein

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Some products are released onto the market and can cause life-threatening issues. It may be daunting to file a claim against a multinational company, but our Toronto-based team of product liability lawyers are up to the challenge.

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Personal Injury Lawyer at Neinstein Personal Injury Lawyers Toronto

Greg Neinstein

Partner, Personal Injury Lawyer

More Posts View Bio

Area of Expertise

Product Liability

 

Some products are released onto the market and can cause life-threatening issues. It may be daunting to file a claim against a multinational company, but our Toronto-based team of product liability lawyers are up to the challenge.

More Posts Legal Support

Book A Free Consultation

We will not charge you unless your case is successful.


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At Neinstein we have been advocating for injured victims for over 50 years. Our committed and compassionate team will do everything necessary to help you and your family find solutions to the new challenges that arise from serious injuries.

Our team will ensure you access the proper healthcare support to aid in your recovery. While you focus on your rehabilitation, we will thoroughly investigate your case and guide you through the litigation process so we can achieve the maximum compensation that you deserve.