Product Safety Recalls - Diamond and Diamond Lawyers
  • Tuesday, 21 August 2018

Product Safety Recalls

#AskGeorgeLaloshi

Some of the products consumers use all the time can cause serious injuries when they are defective or when instructions and labels fail to tell users about known risks or how to use the product correctly. Canadian laws give the government authority to monitor the safety of consumer products, foods and health products. Based upon the information it collects, the government has various methods to alert the public about unsafe or dangerous products. Consumers injured by defective or dangerous products have the right to hold the manufacturer responsible through a claim for compensation.

When is a product defective?

A consumer product, whether it is a lawnmower, toaster or a child’s toy, could present a risk of causing an injury due to one or more of the following reasons:

  • Its design was defective;
  • There were defects in the way it was manufactured; or
  • The labelling or instructions included with the product failed to warn consumers of injury risks or failed to offer adequate directions for safe use of the product.

A defect in the initial design of a product means that even if manufactured correctly, the product will pose a risk of causing injury to a consumer. For example, a child’s toy designed to include pieces that could pose a choking hazard for young children could represent a defect in both the design of the product and in the failure of the manufacturer to include warning labels alerting parents of the dangers.

Properly designed consumer products can still cause injuries if there is a mistake made during the manufacturing process. For instance, if a company producing children’s jackets that are not supposed to be flammable makes a mistake during testing and ships jackets that melt and cause severe burns at high temperatures could be responsible to pay compensation to anyone injured by the product because of the manufacturing defect.

Injuries caused by a failure to warn consumers of a known risk or hazard associated with a product could give rise to a claim for compensation against the manufacturer. For example, most people know not to put their hands near the blade of a lawnmower while it is rotating, but a person might reach into the side discharge chute of a lawnmower to clear it before turning off the engine without realizing how close it is to the turning blade and be injured because of the absence of a warning label.

Safety alerts and recalls

Health Canada is one of the agencies in the country that monitors consumer products, food and health products to identify product defects and make the information available to the public. Included in the information are the following:

  • Information updates: These provide consumers with timely information about the use of products, but they are not considered to be critical or urgent.
  • Advisories: These are issued to bring injury-causing health risks associated with specific products to the attention of the public. Advisories have more urgency than do information updates because of the injury risk.
  • Product recalls: These alerts let consumers know about products recalled by their manufacturers because of a health or safety issue that could cause a user to be injured by continuing to use the product.

Consumers should take note of the information provided by Health Canada to avoid being injured by defective products. If you are injured by a defective product, the time within which to file a claim for compensation can be relatively short. In Ontario, it can be as short as two years, so speaking with a personal injury lawyer as soon after you are injury is essential to protect your rights.

Ontario personal injury lawyers

The personal injury lawyers at Diamond and Diamond have years of experience successfully handling claims for compensation on behalf of individuals injured due to the negligence of others. If you have suffered an injury due to a defective product, you should speak to one of our lawyers. Call the Diamond and Diamond 24/7 injury hotline at 1-800-567-HURT or visit our website to speak to someone now. We offer free consultations and case evaluations to injury victims throughout Ontario.

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