(November 27, 2022) Texas staple grocery chain H-E-B pulls thousands of pounds of ground beef products off of their shelves for potential contaminants in the latest 2022 food product recall. San Antonio Express-News reported that 94,000 pounds of ground beef were pulled from H-E-B shelves, and full refunds were offered for Hill Country Fare and H-E-B brand beef products. With estimates of food prices up an estimated 10.5%, having contaminated products on the shelves isn’t helping the holiday cheer. But what happens if you were injured or made extremely ill by a recalled food product? Let’s take a look at the legal implications of dangerous or defective products in American stores.
Did you know?
One of the largest food recalls in American history was from the Peanut Corp. in 2008, and it sickened over six hundred people in 46 States and parts of Canada. The resulting damage to the entire peanut industry was estimated to be around one billion dollars.
Can You Sue Over Defective or Dangerous Products?
In the United States, if a consumer is made extremely ill or is otherwise injured by a defective product, they may be entitled to legal compensation in the form of a product liability claim. A defective product is any consumer good that causes illness or injury despite being properly used. Manufacturers of consumer products have a responsibility to adhere to proper regulations and ensure that their products function as advertised and cause no harm to consumers. When they do cause injury or illness, legal action may be taken.
What Constitutes a Product Liability Claim?
There are three major categories or types of product liability claims. One is a manufacturer claim which arises from an issue in the manufacturing process, as with the recalled beef. Another is a design claim that concerns flaws originating in the product design. Finally, there is a labeling claim, which occurs when the product manufacturer fails to include the proper warning labels on a dangerous product like a portable gas can. In order to satisfy the courts in a product liability claim, there are certain criteria the claim must meet. These are,
- Proof of Injury – in order to have grounds for a claim, it must be proven that you were injured and that the injury (or illness) was caused by the defective product. Having purchased the product is not enough. For example, for a claim to be filed in the above case, one would need to have been injured by the contaminants in the beef products. Having purchased them and having been put in potential danger is not enough.
- Proof of defect and injury connection – one must be able to prove that it was the product in question that caused the injury. For example, if someone cuts themselves on a potato peeler, is that the peeler’s fault or the fault of the person? Well, that depends – if the potato peeler were flimsy and broke while being used according to the instructions, then the product would be to blame.
- Evidence of proper use – one must offer proof that the product was being used as intended. Using the previous example, if the peeler broke while the user was using it to shave down wood, then the injury would be the fault of the person for misuse.
Have you been injured by a defective product in Texas? Carabin Shaw has thirty years of experience representing product liability claims. Contact our firm today at 800-862-1260. We look forward to serving you.