More Companies Fined for Failing to Report Dangerous Products
Defective vehicle components, unsafe exercise equipment, heavy machinery with serious design flaws – if you’ve been injured by one of these items or any other type of harmful product, you’re not alone. Hundreds of consumers are injured every year by unsafe products.
A disturbing new trend means even more consumers could be harmed as more companies balk at their responsibility to introduce only safe products into the stream of commerce. For those wrongfully injured by companies that carelessly rushed products to market, the only hope for fair compensation may be a legal claim filed with the help of a product liability attorney.
Number of Companies Fined Jumped More Than Fivefold, Seriousness of Penalties Also Up
A company can become aware of a potential safety flaw in one of its products in a number of ways. Perhaps a customer phones in a complaint, an internal investigation uncovers some mechanical defect or a pattern of returned products becomes apparent.
However a product safety issue is discovered, companies must generally report it within 24 hours to the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Companies that fail to do so can be subject to stiff penalties from the CPSC.
The final number of companies hit with CPSC fines in 2011 is in, and it paints a grim picture of the state of consumer product safety. In 2010, just two companies faced CPSC fines. In 2011, however, the number skyrocketed to 11.
Fine totals for failing to report a product defect were also on the rise per capita, indicating more serious violations. In 2010, the two CPSC fines totaled about half a million dollars; in 2011, the 11 CPSC fines added up to more than four million dollars.
Will 2012 See Even More Injuries From Unsafe Products?
Why are companies failing to report product defects? Some experts blame confusion over what, exactly, triggers the reporting requirement. But there’s an easy solution, according to one CPSC spokesman.
“It greatly concerns us when injuries pile up and we’re not told,” Scott Wolfson of the CPSC told ABC news. “If in doubt, report.”
Should the trend in deficient reporting continue, 2012 could see even more injuries among unwarned consumers. If you have suffered harm at the hands of an unsafe product, get the compensation you deserve and ensure that companies are held accountable for their safety oversights by contacting a product liability attorney today. Your legal claim could be more than just a vehicle to secure fair compensation for your injury; it could also help prevent other consumers from suffering similarly.