Recalled products can put consumers at serious risk of harm.
Home Depot is the latest in a line of major retailers to be fined for continuing to sell products that have been recalled by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). Home Depot was fined $5.7 million for its failure to take 2,800 units of 33 different recalled products off the shelves. Previously, grocery chain Meijer was fined $2 million for selling 1,700 units of 12 different recalled products in 2014, and Best Buy was fined $3.8 million for selling 600 units of 16 different recalled products.
The Consumer Product Safety Act is designed to protect Americans from dangerous or defective products. It prohibits any person or company from selling products that are subject to “voluntary corrective action,” which is also known as a recall. In 2008, Congress amended the Act to bar the sale of recalled product, but the CPSC has only recently begun to enforce this provision through the issuance of large penalties. However, it is important to remember that given the size of these corporations, the fines in questions are not particularly big.
In an age where all products have a bar code, it seems incredible that stores with sophisticated sales systems such as Home Depot were still selling recalled products. Blocking recalled products from being scanned would be a relatively easy solution to the issue, in the same way that retailers are often required to enter in the age of a person buying fireworks or a person must provide identification to buy certain over-the-counter cold medications.
Products are recalled because the CPSC has determined that they present a danger to consumers. This could be for any number of reasons. For products sold at a store such as Home Depot, it could be a gas grill that leaks propane, leading to a dangerous explosion, or a chemical that has dangerous fumes, or even an electric saw that does not have adequate safety guards in place to someone from getting hurt. A ladder could be made with a batch of bad wood, causing someone to fall, or the coating on electrical wire could be defective, leading to a risk of fire. Whatever the cause may be, the end result is that a defective product can lead to a person getting hurt, and it is the retailer’s responsibility to not sell it to the public once that product has been recalled. As experienced products liability attorneys can tell you, the risk from defective products is too great to allow anyone to take a chance using them after they have been recalled.
At PLBSH, our lawyers have more than forty years of experience helping people who have been injured by defective products. If you need a seasoned products liability attorney, contact us today at (800) 435-7542 or firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a free initial consultation and to learn more about how we can help you.