Following the initial COVID-19 outbreak in the United States earlier this year, thousands of Americans flooded stores in search of hand sanitizer and other cleaning supplies. Many stores were completely wiped out from the start of the pandemic of such supplies and have taken several months to restock these products because of demand. In preparation for the uncertainty associated with the pandemic, many Texans purchased large quantities of these products. However, recent FDA recalls indicate that some of these sanitizing products may be causing members of our community to become ill. These recalls may be the basis for a Texas product liability claim.
According to a recent article, federal regulators from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have been urging consumers to avoid more than 130 hand sanitizers that were previously available through stores such as Walmart and other national major retailers. The agency has cited that many of these products lack the sufficient level of alcohol necessary to effectively kill germs or that the products contain dangerous and potentially deadly levels of wood alcohol.
With hand sanitizer demand skyrocketing during COVID-19, a new rush of brands manufacturing hand sanitizer has entered the market. However, while many of these products claim to contain ethanol (otherwise known as ethyl alcohol), FDA tests have shown that they actually contain methanol, or wood alcohol. Methanol can potentially be toxic when absorbed through the skin and could even cause blindness or death if consumed. Because many products have been mislabeled, consumers would be unable to tell which items actually contain methanol. The FDA has kept an updated list of recalled products on its website for easy reference.
Manufacturers such as Costco, Walmart and BJ’s Wholesale Club have had to recall products they sell. Since May, at least seven people have died and dozens have been hospitalized after ingesting hand sanitizer containing methanol. According to local officials, some of these cases were related to alcoholism.
Product recalls like this often open the door for potential product liability lawsuits. In Texas, a product is considered dangerous after a court assesses its manufacturing process, marketing methods, risks, and utility. To file a successful product liability claim, a plaintiff must demonstrate that the product was defective or dangerous, like a hand sanitizer containing toxic methanol. Next, the defect must have made the product unreasonably dangerous, like the hand sanitizer causing death or hospitalization. Finally, the defect must have directly caused the person’s injuries. To ensure that a manufacturer is held liable for a product liability claim, the consumer must not have acted negligently. For example, if a consumer alters a product and is then injured, they may not have a claim.
Contact a Texas Personal Injury Lawyer Today
If you or someone you know has suffered an injury after using a dangerous or defective product, contact the Texas product liability attorneys at Carabin Shaw. Our team of lawyers has years of experience navigating all kinds of personal injury claims and we understand how to advocate on your behalf to get you the compensation you deserve. To schedule an initial consultation, call us at 800-862-1260 today.