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Articles Tagged with Product liability

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food-healthy-dinner-lunch-128401-300x200Recently, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced that La Bodega Meat is recalling over 80,000 pounds of raw beef products. According to the press release, the products did not receive a re-inspection when entering the United States. Individuals can suffer severe injuries if they consume recalled meat in Texas. These individuals should seek medical attention and legal assistance if they experience adverse reactions to defective food products.

The recalled beef products included ribeye rolls, flank steaks, boneless brisket, inside skirt, flap meat, sirloins, peeled knuckle, rounds, and other similar meat pieces. The meat entered the United States in early June and was shipped to distributors in Texas, Missouri, and Arkansas. Although there have not been any confirmed cases of serious adverse reactions, the FSIS believes that some products may still be frozen in distributors’, retailers’, and other customers’ freezers. Distributors, retailers, and consumers are urged not to distribute, sell, or consume these products.

The USDA classifies recalls into three classes, Class I, Class II, and Class III. Class I recalls, such as the one above, are reserved for products that may cause a severe health hazard, and there is a high probability that using the product will result in serious health consequences such as death. Class II recalls occur in situations where the product presents a remote likelihood of an adverse health consequence. Finally, Class III recalls are issued when the product will not cause serious adverse health consequences.

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medical-tools-placed-on-tray-in-modern-clinic-3884085-300x200A recent case provides insight for Texas plaintiffs suing manufacturers for injuries caused by their products. According to the court’s opinion, the plaintiff was injured after her dentist inappropriately used a product to clean her dentures. The plaintiff later suffered significant injuries when the dentures were placed in her mouth. After suing the dentist and the product’s manufacturer, the plaintiff’s claim against the manufacturer was dismissed by the United States 5th Circuit Court of Appeals.

The plaintiff’s claim against the manufacturer was based on a failure to warn. The theory underlying failure to warn claims is that a product’s manufacturer has a responsibility to warn users of harmful effects. As one court explained, “in a failure-to-warn case, the plaintiff must show that the warning was defective and that this…was the producing cause of the plaintiff’s injury.” These cases typically come down to a question of whether the warning was adequate. In other words, a plaintiff will generally be able to recover if the judge or jury believes that the manufacturer’s warning was not sufficient to warn the plaintiff against the type of injury that occurred.

In this case, the plaintiff’s claim was unsuccessful because the product’s label contained language warning against using the product in the manner that caused the plaintiff’s injury. The warning label on the product stated that it was not to be used to disinfect dentures or the surface of any other instrument that would come into contact with mucous membranes. By instructing his assistant to soak the dentures in the product for fifteen minutes before placing the dentures back in the plaintiff’s mouth, the dentist caused the plaintiff’s injury by using the product in the exact manner that the warning label prohibited. When a product’s warning warns against the very activity that causes injury, the warning is deemed adequate as a matter of law, and the plaintiff’s claim automatically fails. For this reason, the plaintiff’s claim was unsuccessful.

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