Have you heard about a defective product? Something dangerous that injures and harms an innocent consumer or child? Chances are that the defective product was not made in the USA, but by a manufacturer outside of our borders and our legal rules. Research performed by the American Association for Justice last year has shown that 83% of defective product recalls announced in 2009 by the Consumer Product Safety Commission, or the CPSC, were from foreign manufacturers. These foreign made products are ones that are unsafe, dangerous, or pose a safety hazard to the users or others. Let’s look at the data and numbers to see if we can make some conclusions about where unsafe products come from.
First, the CPSC reports that there were 377 recalls of defective and dangerous products last year. Of those recalls, 312 of these defective products were for products that were made outside of the United States and then exported to the United States from foreign countries that do not have the same product safety regulations or access to the civil tort system. Even more interesting is the facts that of these 312 recalled products, a whopping 206 of these defective products were Chinese manufactured.
So ask yourself, why are most defective products that cause injuries to workers, children and families made in third world countries and not here in the USA? It’s simple. Our legal system protects consumers against dangerous products by holding United States based manufacturers accountable for the production of unsafe products by plaintiff’s lawyers in our courts.
In addition, dangerous product manufactures also can avoid our employee and product safety rules and regulations and hire low wage workers who are not afforded the same labor, wage, and legal protection that American workers are given by our labor protection laws.
The sad truth is that foreign manufacturers are not held to the same legal and safety standards as American manufacturers once their products arrive here, and they can easily avoid being held accountable in a court of law in front of a jury of our peers. As a result, they can gamble with product safety and never have to face consequences for negligent conduct. Since these defective product manufacturers can not be held accountable for the injuries their products cause, there is virtually no incentive to ensure that product safety is the number one goal when making these products
Fortunately, new legislation being proposed would force foreign manufactures to have representation here in the US so that they can not avoid being held accountable in Court. If a foreign made product proves itself unsafe, its manufacturers will be subject to the same laws that US manufacturers are subject to. The proposed legislation would require that foreign manufactures wanting to do business here in the US be required to consent to the same state and federal jurisdiction that local manufacturers do. The unsafe products would be required to meet or exceed the US safety regulations set for by the by the CPSC , the FDA (Food and Drug Administration), and the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency).
This legislation comes too late for many who have already suffered injury or loss due to defective products. For example, Taishan Gypsum, a Chinese manufacturer of drywall, exported 500 million pounds of sulfuric-acid emitting drywall to the U.S. These emissions have caused significant amounts of property damage to homes built with the Chinese made material. Reported damage includes that of HVAC systems, smoke detectors, electrical wiring, and metal plumbing components. The emissions have been linked to metal corrosion. They cause a sulfurous odor that permeates the house, and may be the cause of eye, respiratory, and sinus problems. If Taishan Gypsum knew it would be held accountable for any harm it caused by a defective product, it is likely that Taishan Gypsum would have ensured the safety of its drywall. Because it was essentially immune from our Courts and Tort System, Taishan Gypsum was free to export these unsafe products to the US and reap billions of dollars in profit.
Taishan Gypsum is not the only foreign company exporting sub-par and defective products, causing danger, illness, injury, or loss. If you or a loved one have suffered due to a defective product, the team at Minnino Law Offices wants to help. Our Civil Trial Attorneys in New Jersey and Pennsylvania have experience in cases involving defective products and are here for you. Please give us a call at (856) 833-0600 in New Jersey or (215) 567-2380 in Pennsylvania.