Product Recalls Are on the Rise: Everything You Need to Know

July 26, 2021

Don’t just scroll past the news article talking about yet another product in recall in Canada – it could save you from harm. Food items, children’s toys, pick-up trucks, medical products – recalls affect every one of us and experts predict recalls are only set to increase. 

Recently, Thomson Rogers was approached regarding unsafe respiratory devices manufactured by Philips Respironics. The concern being that some of their machines may be blowing toxic particles into users lungs. 

This would be a very serious cause for concern at any time, but especially during COVID-19, when CPAP and other respiratory devices are at the forefront of saving lives.  

Philips CPAP and Respiratory Devices Class Action

On June 14, 2021, Philips Respironics recalled 35 models of its respiratory devices used to treat sleep apnea. The devices contain Polyester-Based Polyurethane (PE-PUR) foam that can cause headaches, vomiting, nausea, respiratory damage, and increase the risk of cancer. 

We, along with Rice Harbut Elliott LLP, have launched a national class action representing all Canadians. The lawsuit alleges Philips Respironics negligently designed and manufactured the respiratory devices, and failed to warn users of the health risks associated with their use, while assuring users of the safety of its products.. 

See if your CPAP, BiPAP or mechanical ventilator is subject to this class action and whether you are eligible to receive compensation. 

What are Product Recalls?

Dangerous and defective products have the potential to injure and cause death, which is why businesses are required by law to produce safe items in the design, production and packaging stages of the product.

Any product that is being sold – either at a brick and mortar or online – can be recalled for having defects in design, manufacturing, sale or labelling. Typically, recalls are issued when the product is considered a hazard to the health and safety of the customer, although any significant alteration by the user is not 

For an up-to-date list of all items that have been recalled, visit the recalls and safety alerts website operated by the Government of Canada. 

Why Do Products Get Recalled?

Simply, anything that’s on sale can be recalled. We’ve mentioned the hand sanitizer recall, but there have been several major product recalls, such as egg recalls, a recall of ring doorbells, vehicle recalls for unsafe airbags, and even breathing devices.

What triggers a product recall? Here are a few examples:

  • An electronic device catching on fire while charging.
  • A hand sanitizer causing dermatitis or respiratory problems.
  • Children’s toys with choking hazards.
  • Contaminated food products.
  • Product packaging without adequate warning labels in English and French.

Why You Need to Be Aware of Product Recalls

In many instances, defects are small and easy to miss. For instance, the egg recall between October 2020 and March 2021 caused 19 people to be hospitalized for salmonella. More people may have fallen ill but may not have had severe enough symptoms to warrant going to a hospital.

Other recalls, such as that of Philips’ CPAP and respiratory devices, can have serious long-term health consequences. 

Is Your Hand Sanitizer Safe?

One of the most recent product recall examples (at the time of writing) is the recall of 18 brands of hand sanitizers for containing dangerous ingredients – which adds to a list that already has over 100 brands.

Make sure your brand of hand sanitizer is not on the list of recalled products.

What is Product Liability Negligence?

Today’s complex global supply chains and varying cross-border regulations mean brands have less control over the quality of the finished product. 

Ontario’s tort law provides wide consumer protections for those who have been injured or suffered a loss due to a dangerous or defective product.

A manufacturer or distributor may be liable under product liability tort law if its product causes personal injury, financial loss or damage to property. Product liability negligence claims aren’t limited to just manufacturers either; other parties that may be liable can include the:

  • Product assembler
  • Wholesaler and retailer 
  • Packaging company
Learn more:

  1. Contributory Negligence: Where The Plaintiff Is Partly At-Fault 
  2. What Rights Do Family Members Have?
  3. Can An Insurance Company Conduct Surveillance on Me?

Do You Think Your Injury or Illness Has Been Caused by Something You Bought/Used?

It’s not easy for people to know if something they have purchased/used is causing them an injury. The Philips CPAP and respiratory devices class action is case in point – users of those devices may not know for years the full extent of their injuries.

If you feel that you or someone you know has fallen ill, been injured or suffered property loss as a result of a defective product, get in touch with our product liability lawyers immediately. We’ll connect you with the medical care you need.

Our lawyers conduct thorough investigations into products and work with industry safety experts to determine liability.

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