As you know, product liability law not only concerns automobiles and other machinery, which we have discussed frequently as of late, but it also involves other products like food and pharmaceuticals. Just like cars, when we purchase food at our local grocery store, or pick up our prescription from the pharmacy, consumers trust that the products we are purchasing are safe for our use, or else they wouldn’t be on the shelf. When products are on the shelf, we trust that they have passed inspections for any possible dangers, or if there are any known dangers that can come from improper use, that we have been provided with instructions and warnings on the packaging (ex: not to take a medicine before driving, or to cook chicken to a certain temperature).
All manufacturers and stores owe a legal duty of care to its customers to provide safe products or warnings about known risks. However, in recent news, it appears that Safeway Foods has argued that this duty did not apply to them, according to an article by Top Class Actions. A class action lawsuit has been filed against Safeway, Inc., alleging that the company should have warned its “Club Card” holders about product recalls. Furthermore, the plaintiffs argue that the company failed to notify customers of various recalls on food items that were previously purchased in the stores. For instance, one customer states that she was not notified of a recall involving Nutter Butter cookies tainted with salmonella that she had purchased.
However, Safeway argues that that there was no post-sale duty for grocers to warn customers. Judges have disagreed with this argument citing that negligence law places a duty of care and that Safeway does not have an exception. The judge referred to case law as stating, “…each person has a duty to use ordinary care and is liable for injuries caused by his failure to exercise reasonable care in the circumstances.” This means that a seller’s duty under negligence law can extend after a sale has been made, such as when knowledge of a dangerous product is obtained after a purchase has been made.
Our attorneys understand the importance of safe products in the marketplace and fight to defend the rights of consumers who have fallen victim and suffered injury to dangerous goods. Manufacturers and stores have a duty to warn customers in advance of known dangers or make them aware of known recalls after the fact of purchase. If your or someone you love has been seriously injured by a food, medicine, or other product you have purchased, you may be able to the hold the manufacturer and store liable in a product liability lawsuit. Call our firm for a free consultation, and one of our lawyers would be happy to discuss your potential claim with you.