Potential guardrail recall highlights risk of defective products

The public typically puts a lot of faith in products and consumer goods. The average person assumes that items available for purchase in a store are safe for use and manufactured to a certain standard. However, companies are often more focused on profit than they are on consumer safety. That can lead to cutting corners in areas like safety testing, materials testing or even design.

When companies put their profits over public safety, innocent people can end up paying the price. It's bad enough when companies who make items like clothing or household goods don't focus on safety and quality. If companies entrusted with critical safety equipment cut corners, it could end up resulting in permanent injury or costing someone one's life.

Tragic accident highlights risk of low-quality safety equipment

The young victim in this story was only 17 years old when she died in a situation that was preventable. She was by all accounts a bright, ambitious and gifted young woman. In fact, prior to her death, she had worked on the local set for a movie filmed in Knoxville. Sadly, she never got to turn that potential into a career. On Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2016, she crashed into a guardrail. It was a single-vehicle accident, but it still proved fatal for the young woman.

The guardrail was a model called the Lindsay X-Lite. Guardrails are put in place to prevent deaths, but this one wasn't designed properly. The ends don't always buckle properly, which can lead to major damage to vehicles and the death of people inside.

Researchers have since found at least 10 deaths in five different states that relate to this exact guardrail. That has lead activists, including the father of the deceased young woman, to call for their removal from all roadways. Early in May, 2018, Governor Bill Haslam signed a resolution that calls for a recall across the entire country for all the Lindsey X-Lite guardrails. People hope that the federal government will step in and mandate the removal of these potentially unsafe safety features.

Product liability lawsuits let you hold companies accountable

If you or someone you love has suffered serious injuries due to a dangerous or defective product, you should know that you have rights. In some cases, you may be able to bring a civil lawsuit against the manufacturer or retailer for a product that endangered or injured you due to poor design or faulty components.

These kinds of lawsuits cannot undue the damage defective products cause. However, they can teach companies an expensive lesson about putting the bottom line ahead of public safety. That may prevent them and other similar companies from engaging in the same kind of behavior in the future.

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