The Problem with Product Recalls

Popular Mechanics explains why product recalls make us less safe. As you might expect, lawyers are involved:

“What we’ve ended up with is a protection racket,” says Michael Krauss, a professor of law at George Mason University who specializes in product liability. “These lawyers are on a never-ending search for clients. Paying them off has become part of the cost of doing business.” 

Krauss says that excessive litigation has skewed the entire way products are built, sold, and marketed today. Companies hesitate to deal openly with flaws because they fear litigation; consumers, noticing this, mistrust manufacturers. And the U.S. legal system has become an enabler, Krauss says, because liability cases here—unlike in most other countries—are decided by juries rather than judges, allowing room for emotion to swamp facts. Multimillion-dollar settlements are far more likely, Krauss says, “because a company is going to be very averse to being in a courtroom where aggrieved parents are holding up pictures of a dead or disfigured child while the jury hears the evidence and deliberates.” 

(Hat tip: Instapundit, a lawyer who is not making us less safe.)

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