In many cases, when people hear the phrase "product liability" they think of dangerous products like motor vehicles or heavy machinery. But product liability can apply to any type of product that could endanger a consumer.
Recently, the healthcare company Johnson & Johnson issued a national recall of bottles and other packages of medicine that includes Tylenol and Benadryl. This is not the first recall that Johnson & Johnson has announced; this past year almost 200 million products were recalled to protect consumers.
The most recent recall affects consumers who purchased:
- Tylenol 8 Hour
- Tylenol Arthritis Pain
- Tylenol Upper Respiratory
- Sudafed PE
The recall was prompted after the company identified some problems in the cleaning and labeling processes. The company has issued a statement that the quality of the products was likely still intact.
The problems were traced to one of the manufacturing plants in Pennsylvania; plant production was suspended until the issues could be dealt with. Other manufacturing plants are being assessed to ensure that the problem does not persist. If problems are found at the other plants, Johnson & Johnson may have to issue more recalls.
The article does not provide any information as to whether any consumers have been harmed by the product at this point. There is also no information as to how incomplete cleaning procedures could potentially impact consumers. But given the high number of Johnson & Johnson recalls this part year, the U.S. Department of Justice may press charges against the company.
The Food and Drug Administration is also currently investigating the product recalls.
Source: Reuters online, "J&J faults cleaning procedures in massive recalls," Bill Berkrot, 14 January 2011