What Exactly Constitutes a Failure to Warn?

Product liability comes in many forms, including when a product has a defective design or was manufactured improperly such that it has the potential to cause harm to the consumer or user. In some cases, though product liability lawsuits claim that the manufacturer failed to warn adequately about the risks associated with the use of product even if there is no design or manufacturing defect. In such cases, the product warning is the one that is defective.

Not all products are required to have a warning label, although manufacturers do still include them just be on the safe side of civil litigation. A product which is safe when used in accordance with its intended purpose or circumstances does not usually require warning labels. A warning is required when:

  • The product is inherently dangerous i.e. run by electricity even when used properly
  • The manufacturer knows that the product presents a risk of harm
  • The risk of harm is not obvious (hidden dangers) to a reasonable person

There are many products that may qualify under these parameters, but perhaps the most common type is pharmaceutical preparations. The average person is typically not aware of the composition of even over-the-counter medications such as aspirin or cough syrup, and when taking them are contraindicated (not recommended). In one case, a child who was allergic to an ibuprofen product formulated for children suffered very severe reactions that resulted in brain damage, blindness, and loss of most of her skin. The product included the standard warning to discontinue use if there is an allergic reaction, but did not state how bad the side effects could get. The drug company was found liable for failing to adequately warn and the child’s family was awarded $63 million in damages.

If you suffered serious harm because you were not given adequate instructions on how to avoid it when using a product, you could have a defective warning case against the manufacturer. Consult with a product liability lawyer for an insight into your situation.

3 Responses to “What Exactly Constitutes a Failure to Warn?”

  1. Pohl Berk says:

    Criminal defense is serious business and I am grateful that someone is writing about it.

  2. Engage Live says:

    Your blog is improperly displaying characters when I use Ubunto with Google Chrome. Just thought you should know!

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