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Warning/Labeling Defects

A Different Aspect of Product Liability

A product can be defective even when there is no design flaw or manufacturing defect. It is considered defective if the consumer is not provided with adequate instruction or the product/packaging lacks appropriate warnings. Failure to warn is considered a marketing defect, and can be the basis for a product liability case.

Although many products include warnings and safety precautions, they are not required in all situations. It is the responsibility of anyone who manufactures, distributes, or sells a product to adequately warn the consumer if a product is dangerous in a non-obvious way, the manufacturer knows that the danger exists, and the danger is present when the product is used as intended or used in another reasonable and foreseeable manner. These standards vary depending on the type of product involved and the intended consumer.

What Constitutes a Non-Obvious Risk?

Contention often arises as to whether there was a non-obvious risk when an injury occurs. However, in certain instances, it is clear. For example, a saw does not require a warning stating that it can cut. However, a ladder should probably come with weight limitations and a warning that it is dangerous to stand on the top step.

Often, consumers misuse products and disregard warning labels. However, liability is only limited through clear warnings. When an individual’s misuse of a product is unpredictable and ridiculous, the manufacturer, distributor, or seller will not be held responsible for a failure to warn. Conversely, if the misuse was foreseeable and reasonable, the defendant may be held liable.

Warning Labels

Manufacturers are responsible for warning consumers about hidden dangers relevant to the product and how to use the product in a safe manner. When a warning is required, it must be written in plain, accessible language and clearly visible. Requirements vary, but some products must have warnings printed directly on them, while others must have brightly colored warning labels affixed to them. This is to ensure that anyone who uses the product without looking at the manual will see these important cautionary statements.

There are no universal warning standards, but overall, warnings should be visible and comprehensible. Some manufacturers offer warnings in several languages to reduce liability.

Legal Recourse

If you or someone you love has been injured by a product that did not provide adequate warning of a hidden danger, or if you were not given proper instruction on how to use the product safely, you may be able to collect compensation for your injuries. Consequently, you will want to speak with an experienced product liability lawyer to fully understand your legal rights and responsibilities. At Shea Law Group, we know the ins and outs of product liability law and we are here to help you.

Give us a call today at (877)-365-0040, or fill out a contact form online. There is absolutely no risk as we never charge a fee unless we win your case.