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Who is liable when inadequate warnings lead to injuries?

Whether over-the-counter or prescribed medications, cosmetics, household cleaners or other products, you and other consumer expect them to be safe for use when they go to market. However, some products may pose potential dangers, despite having no design flaws or manufacturing defects. Therefore, it may be helpful to understand who is responsible when injuries resulting from the use of a product occur.

Many products available to consumers today include warning labels. According to FindLaw, however, warning labels are not required for all products. They must be included when manufacturers know their products present a potential risk when used as intended and that danger is not immediately obvious to the product’s users. For example, a space heater may overheat if used continuously for more than four hours, and the manufacturer is aware of the risk. The manufacturer must include a warning on the heaters that they could pose a fire hazard.

When they are required, warning labels must be conspicuous, and they should be clear and specific in warning of the product’s hidden dangers. Further, they should also include instructions for how to safely use the product in order to avoid these potential risks. If reasonable warnings and instructions are not included with a potentially dangerous product and you suffer an injury as a result, the manufacture may be held financially responsible for your associated losses.

Developing a product that presents a potential danger alone does not place full responsibility for injuries resulting from its use at the product manufacturer’s feet. As a consumer, you have a responsibility to heed the warning labels and to use products only as directed. Failing to do so could result in you forfeiting your right to seek compensation for any injuries resulting from a product’s use.

The information contained in this post is considered for general purposes only and should not be taken as legal advice.

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