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Defective Products and “Failure to Warn”

If you have suffered an injury as a result of an inadequate product warning label, you may want to learn about “failure to warn” laws. There are different types of product liability, and the one that applies to you will depend on the nature of your injury, the type of product, and the form of negligence. One example of product liability is the improper size or placement of a warning label. Any manufacturer that has refused to adhere to known regulations may be liable for negligence.

Strict Products Liability
With regard to strict liability rules, the defendant’s conduct has no legal bearing in court. For example, a manufacturer of a defective product may have utilized safe, legal methods when designing the product. This fact is irrelevant with strict liability. In these cases, failure to produce an appropriate warning label is also considered negligence under “failure to warn” laws. In fact, it is the equivalent to selling a defective product. The following must be proven for plaintiff compensation:

  • The product was in an unsafe, hazardous condition when sold.
  • The product was intended to be sold in that state, remaining in that state when in the hands of the consumer.
  • The defective product consequently caused injury to the plaintiff.

Ordinary Negligence
Ordinary negligence rules are based on the concept of “duty of care,” a term describing the obligation we have to avoid harming another person. If the duty of care has been avoided or ignored, and the plaintiff endured injury, ordinary negligence can be claimed. If a manufacturer or seller neglects to present proper, conspicuous warnings they may be accused of breaching the duty of care. The ordinary negligence rule is presently only legal in a select few states. It was becoming too easy for defendants in “failure to warn” cases to hide behind this lesser charge. Therefore, most states adopted the strict products liability.

Additional Factors
While ordinary negligence and strict liability set the foundation for the case, various other factors are involved in providing legal proof that a product was defective:

  • Intended Use: If it is decided that the plaintiff misused the product, that is, did not adhere to the manufacturer’s usage guidelines, the defendant has a fair chance of escaping liability. However, if the consumer’s use of the product is considered “predictable,” the defendant can be found guilty of failing to warn, even if the plaintiff’s use of the product was not recommended.
  • Conspicuousness: The warning label is not viable if it is not placed in a highly visible area on the product. For example, power cords and most power tools require the conspicuous danger warnings to be placed directly on the product itself.
  • Duty to Know: The manufacturer is required to understand all the risks involved with the product. In addition, there should be full disclosure regarding all potential risks. If adequate time, research, and effort were not invested in knowing and explaining the risks, the defendant may be considered liable.

De Castroverde Law Group – Product Liability Attorneys
At De Castroverde Law Group, we handle product liability cases ranging from auto parts and medical equipment to children’s toys. We believe manufacturing companies have a responsibility to offer safe products that have been designed with the consumer’s well-being in mind. The De Castroverde family has served the Las Vegas area since the early 1990’s. If you feel you have a product liability case, an initial consultation with one of our skilled, knowledgeable attorneys can help you determine the best way to move forward. Contact us today for a free consultation.