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What Is Failure to Warn in a Product Liability Case?

Posted on January 27, 2020 in

There are several reasons why you may be able to file a product liability lawsuit after being injured by a defective product. One is for “failure to warn.” Manufacturers are required to warn individuals about the dangers associated with using their products. When they fail to provide these warnings, the negligent manufacturer may be held liable for any injuries you suffer from the use of their product.

Product liability cases are highly complex, especially when they involve a failure to warn. It’s important to work with an experienced attorney who can help demonstrate the manufacturer’s warnings weren’t adequate to prevent your injury. The attorneys at the Jensen Phelan Law Firm understand the product liability laws that apply to these cases in Arizona, and we can fight aggressively to protect your rights every step of the way.

What Warnings Must Be Provided on Consumer Products?

Manufacturers must provide warnings on how to safely use their products as intended. This may include information about:

  • How to properly use the product in a safe manner
  • Consequences that may occur when these instructions aren’t followed
  • Any dangers that may potentially occur when a product is being used properly
  • Ways to avoid dangers that may arise when the product isn’t used properly

drug warning labelFor example, if a children’s toy is a choking hazard, the manufacturer should clearly warn of this issue and provide an age restriction to avoid an injury to children who are too young to reasonably be expected to use the toy safely. If this information isn’t provided on a warning label and your child suffers a choking injury, you may have a valid “failure to warn” product liability claim.

These warnings must be provided on all types of products, including medications. If an over-the-counter medication doesn’t include a warning of potential side effects that may occur when the product is used in combination with other regularly consumed drugs, you may be able to file a product liability case if you are injured from an unsafe combination of medications.

Proving Negligence in a Failure to Warn Claim

In order to achieve a successful outcome in a “failure to warn” product liability claim, you must prove:

  • The manufacturer failed to provide instructions on how to safely use their product or a warning about dangers associated with the use of their product
  • You suffered an injury due to the use of this product
  • Your injury could have been avoided if proper warnings were placed on the product

This third criteria may be proven in one of the following ways:

  • The warning would have changed the way the product was used
  • The warning would have caused you to take certain safety precautions when using the product

Other Requirements Associated with Adequate Product Warnings

warning label for a defective productIn order for a product’s warnings to be considered adequate, they must meet the following requirements:

  • The warning is placed in a conspicuous place where a consumer can realistically be expected to see it
  • The warning provides instructions on ways to safely use a product that may not be intuitive without this information
  • The warning alerts the user to any dangers that aren’t immediately obvious

If a particular danger is deemed to be very obvious, the manufacturer doesn’t need to provide a warning. For example, a knife manufacturer doesn’t need to provide a warning on the dangers that may occur if you don’t hold the knife by the handle since it should be obvious that you may suffer a serious cut or laceration when grasping it by the sharp edge.

In addition, manufacturers must provide warnings about any potential dangers associated with a foreseeable misuse of a product. For example, it’s reasonable to expect that an individual may stand on a chair to reach a high shelf. If you cannot safely stand on a particular folding chair if you’re over a certain weight, this warning must be provided to prevent injury from the chair collapsing underneath this unsafe weight.

Contact our Prescott Product Liability Lawyers

If you’ve been injured by a product that failed to properly warn you of potential dangers associated with its use, you may have a valid defective product claim. Our attorneys will discuss your case with you free of charge and advise you of your legal rights and options.

Please contact the Jensen Phelan Law Firm using the form on this page or call 928-778-2660 today to schedule a complimentary consultation. We serve clients in Prescott, Cottonwood and the surrounding areas of Northern Arizona.