Product liability claims usually include occasions of flaws in a product’s design or a failure to warn about the potential dangers of incorrectly using it which may cause harm. This can often involve either the manufacturer or distributor of a product when they fail in their duty towards the users of their products. Therefore, in a product liability claim, the elements of failure to warn and/or defect must be present to stand a chance of a successful claim.
A manufacturer or distributor of a product must provide warning labels on their products that have potential risks if used in a certain way. This means these products should contain a label explaining in what ways the product can potentially become hazardous to the user. For instance, the blades of a lawnmower may continue to run even if the person raises it to have a look at the blades. Or an item may be appropriate to use on a wooden surface but may be harmful if used on the skin.
These labels inform or warn users not to use products in a way that could cause harm to them. But if the manufacturer or distributor fails to place warning labels on the product, this may lead to a product liability claim against them.
The Risk of Injury in Using a Product:
The greater the risk of injury that a customer faces from using a product, the greater the chance there will be a lawsuit in the event of that injury. And even moreso, the claim, in monetary terms, from that civil lawsuit is likely to be a high one. It is perhaps just as important to note that In cases of product liability and strict liability, certain arguments exist pertaining to the certainty of an injury occurring or the unpredictable nature of the potential damage. For instance, if there is no warning on a toaster that flipping it upside down can cause shock to the user, the risk is unpredictable and unknown.
But, in the example of a lawnmower, without a warning label on it, it is obvious that there is a high risk of injury if the user touches the blades while in operation. The injury is predictable and obvious in the lawnmower example. So in such cases of predictable injuries, the lawsuit may become unsuccessful if or when the judge decides that the user should know not have engaged in such behavior that caused damage to him or her.
Lack of Warning Label:
Few products do not require warning labels to inform its users the product will perform a certain action, for instance, a lighter ignition to create fire. Similarly, there are other items that lack necessary warning labels such as lawnmowers. It is obvious that if lawnmower is raised with rotating blades, it can cause serious injury or even death.
A jury will usually analyze matters pertaining to the nature of each case and will determine if the lack of warning label is permissible with the claim or not. This aspect can strengthen or weaken the personal injury lawsuit.
Negligence and Failure to Warn:
Negligence and duty of care are important factors to file a product liability lawsuit, which is usually handled by a product liability lawyer. The plaintiff must prove that the defendant was negligent in the duty of care existed and breached. He or she has to prove that this breach of duty of care caused harm by using a certain product. Establishing a connection among these elements is essential otherwise the claim fails. And in case of a successful claim, the attorney becomes able to present the evidence and protect the rights of the client.
Conspicuous Warning Label:
Providing warning labels hidden in a lengthy instruction manual is not sufficient. It is essential for the warning label to be clearly understandable and visible to the user of the product in a way that is easily seen.
That being said, if a product is to be used by someone who won’t see the packaging or instruction manual, it is essential to have a warning label written directly on the product. For instance, a warning label placed on power tools.
Possibility of Litigation in Failure to Warn:
The possibility of litigation is the most important consequence that a manufacturer may face. If there is no instruction or warning label on the product to use as intended, the caused injury as a result lack of warning label. Without proper instructions on how to use a certain product or absence of warning labels, the user can get injured physically. In this case, the chances of litigation can increase, and as a consequence, this can cost the company huge losses.
However, in order to increase or decrease the strength of the claim, there are certain factors that play an important role. For instance, if the user used the product in a non-standard manner and incurred injury which was obvious to happen, the claim may lack the strength to succeed.
Staying Knowledgeable and Know the Risks:
Simply being unaware of the risk cannot make the defendant escape from the liability for failure to warn. It is the duty of the defendant to stay knowledgeable about the risks a certain product can pose. In case, danger can be found through testing, research, and investigation, the defendant will be held liable for failure to warn about the dangers that he should have known about.
In order to litigate, usually, a personal injury attorney is required to proceed with the case for lack of warning labels. Injuries incurred from the use of such products may need a lawyer to seek compensation for the damages.