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Failure to warn about product risks can put consumers at risk

Not too long ago, we discussed three common types of products liability claims. Perhaps the most common ways businesses fail to make products that are reasonably safe are through defective designs, manufacturing defects and marketing defects.

Another way of describing marketing defects is to use the term “failure to warn.” This occurs when consumers do not receive adequate warning about potential dangers associated with using a particular product. Sufficient warning from the manufacturer, retailer or other responsible party can prevent many injuries, by alerting consumers how to use the product safely.

The ways a business can commit failure to warn include:

  • Failure to provide adequate instructions on how to use the product
  • Failure to inform consumers about potential dangers
  • Failure to warn about risks associated with using the product
  • Overstating the product’s benefits
  • Making false or misleading claims

Note that there is not necessarily anything defective about how the product itself was designed or put together. The product could be reasonably safe and appropriate for its intended purpose, but still be potentially dangerous due to its nature, such as bleach. Not every danger is obvious to the average consumer, especially when it comes to medication and other pharmaceutical products.

As with most products liability cases, proving failure to warn can be complex, and companies often will vigorously defend themselves against such charges. But those who have been harmed because of a misleadingly or insufficiently labeled product can be compensated in court for their injuries and other losses.

Someone who believes they were the victim of a defective product should speak to an attorney as soon as possible.

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