Accomplished And Respected

Trial Advocacy

When a manufacturer does not fulfill its duty to warn

On Behalf of | May 14, 2024 | Personal Injury

Businesses that release products to the public have certain duties associated with their business operations. Companies typically need to engage in careful testing when designing new products or altering existing ones. They also need to maintain rigorous standards for production facilities to ensure that every product that reaches a consumer meets certain standards.

Additionally, they have a duty to warn consumers about any risks related to the product. Attorneys assisting clients who have suffered injuries or property damage losses, like house fires, caused by defective products typically need to establish that the organization failed to meet its obligations to the public. Establishing that an organization failed to meet its duty to inform the public about risks could be a key element of a successful product defect claim.

What the duty to inform entails

Certain products come with a degree of risk because they require electrical supply or batteries. Others could become dangerous if misused in a certain manner. Product testing and feedback from early consumers can alert manufacturers to scenarios in which products could fail or potentially cause injury.

They typically need to provide written disclosures to consumers about potential risks. Those disclosures could involve warnings against improper use in an instruction manual or pamphlet. It is also common practice to print certain warnings right on the package of a product.

Providing clear instructions on how to use a product or warnings about improper use or known risk factors may potentially fulfill a manufacturer’s duty to inform. Companies need to ensure that consumers can easily access the necessary information to safely use a product. Making the instructions and warnings available in multiple languages is also necessary in many cases.

Every product defect case is inherently unique, and factors ranging from the likelihood of a certain type of misuse to the predictability of a safety issue can influence the injured consumer’s likelihood of prevailing should they pursue a claim against the manufacturer.

Connecting failures and oversights by companies to a scenario that led to a consumer injury because of a product defect can potentially lead to compensation for the consumer. Professionals helping to develop product defect claims may need to investigate carefully or partner with outside consultants to help a client hold a manufacturer accountable, given the complexities of such cases.