Products Liability Claims Based On Failure To Warn

All manufacturers have a duty to warn consumers of dangers associated with the use of their products. An example of this would be drug manufacturers who dispense and promote the sale of prescription medication with known side effects. Warnings of these side effects must be provided to consumers so that they can make informed choices before they use such products. However, many different products in the marketplace have risks attendant with their use and consequently it is incumbent upon the manufacturer to warn the public and consumers of the products of dangers specifically known to be associated with such use.
We recently blogged about a case where a house fire was caused by a defective oxygen generating device which resulted in the death of three people. If the manufacturer of this product was aware of dangers associated with its use and/or if there had been other fires caused by the product, it may very well be that the product should have been recalled by the manufacturer. This is an example of where a manufacturer who is responsible not only gives warnings to the public but also takes prophylactic steps to remove a dangerous product from the marketplace. In cases where there have not been a sufficient number of incidents to result in a recall of a product, nonetheless, if a manufacturer is aware of dangers associated with its use, warnings should be given to the users to notify them of foreseeable dangers connected with the use of the product.
Many court opinions have held that the failure to warn by a manufacturer of known dangers associated with the use of the product can make the product in and of itself defective. Lack of warnings provided to a consumer deprives the consumer of intelligent choices particularly where the dangers are known to the manufacturer. A failure to warn in this context can render the product defective because a dangerous product which distributed to the public should contain warnings about know dangers associated with its use. A failure to do so can be a basis of strict liability under the law.

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