New consumer products are released every year. Many of these items promise to improve the lives of New Yorkers through efficiency or streamlining what they already own. While many new products are at best, useful, and at worst, ineffective, some fall into a third and more nefarious category: unsafe.
Not all consumer goods released for public consumption are properly designed, manufactured, or labeled. This post will examine one way that products can be unsafe – their warnings – and what the law offers to victims of products liability accidents. No part of this post should be read as legal advice and questions about dangerous products can be directed to trusted personal injury attorneys.
What is products liability?
Products liability is the area of the law that covers consumer protection from defective and dangerous products. One way that a product may be defective is through inadequate or lacking warnings. When a product contains a danger that may not be obvious to a consumer when handling the product in its intended manner, the maker of the product has a duty to inform the consumer of that threat through a warning.
Warnings must make clear what dangers a consumer can face from a product. Additionally, warnings must include instructions for how consumers may safely use products to avoid injury and loss. Just as product makers have duties to warn consumers of hazards in their goods, consumers also have duties to read warnings and use products as they are intended.
Liability for inadequate warnings
The failure of a product maker to use warnings correctly and effectively may expose that maker to liability for the losses their victims suffer from use of dangerous products. When a victim suffers injuries due to a product and those injuries resulted from the maker’s failure to warn of threats, a products liability lawsuit may be a useful tool for the victim to be compensated for their losses. A dedicated personal injury attorney that represents products liability victims can advise their client of how best to address their legal options.