Manufacturers owe a duty of care to consumers, to make sure that their products are as safe as possible. In the case of products that have an inherent danger, the manufacturer owes a duty to the end user to warn them of the possible dangers associated with using the product. Millions of consumers are injured each year using products that failed to warn them of the potential dangers of using that product.
If an injury results from the use of a product and there was a failure to warn of the danger, or to properly instruct the end user on how to avoid the danger, the consumer may have a claim.
For example, a man is using a waffle iron to make waffles. When the waffle is finished cooking he opens the top and tries to get the waffle out, however, it is stuck to the bottom griddle. The man takes a fork to try to ease the waffle out of the machine and the top griddle falls down and burns his hands. The man may have a claim if his waffle iron did not warn him that the top of the griddle could fall down and burn him.
What are the elements of a failure to warn products liability case?
There are three elements involved in use defect (failure to warn) cases:
- The product was defective
- There was no warning on the product of potential dangers, side effects or unexpected results which should have been anticipated by a reasonable person
- The plaintiff was harmed because of either of these reasons
Either the manufacturer, the wholesaler or distributor or the retail location where the product was purchased can be held liable for injuries suffered as the result of inadequate safety warnings.
In the example of the man getting his hands burned on a waffle iron, there may have been some instruction in the owner’s manual about not trying to scrape stuck-on waffle batter while the machine was hot. In this case, the warning was not in a prominent location where the man would have seen it in the course of using the product.
Making a claim
When a person gets an injury due to the failure of the manufacturer to adequately warn consumers about the dangers associated with using the product, they can bring a claim against the manufacturer, the distributor and the retailer to recover damages for their injuries, time lost at work and other damages.
If you or someone you know has been injured by a defective product, you might want to schedule a consultation with a personal injury attorney who has experience handling products liability cases in your area.
Paulson & Nace, PLLC represents the victims of defective products in the Greater Washington, D.C. metro area and throughout West Virginia. . If you have questions about bringing a lawsuit for your injury, please contact our office to learn more.
Christopher T. Nace works in all practice areas of the firm, including medical malpractice, drug and product liability, motor vehicle accidents, wrongful death, and other negligence and personal injury matters.
Read more about Christopher T. Nace.