Standing Up For You

When should manufacturers put warnings on products?

When you buy a product from your local store, you should not have to be an expert in all the ways the product could harm you. The manufacturer has a special duty to alert you to the possibility of injury when you use your product. However, not every item you shop for may have a warning included with it.

As FindLaw explains, many manufacturers go ahead and include a warning with a product even if the item is unlikely to cause any injury. Still, if a manufacturer does know about possible harm from using the product and fails to include a warning, legal consequences may result if a consumer gets hurt.

Requirements for placing a warning

In general, an injured consumer may hold a manufacturer liable for failing to warn the public about injury risks if the following circumstances exist. First, the manufacturer knew the product presented a danger from use. Secondly, the danger occurred when a user operated the product in its intended manner. Finally, the danger should not be obvious to someone who reasonably uses the product.

Warnings should be clear

Even if a manufacturer does include a warning, it should be easy for a consumer to find. A responsible party may still be liable if they make a warning label too obscure. You probably have seen warning stickers on products. They tend to be in yellow, red or bright orange colors with large black lettering. Warnings can also come on the product package or on the product. Manufacturers also include warnings as part of the instruction documents.

Also, a warning should be easy to understand. Manufacturers may produce their warnings in different languages or use diagrams to depict a dangerous situation. Situations involving a failure to warn consumers can vary greatly, but it is clear that a manufacturer has many ways to alert users to possible dangers.