Failure to warn cases occur when a company has been negligent in manufacturing and warning its customers of the potential hazards that come with using its product. Virtually any industry that invests in a tangible product can be susceptible to a failure-to-warn claim.
In the following article, we’ll be discussing a bit about what these cases involve in more detail. We’ll also be sharing what you should do if you suspect you are the victim of a failure to warn. Let’s begin!
Failure to Warn Background
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has a lengthy rundown on its website of one of the most infamous failure to warn examples. We’re talking, of course, about cigarette smoking.
Smoking had been a staple of the American grocery store list until 1965 when a brief, “Caution: Cigarette smoking may be hazardous to your health” label started adorning each package sold. Clearly, that didn’t go far enough with more specific Surgeons General Warnings being added over the decades.
The true extent of the harm smoking causes can still be seen in million-dollar judgments against tobacco companies. The overall message is clear: companies have a duty to inform you of the harm their products can cause. However, there are certain criteria that need to be met to establish a failure to warn case.
1. Product Defect Was Present from the Beginning
There are many children’s products that had unforeseen defects present from the beginning of the manufacturing process. With such a vulnerable potential victim, the threat of a failure to warn lawsuit is high every time a children’s product of any kind rolls off the assembly line. If the litigant proves the defect was there from the outset, the company can expect to pay dearly.
2. Product Could Easily Cause Harm
In the case of cigarette smoking, there was never any chance that smoking would not harm its customers. The more health professionals learned about those issues, the clearer it became that the warning labels were not going far enough. That made the smoking industry a natural target for a failure to warn lawsuits.
3. Defect Is the Cause of the Injury
Lastly, for a judgment to be forthcoming in a product liability or defective product suit, the defect must (obviously) be the cause of the injury. Once the litigant or their families can prove a significant injury is the direct result of the product, then the grounds for a defective product case are clearly established.
Your Next Steps
Once you feel you’ve established the criteria listed above, there are a few things you need to decide. Here are the Cliffs Notes:
Nothing will take back the injury, so make sure you are at ease with whichever direction you go. That’s it.
Explore Your Options in Failure to Warn Cases
Every failure to warn case comes with a decision, and you need to make the right one based on your experience, situation, and conscience. Good luck as you weigh those options. For more legal-based articles, check out some of our additional posts!