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products liability

When you think of manufacturer negligence, you may think of companies making and selling defective products that malfunction and cause injuries. While this is a common occurrence that leads to products liability claims, there is another way manufacturers can be negligent and lead to consumer injuries – failing to warn consumers of the risks of a product.

When Products Need Warnings

Products should have instructions for how to use them, and they should include any warnings that consumers need to know. These include warnings about risks that may cause injuries, especially if the risk is not obvious to the purchaser. For example, a lighter might not need a warning that it might cause a fire, but non-flame retardant baby clothes should have a warning that they might catch on fire. 

Household products that might be toxic if they are ingested or come into contact with the skin should always have appropriate warnings. This allows a user to store the product away from children, as well as take precautionary measures, such as wearing rubber gloves, when using the product. In addition, toys should always have warnings, including the recommended minimum age for the product. If a parent unknowingly lets a child play with a certain toy when they are too young, there might be a choking risk, among others. 

Holding Manufacturers Accountable

Many accidents involving risky products can lead to serious injuries and losses, including:

  • Medical expenses 
  • Costs of future medical treatment
  • Past and future lost income
  • Pain and suffering
  • Permanent injuries

In some cases, the losses stemming from a product-related injury can be extensive, and accident victims may face a long road to recovery – or may not ever fully recover at all. 

When you were unaware of an inherent risk of a product, you might be able to file an insurance claim against the corporation that manufactured and sold the product. In some cases in Illinois, companies can be held strictly liable for failure to warn if the failure resulted in an unreasonably dangerous situation. You can also bring a claim for negligence, citing that the company failed to fulfill its duty to warn of certain risks.

You can expect companies to defend against liability whenever possible, and some issues that may arise are as follows:

  • That you did not use the product as intended, though was the misuse predictable?
  • That there was a warning, but was it conspicuous enough?
  • If the company was unaware of the product risks, should it have conducted more research before selling the product?

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  • Steven Malman was selected to the list for 2018-2019.

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