Failure to provide adequate warnings is a principle of products liability that holds a manufacturer, distributor, or retailer liable if they fail to warn a consumer about dangers associated with a product and the consumer suffers injuries as a result.
Products liability law often focuses on errors or oversights that introduce dangerous defects into products. These mistakes usually occur at either the design stage or the manufacturing stage. But some products have inherent dangers even if designed and manufactured correctly. In fact, many products, such as lawnmowers, razors, and weed-whackers, rely on potentially dangerous components to do their job. Companies that manufacture such products have a duty to provide adequate warnings to consumers about potential hazards.
Who Can be Held Liable for Failure to Provide Adequate Warnings?
Under strict liability laws, which many states have in place, parties all along a product’s production chain can be held liable for failure to warn, even if the party did not manufacture the product or behave negligently.
The parties most commonly found liable for failure to provide adequate warnings are the manufacturer, the distributor, and the retailer. In some cases, more than one of these parties is liable for a defective product injury.
The manufacturer is the party that designs and manufactures the product or one of its components. Because this party is the one that develops the product, it is expected to know of anything inherent in the product that could injure consumers. The manufacturer thus has a duty to provide adequate warnings before moving the product down the production chain.
The distributor is the party responsible for getting the product from the manufacturer to the retailer. Although the distributor is not usually involved in design and production, it plays an essential role in bringing products to market and therefore can shoulder liability for marketing dangerous goods.
The retailer is the merchant that sells the product to its end user. Examples of retailers include big box stores and specialty stores. Like the distributor, the retailer does not actually design or manufacture products. But because it sells products to consumers, it is expected to educate itself on the products in its inventory and to be aware of any that have the potential for danger. If a retailer sells a dangerous product without warning the consumer, it can be held financially liable for the consumer’s injuries the same way the manufacturer and distributor can.
Were You or Someone You Love Injured by a Product Because You Were Not Warned It Was Dangerous? Call Newsome Melton at 888-808-5977
Newsome Melton is a product liability law firm that helps our clients win the compensation they deserve when defective products injure them. No matter the circumstances of your injury, we can identify the responsible parties, gather evidence, and pursue damages on your behalf. To schedule a free consultation with one of our attorneys, call our office at 888-808-5977.