A warning defect, or a warning label defect, is a particular type of legal theory used as the basis of some defective products liability lawsuits.
Essentially, a warning defect can occur when a manufacturer of a product fails to include sufficient warnings for the product. This could be in the form of a warning label, descriptions on the outside packaging of a product, and so on.
A consumer can become seriously injured from a product that has a warning defect. This is especially true for products that are already dangerous to use on their own, such as products that have sharp edges like a knife, heated surfaces, or toxic chemicals.
Though this post will primarily discuss warning defects, it is important to know that warning defects are only one of three different types of product defects. The other two are design defects, meaning that a product was designed poorly, and manufacturing defects, where a product may have been incorrectly manufactured.
What Would Qualify as a Warning Defect?
There are many ways in which a warning defect can occur. The following is a list of some common scenarios of when a claim for a warning defect may arise, which could include when:
- The manufacturer completely failed to affix any type of warning label at all;
- The instructions on the warning label were unclear or contained mistakes;
- The warning label is attached or posted on the product in a way that makes it impractical or impossible to read, e.g., too small font, not easily noticeable, or the color of the font is very light; or
- The attached warning label is for an entirely different product.
Any of the above warning defects can easily lead to a lawsuit if a person is injured directly because of the warning defect. In most cases, the victim must prove that both the product and its warning defect were the cause of the victim’s injuries.
Additionally, a victim also must prove that they did not contribute to the resulting injuries due to their own negligence or carelessness. Otherwise, they could lose the lawsuit and the possibility to recover damages for the harm.
What are Some of the Legal Remedies for a Warning Label Defect Claim?
As mentioned above, many cases that involve warning label defects are typically associated with a claim for a physical injury that resulted from the warning defect. Thus, a victim who is able to prove that their injuries were caused by the warning defect will usually be able to receive a monetary damages award.
A monetary damages award can allow a person to recover losses, such as medical expenses (past and future), lost earnings potential, and various other costs that were lost in direct relation to the injury.
Another consequence that might result from a warning defect claim is that the product may be subject to a recall. When a product is recalled, it means that it has to be removed from stores and that the public has to be notified of its recall. The product will no longer be able to legally be sold in commerce, and, generally, any affected consumers may be able to get a refund from the company.
Additionally, a manufacturer could receive a fine for violating products liability laws. If you are a manufacturer, you should consider hiring a lawyer to review or write your warning labels if you have not already. A defective products attorney can help you to avoid facing a lawsuit for warning label defects.
Do I Need to Hire a Lawyer for Help with Issues Involving a Warning Defect?
When a product contains a warning label defect, it can have serious consequences for the consumers or users of the product. If you think you have been injured because of a warning label defect, you should consider contacting a defective products attorney to see if you have a claim.
A qualified defective products attorney will be able to guide you smoothly through the legal process and can ensure that your rights are being protected. An attorney will be able to prepare your case, determine what remedies you may be able to recover, negotiate on your behalf during settlement arrangements, or alternatively, represent you in court should it become necessary for your case.
Additionally, a lawyer can also provide you with valuable legal advice throughout the entire course of your lawsuit.
Finally, by reporting the warning label defect you can help not only yourself, but also others who could potentially be harmed in the future from the product.
If others were already injured due to the warning label defect, then you may have grounds and could become the named member of a class action lawsuit. Your attorney will be able to determine whether or not you can bring a class action lawsuit based on the warning defect as well.