Whenever a manufacturer or retailer sells a product that may be dangerous, they must provide a warning label to the consumer of the product warning against the harm that the product may cause. Warning labels are usually intended to warn against foreseeable misuses of the product. However, they may even be necessary where the planned use of the product can cause harm, such as warning labels on cigarette packaging.
Although warning labels are presumed to be effective, they do not always provide an adequate warning. Warning labels may not be fully visible or they may not adequately convey the risk of the harm, and they may not even warn of a particular harm at all. When a warning label is inadequate, accidents and harm that could have otherwise been avoided are likely to occur with the product.
These statistics reveal how warning labels are not adequate to safeguard consumers:
- In a recent study, only 50% of adults actually remembered the warning label on a package of cigarettes as the warning label currently appears, while 83% of adults remembered the warning label on a package of cigarettes that was created in a newer style that cigarette companies have openly refused to use.
- In a study conducted in 2012, only 50% of participants had their attention drawn to all 5 warning labels on the medication bottles that they were shown, whereas 22% of participants did not have their attention captured by any of the warning labels.
- Emergency contraceptives in the United States do not provide a warning label at all that discusses the absolute ineffectiveness of the medication on women that weigh 176 pounds or more, even though the average American woman over 20 years of age is 166.2 pounds and 5.8 million American women used an emergency contraceptive between 2006 and 2010.
- According to the International Center for Alcohol Policies, current warning labels on alcohol containers that warn against drinking and driving manage to be memorable to only 46% of drinkers.
- In 2010, one third of tanning beds in New York City were found to have lacked warning labels that were adequate enough to satisfy federal law regarding tanning bed warning labels.
Do I Need an Attorney?
If you have been injured by a product and an adequate warning label would have prevented that injury, then an personal injury attorney can assist you in seeking compensation from the parties responsible for the lack of a proper warning label.