Complexity in determining defective product liability

On Behalf of | Jul 8, 2020 | Product Liability Defense

Companies that invent, manufacture or sell products to the American public have specific safety requirements they must meet. Depending on the type of product, you can anticipate performing extensive research and running several tests before you bring the product to market.

Once you believe your product offering is ready to launch, you might test your market with a minimum viable product before you begin mass production. This approach could raise alarms about the potential dangers of your design. As you move forward, you may wonder whether attaching a warning label will adequately defend you against product liability claims.

Inherent dangers of a product still require adequate warnings

You might presume that certain products come with intrinsic risks. Furthermore, you may figure that everyone willingly accepts the potential danger accompanied by the use of a product. Unfortunately, that is not always the case.

With the consumer’s ability to take legal action for countless alleged defects, you must protect yourself and your business from potential suits. Before you fulfill orders, remember that what some people consider obvious misuse could land others in court.

What kind of labels do you need to protect yourself from liability?

To mitigate risk, it might be best to avoid relying on your understanding of common sense. As such, you might place seemingly obvious warnings on your product.

For example, a Dremel drill is not intended for dental care, people ought not go in a washing machine or freshly brewed coffee is hot. Your general duty to warn consumers factors into products when:

  • Known dangers exist
  • The expected use of a product has the potential to harm an end user
  • Risk is unclear to the person handling the product

However, despite your best efforts to warn of potential injuries surrounding the use of a product, a court could find your labeling inadequate.

Defend your interests when product-related injuries put your business in jeopardy

As always, you would be wise to explore the potential for injuries before you make your product available for consumer use. Even so, no matter your due diligence in protecting your interests through appropriate consumer warnings, someone might accuse you of negligence.

Should thoughtful research and consumer protections allegedly fail, you may have numerous approaches available for favorable dispute resolution. Depending on the situation, the consumer’s assumed risk, an expired statute of limitations and probable unintended use of the product at stake could factor into your defense.