Warning: This Article May Cause You To File A Lawsuit
I recently ordered a package of 9 volt batteries from Amazon for our smoke detectors here at the office. Inside the package of batteries was a pamphlet written in English and 7 other languages. Each language had the same 40 or so warnings about the batteries for basically every scenario you could think of that might pose a risk for the consumer.
The warnings covered use of the batteries, storage of the batteries, safeguarding the products the batteries are used in and proper disposal when the batteries are no longer useful. And yes, those warnings most likely came from the battery manufacturer being sued at some point over injuries caused by their products.
Most products today have some type of warning. Some products have simple one sentence warnings. Other products like my battery order have long pages of warnings. Some are very serious warnings, some are more common sense and some you just have to wonder, “what prompted the manufacturer to warn against that?”
Read the below warnings and determine for yourself…
- Warning label on a wheelbarrow: “Not intended for highway use.”
- Warning label on a baby stroller: “Remove child before folding.”
- Warning label on a thermometer: “Once used rectally, thermometer should not be used orally.”
- Warning label on Apple’s website: “Do not eat iPod Shuffle.”
- Warning label on a carpenter’s electric drill: “This product not intended for use as a dental drill.”
- Warning label on a jet ski: “Never use a lit match or open flame to check fuel level.”
- Warning label on a bottle of dog medication: “ May cause drowsiness…use care when operating a car.”
- Warning label on a dishwasher: “Do not allow children to play in the dishwasher.”
- Warning label on a box of rat poison: “Warning: has been found to cause cancer in laboratory mice.”
- Warning label on a “vanishing ink” marker: “Should not be used for signing checks or any legal documents.”
- Warning label on an iron-on shirt pattern: “Do not iron while wearing shirt.”
- Warning label on a child’s scooter: “Warning: this product moves when used.”
- Warning label on a hair dryer: “Do not use while sleeping.”
- Warning label on a package of fireplace logs: “Caution: risk of fire.”
- Warning label on a brass fishing hook: “Harmful if swallowed.”
- Warning label on a can of pepper spray: “May irritate eyes.”
- Warning label on a cartridge for a laser printer; “Do not eat toner.”
- Warning label on a letter opener: “Safety goggles recommended.”
So why do I share these warnings with you?
Well, as a personal injury lawyer concentrating on medical malpractice, wrongful death litigation and products liability claims one of the first things we, as a law firm representing your injury case, do is determine if the product that injured you came with adequate warnings. And, were those warnings understandable?
Take the last one in the list above… safety goggles recommended when using a letter opener. Do you know anyone who has ever put safety goggles on to open mail? But, apparently there was someone who injured their eyes with a letter opener, hence the warning.
Or how about the warning on the dog medicine saying may cause drowsiness…use care when operating a car. How do you think that came about? Maybe a dog owner didn’t want to spring for his own medicine and used the pet’s meds and then fell asleep while driving a car. In reality, that warning might have been placed there because the medication for the pet is similar to the medication a human might take. So the manufacturer is covering their butts, so to speak.
Does a warning label actually protect a manufacturer against injuries caused by their products?
Not always, you see, products liability law involves the legal theories of strict liability, negligence, breach of warranty, fraud, misrepresentation, and violation of the deceptive trade practice laws.
From a consumer standpoint, these cases generally concern whether appropriate warnings were given to users or consumers of products. Also involved are issues with placement of warnings, appropriate content for operating equipment manuals, appropriate design requirements, necessity for inspection or testing, compliance with statutes and regulations, and determination of recall or retrofit advisability.
Product liability claims often involve heavy industrial equipment, tractors, bulldozers, cranes, lift trucks, oil field equipment, scaffolding, kitchen equipment, tires, pharmaceuticals, smoke detectors, medical supplies, bottling equipment, packaging equipment, chemicals and glues, fertilizers, tobacco products, automotive equipment, camping equipment, ski equipment, ski lift equipment, textiles, hand tools, consumer products, bicycles, surgical equipment, blood products, and food.
On a daily basis the Law Offices of David W Holub are working to help someone injured as a result of a defective product. We handle television tip over cases, defective children’s toy cases, and portable swimming pool cases. We have experience with electric can openers that have caught fire, pop cans that have exploded in the face of a child, and insect repellant that has ignited and caused third degree burns. We have also helped people who have been injured due to malfunctioning airbags, and electric car windows that would not role down and trapped the occupants of a car that flipped over in an otherwise minor crash.
If you or a loved one has been injured by a product or due to the negligence of another reach out to our office by calling (219)736-9700 today.