The Law Office Of David W. HolubThe Law Office Of David W. Holub

The Law Office Of David W. HolubThe Law Office Of David W. Holub

What is an Acceptable Product Warning Label?

Transcript: Hi, I’m Indiana personal injury attorney David Holub.

In this video we discuss what the law requires of a product warning label.

We all laugh at instructors and warnings that state the obvious. Like… “Only grip the knife by the handle”.

Or, the label on a baby cart that says “not intended for highway use.”

But we live in a world where warnings and instructions play a critical safety role. Consider medications for a moment. What if there were no instructions about the hazard of driving after you take a medication that makes you drowsy. Without such a warning people could be killed. Here is what the law says about warnings and instructions.

The Indiana Product Liability Act provides that a product is defective if the seller fails to: (1) properly package or label the product to give reasonable warnings of danger about the product; or (2) give reasonably complete instructions on proper use of the product; when the seller, by exercising reasonable diligence, could have made such warnings or instructions available to the user or consumer.

Evidence of the absence of a warning, in the face of evidence indicating the need for a warning, provides the legal basis upon which to hold a manufacturer or seller of a product liable for harm resulting from the lack of a warning or instruction.

But more can be involved.

What if an instruction or warning is provided, but it is unclear, or fails to make clear the gravity of a danger?

These failings also can be grounds on which to base a lawsuit.

The law further requires product makers and sellers to conduct a reasonable safety hazard analysis prior to selling a product, and to assess the severity of anticipated hazards. Frequently, the lack of an adequate product hazard analysis, and delivering to a consumer a product without a warning, makes the product unreasonably dangerous.

Lastly, often when there is a warning given, a legal battle ensues over the placement of the warning, such as whether it must be on the product itself, or if it is acceptable to note the warning in a package insert. I hope you found this information helpful.

If you have questions about your legal rights if you get hurt due to the carelessness of another person, or as a result of substandard medical care, or due to a product defect, please give us a call at (219) 736-9700. You can also learn more about us by searching our website or our YouTube page, and don’t forget to subscribe to our podcast: Personal Injury Primer.