Improper Product Safety Warnings on Product That Causes Injury

Tim Miley
Injury Lawyer, Author, & Owner of The Miley Legal Group

Improper product safety warnings could lead to compensation in a product liability claim if it results in serious injury.

Improper warnings may include:

  • failing to label a hazard;
  • incorrectly labeling a product; or
  • failing to provide instructions for use.

Types of Improper Product Labeling

Examples of improper product safety warnings include failing to appropriately label a product, not providing adequate instructions or failing to disclose dangers or hazards of the product.

The basis to this type of claim is that, had the proper warnings been provided, the resulting injuries would have been prevented or reduced. These safety warnings should be understandable and readily evident to consumers.

Common Types of Safety Warnings

Federal law establishes certain labeling requirements that product manufacturers must follow. For example, if a product contains a hazardous material, it must be labeled as such. Flammable or corrosive materials must contain the word ‘Danger.’ If the material is highly toxic, the words ‘Danger’ and ‘poison’ must be included. The word ‘Warning’ or ‘Caution’ must be contained on labeling of other hazardous material.

A safety warning label must also provide a statement regarding the type of hazard, such as:

  • ‘Flammable;’
  • ‘Vapor Harmful;’
  • ‘Harmful if Swallowed;’ and
  • ‘Keep out of the reach of children.’

Those who manufacture children’s products intended for children 12 and younger are required to include a tracking label that provides basic information about the product such as its:

  • source;
  • manufacture date; and
  • information about the manufacturing process.

There are also labeling requirements for the advertising of games and toys. Products containing choking hazards must contain a warning label informing the consumer of this hazard.

In addition to the packaging, any:

  • websites;
  • catalogs; or
  • other printed material that advertise the game or toy must also include the warning.

Liability for Improper Labeling

When improper product safety warnings end up causing injury, it could mean that more than one party is liable. Generally the manufacturer may be considered liable. But in certain circumstances others in the chain of distribution could also be at fault for improper product safety warnings, such as a private labeler.

Whether it is a case of intentional misrepresentation or negligence, if it results in serious or fatal injuries, the party responsible could be held liable. A claim for damages may be filed against the negligent party.

Serious or fatal injuries from improperly labeled consumer items may entitle an injured party to compensation for:

  • medical costs;
  • lost income;
  • pain and suffering; and
  • other damages he or she has suffered.

Statistics on Product-Related Injuries and Deaths

While it doesn’t note whether a product was labeled improperly, a U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) report estimated that in 2010 approximately 38,573,000 people experienced consumer product-related injuries (related to but not necessarily caused by consumer products) for which they sought medical care. The most recent statistics available regarding product-related deaths are from 2008, when there were an estimated 35,900.

Legal Help with a Personal Injury Attorney in Clarksburg, WV

It is hard to imagine that the maker of a product would fail to disclose a known danger, or would act in a negligent manner that causes a consumer to sustain injuries. But if you or a loved one suffered serious or fatal injuries stemming from a defective or dangerous product, contact a personal injury attorney at the Miley Legal Group in Clarksburg. We can investigate your case to determine the cause of injuries, whether it was a poorly designed product or there were improper product safety warnings (304) 931-4088.