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How can warning defects cause consumer injuries?

Often, when a Kentucky resident thinks about dangerous products, they may imagine items with design or manufacturing defects that can harm unsuspecting consumers. However, there is another way that manufacturers can fail in exercising their duties of care with regard to consumer safety. When the maker of a product fails to include with the item sufficient warnings and instructions to explain to consumers how the product may and may not be used, then that maker may be liable for products liability claims based on warning defects.

Most products come with warnings that explain to consumers how the products may become dangerous if they are not used for their intended purposes. For example, a serving dish may be safe if it is used to hold food but, if it is not intended to be placed in an oven, it may overheat and become dangerous to individuals who attempt to use it in that manner. The failure of the serving dish manufacturer to make it known that baking is not a permissible use of the item may be held accountable for the injuries of consumers who erroneously believe it may be used in hot environments.

Manufacturers of products must provide warnings for dangers that they know exist in their goods and that may not be obvious to consumers. For example, in our serving dish discussion it may not seem unreasonable to a consumer that an item intended to be used with food could also be used to bake food. If the manufacturer of the serving dish knew that the materials it used would not hold up to heating them, it would have a duty to warn about the dangers of using the dish in the oven.

The makers of goods must take proactive steps to keep the consumers who use their products safe. When they fail in their duties to provide safe products, they may be sued in civil court based on products liability and other personal injury-based claims.

Source:Ā FindLaw, "Defects in Warnings," accessed Nov. 13, 2017

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