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The role of warning labels in products liability lawsuits

Someone in Kentucky who has suffered an injury related to a defective product may seek legal recourse citing one of several issues. Often, the item has been improperly assembled or has an inherent design flaw. In some cases, however, the company has failed to adequately warn consumers about the potential hazards associated with the product. This violates federal law and merits the opportunity for the injured to seek damages.

General legal principles require that manufacturers warn consumers of potential hidden dangers that a product could have. For example, the Child Protection Safety Act requires warning labels on items that could cause choking hazards. Additionally, the makers of a product must provide users with instructions on how to safely use the product.

The Federal Trade Commission has a responsibility to protect American consumers by enforcing these mandates and ensuring that warning labels meet the following criteria:

  • They must be placed in an area on the product or packaging where a user can find it.
  • They must be specific and very clear.
  • They must be comprehensible, which often means they will come in several languages and with symbols even children could understand.

Though warning labels are not always required, they should be present when there is a potential danger associated with the product and the manufacturer is aware of the danger. Further, the label must be present with the danger may not be obvious to a user who is reasonable.

For example, the maker of a coffee pot with an oddly placed steam valve should warn consumers about burning hazards. A medication should always provide a warning if it could cause serious side effects when taken alongside a commonly used drug, such as aspirin.

Kentucky law requires that anyone affected by a dangerous product has up to five years from the date of sale to file a lawsuit. If you are injured and would like to take action, speak with a Kentucky product liability attorney for help.