Frequently Asked Questions About Defective Products

Who is liable when a seatbelt malfunctions? Why did my SUV roll over? If a toy has a safety warning, does that free the manufacturer from liability when a child is injured? We answer questions like these in our frequently asked questions section.

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  • Do I have a product liability claim when a manufacturer fails to warn me of a potential danger or side effect?

    Yes. When a product does not include sufficient instructions or warnings and a person using the product is injured or made ill as a result, this is known as defective marketing. Even when you have a well-designed and well-made product, if it does not warn consumers of potential hazards, you could have a product liability claim against the manufacturer or distributor.

    Examples of Defective Marketing

    There are three types of flaws that could lead to a product liability claim: defective design, defective manufacturing, and defective marketing, also known as failure to warn. While the first two claims have to do with how the product was designed and put together, the third claim relates to the way it is packaged and sold. Does it offer sufficient warnings of possible side effects or dangerous uses? Is it targeted to an inappropriate age group? Are instructions for its correct and safe use easy to understand? When there is a failure in one of these areas, a consumer who is injured may have a claim against the manufacturer to recover damages. Some examples of defective marketing claims include the following:

    • Prescription or over-the-counter drugs that don’t contain sufficient warning of possible severe side effects.
    • Cleaning products that can cause chemical burns but do not include instructions to wear rubber gloves when using the product.
    • A toy or child’s product that claims to be lead-free but is not.
    • Toys with small parts that do not warn parents to keep them away from young children.
    • Television commercials that show a product—such as a car—being used by a professional in a protected environment without informing the consumer of the special circumstances.

    What You Will Have to Prove to Win a Defective Marketing Claim

    These claims are not always easy to win. For one thing, it does not apply to situations where a reasonable person would have been aware of the potential danger. For example, giving a sharp knife to a young child because the knife did not have a warning label telling you not to would not be an acceptable claim. Also, the consumer must have been using the product exactly as it was designed to be used. Using a kitchen cleaning product as a facial cleanser and suffering skin damage, for example, would not justify a failure to warn claim.

    Contact a Lawyer If a Product Harmed You

    If a product injured you, your first step—after seeking medical treatment—should be to call a product liability attorney. The Law Office of Raúl A. Guajardo helps residents of South Texas understand their rights to a dangerous or defective product lawsuit. Contact us today to learn more.