What is a Warning Defect?
When a person is injured by a defective product, the manufacturer, the distributor, the wholesaler, and the retailer may all be held liable to compensate the injured party for any resulting medical bills, lost wages and income, pain and suffering, and other losses.
There are 4 types of defects that may form the basis for a product liability claim in California:
- A Design Defect – when the way the product is designed makes it unreasonably dangerous.
- A Manufacturing Defect – a mistake made during construction or production of the product that causes it to be dangerous or defective.
- Breach of Warranty – liability that arises when a product fails to live up to a safety standard expressed or implied by the manufacturer or seller.
- A Warning Defect – this happens when, even if a product is not unreasonably unsafe, there are undisclosed dangers that the consumer should have been warned about. This may even involve a failure to include proper instructions for the product’s use. Warning defects are frequently cited in product liability claims involving dangerous drugs and their unexpected side effects.
Every party in a product’s line of distribution has a duty to warn consumers of the proper use, application, or handling of the product, or of conditions necessary to avoid injuries, disease, or sickness when using the product. This can include common sense warnings, such as not to smoke while pumping gas, or more sophisticated warnings like those associated with the use of insecticides, cleaning agents, and herbicides sold for commercial and household use.
Warning labels on automobiles, construction equipment, machinery, appliances, drugs, and plastics are often required. What’s more, common sense on the part of the consumer is also usually expected during the use or application of these items.
However, any hidden dangers or latent issues that were not disclosed by the manufacturer or retailer may form the basis of a product liability claim, whenever causation between the injuries caused by a product and a failure to warn can be established.
Negligence in Warning Defect Cases
Warning defects cases are, essentially, negligence cases. As such, in order to prevail in a warning defect case, you and your attorney must show negligence on the part of the defendant.
This is in contrast to product liability claims based on manufacturing and warranty defects, where the manufacturer may be held strictly liable for damages that result from a defect, regardless of whether or not there was any negligence involved.
In many warning defect cases, a manufacturer or retailer has failed to comply with some state or federal regulation regarding the placement of warnings on the product. Such violations can, in some cases, establish the necessary negligence needed for you to be awarded compensation for your injuries and losses.
Still, the evidence must show that the defendant’s failure to properly warn was the proximate cause of the injury or illness you complained of in your product liability claim.
Have You Been Injured by a Defective Product in California?
Defective product cases can be complicated. While there are many measures and standards used to determine who is at fault when a person is injured by a defective product, in most cases, California product liability laws hold those who manufacture and sell the defective products liable.
Our California product liability lawyers are experienced in helping individuals who have been injured as a result of warning defects and other product defects. If you have been injured by a defective product in California, call us today for a free case evaluation.
Christopher Montes de Oca is an experienced personal injury lawyer in Los Angeles. Chris is recognized as a “Super Lawyer Rising Star,” a recognition that only 2.5 percent of lawyers receive, because of the exceptional results he has seen and his dedication to his clients. Chris services clients throughout Los Angeles, including Echo Park, Maywood, Long Beach, Whittier, Glendale, La Mirada, Pico Rivera, Hacienda Heights, and Alhambra. Call him today for a free consultation at (562) 901-4664.