Failure to Warn & Marketing Defects

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Every year, thousands of products enter the marketplace. Some are harmless, but year after year, defective products enter as well. Many people wonder how dangerous products can repeatedly enter the market. The truth is many product manufacturing companies do not adequately warn consumers of the possible risk associated with their product. This may be because they do not want their product to look bad by possessing dangerous warnings. When manufacturers do not properly label and instruct with their products, they are at risk of practicing failure to warn.

The principle of failure to warn is based on the principle of a marketing defect. The physical defect of the product is a separate issue, but they often come in conjunction with each other. Manufacturers are required to test their product according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission standards in order to see the possible risks. Any and all risks associated with their product must be listed on a warning label or in the instructions for use of the product. The company is also obligated to warn of the dangers of misusing the product. While a product does not have to cause injury to warrant failure to warn, marketing defects are typically found after consumers become injured by a product.

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Famous Product Liability Cases: "Failure to Warn"

Some of the most well-known product liability cases in legal history are “failure to warn” cases, which hinged upon manufacturer knowledge regarding their products.

Big Tobacco’s failure to warn users about the cancer-causing nature of cigarettes led to an initial wave of product liability suits, but it wasn’t until the 1990s that companies like Philip Morris and others were taken to task for their part in causing lung cancer. The cases flooded courts around the nation, leading entire state governments to sue the four “majors” for failing to disclose to consumers smoking’s addictive nature. Documents revealed that company officials knew about cigarette addiction and lung cancer risks, but did not share this information with federal officials or buyers. A portion of the money secured in trials went toward informing the public about the health risks of smoking.

Asbestos manufacturers also faced severe litigation for knowingly endangering their workers. They caused illness and death for workers for decades before being brought to justice. Incriminating evidence revealed that many employers forbade their workers from speaking about or reporting lung issues, which indicated their knowledge. Thanks to product liability cases, hundreds of thousands of workers and their families received the care and resources they needed for the rest of their lives, and countless others were spared the effects of asbestos exposure.

Contact Our Product Liability Team About Your Design Defect Case

If you were injured by a defective product because you were not properly warned about the possible risks then you may have grounds for a claim. Arnold & Itkin is not afraid to stand up against big manufacturing companies in order to obtain a successful settlement on behalf of our clients. If you want the skilled and aggressive legal representation of a personal injury attorney then please contact our firm.

If we take on your case, we will fight to see that you get the compensation you deserve. Get started today!

Common Questions

  • What Is a Marketing Defect?

    In product liability law, a marketing defect is a kind of hazard caused by failing to warn consumers of the potential dangers of using a particular product. Manufacturers have an obligation to document common hazards and risks associated with their products, and they’re also obligated to warn consumers of those risks with clear product labeling.

  • What Is an Example of a Marketing Defect?

    Perhaps the most famous case involving a marketing defect is the Big Tobacco lawsuits of the 1990s. The issue at the heart of these lawsuits was that tobacco companies knew their products were addictive and caused lung cancer, but they did nothing to warn consumers of those risks. One of the consequences of the Big Tobacco litigation was requiring companies to put clear warning labels on cigarette cartons.

  • What Products Can Suffer from “Marketing Defects”?

    While product liability often involves consumer products, pharmaceutical products and prescription medications are also susceptible to marketing defects. For instance, Risperdal is a antipsychotic with documented links to abnormal breast growth in men. Despite these risks, Johnson & Johnson allowed the medication to be marketed for children’s use, which eventually disfigured countless children nationwide. Our firm has led the litigation against Johnson & Johnson for their failure to warn.

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