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A manufacturer's duty to warn consumers about potential harms


When consumers in Montana and elsewhere purchase goods, he or she typically believes that a product is safe if there is no design or manufacturing defect or mistake made. Nonetheless, a product could still be considered dangerous, even if a design flaw did not occur, and it was properly manufactured. A product could be labeled defective due to insufficient warnings or instructions when there are foreseeable risks or harm posed by the product.

A manufacturer has a duty to warn consumers of potential harms and risks, and they have two related duties when creating labels and instructions for a product. First, the manufacturer is required to warn consumers of any hidden dangers that might be present. Second, the manufacturer has the duty to instruct consumers how to use a product in such a manner, so they can avoid any dangers and use the product safely.

If a manufacturer fails to warn consumers about any potential dangers of the product and a consumer is injured by that potential danger, the manufacturer could be held liable for inadequate warning. Similarly, warnings must be clear and specific, conspicuous and placed in a location that can be easily found by a consumer. Failure to do so could be considered insufficient warning, even though a warning label was provided.

Sometimes, companies and manufacturers can choose when to include a warning with their products, however, some products require a warning. This occurs when a product present a danger, the manufacturer knows about the danger, the danger is present even when the product is reasonably used in its intended manner and the danger is not obvious to a reasonable consumer.

If a manufacturer fails to warn consumers about the dangers associated with a product and a consumer is injured, the consumer could file a products liability lawsuit. This could help the injured consumer hold the manufacturer responsible for the harms caused to the consumer, helping them recover compensation for the losses and damages suffered.