How Inadequate Labeling Can Lead to a Product Liability Claim
Product liability lawsuits are filed against manufacturers and others in the supply chain who are responsible for bringing a product to market. A product liability lawsuit’s defendants may include designers, manufacturers, retailers and others, depending upon exactly what caused the harm. In some cases, the problem is that the product’s design was defective, and in other instances it is a matter of something having gone wrong during the manufacturing process. In still other cases the issue may be that the manufacturer failed to provide adequate warnings about the safe use of a product. A product can inherently be dangerous, but the manufacturer will not be liable for harm suffered by a consumer if proper labeling and instructions have been provided. Similarly, if a product has hidden dangers but a manufacturer provides warnings about them then they have met their responsibility. Unfortunately, there have been many cases in which people have suffered serious harm, and even death, as a result of a manufacturer being negligent in providing these basics. Here is more information on how inadequate labeling can lead to a product liability claim.
One of the most common examples of improper labeling of a product occurs when a drug manufacturer fails to provide warnings about a drug’s side effects or interactions with other drugs or illnesses. Pharmaceutical companies are required to run extensive testing on drugs before they are permitted to sell them to consumers, and even when they are thoroughly tested and granted approval by the Food and Drug Administration they are required to provide detailed warnings to ensure that drug users and prescribing physicians and clinicians are aware of all of the risks. A notable example of an inadequate labeling product liability claim involved a woman who was prescribed a medication to that is generally administered via IV drip or intramuscular injection. When a clinician used a different method to administer the drug, it resulted in the patient developing gangrene, a risk that was not explicitly ruled out on the label. The patient successfully sued the drug manufacturer and was awarded $6.7 million.
Another example of mislabeled or inadequate labeling leading to a product liability claim was found in a lawsuit against Whole Foods Markets, when they sold a product labeled as “Vegan Gingersnap Cookies” that did not indicate that the product contained tree nuts – a known allergen. The product also failed to detail that the product contained milk, soy and eggs. All of these ingredients could potentially cause serious injury, or even death, to a consumer who trusted the inadequate and incomplete ingredient labels on the product.
Manufacturers are aware of their responsibilities and duties regarding product labeling, and when they fail to fulfill those responsibilities, they risk the health and safety of those who are purchasing and using their products. If you have been harmed by an inadequately or incorrectly labeled product, the attorneys at Wallace Law can help. Contact us to set up a free consultation and learn more about your rights to file a product liability lawsuit.