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Do Disclaimers Prevent Me From Filing a Product Liability Claim?

Individuals who have been injured by a dangerous or defective product may have the right to file a product liability claim against the responsible party — usually the manufacturer or distributor. But can you file such a lawsuit if there was a disclaimer on the product?

There are strict rules that must be followed by all manufacturers and distributors to ensure their products enter the marketplace being reasonably safe for use and free of risks or defects. Manufacturers often use disclaimers — either in the instructions or as a warning label on the product — as an attempt to remove some of the liability in the event an injury occurs during use. However, the presence of a disclaimer alone is not always enough to completely shield the company from liability.

Providing adequate warnings

Manufacturers must provide their customers with warnings of any dangers that could potentially be associated with the product’s use. These include any known hazards, as well as any issues the manufacturer should reasonably anticipate or know. Thus, when you see warnings on hair dryers or electric razors to avoid using them near water, it’s because manufacturers anticipate people will use them near showers and sinks on a regular basis.

You will probably not be able to recover damages in a product liability claim if you failed to heed clear warnings from the manufacturer and the product was considered “reasonably safe.” However, if the product was inherently unsafe to start, the manufacturer would not necessarily be absolved simply because it put a warning label on the product — even if the warning covered all potential risks associated with using it.

If you or a loved one has suffered injuries due to a defective product, meet with a knowledgeable La Plata personal injury lawyer at Mudd, Mudd & Fitzgerald, P.A.

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