Products Liability Lawyer in Michigan: Understanding Marketing and Labeling Defects
In addition to creating safe products through effective design and manufacturing processes, product manufacturers are responsible for warning consumers of any potential dangers associated with their product. A marketing or labeling defect occurs when a product comes without adequate warnings for its safe use. Some common categories of marketing defect cases include failure to warn, inadequate directions for use, and misleading advertisements.
If you believe a labeling defect contributed to your accident, you need the representation of Hamilton Law. We have filed and successfully won marketing defect lawsuits in Kalamazoo and we can help you. Call (269) 488-8394 or fill out our contact form online to schedule a complimentary 30-minute legal consultation.
What Constitutes a Marketing or Labeling Defect in Kalamazoo?
In Kalamazoo as elsewhere throughout the United States, product manufacturing companies have a duty to warn consumers when their products may pose a risk. Failure to warn is a principle in product liability cases that can lead to liability when a product is not properly marketed or labeled.
Companies are required by the Consumer Product Safety Commission to test their products for possible risks. Any and all risks found must be listed on a warning label or in the instructions for use of the product. In addition, companies must warn of the dangers of misusing the product.
Two of the most well-known failure to warn cases in the United States involved the tobacco industry and asbestos companies. Manufacturers of both products knew of the harm (cancer risks in particular) of their products but did not warn consumers for years, even decades. Documents and testimony proved in both cases that the companies knew the harm their products posed and tried to cover it up. They lost big time, and consumers won (though “winning” is not the right word when you consider the hundreds of thousands who suffered–-and still do-–from cancer and other related health issues). Now, warning labels are required for their cancer-causing properties.
Proving a Marketing Defect in Michigan
What it takes to prove a manufacturing defect will vary from case to case. However, there are a few major things that injury victims must be able to show in a majority of marketing defect cases.
Foreseeability of Risk
A risk of harm for a product can arise either through its intended use, or even uses that the manufacturer didn't. However, the risk must be foreseeable to the manufacturer at the time the product is sold. If a plaintiff can't establish that they weren't using the product the way it was intended, or at least in a way that the manufacturer should have foreseen consumers might use it, then they may not be able to claim any compensation for their injuries.
Lack of Warning
After establishing that they were using a product appropriately, a plaintiff must be able to establish that the product packaging had no warning for the condition that made the product dangerous, or at least that the warning was inadequate. They must also show that the lack of warning existed before the product left the control of the manufacturer–if a consumer peels off a warning label themselves, then they can't hold a manufacturer liable when they subsequently get injured.
Link Between Injury and Lack of Warning
Finally, an injury victim must be able to show the link between their injury and the lack of warning. In other words, it must have been the lack of warning for some dangerous condition that ultimately caused their injuries.
What Defenses Are There to Kalamazoo Marketing Defect Claims?
Conversely, some of the more commonly used defenses for marketing defect claims include claiming a lack of foreseeability and that the provided warnings were adequate. Claiming lack of foreseeability will likely include an argument that the user of the product was using it in a way that the manufacturer could not possibly have foreseen someone using it. They may also argue that the labels that they did provide should have been an adequate warning against the risk at hand.
Why Should I Hire a Product Liability Attorney for My Michigan Marketing Defect Case?
Hiring the right product liability attorney to handle your case could be the most important decision you make in the life of your claim. Our product liability lawyer will:
- Determine the basis of a claim
- Build a strong case using a variety of resources
- Collect evidence from all parties concerned
- Retain the experts in various fields related to product design and use
- Manage documents and timelines
- Negotiate for settlement with designers and insurance companies
- Prepare all parties for courtroom appearances
- Calculate the current and future losses of the victim of a defective product
- Represent the victim in court so the victim can focus on healing
- Ensure that all timelines and deadlines are followed
An attorney can help you determine what your case could be worth, analyze any arguments that you may come up against, and develop strategies to combat them.
Contact a Product Liability Lawyer in Michigan Today
The personal injury attorneys at Hamilton Law know what to look for and what to prove when researching a marketing defect case. If you've been injured and believe it was improper labeling or marketing that contributed to your accident, you should call (269) 488-8394. After a complimentary 30-minute legal consultation, we will evaluate your case and help you recover what you've lost.