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Inherently Dangerous Products: Defective or Not?

When it comes to products that pose risks for users, manufacturers are required to provide warnings of the potential risks, usually in the form of a warning label. However, when it comes to products that are inherently dangerous, simple warning labels might not be enough.

A product that is “inherently dangerous,” while produced correctly according to the manufacturer’s standards, still involves issues that present dangers to the user — and sometimes these problems are very serious. Examples of inherently dangerous products include a model of a car that has a tendency to flip when taking sharp corners or sunglasses that don’t protect the eyes from UV rays.

Legally, these types of inherently dangerous products qualify as “defectively designed products.” Even though the manufacturing process itself didn’t contain any errors or mishaps, the product’s danger comes from its design.

Although inherently dangerous products might come with warnings, the question of whether or not these warnings adequately convey the true danger of using the product is called into question. An “adequate warning” is defined as one that makes it possible for the user to reduce or avoid the foreseeable product risks based on the information given. If the lack of an adequate warning renders the product not reasonably safe, the manufacturer may be guilty of negligence.

In California, a failure-to-warn lawsuit must contain proof of the following basic elements:

  • The manufacturer made the inherently dangerous product
  • The product had potential risks or side effects known at the time of manufacturing or distribution
  • The risks presented a significant danger when used or misused in a reasonably foreseeable way
  • An ordinary consumer would not have recognized these risks
  • The plaintiff was harmed by the product as a result of an insufficient warning or no warning at all

If an inherently dangerous product has harmed you or a loved one, you may be able to seek compensation from the manufacturer. Contact an experienced attorney to discuss the details of your case.

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