Cayey, PR asked in Products Liability for Puerto Rico

Q: Do product warnings always absolve a seller or manufacturer from liability if a consumer is hurt? Are there exceptions?

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2 Lawyer Answers
Robert D. Kreisman
Robert D. Kreisman
  • Products Liability Lawyer
  • Chicago, IL

A: Warning labels are intended to give consumers what may be an intended or unintended danger of the product's use. The labels themselves are subjective and would be scrutinized by a court or fact finder to determine whether they were sufficient or not. If the warnings are clear, concise and accepted as such, the manufacturer, designer, distributor and end seller may be able to rely on those warnings as a defense. So much depends on the facts of each case, the product itself, how it was used and what were the specific warnings about its use. The dangers must be reasonably foreseeable or expected to cause harm.

Naomi Jusino agrees with this answer

Naomi Jusino
Naomi Jusino
  • Ponce, PR
  • Licensed in Puerto Rico

A: A manufacturer may be liable either because it fails to take adequate measures to communicate warnings to the user or for a failure to provide a warning that is not adequate to alert the user to the product of a potential hazard. The doctrine of absolute responsibility requires the manufacturer of a dangerous product to employ a reasonable effort to bring the warning to the attention of the potential user. A product without warning is defective.

If the product is defective and if said defect was the next cause of damages suffered by the consumer. In order to recover against a manufacturer, the plaintiff must prove that: a) the product was defective; B) the defect in the product caused injury; And, (c) the product was in normal use at the time the damage occurred. That is, if the injured party contributed to their negligence to the occurrence of the damage is going to reduce the compensation.

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