What If the Products Contained a Disclaimer? Does the Manufacturer Still Have a Duty to Warn?
Posted in Defective Product on May 11, 2022
A disclaimer is a statement that attempts to deny legal responsibility of some kind. When it comes to consumer products, a manufacturer may place a disclaimer on the item stating that they are not liable for any injuries that it may cause. Usually, these disclaimers are a way for manufacturers to avoid liability due to a failure to warn consumers of foreseeable dangers.
While manufacturers may attempt to add a disclaimer, these statements do not shield them from liability in most cases. Unless you signed a written contract with a disclaimer clause, you still have the right to pursue a lawsuit against a manufacturer for a duty to warn.
Missouri Product Liability Laws
In Missouri, manufacturers are liable if any consumers are injured by a defective product that they sell. Distributors and vendors may be liable as well. There are three types of product defects in these cases.
- Design defects, which make the product inherently dangerous;
- Manufacturing defects, which occur due to errors while the product was being built;
- And failure to warn or provide adequate instructions, when a manufacturer fails to warn consumers of reasonably foreseeable dangers.
If you are injured by a defective product, you could file a claim against the manufacturer in civil court. Through a product liability lawsuit, you can recover financial compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, and other losses.
Product Disclaimers Do Not Dismiss Implied Warranty
To avoid a lawsuit, some manufacturers may place a disclaimer on their products. The product liability waiver may include language like, “our company accepts no liability for the safety of our products” or “no claims are made by our company as to the safety or reliability of our products.”
While this disclaimer may seem official, it does not often carry any legal weight. Consumers have implied warranty rights, meaning that manufacturers promise buyers that their products are safe and can be used as the manufacturer intended.
A customer cannot trade away his or her warranty rights simply by purchasing an item with a disclaimer. Manufacturers cannot dismiss their duties to warn or manufacture safe products by including a general disclaimer. In most cases, you can still pursue a lawsuit against the company.
When Is a Product Disclaimer Effective?
A product liability disclaimer may be effective if it is in a written contract. If you sign a contract from the manufacturer and the contract contains a disclaimer clause that waives the company’s liability, the court will likely uphold the warning as valid.
You would not be able to pursue a lawsuit against the company unless the contract violates legal requirements. If you are unsure about the validity of a contract, speak to an attorney as soon as possible. It is also best to have a lawyer review any contracts so that you can protect your legal rights and interests.
Speak to an Attorney about Your Product Liability Claim
Product disclaimers do not give manufacturers the right to avoid responsibility for dangerous items. If you are injured by a defective product, speak to a lawyer as soon as possible. A Kansas City personal injury attorney can evaluate your case, determine your best legal path, and take the first steps toward securing the compensation you deserve.