What Is Failure to Warn in a Product Liability Lawsuit?

 Posted on November 13,2023 in Product Liability

Kane County Product Liability Lawyer

In order to be successful in a product liability injury case where either the manufacturer or seller of the product did not provide sufficient instructions or warnings about any possible risks or dangers associated with using that product, an Illinois personal injury lawyer must show there was a failure to warn. The following are four key elements that must be proven.

Existence of a Duty to Warn

The first element in a failure to warn injury case is showing that the manufacturer or seller had a legal duty to warn about any possible risks resulting from using their product. Under federal law, every consumer has the right to know about any known or foreseeable hazards associated with a product's use. Manufacturers and sellers are generally expected to be aware of these potential hazards and, therefore, have an obligation to communicate them to consumers.

Risk Foreseeability

Another critical element in establishing a failure to warn claim is showing that the risk of harm associated with the product was reasonably foreseeable to the manufacturer or seller when the product became available to the public. This means that they either had actual knowledge of the risk or should have known about it through testing, research, or industry standards of the potential dangers their product could pose to users or bystanders.

Adequacy of the Warning

Once the duty to warn is established, the adequacy of the warning becomes central to the case. The question must be answered whether the provided warning meets specific standards to be considered adequate. It should be clear, concise, and understandable to the average consumer. The warning should provide sufficient information about the type of risks associated with the product and guidance on how to use the product safely and avoid those risks.


The final element needed in a failure to warn case is causation. Causation means establishing a direct link between the lack of an adequate warning and the injury the consumer sustained. An attorney must show that if the at-fault party had provided an acceptable warning, the consumer would have now known about the risks and would have taken the appropriate steps to stay safe while using the product.

Contact a DuPage County, IL Personal Injury Lawyer for Legal Guidance

In every failure to warn injury case, the burden of proof is on the injured party. This is why having a skilled Aurora, IL product liability attorney advocating for you is important. If you or a loved one has been injured, call Kinnally Flaherty Krentz Loran Hodge & Masur P.C. at 630-907-0909 to schedule a free consultation and find out what legal recourse you have.

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