It sounded like the solution to all parents and coaches fears; a helmet that prevents concussions. A helmet company promised fewer concussions, but was that a true statement or was this a dangerous product because of a lack of adequate warning?

Riddell is a corporation that makes athletic helmets as well as other sports equipment who suggested that they had the answer to the numerous concussions that have been plaguing many sports. Riddell published on their packaging that their new helmet was proven to prevent dangerous concussions. Many people, including some professional athletes, bought the helmets under the impression that the helmet would make them safer from concussions. It turns out the helmets were not any safer and recently were found to have insufficient warnings on their packages. Two recent product liability lawsuits, one from the parents of an injured teenage child and another from players in the NFL in a class action, revealed that Riddell knew the helmets were not concussion proof. Despite the issues, the company continued to make the safety claim on product packaging.

A company has two standards they need to follow when it comes to consumer warnings on product packaging. First the company cannot hide any defects and are required to alert consumers of any hazards in their product. Second, the company has to include or instruct consumers on how to use their products safely. A person who is injured due to a false warning or failure to warn may have a product liability claim against the manufacturer of the product.

Being injured by a product can be very scary. A person who is injured because of a company having insufficient warnings on their product or packaging can lead to a product liability lawsuit. In Montana, understanding legal rights when it comes to defective warnings in products can help an injured person receive compensation for the resulting injury.

Source: ESPN, “Report warned Riddell about helmets,” Sabrina Shankman, May 1, 2013