Consumers in Montana are likely to notice warning labels directly on or included with the products that they purchase. In some cases, these warnings appear to be common sense, making them seem obsolete to consumers. Nonetheless, no matter how obvious a danger or risk a product could pose, manufacturers must include these warnings when placing a product into the retail market because they have the duty to warn consumers of any potential risks.

What is considered a defective warning? A manufacturer has two duties when they create a warning label or instructions for a product. First, manufacturers have the duty to warn consumers of hidden dangers that could be present in a product. Second, a manufacturer is required to instruct consumers how to use a product safely and in a manner that avoids any dangers.

If a manufacturer fails to warn consumers about the potential dangers a product could have or possible defects that could occur, this can be considered an insufficient warning. Even if there weren’t any design flaws and the product was manufactured properly, if a manufacturer fails to warn consumers about potential dangers — such as overheating — this could be regarded as an inadequate warning.

Even if a warning is included with the product, the warning generally must be clear, specific and conspicuous. This means that consumers must be able to easily find it and understand it. This is frequently accomplished by using bold lettering in bright orange, red or yellow. While there is no prescribed location for these warning labels, they must occur in at least one of three places. These include on the packaging of the product, on the product itself or in the instruction booklet for the product.

If an injured consumer has discovered that the individual was harmed by a product that did not include a sufficient warning label, a person might have legal options. A products liability claim could help the injured party recover compensation — helping them cover expenses related to the injuries, damages and losses related to the harms caused by the product.

Source:, “Defects in Warnings,” accessed March 7, 2016