Suppliers and manufacturers are required to place complete, clear warnings on products when dangers may not be readily apparent. However, there is no duty to warn consumers of dangers that should reasonably be anticipated. An inadequate warning is regarded as a design defect, and it can leave a manufacturer or supplier vulnerable to a product liability lawsuit. Labels can be considered inadequate for these reasons:
• They fail to specify risks presented by the product
• Warnings are not consistent with product usage
• Warnings aren’t adequately justified
Read on to learn more about FDA, state, and federal government rules on food labeling and to learn how a product liability attorney in Murfreesboro, TN can help a client file a defective product claim.
Rules on Food Labeling
The FDA has legal authority over food labeling in terms of composition and authenticity of health benefits claims. Therefore, inadequate or false labeling can expose a supplier or manufacturer to government penalties as well as a product liability suit. Other food labeling concerns are the accuracy of product quality and nutritional information and the accuracy of printed expiration dates.
Rules on Prescription Drug Labeling
All prescription drugs sold in the US must undergo an FDA approval process, and warning labels must be approved as well. These requirements can create conflict between the FDA, a government branch, and state courts that handle product liability claims. Under the US Constitution’s preemption doctrine, federal laws supersede state laws and state courts cannot rule a federally-approved warning label inadequate.
However, other cases have reached a different conclusion, and they allow inadequate labeling claims to move forward by claiming that state laws are not preempted by government rules. Conflicts may continue for an extended period until the Supreme Court or Congress clarifies when claims over FDA-approved labeling can proceed.
Getting Legal Help
If a person is injured because of a seller or supplier’s failure to provide adequate warnings on food, medicine or another consumer product, they should speak to a product liability attorney in Murfreesboro, TN about potential legal remedies. An attorney with the Law Office of Gritton & Gritton, PLLC can help clients understand their legal rights and, if necessary, bring a lawsuit on the client’s behalf.