Last month's issue of the Goldhaber Warnings Report focused on the dangers of added sugar to many products sold in the U.S. But sugar, while a major culprit in the causal chain leading to a variety of serious illnesses such as Type 2 Diabetes and other cardio-vascular diseases and certain cancers, is not the only food product that may need a safety warning. Let's look at a few potential examples of products that might benefit from a safety warning.
This term raises some vital issues that the engineer should be aware of when using it. First several definitions are available and thus it is perceived differently by different groups and individuals. From a legal standpoint, in many states, using the term to describe a product that was involved in an incident involving an injury means that the designer or manufacturer of that product may be financially liable for the injury. Engineers sometimes use the term simply to indicate an imperfection in a product without intending its frequent legal use. Further the engineer realizes that no material and no finished product is perfect. However, these variations from perfection do not necessarily mean they were cause for failure and thus the injury that may occur in a given incident. Some product liability attorneys may not readily acknowledge or understand this distinction.
If you buy a box of Kraft Mac & Cheese in the UK (the same Mac & Cheese that is sold in the U.S.), the following warning label appears on the package: Warning: This Product May Cause Adverse Effects Activity AndAttention in Children. This warning is required because the U.S. version of Kraft Mac & Cheese has artificial food dyes yellow #5 and yellow #6, which are proven to be linked to hyperactivity in children. The warning does NOT appear in the U.S.
EFI Global (EFI) was hired by a legal team representing a tire product manufacturer to replicate the use of a tire inflation product in an off-road tire. Litigation was prompted when the tire inflation product was used in an off-road tire that exploded and resulted in a fatality. Our team was asked to evaluate the product when used when used in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions as written on the products label; when used in concert with pure oxygen, and when used in concert with compressed air.
It seems the problem is at an all-time high. Daily news articles reveal recalls due to product mislabeling. Everything from peanut butter to medications have been taken off the shelves in recent months, many companies explaining that there is nothing wrong with their product, it just does not contain the necessary warning label or ingredient listing. The questions beg to be asked. Why were these voluntary recalls necessary? Why were these products not correctly labeled from the beginning? What can be done to rectify the situation as well as prevent similar mistakes?
An attorney involved with crate litigation might readily recognize the need for a packaging expert, yet, not be sufficiently aware of the specific knowledge and capabilities that best qualify that expert.
The Goldhaber Warnings Report: In the last issue of this newsletter, I listed four key questions that must be answered when conducting a warnings review. Answers to these questions, as well as following the detailed steps I now provide, should help you determine whether or not you need to warn or, if you already warn, whether or not your warning(s) is/are adequate
A more appropriate term would be packaged product liability, because a packaged product consists of product + package, and either component (or both) can incur allegations of negligence, strict liability, and failure to warn