You are probably aware of the ways a dangerous product might be harmful to you and other Schenectady residents. A toy that was poorly designed might injure hundreds of children across the country, or a batch of products that were improperly manufactured on the assembly line could malfunction and injure a small group of consumers. You might, however, not be aware of a third type of product defect that could result in harm, called defective marketing.
A marketing defect, explains the Legal Information Institute of Cornell University Law School, occurs when packaging or instructions do not provide adequate warnings or directions on how to safely use a product. Many manufacturers assume consumers can use common sense when using a product. For example, you probably know you should not use a hair dryer at the same time you are taking a bath; most instructions for hair dryers include this warning, anyway.
Defective marketing might involve toys or children’s products that do not effectively warn parents of age restrictions or specific risks. A stuffed animal that would be suitable for a toddler might present a suffocation hazard for babies that you might not foresee if the packaging did not warn you of the danger. Other toys, such as strong magnets, games that include small balloons or science kits that involve chemicals, might be extremely dangerous for younger children, but you could be unaware of the dangers if the instructions did not outline the risks.
You might buy a product that was manufactured correctly, but could still cause great harm because of its packaging. The information in this post is meant to educate, but should not replace the advice of a lawyer.