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What is the duty to warn in Louisiana product liability law?

Last time, we began looking at Johnson & Johnson’s recent loss in a talcum powder lawsuit in California. As we noted, this is the latest in a series of losses for the company in lawsuits involving allegations that that the company failed to warn consumers of the potential dangers of its talc-containing products.

The duty to warn is an important issue in product liability litigation, as it is one of the legal claims injured consumers can make against companies who fail to give consumers adequate notice of the risks inherent in a product. Product liability is an important potential avenue of recovery for those who have been exposed to asbestos by manufacturers. 

In Louisiana, manufacturers can be held liable for injuries to consumers caused by a characteristic of a product which makes the product “unreasonable dangerous” and when the damage arose from a reasonably anticipated use of the product. One of the several bases upon which a product can be deemed unreasonably dangerous is when the product does not come with an adequate warning about its risks.

In any failure to warn case, of course, it must be shown that the product is actually dangerous. In cases involving talc-containing products, this is one of the primary issues in dispute, since the evidence is not conclusive on this point. As we’ve noted, though, utilizing the most favorable evidence and working with a sympathetic jury, plaintiffs who work with an experienced attorney do have a better shot at obtaining the compensation they deserve. 

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