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Determining the validity of disclaimers for products liability

Consumers in Pennsylvania see it all the time. They buy something and there is either small writing on the product itself or a piece of paper included with the product. In that small print, there are often disclaimers. While some of the print included in this writing will hold valid, other times consumers may challenge some of the disclaimers contained in the writing. It is often the case that an injured consumer will seek to challenge a products liability disclaimer.

What does a product liability disclaimer do? In most cases, it will not shield the manufacturer from liability when a customer purchases a product from a store. Consumer laws protect buyers by providing legal remedies if the buyer or product user suffers an injury from a defective product.

Disclaimers are often written as a way to avoid responsibility, but usually these disclaimers will not hold up in court. An example where disclaimers are considered valid is in the case of written contracts. If a written contract is entered into with the manufacturer and the contract contains a disclaimer clause, then the court will most likely find it valid because it was bargained for.

Common types of disclaimers include general disclaimers, specific disclaimers and the assumption of risk. It is often the wording and how they are presented to the consumer that will determine their validity. Because consumer injuries do occur, those injured should seek to understand the language of these disclaimers so they have a better idea of the situation and whether they have a valid cause of action.

An injured consumer should understand their rights and whether another party is responsible for their injuries caused by a defective or dangerous product. Seeking guidance about potential legal remedies is an important step to take. This will help to ensure their rights and protected.

Source: FindLaw, "Are Product Liability Disclaimers Effective?" accessed on Dec. 15, 2014

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