Hayes v. Spartan Chem. Co., Inc., 622 So. 2d 1352 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 1993)
This case involves a products liability, failure to warn case due to a chemical cleaner. Workers of a daycare filed a lawsuit alleging that the manufacturer of the product did not properly warn consumers of known dangers that were associated with the cleaning liquid used by law enforcement officers during the removal of ink off of newly hired applicants.
A newly hired employee of a daycare center in Clearwater, Florida went to the local police department in order to get her fingerprinting pre-requisite taken care of for her job’s background check. Once the woman had completed the fingerprinting process, an officer at the station sprayed a cleaning solution onto her hands to remove the ink that remained. A paper towel was then used to wipe away the cleaning liquid. Though the woman testified that the cleaner was only on her hands for a short period of time, she did state that while the product was being sprayed on her hands, she felt as though she inhaled some of the product.
Soon after inhaling some of the cleaning product, the woman began to feel extremely sick. Symptoms that she stated she began to feel include a fever, cold chills, stomach nausea, as well as a persisting headache. The victim in this case also described pain in her chest. When these symptoms failed to dissipate after a few days, she went to see a physician. Even after being seen by the doctor, the woman continued to have problems that she associates with inhaling the cleaning product. She also continued to treat with a physician due to her symptoms.
After a preliminary investigation was completed, it was determined that the liquid used to clean the woman’s hands was called “Tough Duty”. The product is an all-purpose cleaner that is of industrial strength. The degreaser product was manufactured by a company called Spartan. The victim filed suit against Spartan claiming that they were negligent in failing to provide adequate warning to the police department of the possible dangers attributed with using the cleaner. The woman’s claim was stating that a third-party company failed to issue a warning to its consumer of risks involving with using the product.
With product liability lawsuits, there must be considerations made at regulations in place which companies are required to follow regarding using labels to ward consumers. These warning labels must be clear and easily able to read. The warning itself must offer an explanation of the associated dangers involved with using the product. Additionally, a company needs to provide adequate warning regarding hazards that exist, the level of any risk that can be attributed to using the product, possible outcome from a hazard attributed to the product, as well as ways to steer clear from those hazards.
If a manufacturer produces a product for consumers which can reasonably cause injury if that product handled in a way which is foreseeable, then that company has a legal duty to properly warn their consumers of the possible dangers. Failing to warn consumers of these dangers can cause severe injuries, and a person can hold a company liable for those injuries when there is not adequate warning on the product.
If you have been injured by using a product in a foreseeable way and the label did not warn of the dangers, you should contact an attorney and let them know what happened. The Product Liability attorneys at Madalon Law will talk to you about your incident at no charge and explain to you what your options are during a free consultation.