We all know that consumer products can be dangerous if used improperly. Everything from vacuum cleaners to jet skis have large, orange warning decals posted on them instructing users, “READ THE OWNER’S MANUAL PRIOR TO USE.” In the owner’s manual, users will find an extensive composition of warnings, diagrams, and instructions for the safe use of the product.
Owner’s manuals are often the focal point in product liability cases where it is alleged that a product is dangerous or the manufacturer failed to provide adequate warnings. In such cases, trial lawyers will introduce owner’s manuals to point out the adequacy or inadequacy of warnings and instructions.
Surprisingly, owner’s manuals are largely ignored by trial lawyers in personal injury cases involving presumptively safe consumer products. Our firm has handled many cases in which hotels, attractions, and tour operators have severely injured our clients by misusing consumer products. Parasailing ropes break, picture frame supports fail, beach umbrellas fly into guests, bungee cords snap, and the list goes on.