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Fighting over WordsLanguage and Civil Law Cases$
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Roger W. Shuy

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780195328837

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195328837.001.0001

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Brain Damage from a Cleaning Product

Brain Damage from a Cleaning Product

Pedro Lassera v. Magnaflux Corporation

Chapter:
(p.75) CHAPTER 8 Brain Damage from a Cleaning Product
Source:
Fighting over Words
Author(s):

Roger W. Shuy (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195328837.003.0009

This product liability case brought against a company that produced a ship cleaning product centered on the warning label for the cleaning product, which had caused a worker's brain damage. Comparison was made between the industry safety standards for the precautionary labeling of industrial chemicals and the text on the cleaning product's container. The wording of the warning section on the container was not prominent to the potential danger of the product. The communication of the dangers that users might encounter were unclear, and the advice about what to do if users got into trouble using it were not conveyed explicitly. The discourse sequencing within the warnings placed the least crucial information before the most crucial and provided no information about what to do to avoid the hazards that the product contained. The plaintiff also rewrote the text of the container to show how it could have been user-friendly and to communicate useful information and prevent further harm.

Keywords:   product liability, warning label, safety standards, prominent, dangers, discourse sequencing

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