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AMI 1003 Products Liability—Negligence—Manufacturer's Duty to Instruct

Arkansas Supreme Court Committee On Jury Instructions-Civil

Ark. Model Jury Instr., Civil AMI 1003
Arkansas Model Jury Instructions-Civil
November 2021 Update
Arkansas Supreme Court Committee On Jury Instructions-Civil
Chapter 10. Products Liability
AMI 1003 Products Liability—Negligence—Manufacturer's Duty to Instruct
A manufacturer of a (product) has a duty to give reasonable and adequate instructions with respect to the conditions and methods of its safe use when danger is reasonably foreseeable in its use, unless the danger is known to the user or is reasonably discoverable by [him][her]. A violation of this duty is negligence.
COMMENT
If a product can be used safely by observing precautions that the user knows or reasonably should know, the manufacturer may not be liable for damage resulting from negligent use based on a failure-to-instruct theory. Walton v. Sherwin-Williams Co., 191 F.2d 277, 282 (8th Cir. 1951).
The duty to warn or instruct may extend beyond the purchaser of a manufacturer's product to an ultimate user. Hopkins v. Chip-In-Saw, 630 F.2d 616, 619 (8th Cir. 1980) (examining the scope of the duty and corresponding jury instructions).
For the distinction between (1) the inapplicability of the “patent danger” doctrine to negligent design claims, (2) the inapplicability of the “open and obvious danger” doctrine to failure-to-warn claims, and (3) comparative fault and assumption of risk, see Forrest City Mach. Works, Inc. v. Aderhold, 273 Ark. 33, 616 S.W.2d 720 (1981).
In certain cases, the learned intermediary doctrine applies under Arkansas law. The doctrine provides that a drug manufacturer may rely on the prescribing physician to warn the ultimate consumer of the risks of a prescription drug. See West v. Searle & Co., 305 Ark. 33, 42, 806 S.W.2d 608, 612 (1991) (applying the doctrine in case of oral contraceptives).
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