Product package size and associated potential liability

A Wall Street Jorunal article (28 July 2011) describes a lawsuit in Las Vegas against generic manufacturers of propofol used in colonoscopy.  The manufacturers sold 50 milliliter bottles that could be used for at least two procedures.  However, labels on the bottles, which match those of branded manufacturers, state that they should be used only once.  Use of leftover drugs across patients caused hepatitis and the lawsuit blamed manufacturers for the larger pack sizes.   While Las Vegas courts agreed with the liability for manufacturers, the US Supreme Court in a related case claimed that generic manufacturers cannot be required to have labels beyond those of branded manufacturers. Is it rational that pack size and its associated “cutting corners” incentive, despite labels be a manufacturer responsibility ? Should monitoring product use and creating designs that will detect errors in use be part of the product designer’s responsibility (poka-yoke designs using a Japanese term) ?

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About aviyer2010

Professor
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