Document Type


Publication Title

Vanderbilt Law Review



Publication Date



language, product liablity, duty-to-warn


This Note examines the problems associated with the duty-towarn doctrine and the non-English-speaking consumer or product user. Part II explains the current duty-to-warn doctrine, emphasizing when a warning is required, to whom the warning must be directed, and how the warning must be given. Next, Part III examines state and federal language-specific statutes, constitutional provisions, and case holdings, emphasizing the most recent cases addressing product warning requirements for non-English-speaking plaintiffs. Part IV then outlines the risks to both product sellers and consumers of continuing the current haphazard approach and suggests a statutory solution to the doctrinal confusion, drawing from the jurisdictional tenet of purposeful availment. Finally, Part V argues that traditional understandings of language and the law are no longer accurate, calling on legislatures and courts to adopt the doctrinal approach suggested in Part IV.

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