Vanderbilt Law Review


Dix W. Noel

First Page



There has been much recent development of the law in the field of products liability, and one of the more significant aspects of this development relates to harm suffered by allergic users of cosmetics, dyed clothing, and other familiar products. The medical descriptions of allergy are complicated and changing, but from a legal standpoint the significant factor is that an allergic reaction is one suffered by only a minority of the persons exposed to a particular substance. A description which brings out this factor is one which defines allergy or hyper-sensitivity as "the condition or state of an individual who reacts specifically and with unusual symptoms to the administration of, or contact with, a substance which when given in similar amounts to the majority of all other individuals proves harmless or innocuous."'During the past few years a number of significant cases involving injuries to allergic consumers have been decided, and the principal issue has been whether or not there was an actionable failure to warn,the allergic consumer. An attempt will be made to determine when this duty to warn arises and the nature of the warning which must be given. Consideration will be given to situations where the failure to warn is regarded as negligence and also to cases where the failure is considered to be a breach of warranty.

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