Is Nintendo Playing Games With Its 3DS Warning?

Nintendo’s newest hand-held device lets users play games in 3-D mode, but the company’s vague warning on the use of the device by young children has left some people wondering if the lawsuit fix is in.

Nintendo posted a warning on its company website a few weeks ago, cautioning parents that children age six and under shouldn’t use the new 3DS in 3-D mode because it could adversely affect eyesight development, as CNET reported. But the warning came without much in the way of details, like medical evidence of the health risks involved. So, is Nintendo just playing the older-than-Pong game of CYA, hoping that a preemptive warning will come in handy down the road if (or when) lawsuits get filed over the safety of the 3DS? The announcement was just a precautionary measure for customers, Nintendo president Satoru Iwata told the WSJ in a recent interview, although Iwata also didn’t deny that worry over litigation may have factored into the warning.

Nintendo’s warning on the potential dangerousness of the 3DS could play a part in the company’s liability if product defect lawsuits are ever filed over the game. That’s because a manufacturer’s liability for a product’s safety hinges partly on whether warnings were issued by the manufacturer, and whether those warnings were sufficient in light of the potential harm. Learn more in Nolo’s articles Proving a Defective Product Liability Claim and Defective Product Claims: Theories of Liability.