How To Avoid Being Sued for Defective Products
Even home-based entrepreneurs are included among those that can figure in a product liability suit. You heard right!
Anything that is sold, distributed, or manufactured by you can be a reason for a claim coming from consumers. Read on to know how you can be sued, who else can be held liable, and how you can avoid the issue.
Product liability falls as a responsibility of a manufacturer, seller, or those belonging to the distribution chain such as a reseller or distributor from actual shops or on the Internet.
Whereas, these, including all intermediaries, are liable to answer product defect injury claims from products sold and delivered to consumers.
How Product Liability Claims Arise
When there is reason to believe that a particular product has caused injury or damage to the well-being of a consumer, a lawsuit can be filed against manufacturers or any other middlemen involved in the sale.
In recent years, any person who had incurred an injury due to a defective product’s usage, whether it was directly or indirectly purchased, can file a personal injury claim.
Those who can be sued are:
- Designer of the product
- Manufacturer of product or product parts
- Product assembler or installer
- Repair and maintenance person or crew
Bringing in product liability from among the distribution chain is possible and it is regardless of who created the product’s defect. It means, the product was delivered straight to the buyer and the product itself was found to be defective.
It is important to note that garage sale operators are free from any liability from the buying public as this type of retailing involves only used products. However, there is still danger when it comes to selling unused chemicals or those that fall on the cottage industry category.
Where Claims can be Brought
Suits can be filed in a state court where the product in question was manufactured. It can also be filed in a court where the plaintiff resides or place of the sale occurred as well as where the product found to be defective was advertised or where the injury happened.
Moreover, it can also be brought to a Federal Court or from a foreign country.
How to Prevent Being Sued for a Product Defect
- Base designs according to existing safety standards
- Manufacture of the products must abide with existing specifications previously set for each marketed item
- Include clear and specific warnings on the labels including manuals that go with the manufactured products. You can do this by mentioning potential hazards and how to guard users against them
- Inform consumers that recalls are allowed after the purchase specifying a timeframe as to when the product is to be returned
- Representations, like mentioning chemicals or composite parts, have to be truthful and accurate
- Any complaint must be given priority and addressed using the least possible time
Nevertheless, no strategy really works to absolutely prevent you from a claim even if you have a disclaimer or a set of warnings or better yet selling from your home.
What you can try to implement is a liability insurance that can take care of this issue. You can work closely with a defective product lawyer to remind or pinpoint possible causes that may lead to product liability suit.