Two ways many companies can effectively protect themselves are 1) transferring risk through product liability insurance and 2) by retaining an experienced product liability lawyer. Any business that deals in the distribution or selling of goods runs the risk of accidentally putting a defective product in the hands of a consumer. While companies work hard to ensure the safety of their products, the reality is that full safety can never be guaranteed. The possibility of a defective product in the hands of a consumer can have devastating legal consequences.
Product Liability Insurance
Product liability insurance is a general liability insurance designed to protect a business from lawsuits related to the products it sells. Product liability suits can be costly, often including legal fees, court fees and potential damages if the case is lost or settled out of court. In cases where a customer brings a lawsuit after using your product, product liability insurance can cover the legal and court costs of defending against your consumers’ claims.
Product Liability Lawyer
In addition to the financial protection a business receives from its product liability insurance, every business that makes or sells a product should retain a product liability lawyer. The combination of product liability insurance and a product liability lawyer is essential for any business that produces, distributes or otherwise sells a product. Proactive legal advice can detect liability issues before they occur and ensure that a business is equipped to handle potential product lawsuits if and when they occur.
The Chain of Custody
It is important to note that no business that creates or handles a product can fully eliminate the risk of being targeted in a lawsuit. Businesses can take steps to perform thorough quality checks of their products at each stage of production or distribution. Nevertheless, there still remains a chance that due to sheer volume, a few faulty products can slip through the cracks and cause unexpected harm once in the hands of the consumer. For example, a widget begins life at an assembly plant then travels to a distributor who then packages and sends the widget to a wholesaler. The wholesaler then sells the product to the retailer who sells it directly to the consumer. At each of these levels, there is risk for lawsuits surrounding the product. If the widget is dangerously faulty, liability would likely fall with the manufacturer. But if the widget is not properly marked on the packaging as being a choking hazard, then liability may fall on the distribution level of the chain of custody. If the widget became unstable while stored at the retailer level, then the retailer may be liable at least in part for damages.
“This is why product liability insurance is not just for manufacturers.”
Even in cases where the businesses in the chain of custody have assured quality to the highest extent possible, there is still a chance that those businesses can be held strictly liable for damages caused to a consumer when it is used. The concept of strict liability holds that manufacturers and distributors are inherently at fault in certain cases where fault would otherwise be unclear. This argument requires a defense by an experienced product liability lawyer that can protect the best interests of the businesses in the chain of custody versus spurious claims made by consumers.
Call South Florida Law
Are you in the chain of custody for a product? Avoid the risk of consumer lawsuits that can drain a business of time, effort and money. Take proactive measures and consult an experienced product liability lawyer today at South Florida Law. Are you a manufacturer, distributor, wholesaler or retailer looking to further educate yourself on product liability insurance and protect your company? Then call South Florida Law today at (945) 900-8885 or via our contact form.