For any business owner and company, building a strong name and reputation are vital components of growing and furthering business interests. In cases where a business’ services or products are found or believed to be somehow deficient, deceptive or dangerous; a business’ reputation and financial standing can take a huge hit. This is especially true in cases where a product is linked to injuries.
Some of the most famous and costly product liability cases include lawsuits related to GM’s faulty ignition switches and McDonalds’ hot coffee. In these cases, people suffered harm, injury and death due to defective and dangerous products. From a business owner’s perspective, it’s important to understand one’s legal responsibilities with regard to product safety as well as the legal requirements that must be proven for a product liability lawsuit to be successful.
Companies that market and sell products to the public have a legal duty to ensure that their products are safe and free of defects. To help fulfill these legal duties, businesses would be wise to put strict quality control measures in place. If a defect does occur; most relate to a product’s design, how it was manufactured or its packaging. Therefore, from a business standpoint and to minimize the risk of liability, it’s important to carefully draft and design contracts with all of the companies in a product’s supply chain.
In cases where a business faces legal action due to an alleged defective or dangerous product, a plaintiff must be able to prove that a business acted in a negligent manner. A plaintiff must also prove that a business’ negligence directly caused his or her injury and that a business “could have foreseen the risks and uses of the product at the time of manufacturing.”
For any business that sells products to the public, it’s crucial to enlist the help of an attorney who can assist in mitigating the risk of future product liability lawsuits. Additionally, in cases where a business is facing legal action related to a dangerous or defective product, an attorney will vigorously defend against claims of negligence and wrongdoing.
Source: Business.com, “Keep Your Customers Safe: The Perils of Product Liability,” Fred Cohen, Jan. 5, 2016
FindLaw.com, “Legal Basis for Liability in Product Cases,” Jan. 19, 2016