Manufacturers, Wholesalers and Retailers can ALL be exposed to Product Liability
Being in business has its risks. Did you know that even if you are not the manufacturer and your business sells someone else’s products either as the wholesaler (such as an importer, distributor or supplier) or as the retailer, you still have a responsibility to ensure that all the products your business sells are safe and comply with product liability laws. Irrespective of whether you only sell to other businesses or direct to the public, you and your business could be held responsible for any injuries caused.
Product liability therefore affects businesses at every stage of the production and sale process, including manufacturers, importers, distributors, suppliers and retailers. Generally, the manufacturer or importer will be liable for its products (particularly if they are unsafe or do not meet Australian standards). However, If the manufacturer and/or importer cannot be identified, no longer exist or any action against them is likely to be unenforceable (for example, if they are located overseas, do not have a presence in Australia and/or no longer supply their products to Australia) then the wholesaler or retailer of a product may be held liable for personal injury or loss caused by the product.
Adelaide Lawyers Defending Businesses against Product Liability Claims
At Nick Xenophon and Co., an experienced product liability lawyer can assist your business to successfully defend and reduce the impact of product related liability claims. We understand that timely and efficient advice is needed to navigate through the complex maze of consumer protection, negligence and contract laws.
Our approach is that litigation and going to court should always be a last resort because of the time and expense it entails. Our clients appreciate that we employ a range of negotiation strategies to assist them achieve their goals as efficiently as possible. By becoming involved at an early stage, identifying appropriate resolution options and always being available, we can help you resolve your product liability claim on the best possible terms – as fast as possible.
In certain situations, however litigation may be the best or only option. Nick Xenophon and Co Lawyers have great experience and success in commercial litigation can provide you with professional representation.
Risk Mitigation – Minimising the Potential for Product Liability
While the prospect of product liability is part of everyday business, regardless of whether you are a manufacturer, importer, distributor, supplier or retailer, we believe that there is much you can do to minimise the risk to your business. We provide our clients with risk mitigation services to pro-actively protect their business from product liability claims in the future. We can advise you on a number of strategies including:
- Contractual arrangements – contract clauses which pass on the risk to another other party in the supply chain indemnifying your business against any product liability claims
- Business’s quality assurance system – including internal policies and documenting results of regular product testing and reviews to ensure your products meet Australian standards
- Marketing and packaging – ensuring products are targeted to and purchased by the correct user groups and packaging and product instructions are clear, detailed, include appropriate direction as to how a product should be used and warn consumers of dangers associated with improper product use
- Taking swift action if a problem arises – if a business becomes aware that there is a problem with a product then the business should take steps immediately to warn its importers, distributors, retailers and consumers about the problem and if necessary institute a product recall
- Insurance – can be a complex particularly with policy exclusion clauses. We can review your insurance policy to ensure you are appropriately covered against product and public liability
- Record-keeping – an injury may not be sustained by or damage caused to a consumer for many years after your product has been supplied to them. It is therefore important that you maintain your business records for many years, including copies of contracts with other businesses in the supply chain so that you have all the information you need to defend a claim and hopefully pass on the risk of the claim to another business as well as the copies of your business quality assurance system
No Obligation Free Consultation
We welcome the opportunity to meet with you to discuss how we can assist with any current or potential Product Liability issues concerning your business. To show you how we can provide you with practical cost-effective solutions and add value to your business, we offer you a free no-obligation initial consultation with one of our experienced business lawyers.
Call us now to talk about your Product Liability matter on a no obligation basis.
You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.