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How your business may defend itself from a product liability suit

Someone who claims he or she was injured by a defective product is not limited to suing the product’s manufacturer. Besides the business that made the product, the wholesaler, retailer and assembler could all potential find themselves included in the lawsuit, because they were all part of the product’s “chain of distribution” until it reached the consumer.

This could include a small business in Ohio that never had reason to believe one of the products it sells or distributes could ever harm somebody. Though they are not to blame in any way for the plaintiff’s injuries, they may need to defend themselves against allegations that could cost them a great deal in money and reputation.

Fortunately, a business or individual in this position could have one or several defenses to the product liability claim. One common defense is that the plaintiff has not presented sufficient evidence that the defendant was part of the chain of distribution. Or the defendant could show that the plaintiff substantially altered the product once it left the defendant’s control, and that the change caused his or her injury. A plaintiff who misuses the product in a way unforeseeable to the defendant will also fail to prove his or her claim.

While it is scary to be served with a product liability suit, keep in mind that you may have a good defense. In other cases, a settlement can reduce your costs and time spent on the matter. An attorney experienced in product liability defense can help you weigh your options.

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