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How to Protect Your Business from a Product Liability Lawsuit

Written on December 18, 2019

When your company works diligently to design, develop, and produce a product, the last thing you expect – or want – is for it to present a risk of harm to those who use it. Unfortunately, many dangerous or defective products do make their way into the hands of unsuspecting consumers every year, despite best efforts to make them safe. Florida law does provide victims with legal remedies, including the right to file a claim for monetary damages in the thousands of dollars. As such, your business may not be sufficiently protected from possible product liability lawsuits, which may affect your bottom line and your reputation.

However, there are ways you can avoid the adverse consequences of a product liability claim, and a Clearwater, FL business litigation attorney can help. An overview of the relevant legal concepts and potential strategies may also be informative.

Familiarize Yourself with Florida Product Liability Laws:

There are multiple theories of liability when a victim suffers injuries because of a defective product, including negligence and breach of express or implied warranty. However, most victims will pursue claims under the concept of strict liability, which means they don’t need to show that your company was at fault. The majority of products liability cases involve:

  • Defective manufacturing, in which one or more lots of a product are flawed because of a mistake in production;
  • Flaws in the design process, affecting any item that was created according to the original blueprint; or,
  • Labeling, often encompassing erroneous instructions or a failure to warn users regarding hazards.

Special Considerations to Protect Your Business:

The most effective strategy for safeguarding your interests is consulting with an experienced attorney to avoid issues and understand the risks your company faces. However, some other noteworthy factors include:

Warning Labels Alone Aren’t Enough: You can’t evade liability by placing warnings on a product, even when they’re clear and thorough. An unreasonably dangerous item should not be on store shelves.

Carefully Document the Product Design Process: Keep meticulous notes throughout the product’s development, focusing on safety considerations at every stage. Make sure your engineers, inventors, manufacturing team, and other employees are doing the same – just in case you need to prove that you were diligent in ensuring safety.

Florida’s Statute of Limitations Works Differently in Products Liability Cases: While these claims are similar to other personal injury cases, which impose a four-year time limit, the Florida statute of limitations involves different time restrictions for a product liability lawsuit. The statute of “repose” allows a victim additional time to file a civil case in court – up to 12 years in some situations.

Contact a Clearwater, FL Business Litigation Lawyer About Product Liability Lawsuits

At Clearwater Business Law, our attorneys have in-depth knowledge of Florida product liability laws and extensive experience protecting the interests of our Pinellas County, FL business clients. We can assist throughout the manufacturing process to prevent issues from arising, but we’re equally prepared to defend your company in the event of a claim. To learn more about our business litigation services, please call (727) 785-5100 today to schedule a consultation.

TESTIMONIALS

I strongly endorse Andrew Mongelluzzi. He is a very skilled and able business attorney focused on customer service and results. On the front end, Andrew deftly advises new businesses on organizing properly, acquiring necessary licenses, contracting with vendors & customers, and dealing with various compliance issues that may arise. On the back end when things go south, Andrew counsels and navigates businesses through complex commercial disputes and aggressively represents them in negotiations, mediation, arbitration, and in litigation so that businesses can legally move on and get back to business. Andrew’s ability to identify legal issues and approaches to resolve business-related issues is a strength that I have learned from and professionally relied upon in approaching the business matters and cases that I handle. I regularly refer business to Andrew knowing that he will diligently represent his business clients and their best interests.
Relationship: worked together on matter

- Frank N. Genco, Florida Bar No. 440086

Attorney Mongelluzzi and his team provided excellent and quality service. I always felt that my needs were met and that the firm was invested in me and my case. The quality services I received at Mongelluzzi’s firm were remarkable. From the initial meeting they were responsive to my calls, questions and concerns. All issues were handled professionally and timely, easily accessible, got back to me quickly, aggressive and got me the results that I wanted. Attorney Mongelluzzi and his staff all gave my case their personal attention and provided the quality of work that anyone would want when hiring an attorney.

- Client

Andrew is very thorough defining the outcome expectations. In my case, it was setting up a new corporate entity. He advised me on the most beneficial option and he then executed on that path. Andrew is a very pleasant person to work with. He is determined, skilled and committed to his client’s success.

- Gil Pinney

Andrew helped me through a difficult situation with American Express and we won the case. A great job by Andrew! He also helped me with T&C’s in my company. I would recommend Andrew highly as an attorney.

- John Sams

As a business owner for 12 years I have seen my fair share of ups and downs. Some of the downs would include landlord/tenant disputes and creditors that may have not been fulfilled to agreement. Andrew has met both of these situations for me in a timely, positive, and affordable manner.

- Rich Mattes

It was very nice to have a lawyer who not only is fierce in negotiations but has been successful in business. This is a lethal combination. I was glad he was on my side.

- Nigel Castanheiro

Andrew helped me with a contract litigation case. The lawyers battled it out for over a year and we finally got a reasonable settlement offer. Then the other side tried to back out. Andrew figured out how to force the other side to honor the deal and really knows his way around the court system. Definitely feel comfortable using him again.

- John Ellis

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