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.