A product liability case can be brought against any manufacturer of a defective product if that item has caused someone harm. Manufacturers have a responsibility to produce products that are safe to use, so when a product leads to injury or damages, it is the maker who has to answer for it. Our product liability defense lawyers in Arizona share some tips on how manufacturers can protect themselves from product liability claims.
Arizona Product Liability Laws
Arizona Revised Statutes (A.R.S) Section 12-684 is the controlling statute for products liability cases in Arizona. This statute allows vendors, middlemen, and other non-manufacturers to tender the defense and indemnity of a products liability claim back to the manufacturer. Manufacturers must accept the vendor’s tender of defense of indemnity unless there is evidence or a question of fact as to whether the product was altered, modified, or improperly installed by the vendor or end user.
If the manufacturer refuses the tender of defense and indemnity there is a risk that a jury or judge will award the tendering vendor for “any judgment rendered against it and reasonable attorneys’ fees and costs incurred defending the claim.”
How to Protect Your Business
There are five ways you can protect yourself from product liability claims:
- Engage in thorough protect testing
- Provide clear and effective warnings on dangerous goods
- Review suppliers to see if they plan to make changes to the product before selling it
- Sign a legal contract holding suppliers accountable for defects prior to supply
- Take out product liability insurance
When receiving a statutory tender from a vendor, the manufacturer should first analyze the evidence presented as to the alleged product design and manufacturing defect. If no such evidence has been presented, the parties should schedule the inspection and testing of the allegedly defective item.
In the interim, the manufacturer must immediately issue similar statutory and/or contract based indemnity claims to any suppliers of the product components. This will put potential component suppliers on notice that they must participate in the testing and inspection.
Are you up against a product liability claim? Our Arizona product liability defense lawyers can help. We take claims in Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, and Hawaii. Contact us here to schedule your free consultation today.