From an initial prototype sketch to the warning labels on a finished product, the decisions made during the course of bringing a product to market can come under intense scrutiny in a products liability claim. Manufacturers should focus on the potential risks across a product’s life cycle to help both prevent and defend against product liability claims.
In 2014, products liability led the list of top verdict categories for court cases. Among the top 100 verdicts by dollar value, a total of more than $33 billion in jury awards involved product liability.1 In addition to the financial costs of product liability, negative publicity can have a lasting effect on a company’s brand and reputation and lead to a loss of goodwill and market share.
“Companies need to be aware of the potential for product liability at every stage of the life cycle as well as their ability to defend the decisions that they make,” says Reese Cann, a Travelers Risk Control products liability professional. “For example, product liability claims can be made long after the products were manufactured. A manufacturer’s post-sale responsibilities may be questioned, such as updated warnings or instructions when a hazard is later determined.” Read More