What to Do If Your Product Injured a Consumer

First things first: call a personal injury defense lawyer

The first thing is: exhale. The second thing is: call legal counsel.

After the initial shock, you might be in full panic mode. But you will need to answer the following questions: 

  • Have you ever been involved with litigation regarding this particular product before?
  • What do you know about the injured consumer? 

  • How long has the product been on the market?
  • Are there similar products in the marketplace—if yes, how unique is your product, and how do you know it was your product?

Meet with your lawyer to formulate an overall litigation strategy, if litigation is necessary. Preserve all records that might be germane to the case—that includes any contracts, marketing and promotional materials, sales records, and product warnings. Additionally, records and contracts pertaining to suppliers of component parts that are part of the final product will also be useful.

Take the time to review your company’s insurance policy. Oftentimes, policies dictate that the carrier is to be contacted as soon as the company is made aware of a potential claim, not just an actual claim. 

This would be a good time to remind your employees of the general policy that they should not discuss company business with any reporters, and give direction on whom they should contact if anyone reaches out to them. It is not necessary to give your employees the specifics of this potential claim—the last thing you’ll want is an employee being interviewed or making statements on social media.

Last, and most important, don’t make any statements. If the injured party contacts you, be empathetic and gather information, but do not claim or accept liability. 

Damian Jackson is an attorney with McDevitt, Henrich & Cholden in Philadelphia

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