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Product liability: Managing the risks when launching a new product

It can take many years of experimentation and investment to develop a product which fulfils your original vision and design brief. As you start to plan how to take the product to market, it is important to ensure that it is both safe and fit for purpose and that your marketing and product documentation highlight any safety issues.

The financial and reputational damage that can flow from marketing, manufacturing or selling a defective product can be huge, and penalties may be just as serious in cases where you knew nothing of the fault before it arose.

Such issues can affect businesses of all sizes, irrespective of the quality of your controls or research and development procedures. However, the risks can be dramatically reduced with the benefit of early legal advice.

When will a product be defective?

robert-zunikoff-53898-unsplashA product will be defective when it does not allow or assist the person using it to do so in a safe manner. Liability will usually arise where harm is caused as a result of the defective design or manufacture of a product or through a failure to provide appropriate warnings in relation to hazardous features.

How to manage the risks

For examples of how and when a product may be defective, case studies and how to access support through risk assessments and more, DBA members can download the guide on product liability from Humphries Kirk here.

DBA members benefit from a free half hour of legal advice on any number of differing issues from the DBA’s legal partner Humphries Kirk. Please contact Darrell Stuart Smith at Humphries Kirk on 01305 251007, stating that you are a DBA member.

Not yet a DBA member?

If you’re not yet a DBA member and would like to benefit from the DBA’s legal helpline, as well as a wide range of other membership services and events, visit our website or call 020 7251 9229 to speak to our Head of Services. 

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