Product Liability Standards

Date: April 28, 2008

Establish a Product-Liability Standard to Protect Sellers

Product-liability laws are intended to protect consumers from injury due to unsafe products. However, the current product-liability law does not distinguish between the manufacturer and seller of a product and makes product sellers potentially liable for defects they are not aware of or could not discover. This has resulted in product sellers—often small retail businesses—being unfairly dragged into lawsuits for defective products. The uncertainties in the product-liability system create unnecessary legal costs, impede commerce and stifle innovation.   

NFIB supports establishing a product-liability standard that distinguishes sellers from manufacturers and a uniform statute of limitations in product-liability cases. These reforms would protect small retail shops from lawsuits over products they did not make. Product sellers should be liable only if they are directly at fault for harm.

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