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10 Questions Personal Transportation Manufacturers Should Answer Before Selling a New or Redesigned Product

Companies can save hundreds of thousands of dollars in litigation fees by taking proactive steps that put them in the best position possible to avoid potential legal claims and defend those that occur. From warnings to advertising content to solid contractual terms, what is a relatively small investment upfront can result in a very high level of protection down the road. It is an extremely smart business strategy to ask legal counsel with expertise in product liability risk management to provide input at the various phases of product development and launch. While few attorneys specialize in the recreational products industry, Nilan Johnson Lewis’ attorneys have unmatched experience advising on preventative measures and risk mitigation tools, successfully defending hundreds of legal claims by using deep product knowledge and have penalty-free results in every regulatory investigation they have handled.

Here are 10 questions you should be able to answer before you start selling a new or redesigned product:

  1. Do we understand our design decisions and product development history?
  2. It is always important to understand your design “story” so that you can explain why a product was developed a certain way, and why a proposed alternative design would not work or would make the product worse.

  3. Have we documented our manufacturing and test processes?
  4. Being able to demonstrate that a product was manufactured as designed and appropriately tested throughout its design and manufacturing demonstrates its quality.

  5. Did we include all the necessary instructions and warnings in all the right places?
  6. The content, order, location and placement of instructions and warnings are critical to ensuring that a product is used properly to avoid accidents, and to defend against claims that are pursued.

  7. What updates should we make to our website and social media content?
  8. It is imperative to conform the website and social media content to your warnings and instructions regarding product use.

  9. Which additional point-of-sale materials do we need?
  10. Point-of-sale materials provide additional avenues to ensure appropriate product use. Always make sure that you have included all the point-of-sale materials you need.

  11. Is our advertising material safe from consumer fraud claims?
  12. Advertising-based consumer fraud claims can be low-hanging fruit for some plaintiff’s attorneys. A quick advertising review can save you long-term headaches.

  13. What provisions should be included in our customer and vendor contracts?
  14. When things go wrong, proper contract language can be your safety net. Make sure your contracts provide adequate protection.

  15. Are we preserving and purging the right documents and data?
  16. Many product designers have “pack rat” tendencies. It is important to only keep documents you need, and those that have value. A product launch is the perfect time to assess the documents you have.

  17. Which regulatory requirements are highest priority?
  18. Regulatory investigations, fines, and penalties are on the rise. Make sure you have robust processes and a firm understanding of the key regulatory issues facing your product.

  19. What are the most important considerations when obtaining insurance coverage?
  20. The type of insurance you select can have a dramatic impact on the long-term reputation of your product. Know your business goals and all your options before purchasing insurance.

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