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Lawsuit!: Reducing the Risk of Product Liability for Manufacturers by Randall L. Goodden

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Preface

Across the United States and throughout the world, there is a growing demand for safer, more reliable, and higher quality products. Recalls of unsafe products have set new records in the United States and in other countries, and many of the recalls were followed by lawsuits against those same manufacturers, distributors and importers that have now admitted to having defects in their products and designs.

For the most part, manufacturing management teams strive to do the best they can to design and manufacture safe and reliable products, largely based on what they perceive is common sense and the knowledge they have at hand, but at the same time incidents of personal injury and property damage continue to multiply. It is readily apparent that not all management teams are fully equipped to challenge these trends, and such costly unpreparedness can be found even in companies with Fortune 500 revenues.

Product Engineers and Designers focus on compliance to known industry and regulatory standards, but such standards are viewed by the courts as being a minimum safety requirement, with the constant evolution of technology. At the same time, corporations employ state-of-the-art management and quality systems to ensure consistency and compliance to specification, but such programs offer little to no guidance in the area of product liability, and can themselves become a liability.

In this amalgam of efforts, corporations and their management teams continue to miss the mark and face ...

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