Over the past few years life as we know it has become considerably technology-centric. It has, in fact, infiltrated every aspect of our lives according to Alan Mclean,Digital Wellbeing Product Designer at Google. Smart homes have become a mainstream commodity and IoT is believed to connect as many as 28 billion devices at present. As impressive as this may be, tech brands are also finding themselves facing an increasing number of challenges. Apart from the risks posed by hacking and other security-related concerns, product liability is also expected to continue to cause amajor headache for tech brands in the years to come.
Product liability can impact a brand in many ways
When a product liability claim is brought against a tech brand it can result in a very expensive lawsuit. In fact, depending on the charges and the degree of negligence, damages worth millions of dollars can be awarded to the affected consumers. As these damages can cause irreparable damage to a brand, it is essential to garner, at the very least, a rudimentary understanding of product liability and how to protect a brand against claims. Although industry leaders may be able to weather the storm, start-ups and established small to medium-sized enterprises may not be as fortunate.
Various defect types can warrant a successful claim
Any reputableproduct liability lawyer will confirm that manufacturers have a responsibility to do everything in their power to ensure that their products are safe to use. When it comes to IoT product liability there are three common types of defects consumers can use to initiate a claim. Manufacturing defects are the most common type of defect and are caused either during the manufacturing or assembly of the product.Design defects are also fairly common and occur during the initial design process of the product. A poorly designed smartphone or medical sensor can, for instance, cause personal injury while a faulty fridge can be responsible for considerable property damage. Thirdly there are marketing defects to contend with. These types of defects include incorrect labeling, incoherent instruction leaflets, and unclear safety warnings.
Protect your brand at all costs
Tech brands that either manufacture or supply consumer products can decrease their risk of product liability claims in a number of ways. Conducting in-depth product testing is crucial, regardless of whether the product in question is a new fitness tracker or a smart bicycle. If the product can be conceived as being dangerous in any way (due to moving parts, sharp edges, etc), it has to have sufficient warnings to protect the brand against any potential claims arising from injury or damage. It is also important to regularly review any legal contracts that were put in place with suppliers with regards to accountability for claims originating from defects.
Product liability claims can cause considerable damage to a tech brand. Thankfully, this risk can be minimized when the brand understands the various aspects of product liability.