Products Liability Law/Products liability



Our company, located in Florida, does have a Commercial Package Policy  for Liability Coverage which includes a Products-Completed Operations $2million limit.  Our agent says we DO have products liability coverage when we queried her, however, I just don't know if we are talking the same language.

You know that laymen and experts often talk to each other without communicating, so I would like to call on your experience to see if we really are on the same page.  In reading through the policy, we note various phrases such as "Personal and advertising injury", "bodily injury", "property damage".  We're just not sure if our concern is addressed because of definitions used in the insurance industry and exclusions.  I know you have no idea of the wording of our policy, but perhaps you have some input as far as the boilerplate of standard policies that could help me drill down into the matter.

Our concern is not actual physical injury to anyone.  Our concern is not property damage caused by our product.  

Our concern is simply what if our product does not perform as our literature says, as far as its longevity, for example.  We offer replacement of questionable product, but our product is married to much more expensive add-ons.  Here's a similar situation.  Say we provide the paint or coating of a product sold by a big home improvement store for installation in or on a house.  Say the store buys the product from our customer who actually manufactures the product.  It turns out that due to an application error by our customer, our product does not maintain its integrity and starts to flake or break down in some other way, or lose color fastness.  The home improvement store sues our customer and us as well.  Possibly we can even point to the incorrect performance by our customer.  But no matter, we are part of the suit and have to defend our position, which can really be expensive for a small company.  

So we just want to be sure that our insurance company would defend us, up to any deductible.  I was with another company at one time and found that the protection provided by the policy was sort of fungible, so I'm looking for a degree of comfort here.



You really need to have an attorney review the whole policy.  You are really asking 2 separate questions.  First, if the insurer will pay for counsel to defend you.  Second, will insurance pay for a judgment or settlement.

The first question is that there is probably a separate duty to defend.  This means insurance would pay for counsel if there is such a provision.

The second question is dependent on the insurance policy.  You can have the agent verify coverage or you can hire an attorney to review the policy and provide an opinion letter.

Very truly yours,

Paul D. Friedman, M.A., Ph.D., J.D.

Products Liability Law

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Paul D. Friedman, M.A., Ph.D., J.D.


I have been a civil litigation attorney since 1989 and am Certified as a Trial Specialist by the National Board of Trial Advocacy. I am licensed to practice law in Arizona, Colorado (inactive) and the District of Columbia (inactive). I am also licensed with the District Court of Arizona, Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and the United States Supreme Court.

I can answer general questions regarding products liability and injury matters. I do not give legal advice over the internet and it is helpful if you list where you live such as the country and/or state.

For more information, you can view my website at WWW.EXPERTETHICS.COM


I have been a civil trial attorney since 1989 and I have a masters degree in bioethics and a doctorate of philosophy regarding comparative ethics.

State Bar of Arizona
State Bar of Colorado (inactive)
District of Columbia Bar (inactive)
Federal Bar
Licensed in Arizona District Court
Licensed in Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals
Licensed in the United States Supreme Court
American Bar Association
National Board of Trial Advocacy
American Association for Justice
Arizona Trial Lawyers Association
American Society for Bioethics and Humanities
Kennedy Institute of Ethics
National Association of Realtors

A list of my copyrighted publications and presentations is contained at WWW.EXPERTETHICS.COM

Bachelor of Arts 1985
Juris Doctorate 1989
Master of Arts in Bioethics 2004
Doctorate of Philosphy 2006

Awards and Honors
Phi Beta Kappa
Multiple Who's Who
Southwest Superlawyers
Top 100 Trial Lawyers
AZ Magazine Top Lawyers

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