How can I avoid liability while selling an object to vehicle owners?

I am starting a business that will sell objects to vehicle owners that can hang
on the rear-view mirror. I understand that in the state of California and many
other states, that would be considered an obstruction of view and would be
illegal to have while driving. The intent is for people that have ‘Hot Rods’ to
use them at car shows only.

Thank you

Asked on March 23, 2017 under Business Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Because you are not the one hanging the object--hence, you are not the one causing the obstruction--you should not be liable for the obstruction: the act of another person who is not under your control (the driver) intervenes, and breaks the chain of causality, so that you are not at fault or resonsible for what occurs. That said, a disclaimer, indicating that the objects are intended for use for cars shows or display purposes only, and not while driving, is a good idea and will futher insulate you. Make sure the disclaimer is prominent, so that it is clear that the buyer/driver was aware of it.
Simlarly, a disclaimer about potential "scratching" hazards can help protect you from liability for that. Again, making it prominent is key.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.