Could somebody sue me for selling them weight loss treatments if they didn’t work out?

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Could somebody sue me for selling them weight loss treatments if they didn’t work out?

I would like to become a distributor for a company that sells weight loss treatments based on natural ingredients. I would like to know if a client could sue me in case he/she got side effects or the treatment did not work for them?

Asked on May 12, 2011 under Business Law, Arizona

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You could be sued if the product is defective.  This area of law is called products liability.  The injured party could sue the manufacturer, seller/distributor of the product.  You could be liable as a seller/distributor for a defective product even if you could not have determined that the product was defective. 

The injured party could sue for negligence and strict liability.  Negligence is based on the failure to exercise due care (that degree of care that a reasonable person/manufacturer/seller/distributor would have exercised under the same or similar circumstances) to prevent foreseeable harm.  Strict liability imposes liability whether or not there was due care.

If there are prominent warnings of side effects or other inherent dangers on the bottle, you could assert the defense of assumption of the risk if you are sued by the injured party.  Assumption of the risk means the injured party recognized and understood the danger and voluntarily chose to encounter it.

If you are found liable in a lawsuit as a distributor of the product, you could seek indemnification (recovery of your monetary loss) from the manufacturer or seller of the product. 


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