Can someone sue a business owner if the owner gave an item free of charge?

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Can someone sue a business owner if the owner gave an item free of charge?

I am a manager of a resale shop which happens to be a charity for mentally

disabled persons. It is against the law to sell car seats. That being said, we give them rather than throwing them away. Could we be liable for the car seats we have given away, being that these people were given these cars seats amongst their own judgement?

Asked on March 16, 2016 under Business Law, Louisiana

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Yes, you could be sued if there was any reason to know or reasonably suspect that the car seat was defective (e.g. it has a crack which was visible, even if no one happened to notices it; it generally looks old or worn) and a child or other person is injured in or by the seat. People can be liable for giving away merchandise which they know or should know poses risks. There is a reason you can't sell car seats--used car seats can be dangerous. You are advised to not give them away, either: if a single child is badly injured by a seat you give away and you are sued, even if you win, you could spend signficant sums of money defending the suit...and if you lose, the judgment against you could be ruinous.


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