We give gifts with the best intentions, but what if that gift you gave your nephew or your boss ended up causing an injury? Could you find yourself at the center of a lawsuit if your holiday gift leads to hospital bills? We discuss gift giving and product liability in today’s blog.
Gift Giving And Product Liability
A number of common gifts that are given during the holiday season result in trips to the emergency room every year. Bicycles, trampolines and hoverboards are just a few of the gifts that come to mind, but if you end up giving one of these gifts to a loved one and they end up injured, can they turn around and sue you? After all, if not for your decision to give them that present, they likely never would have been injured in the first place.
Fortunately, you likely will not find yourself on the other end of a lawsuit if you give a present that ends up resulting in someone else’s injury. A child falling off a skateboard or taking a tumble off a trampoline is not your fault, even if you gave them the gift. These types of injuries happen daily, and there would not be an opportunity for compensation.
Now, let’s say that the injury occurred as a result of a manufacturing defect. Let’s say you made it a “December to Remember” and bought your mother a car, but she was injured in a crash as a result of a faulty brake system. If there is a manufacturing defect with the product that you were unaware of, your loved one would be able to go after the company for compensation. No matter the product, if it turns out that it was defective, and this defect contributed to your injuries, you can take the manufacturer to court. You can learn more about product liability lawsuits on this page.
Finally, we do want to touch on one example where you could be held liable for a person’s injuries. If you knew that a product was defective at the time that you gifted it to someone, and you did not inform them of the defect, there is a possibility that you could be liable in the event of an injury. For example, let’s say you got a new bike and are gifting your old bike to your nephew, but you forgot that the brakes were bad and never got it fixed before passing it down. If your nephew goes to take it for a spin and crashes because of the bad brakes, you could be held responsible for not making someone aware of a known defect.
We understand that this is a very niche example, but if you know that there is an issue with a gift that you are giving, and you do not inform the individual of that issue, you may be held liable in the event of injury. We can’t say we’ve come across many instances like the one described above, but just know that you are not always free from liability for a gift you give. However, if you don’t know of a defect and an injury occurs, it’s unlikely a lawsuit against you would have any merit.
So go ahead and give those exciting gifts this year without fear of being sued! Just make sure to include a gift receipt in the event that the parents or the gift receiver decide your gift is a little too dangerous at the moment. And if you are injured as a result of a defective product this holiday season, be sure to reach out to Dean and the team at Margolis Law Firm for legal assistance! Give us a call today at (952) 230-2700.