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Keep Tabs on Your Product Liability

By: Steve Buckley and Frank Monaco
Posted: November 9, 2009, from the November 2009 issue of GCI Magazine.

page 4 of 5

Make sure every container has the proper safeguards to prevent tampering.

Working With Partners

Brands that work with contract packagers and manufacturers should make sure their partners follow the same guidelines, and brands should be sure to retain at least 20 of their own batch samples. If you do not own the formula and have the product made for you by a manufacturer, ask them to provide you with a Certificate of Insurance for vendors/additional insured coverage.

How long should batch samples be retained? Generally, the longer the better. If possible, retained samples should be kept for at least as long as the longest state statute of limitation, which is six years (in Maine, Minnesota and North Dakota). Yet, for certain types of products, such as creams that break down within two to three years, those samples may have to be disposed of sooner because storage can become a problem.

Confidence in Your Product and Partners

Personal injury claims involving beauty products are infrequent, but when they do occur, they have the potential to result in significant settlements or awards. When a court is determining whether a product is defective, there are various factors that will be taken into account, including:

  • How and why the product has been marketed.
  • Packaging, including instructions or warnings about handling the product.
  • How the product is intended to be used.
  • The date when product was supplied.

By adhering to all packaging and labeling requirements and using batch coding, beauty brands can be confident they have greatly reduced their exposure to product liability claims.