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Defective Products From Overseas: Can You Sue A Foreign Manufacturer In The U.S.?

On Behalf of | Aug 4, 2018 | Product Liability

As an increasing number of foreign manufacturers begin importing their products into the U.S. to expand their consumer reach, American consumers are concerned about not being able to hold foreign manufacturers liable for defective products.

A Jan. 2018 article by Forbes stated that foreign manufacturers were now making more cars in the U.S. than U.S. companies. Foreign companies are competing against U.S. manufacturers not only in the automobile industry but also across many other industries. Foreign manufacturers have become an integral part of the U.S. marketplace, selling millions of goods across industries every single day.

But not all of these products are safe for use and properly manufactured. Unfortunately, there is a huge number of defective, faulty, and otherwise dangerous products manufactured by foreign companies. But is there any legal recourse against foreign manufacturers or distributors of defective products that cause injuries, illness, and even deaths in the U.S.?

This is the question we asked our California product liability attorney at Licata & Yeremenko, A Professional Law Corporation.

Suing A Foreign Company For A Defective Product Is ‘Problematic’

Do American consumers who have been injured by defective products made and distributed by foreign companies have to pay for their medical bills and other damages from their own pocket? Or is there actually a way to hold foreign manufacturers liable for your injuries and damages?

Our experienced product liability lawyer in California explains that while tracking down foreign companies, let alone suing them for defective products, can be rather problematic, foreign manufacturers can actually be held accountable under U.S. law. That is because when a foreign company intends to sell its products in the U.S., it must consent to the jurisdiction of United States courts.

However, it is not that simple. When an injured American begins trying to contact a foreign company that manufactured the product that caused his/her injuries (by phone or email), he/she might realize that this company does not even exist or it is impossible to track down.

Other Potential Defendants Who Can Be Held Liable

In this case, it is important to look for other potential defendants in your product liability case. Here’s the thing: a manufacturer of the defective product is not the only party that can be held liable for your damages. In reality, there is usually a domestic distributor or another party who is responsible for importing and distributing goods that come from foreign manufacturers.

For example, let’s say that there is a California-based company that is responsible for importing products from a foreign company to distribute and sell it to U.S. consumers. If the California-based company knew or should have known that these products were defective, but chose to distribute and sell them anyway, that company may be held liable.

How To File A Lawsuit Against A Foreign Company?

But in no way does it mean that the foreign manufacturer of the defective product will get away with it. Typically, if you are represented by a California product liability attorney, suing an overseas company will not be a problem.

If your lawyer knows what he/she is doing, he or she will be able to seek compensation on your behalf, because every skilled lawyer knows this: before getting a license that allows importing its products into the U.S., a foreign company must consent to the jurisdiction of U.S. courts, both federal and state courts.

As you can see, it is actually possible to sue a foreign manufacturer and recover compensation for the injuries caused by that manufacturer’s defective product. Contact Licata & Yeremenko, A Professional Law Corporation to launch an investigation into your particular case, establish potential defendants in your case, track down the foreign company, and recover damages. Call our offices at 818-783-5757 or fill out this contact form to get a free consultation.