Expert: Liability Lawsuits Next Challenge for Edibles Companies

A Seattle attorney warned hundreds of industry insiders at a business conference on Tuesday that liability lawsuits are a real danger, especially when it comes to edibles.

“Product liability is the anti-Christ,” Hilary Bricken, a lawyer with the Canna Law Group, said during a panel discussion at an edibles symposium in Denver hosted by the National Cannabis Industry Association.

Bricken singled out several lawsuits in which consumers sued and won multi-million dollar decisions over major corporations, even though the companies adhered to strict policies to avoid suits over product liability. In one famous case Bricken mentioned, a woman was burned by hot coffee from McDonald’s, sued, and was awarded $3 million by a jury.

The same thing could happen to an edibles company, Bricken warned, if a consumer over-indulges and someone gets hurt. She said it’s more than likely that such lawsuits will arise in the future for marijuana companies as edibles become a more integral part of the growing cannabis industry.

“This is not a conspiracy. Any business in this nation has had to deal with these issues,” Bricken said. “To avoid a lawsuit… I highly recommend exploring products liability.”

Factors that can lead to lawsuits include shoddy manufacturing practices, design defects and faulty labeling, Bricken said.

3 comments on “Expert: Liability Lawsuits Next Challenge for Edibles Companies
  1. Karl B Hensel on

    Abdurd. There is no means in which to fully protect ones self from frivolous lawsuits and outrageous award amounts. The fact that these words are being uttered out of the mouth of a member of the same profession that creates these situations is laughable.

    Reply
  2. Michele Brooke, Esq. on

    Actually, Ms. Bricken is correct. Personal injury and product liability lawsuits are things I as a lawyer, am very concerned about for my infused product clients. However,though it may be impossible to avoid all lawsuits, damages may be lessened or avoided if an infused products manufacturer obtains good legal advice on ways to avoid or lessen liability.

    Reply
  3. Doug Banfelder on

    Concur w/ Ms. Brooke. Product Liability policies place upon the insurer a “duty to defend”, so if sued, the policyholder is due a vigorous legal defense. Products policies are an I-502 requirement, one of the several ways the LCB sought to protect the public purse.

    Reply

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