Did you know there is Supplier Liability in the state of Ohio on product defect claims? With so many products being manufactured overseas by companies that do not have a presence in the USA or Ohio, it is important to know under what circumstances a supplier can be held liable in Ohio. Below, is the statutory rule regarding “Liability of Supplier.” My experience is subsection (A) does not occur that often but you need only prove one of the eight parts of subsection (B) in order to pursue the Supplier. In addition, there may be more than one supplier in the chain.

It is important to know under what circumstances a supplier can be held liable in Ohio. O.R.C. 2307.78 establishes the liability of a Supplier in product liability claims.

Ohio Revised Code 2307.78 Liability of supplier

(A) Subject to division (B) of this section, a supplier is subject to liability for compensatory damages based on a product liability claim only if the claimant establishes, by a preponderance of the evidence, that either of the following applies:

(1) The supplier in question was negligent and that, negligence was a proximate cause of harm for which the claimant seeks to recover compensatory damages;

(2) The product in question did not conform, when it left the control of the supplier in question, to a representation made by that supplier, and that representation and the failure to conform to it were a proximate cause of harm for which the claimant seeks to recover compensatory damages. A supplier is subject to liability for such a representation and the failure to conform to it even though the supplier did not act fraudulently, recklessly, or negligently in making the representation.

(B) A supplier of a product is subject to liability for compensatory damages based on a product liability claim under sections 2307.71 to 2307.77 of the Revised Code, as if it were the manufacturer of that product, if the manufacturer of that product is or would be subject to liability for compensatory damages based on a product liability claim under sections 2307.71 to 2307.77 of the Revised Code and any of the following applies:

(1) The manufacturer of that product is not subject to judicial process in this state;

(2) The claimant will be unable to enforce a judgment against the manufacturer of that product due to actual or asserted insolvency of the manufacturer;

(3) The supplier in question owns or, when it supplied that product, owned, in whole or in part, the manufacturer of that product;

(4) The supplier in question is owned or, when it supplied that product, was owned, in whole or in part, by the manufacturer of that product;

(5) The supplier in question created or furnished a manufacturer with the design or formulation that was used to produce, create, make, construct, assemble, or rebuild that product or a component of that product;

(6) The supplier in question altered, modified, or failed to maintain that product after it came into the possession of, and before it left the possession of, the supplier in question, and the alteration, modification, or failure to maintain that product rendered it defective;

(7) The supplier in question marketed that product under its own label or trade name;

(8) The supplier in question failed to respond timely and reasonably to a written request by or on behalf of the claimant to disclose to the claimant the name and address of the manufacturer of that product.

But who is the supplier? Read here.

Remember, it is important to know this code because O.R.C. 2307.78 establishes the liability of a Supplier in product liability claims. Therefore, even though a manufacturer is out of business or you didn’t find a contact for the manufacturer in the USA, look to the Supplier to be responsible for the damages the product caused and get your company paid.