En Español

Holding Foreign Manufacturers Accountable for Defective Products Sold in the United States

Earlier this week, The U.S. House Energy and Commerce's Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade, and Consumer Protection held a hearing to discuss The Foreign Manufacturers Legal Accountability Act. If passed, this Act will require all foreign manufacturers who do business in the U.S. to have a local agent that can accept service of process for any legal claims being filed against the company.

Up until now, if you suffered injuries or losses from a foreign manufacturer with no U.S. offices, you would have to spend thousands of dollars having claims translated into a foreign language and then tracking down an overseas office where the service of process for claims could be served. This lengthy, expensive, and difficult process has led to many American citizens failing to get justice from overseas manufacturers who have sold defective products to U.S. consumers.

One witness who testified before the Committee is retired police officer William Morgan. Mr. Morgan lives in Williamsburg, Virginia and owns a house that is worthless because a Chinese manufacturer sold him defective drywall. Mr. Morgan's home was foreclosed upon after he and his family were forced to relocate. The drywall in his home is moldy and has made the home unsafe to live in and essentially worthless. The Chinese company who makes the drywall knows it is defective, but it is extremely difficult to hold them accountable under the current laws.

The American Association for Justice (AAJ) supports the new bill and states "foreign corporations should not be able to profit by selling their products in our country if they do not intend to follow our safety standards…both American businesses and consumers suffer when a foreign manufacturer cannot be held accountable in our legal system."

What the Foreign Manufacturers Legal Accountability Act (S. 1601/ H.R. 4678) does if passed:

  • Manufacturers are required to have an "agent" located in at least one state where the company does business that would accept service of process for civil and regulatory claims.
  • By registering an agent, companies would consent to U.S. jurisdiction in disputes involving U.S. consumers.
  • The legislation covers products regulated by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), such as children's toys; the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), including prescription drugs and medical devices; and the Environmental Protections Agency (EPA), like pesticides.

There are some agencies that are against the new bill, however. The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) is speaking out against the new Bill. They are against the bill because it can affect smaller businesses who currently deal with foreign manufacturers for their supplies. Because of the expense involved with maintaining an agent in the U.S., smaller foreign manufacturers could be frozen out of American trade. Companies who currently use smaller foreign manufacturers will have to search for new suppliers who are financially stable and large enough to shoulder the burden of these additional costs. Searching for suppliers of specific goods and developing qualified lists of manufacturing prospects may not be a simple task.

If you are a consumer who has been affected by a foreign company's defective products, you may need an experienced attorney to help you with your claim. Translation services, court filing, and legal jurisdictional issues are not easy to do on your own and an attorney like those at Bisnar | Chase Personal Injury Attorneys, LLP can help you with this process. Contact an attorney right away to discuss your rights under the current laws.


Share this:

See All Ratings And Awards

The BISNAR | CHASE Difference

  • “I was in a serious auto accident when I was in law school. I had to hire a personal injury attorney and had a really bad experience.”

    John Bisnar

    on what made him want to become a personal injury attorney

  • “I went to law school knowing I wanted to be a personal injury attorney. I wanted my life’s work to have a positive impact on other people’s lives.”

    Brian Chase

    on what made him want to become a personal injury attorney

  • “Whatever the philosphy of the management is, is going to be carried through by the employees and it’s going to reflect on the experience the clients have.”

    John Bisnar

    on his philosophy on running a law firm

  • “Everybody either drives in a car or rides in a car, so when I do the auto defect cases I really feel like I’m making the world safer by making vehicles safer.”

    Brian Chase

    on why he focuses on auto defect cases

  • “The first thing we want to do with our clients is to relieve the stress. Make them feel comfortable. Treat them as an honored guest.”

    John Bisnar

    on how he would define superior client representation

  • “Corporate greed is a reality in our world and I see it time and time again. Especially, with the auto defect cases we focus on.”

    Brian Chase

    on corporate greed and how it affects the consumer

  • “You are dealing with people who are seriously injured or have lost a family member...Compassion is understanding someone else’s situation.”

    John Bisnar

    on the role compassion plays in his profession

  • “There are many, many defects in vehicles that can lead to life or death that could be fixed with a mere $40-$50 [on the assembly line].”

    Brian Chase

    on the shocking facts about the vehicles we drive

  • “...if [manufacturers] build a dangerous product and someone is seriously injured from that, some personal inury lawyer is going to call them on the carpet about it.”

    John Bisnar

    on how Bisnar | Chase has helped make the world a better place

  • “I’m convinced, because of all the lawsuits...the auto industry finally found out it was cheaper to fix the problem than to keep paying in the litigation.”

    Brian Chase

    on making the world a safer place

  • “I bring in the best employees that I can and I want them to have a workplace that is condusive to them doing their best work.”

    John Bisnar

    on the work environment created at Bisnar | Chase

  • “When you have a client come in that’s in a wheelchair...or you meet a wife who has lost their husband or they’ve lost their child, it’s diffucult not to get emotionally involved.”

    Brian Chase

    on the biggest challenges he faces as a personal injury lawyer

  • “...it is part of our civic responsibility and it is our great fortune to be in a position to be able to help support our community...”

    John Bisnar

    on the importance of giving back to the community

  • “My motivation of going to law school to have my life’s work help other people...when I see that come to fruition, I’m very pleased and very happy with that.”

    Brian Chase

    on the accomplishments he is most proud of

  • “Seeing the growth of my employees, seeing them mature professionally, personally, and grow into the great professionals they have become is tremendous.”

    John Bisnar

    on the greatest satisfaction derived from his work

  • “I was always jealous of doctors. They get to save lives and they get to heal. I don’t get to do that but I get to have a very big impact on another person’s life...”

    Brian Chase

    on the greatest satisfaction derived from his work

  • “There’s going to people that you meet, that you can mentor...You can make a difference in their lives, you can make a difference in their client’s lives.”

    John Bisnar

    on mentoring young attorneys

  • “I’m the president-elect this year and I’ll be the president next year of the Consumer Advocate Attorneys of California and I find that to be a rewarding thing...”

    Brian Chase

    on being an advocate for the people of California

  • “The Lakers have always been a winning organization, a class organization. I’ve used the Lakers as kind of a model for how to run my practice as well.”

    John Bisnar

    on his passions in life

  • “We try to figure out how we can help [our clients] get through what they’re going through emotionally. Because just getting them compensated is only part of the job.”

    Brian Chase

    on the role compassion plays in his profession

Bisnar | Chase • 1301 Dove St #120
Newport Beach, CA 92660
local: (949) 203-3814
Get Directions

California Personal Injury Blog

Have a Happy – Not Scary – Halloween!

Halloween is a happy time for little ghouls, witches and goblins. But, it can also be a scary time when it comes to safety!

read article

California Controller Cracks Down On Wage Theft By Employers

California Controller John Chiang is cracking down on wage theft by invoking the state's Unclaimed Property Law and holding employers accountable that have been manipulating the system.

read article

Evenflo Agrees To Recall Defective Infant Car Seats

Child car seat manufacturer Evenflo agreed to issue a defective product recall for 202,000 rear-facing infant car seats over concern of a faulty buckle.

read article

Connect

Copyright & Disclaimer

Disclaimer: The legal information presented at this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice, nor the formation of an attorney-client relationship. Any results set forth here were dependent on the facts of that case and the results will differ from case to case.

Bisnar | Chase serves all of California. In addition, we represent clients in other states through our associations with local law firms. Through the local firm, we will be admitted to practice law in their state, pro hac vice, meaning "for this particular occasion." When in our client's interest, we employ the local law firm (at no additional cost to our client) to assist us with routine court appearances and discovery proceedings to more efficiently pursue our client's cause.

Copyright © 1999- Bisnar | Chase Personal Injury Attorneys, LLP - All rights reserved. Location: 1301 Dove St. #120, Newport Beach, CA 92660 Tel: 949-203-3814

SLS Consulting