Extending Product Liability Protection To Iowa Retailers

Des Moines, Iowa — A bill to provide new product liability protection to Iowa retailers AND manufacturers has cleared its first hurdle in the House, but Republican lawmakers say it will only apply to retailers if it’s brought up for a vote in a House committee.

The bill in its original form bars most lawsuits over faulty products if the product or its components cleared government safety reviews. Brad Hartkopt is a lobbyist for the Iowa Association of Business and Industry, which represents 15 hundred companies in the state.

Doug Struyk, a lobbyist for the Iowa Bar Association, says there are all sorts of products that were deemed safe by federal agencies, only to later be declared dangerous or defective.

Lisa Davis-Cook is a lobbyist for the Iowa Association for Justice that represents trial lawyers. She was 11 years old, attending a 4-H meeting in Clinton County, when the home’s furnace exploded and she suffered burns over 25 percent of her body.

One of the Republicans working on the bill says he has no desire to grant immunity to manufacturers, but is interested in some liability protection for Iowa retailers — as long as they don’t do anything negligent.  


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