Products Liability Reform/Innocent Seller: S.B. 184 (2011).


Known as the Alabama Small Business Protection Act, S.B. 184

Known as the Alabama Small Business Protection Act, S.B. 184 adds protection for Alabama’s retailers against product liabilty suits.  The suits are aimed at the manufacturers, but often the trial lawyers sue Alabama retailers, wholesalers and distributors as defendants even though they did not participate in the manufacturing or design of the product.  This is done in some instances solely to allow the plaintiff to file suit in counties favorable to plaintiffs and keep an out-of-state manufacturer in an Alabama state court and out of federal court.  If, on the other hand, the suit is brought against a retailer or distributor because the manufacturer is unknown and the retailer or distributor is needed in order to provide discovery concerning the manufacturer’s identity, the bill provides a mechanism to accomplish this in a reasonable manner so that the suit can then proceed against the appropriate manufacturer.

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