Product Liability: “Duty to Warn”

I had an interesting meeting with our Insurance Company this week regarding product liability.  They were very pleased with our record (we’ve never had a loss from a claim in my 34 years with the company).  But, they still worry.  They know what our products are used for – to convey a lot of different kinds of media, some potentially volatile, some under pressure and sometimes very hot

My broker asked me (almost under his breath): “How have you been able to sell millions and millions of fittings all over the world without ever getting dragged into court for some reason?”

My answer was simple.  “It’s because of our focus on safety, attention to detail, innovative hose attachment designs and lots of testing.”  I continued to say that all of us at Campbell are passionate about safety, passionate about our Crimpnology™ hose attachment system and passionate about the training that goes with it.

They followed up by asking: “Are your customers as passionate about safety as you are?”  “Are they always following your procedures?”  “Do they ask for training when they need it?”

Why am I telling you this?

While our insurance company is pleased with our record, they never stop worrying.  And with regard to Crimpnology™, they informed us of our “duty to warn”. 

Warning:

Crimpnology™ is designed as an integrated system of Campbell components providing consistent and proven hose assembly performance and safety.  Always follow published procedures.  Crimping Campbell sleeves or ferrules onto non-Campbell fittings (or the other way around) DOES NOT provide a system, has not been tested by Campbell and will not protect you from the costs of liability claims and litigation.

Unfortunately, for the few customers who did not use the Crimpnology™ system or did not follow our procedures, there have been accidents  – even where post-assembly proof tests have been performed.  Those cases have resulted in financial damages for the distributor (not to mention potential damage to reputation and loss of business).

Our record proves we are on the right track.  And, by far, most of our customers are on the right track too.  This is just a gentle reminder of how important it is to stay the course and use Crimpnology™ to your advantage.

-Tom Paff, President