View Full Version : Protection

08-19-2004, 08:23 AM
How can one be assured there won't be legal attacks derrived from a costomer's neglegence? Let's just say that your friend or associate purchases a knife from you, he/she puts the knife on the coffee table, the neighborhood kids come in, one grabs the knife. The next day he/she is caught with it at school, or worse, uses it on someone. We all want to establish ourselves as the professionals we aspire to be, but we live in such a twisted world. What precautions can one take weather he be a beginner or a seasoned veteran? THANKS, WALKER

Mike Routen
08-19-2004, 01:12 PM

I'm interested in this topic as well. In today's lawsuit happy society and with a general lack of personal responsibility in the public, how are we supposed to shield ourselves from someone else's stupidity or someone looking for a free ride?

I suspect that creating a corporation of some kind, moving all of the knife-making related assets to the corp and then selling the knives under the corp name would be a first step. Keep in mind that I'm not a lawyer and I don't play one on Tv. :p However, my understanding is that the law sees the corp as it's own entity. They may be able to take the corp's assets, but wouldn't be able to touch yours. (I could be wrong on this, so please do your own research before acting on this statement!!!)

This is exactly what I'm considering. There is some financial and time overhead in making it all legal, but it could end up being a wise investment.

If anyone else has any thoughts, please share them!


- Mike Routen

08-19-2004, 08:20 PM
I also am very interested in this topic. Form what I understand a corp. would be a good way to go. However, for a lot of knifemakers this just isn't practical. I'm just a hobbiest who needs to sell a few knifes to keep costs down, its not something I really am looking to make a buisness out of. On the other hand, I don't want to lose everyhing I have because I didn't make it a buisness. More thoughts here would be much appreciated by a lot of people I think.

Nicholas W
08-20-2004, 04:09 AM
That must be an American thing. Where I live, the manufacturer of an item cannot be held responsible for the use of that item.

But if the law wranglers want to go back several steps, why not persecute the mining company which mined the ore for the steel in the blade? Or the company/companies which produced the materials used in the handle? It seems a bit silly, doesn't it?

08-24-2004, 10:48 AM
Insurance and incorporating are the best bets.

08-24-2004, 03:12 PM
Forming a corporation will not always help you. I dont know about other states but in SC judges can do what is called "Piercing the Corporate Shield" especially if the corporation has no assets. It happened to a friend of mine who was a housing contractor in the early 80's. They bought land with a clear title from the bank had everything surveyed and inspected and built some houses on it. After a few years their company went out of business. In 200 they were sued by the second owners of one of the houses they had built as a corporation. Make sure you look into things throughly and be sure you are protected.

08-24-2004, 05:09 PM
I dont think a corp. will help much..... My dads a lawyer and I recall one case he was working on was just such a case. It seems that if all of us are in a corp. and ONE of our knives is used.....stupidly, and someone sues, then we are all accountable. On the other hand, if we establish a Limited Liability thing, and someone sues, only the maker of that knife is in hot water, thus leaving us right where we were in the first place. Though lawyers are more apt to defend a corp. than an individual.

08-26-2004, 08:11 PM
What about a disclaimer statement which the purchacer must agree to sign at the final transaction exchange? Something like ; WALKER HANDMADE shall in no way be held responsible or liable for damage or injury resulting from the use or misuse of its products, etc.... I don't know if this is legal as a contract of sorts, but I've also seen ads in the classifieds by individuals stating 'I Johnny Doe will not be responsible for any debt or payments, exsisting or incurred by Bubba Wayne Doe. It seems silly when I see this but there must be a reason people do this. What do you think? Thanks, WALKER

08-26-2004, 08:49 PM
If your average Joe with no real assets then whats the point in someone going after you....what will they gain?

If you a multi billionaire and making knives as a hobby...then, you may have a problem.... !

I like the idea of some sort of disclaimer, maybe with the warranty...but dont know if its gives any real protection.

I display a sign on my table when at a knife show stating that all my knives are sharp and handle with care at their own risk..and if I ever hand a knife to someone I always tell them to be careful...'as its sharp'.

09-05-2004, 03:01 PM
Ever wonder where all those warning tags stuck on the side of a step ladder come from? How about the tags on a blow dryer that tells you not to use it in the bath? Or the ones on an iron that warns you not to iron your clothes while you're wearing them?

They're all the result of legal action taken against the manufacturer.