Utah Legislature Leaves Issue of Supplier Liability Unresolved

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A bill proposing to impose liability on U.S. distributors of goods manufactured in foreign countries has been sent for interim study by the Utah Legislature.

During the 2013 Utah Legislative Session, which concluded March 14, 2013, the Legislature considered HB161.  The bill was sponsored by Representative Mike McKell.  The original bill would have amended the Utah Product Liability Code, Utah Code 78B-6-708, to state: “For products, other than pharmaceuticals, that are manufactured outside of the United States, the first entity that sells or distributes the product within the United States is subject to the same liability as the product’s original manufacturer.”  The bill faced strong opposition and did not make it out of committee.  However, the Master Study Resolution (HJR20) now lists the bill as an a issue for interim study.  Accordingly, the issue is far from resolved.