Product Liability Claims Against Overseas Manufacturers and Suppliers Lacking Presence or Assets in the U.S.

How Businesses Outsourcing Production Protect Themselves and What Injured Plaintiffs Can Do To Recover

Recording of a 90-minute CLE webinar with Q&A

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Conducted on Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Recorded event now available

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Course Materials

This CLE course will discuss what U.S. businesses that manufacture overseas must do from the beginning to ensure that their contracts with overseas manufacturers are enforceable, that the overseas manufacturer complies with negotiated terms, and that U.S. companies are indemnified for injuries incurred by the product’s end users. The program will then discuss how plaintiffs that wish to recover from non-domestic defendants for products liability or other personal injuries can best position themselves for successful recovery when the defendant has no assets or presence in the U.S.


Many products sold by U.S. businesses are made thousands of miles away by a firm that has no presence or assets within the United States. If that finished product or a component in that product causes personal injury or property damage due to a defect or failure to warn, both the injured party and the U.S. seller may wish to recover damages from the overseas producer either directly or by way of indemnification.

Before contracting with overseas producers, and in particular those in China, businesses must carefully negotiate and meticulously document their arrangements.

U.S. plaintiffs—whether businesses or individuals--seeking redress from manufacturing defendants that have no, or intentionally superficial, presence within the United States must first identify recoverable assets whether they attempt to file suit in the U.S. or another jurisdiction.

Listen as this experienced panel first guides counsel through the negotiating, due diligence, and contracting process and then discusses best practices for recovering compensation from overseas manufacturers for damages caused by defective products or components.



  1. Protections for business outsourcing production
    1. Structural protection
    2. Due diligence
    3. Contract
  2. Identifying and recovering assets in non-U.S. jurisdictions
    1. Procedural and jurisdictional hurdles
    2. Importance of local contacts


The panel will review these and other relevant matters:

  • How does a business manufacturing overseas protect itself on the front end?
  • Can injured plaintiffs leverage the agreements between the U.S. company and its non-U.S. manufacturer to obtain recovery?
  • What should be considered before filing suit in the U.S. against a non-U.S. company?
  • Will a U.S. judgement be enforceable outside the U.S.?
  • What are the key issues with products made key places like Mexico or China?
  • Are the issues different with Canadian companies?


Bernstein, Bruce
Bruce D. Bernstein

DiCello Levitt Gutzler

Mr. Bernstein has successfully handled a wide range of commercial litigation including suits against large banks,...  |  Read More

Harris, Dan
Dan Harris

Harris Bricken

Mr. Harris is internationally regarded as a leading authority on legal matters related to doing business in China and...  |  Read More

Krys, Kenneth
Kenneth M. Krys

Executive Chairman & Founder
KRyS Global

Mr. Krys' diverse experience, including a stint as the head of enforcement for the local financial services...  |  Read More

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