The National Lumber and Building Material Dealers Association (NLBMDA) issued a statement today reiterating its "full support" for the Innocent Sellers Fairness Act (ISFA). That legislation is intended to protect dealers from product liability lawsuits in cases where the dealers merely sold the product and didn't make or alter the goods.
"The bill was reintroduced in March in the House of Representatives and remains a top priority for NLBMDA," said the association regarding H.R. 1199.
"Frivolous legal actions brought against lumber dealers cost time and money that could be better spent on their businesses," said NLBMDA Chairman JD Saunders, vice president at Economy Lumber in Campbell, Calif., said in the association's statement. "Dealers should not have to choose between fighting a frivolous lawsuit or accepting a settlement agreement to make it go away; the Innocent Sellers Fairness Act helps address this problem."
NLBMDA reaffirmed its stand two days after ProSales editor-in-chief Craig Webb wrote an editorial criticizing ISFA. Webb argued that the notion of being an "innocent seller" runs contrary to the reputation dealers have built with their customers for being product experts.
That opinion drew several critical comments from readers who stressed the troubles that dealers face from frivolous lawsuits. Webb's editorial "utterly misses the reality of what is happening," one wrote.