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At least half the states have considered or enacted legislation attempting to protect so-called innocent sellers — defendants to a product liability claim other than the manufacturer of a product. Product liability law generally does not require privity between the plaintiff and the manufacturer, and consequently anyone in the chain of distribution may become a defendant. Nonmanufacturing sellers often decry the fact that plaintiffs add them to product liability lawsuits, arguing that defending such claims raises the costs of doing business, increases the premiums charged by insurance companies and makes it more difficult to compete internationally.

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