Feature Short

Will HPDs Get You Sued? Sage Advice to Keep You Out of Hot Water

Experts say HPDs probably won’t add professional liability, but do you know the do’s and don’ts for avoiding a suit in the first place?

Once you know what’s in a product, you can’t pretend not to know. And a Health Product Declaration (HPD) not only tells you what’s in something but also leaves a paper trail to prove that you knew, or should have known.

Some groups have found that threatening and predict that HPDs will get manufacturers, architects, and even building owners into trouble. Imagine an occupant develops cancer and then finds that a product was selected for their home or office despite a carcinogen showing up on its HPD. They’ll sue everyone and anyone involved, we're warned, and health claims can reach into the millions. HPDs aren’t designed to guarantee a healthy building, but until these issues are tested in court, some people could wonder whether using them increases the risk of a lawsuit.

Published November 2, 2015