I would like to sell items online, and came across this story about a person who sold a $40 printer and ended up (so far) paying over $12,000 in legal fees.

What could I do to prevent this situation on a site like Craigslist?

  • 1
    Just some corrections, if you really want to base your question on an example. The legal fees have been reported to be "at least $12,000", not "over $30,000". The trial court's judgement in favour of the plaintiff was reversed and remanded. The trial court has been instructed to consider dismissing the case under Trial Rule 41(E), which allows for "an order of dismissal at plaintiff’s costs".
    – user3851
    Jun 6, 2016 at 17:46
  • Related: Can someone more wealthy than me bury me in legal fees?
    – feetwet
    Jun 6, 2016 at 18:11

3 Answers 3



Professional indemnity indemnifies you against negligent advice, public & product liability against what it says, motor vehicle ... And so on. A good insurance broker will tell you what you need for your business.

When a claim is made against you, you make a claim on your insurer and, with your input, they decide to fight or settle.


I am not a lawyer.

As part of the sale, require a signed contract that says all the things you want to say to protect yourself. Get a lawyer to write you one or look for examples. I won't actually write an example contract because that might look too much like unlicensed practice of law; however, you might look into the following kinds of clauses and use them (and/or others) when drafting your own:

  • disclaimer of warranties of merchantability and fitness for purpose
  • agreement not to hold you liable for damages resulting from defects
  • limitation of liability, for instance to a token amount ($1.00) or the purchase price
  • reformation and severability clauses to make sure the agreement is enforced to the maximum extent possible in any jurisdiction

Before to sell I would have couple witnesses that the product that I am selling in a good and working condition

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