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Important Steps to Take When
Your Business Is Being Sued

Engel Professional Association April 16, 2022

Owning and operating a business can bring many challenges, but probably the last thing you want to encounter is being served with notice of a lawsuit against you. Lawsuits can come from a variety of sources: customers, employees, contractors, and even business partners.

When faced with a lawsuit, there are many practical steps to take not only to defend yourself but also to prevent making matters worse. The first step, of course, is to find an attorney who is experienced in business disputes and lawsuits.

If you find yourself being sued in or around Minneapolis or St. Paul, Minnesota, including the nearby communities of Mankato, Maple Grove, St. Cloud, and Woodbury, contact Engel Professional Association. Our team will hear your story, investigate the situation, and craft a legal strategy going forward to achieve the best possible result.

Common Business Lawsuits

Breach of contract lawsuits are frequent. If you’ve signed a contract with a supplier and you fall behind in payments, you may well be sued. Likewise, if your business is contracted to supply products or services to another business and you’re late or fail to do so as agreed upon, you might be sued.

Another area falls under what’s called premises liability. Say a customer is shopping at your store and slips and falls because the floor is wet or a mat or carpet is loose or uneven. You could then be sued for any injury and related expenses.

Employees can also bring lawsuits over what they perceive to be discrimination or wrongful termination. If you have business partners, one might sue over how the business is being managed.

Another area is intellectual property rights. If you’re infringing on someone else’s trademark, patent, or copyright, you could be sued even if you don’t realize you are in violation.

What to Do if You’re Sued

When facing a lawsuit, the first step is to find experienced legal counsel. Search for an attorney knowledgeable in the type of lawsuit you’re up against. Do not attempt to contact the plaintiff to try to sort matters out. They can use what you say against you in court.

With the attorney you’ve hired, you need to review the lawsuit notice to make sure that it’s correctly done. If the suing party has your information incorrect, you can move to dismiss the action. If not, then you need to start preparing for a possible trial. You should also discuss with your attorney whether it’s better to employ an alternative dispute resolution (ADR) method such as mediation or arbitration.

Depending on the type of lawsuit facing you, your commercial liability or other business insurance may cover any potential liability. This certainly should be the case with slip-and-fall injuries. If your insurance does cover the issue confronting you, then file a claim as soon as possible.

In preparation for the upcoming battle, whether it’s through mediation or the court system, you will need to collect, organize, and preserve all documents and records related to the case. This includes electronic materials, emails, text messages, photos, videos, voice messages, and anything on social media.

Another important point is to avoid making the situation worse by speaking out against the plaintiff through social media, advertising, or other methods. What you write or say could come back to haunt you when matters are litigated, mediated, or arbitrated. Also, be honest with your attorney. Don’t try to cover anything up.

Overall, stay focused on running your business. Your attorney will advise and guide you on matters pertaining to the lawsuit, so respond promptly when your attorney needs answers or documentation.

Getting Experienced Legal Help

Engel Professional Association has more than two decades of experience in business law and stands ready to help you with any lawsuit you may be confronted with. We will come up with a comprehensive plan to present your side of the story and strive for the best possible resolution.

If you or your business has been served notice of a lawsuit in or around Minneapolis or St. Paul, contact Engel Professional Association immediately.