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A paint product quality dispute case was accused of trap litigation

a paint product quality dispute case was accused of trap litigation

February 21, 2006

February 20, 2006, Hebei Xianghe yimeilijia Furniture Co., Ltd. (hereinafter referred to as Yimei company) sued Li Jiwen, Guangdong Foshan Shunde Changshi Chemical Co., Ltd. (hereinafter referred to as Changshi company) The appeal case of product quality compensation dispute of Shunde Huamei Chemical Co., Ltd. (hereinafter referred to as Huamei Company) was heard in Langfang intermediate court, Hebei Province. This case has aroused widespread concern in the industry and society because it involves whether paint yellowing is a product defect and was denounced as a "trap lawsuit" by two foreign companies

In May, 2004, Changshi company received the notice of response from Xianghe County Court and learned that Yimei company of the county had taken the company to court for product quality disputes

in the indictment, Yimei company said that it had purchased the "Huamei" brand polyurethane paint with a value of 500000 yuan from Li Jiwen, a Beijing dealer, for furniture production since May 2002. Due to the unqualified paint quality, the furniture produced began to turn yellow, resulting in the return and unsalable of the products. The court is required to order the above two defendants to compensate the company for the direct loss of 1128732 yuan and the indirect loss of 300000 yuan in the market. Later, the court added Huamei Company as the defendant

in response to the "huge losses" claimed by Yimei company, Changshi company pointed out that the annual industrial and commercial audit reports of Yimei company from 2001 to 2003 showed that its annual output value was about 1.1 million yuan, and there had never been any unsalable, return or even loss caused by product quality problems. Changshi company also found that Yimei company had sued an enterprise in Dongyang, Zhejiang Province for the same reason as early as 2002, and obtained compensation of more than 600000 yuan. What's more surprising is that Yimei company said that after using "Huamei" paint for more than a month, the furniture began to turn yellow, but the company never reported and negotiated with the manufacturer, but directly claimed through the court after "continuing to use" for more than a year, which obviously does not conform to common sense. These circumstances made Changshi company and Huamei Company doubt the authenticity of the facts stated in the indictment

the agent of Changshi company said that yellowing is a normal performance of coatings, and polyamide paint itself has yellowing performance. This phenomenon is neither unqualified quality nor product defect. This situation is also explained in China's public publications such as "coating and material formula design and preparation process with strong scientific and technological strength", "practical coating manual". Because of this, the company has never promised that its products will not turn yellow or white

on November 29, 2005, the Xianghe County Court made a first instance judgment, and ordered Changshi company and Huamei Company to compensate Yimei company 740506 yuan for violating Article 44 of the product quality law of the people's Republic of China

"the structure introduction of different carbon materials in Table 1 is obviously a trap lawsuit, which was fabricated by Yimei company in order to achieve the purpose of claim!" Caichangqin, the legal representative of Changshi company, expressed great indignation and concern about the verdict. He told that the loss of the case, in addition to his own losses, will also cause chain effects, because according to the court's judgment, furniture manufacturers and units and individuals using furniture can be compensated for the "yellowing" performance of polyurethane paint on furniture according to the plan of 50million tons/year oil refining, 3million tons/year ethylene and 1million tons/year lubricating oil

Changshi company also believes that the factual basis for the compensation of more than 740000 yuan is not consistent with the facts, because Yimei company has no evidence to prove that the company lost more than 740000 yuan. First, from the industrial and commercial annual inspection report of Yimei company from 2002 to 2003, it can be seen that Yimei company has not caused any return or unsalable losses due to the yellowing of products. Second, Yimei company has no evidence to prove that the furniture that the company requested the court to evaluate is the furniture that has been returned and unsalable because of the yellowing caused by the use of the paint of Changshi company. Third, the appraisal report says that the present value of this batch of furniture is more than 740000 yuan, and the value of this batch of furniture is still there. How can the court determine that Yimei company lost more than 740000 yuan

with regard to the application of the law in this case, the relevant legal person believes that Article 46 of the product quality law of the people's Republic of China stipulates that the product "defect", that is, "the Defect referred to in this Law refers to the unreasonable danger of the product endangering the safety of human life and other people's property, and the product with the national standard and industrial standard to ensure the safety of human health and personal property refers to the non-compliance with the standard". Therefore, the definition of "defect" in the product quality law clearly points out the standard of "safety", requiring that products cannot have unreasonable risks that endanger the safety of people and other people's property, and the court cannot expand the scope of "defect" at will. According to the performance characteristics of polyurethane paint itself and the industry standards on safety indicators in the paint industry, the products of Changshi company and Huamei Company do not have defects, but the Xianghe County Court identified the so-called "yellowing" as the quality defects of the products, and then deduced that the defects are of course "defects", which is obviously wrong

China paint will continue to pay attention to the results of the second instance of the case

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