My husband used his invention prototype in someone's residential pond for testing purposes and some fish died. Now the pond owner is wanting my husband to pay thousands of dollars for the fish that died. There was no business agreement or financial transaction ever between the two. Is my husband liable for the claimed loss?
More information would most likely be needed. However, if your husband was using the pond without permission, or the owner of the pond did not consent to the possibility that his fish may die, your husband may be liable.
Intellectual Property is not relevant. Is your husband liable for damage he caused without a prior agreement? Most likely. Retain counsel. He will probably need it.
As a generality, there is no liability for testing a prototype. However, the consequences of that test are another matter. Often, the person who performed the test is liable for damages. There are some exceptions.
Have you spoken to you insurance agent? Some policies may cover this sort of event. Find out if you have one of these policies.
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