What to Do When Someone Threatens to Sue
Working in the food industry is as much about customer service as it is about making good food. Unfortunately, there are some occasions where customers will get upset and there is no immediate solution. If someone threatens to sue, you must contact your lawyer immediately, document everything, and conduct a weak-point analysis.
Contact Your Lawyer
The moment someone threatens a lawsuit, you need to stop all communication with them, unless otherwise instructed by your attorney present. Otherwise, what you say can be twisted and used against you in court. Many lawsuits can be settled quickly and quietly with the help of an attorney. Even if you believe the legal threat is meritless, it is best not to underestimate the potential severity of the situation. Protect yourself and your business by contacting your lawyer.
When a business or individual is being sued, they often go under review. Every aspect of your business will be examined, including official documents and communication between you and the suing party. Document everything pertaining to your business and conversations with the upset individual. You should also have a contract and documented proof of attempting to resolve the issue. This will help protect you in court from looking like an instigator. Making sure you have all your documents will prevent future legal accusations from being made against you.
Conduct Weak-Point Analysis
Most of the time when someone threatens to sue, they are personally feeling frustrated, angry, powerless, and possibly threatened. Whether or not you are found at fault, there was something with your business that triggered these feelings. Weaknesses in your business may contribute to the propensity for threats. Take threats as an opportunity to conduct a weak-point analysis within your business operations. Are there any areas that are lacking or could use improvement? How is your customer service? Do you have employees that are stirring up contention? Finding the weak points in your business operations and fixing them will help you avoid lawsuits later down the road.
As a small business, lawsuits can be intimidating and devastating for you. Minimize the impact lawsuits have by hiring a good attorney, documenting everything for legal proof, and conducting a weak-point analysis to improve business operations. These steps will help you navigate a tricky situation and keep your food truck in business.
For additional guidance on interacting with upset individuals, check out our article How to Deal with Unhappy Customers.