How do translation companies/agencies handle the issue of liability for errors/omissions?
Thread poster: crista_b

crista_b
United States
Local time: 10:49
French to English
+ ...
Jul 28, 2011

I was wondering how some other translation companies/agencies handle the issue of liability for errors/omissions on the client end? Do you have a liability agreement for each client? Is your agreement posted on your website, included in the quote, or does it have to be signed for each client?

There are many posts in the forum about a liability agreement signed by translators accepting liability for errors, but I'm wondering how agencies let clients know how much liability they accept. If the client pays an agency $30 to have a label translated, then it isn't right for them to come back saying they noticed an error 6 months later right after printing and requesting the agency to pay $100,000. How do you handle having clients agree to a liability statement to prevent something like this?

[Edited at 2011-07-28 19:14 GMT]


 

Stefano Nicola D'Amato (X)  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:49
Spanish to English
+ ...
Add a clause in your Translation Agreement Jul 30, 2011

Hi Crista,

The ATA has a model for translation agreements.
That's what I use. I think what you are referring to is in paragraph 6.

Here's the link to the agreement.

http://www.atanet.org/careers/model_contract.php

If you want to see how I did it on my website (I just set it up this week so it's all still fresh in my head), here is the link:

http://home.comcast.net/~stefanond/eng/Conditions_&_Payment.html
Hope that helps!


 

Phil Hand  Identity Verified
China
Local time: 23:49
Chinese to English
Very useful link, thank you! Jul 30, 2011

I've just been offered a contract under which I'd be liable for consequential losses (with no limit on the liability!). It's good to have an authoritative model to show the client which explicitly discounts that possibility.
I'd be willing to accept some liability under exceptional circumstances, but where the client has the capacity to review I can't see any need for it.


 

crista_b
United States
Local time: 10:49
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Helpful Jul 31, 2011

Thanks for the link. I've actually looked at that because we don't actually sign anything between our clients so the thought was to put some sort of disclaimer on the quotations saying that by accepting this quotation, the client agrees to the terms and conditions. The terms and conditions would then include something like paragraph 6 and saying that this agency will cover liability up to 10x the job cost or something like that.

Thanks!


 

Katalin Horváth McClure  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 11:49
Member (2002)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
You could also look into insurance Jul 31, 2011

If you are running an agency, and worried about getting sued, you may want to look into liability insurance. I think it is Lloyd that offers liability insurance for translators via the ATA, but they may have something for companies. If you have other type of insurance for your business, talk to your insurance company, they may have specific liability insurance or perhaps an umbrella policy would do.
Katalin


 

crista_b
United States
Local time: 10:49
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks Katalin Aug 1, 2011

Liability insurance will cover us. I just want to be sure that the client doesn't try to take advantage of it.
Basically if a client comes in August with a translation for a product label and they pay $35 for the translation, I want to be sure they can't come back in January and say that an error went into print that they didn't notice it until then and try to charge us $100,000 for the error.
That's why I was thinking of putting something on the quotation saying that by agreeing to the quotation, the client agrees to our liability terms (the liability terms would say something along the lines of what paragraph 6 from the ATA document says and include a liability limit). Is this possible or would the client be required to sign a new agreement for each job?


 

crista_b
United States
Local time: 10:49
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Liability disclaimer - does it help or hinder? Aug 9, 2011

Just wondering if anyone has any opinions on whether a liability disclaimer would help or hinder a translation agency from a client's perspective?

For example: You are in charge of finding a translator for your packaging. Company A has a liability disclaimer mentioning that if your translation carries a high liability to please discuss it with the company prior to beginning the translation project. This company will completely cover costs of corrections for errors/omissions discovered within 2 months of translation delivery and only covers 5x the cost of translation if discovered after the 2 month period. Company A also mentions that they are insured for such errors. Company B does not mention liability at all.

How would you react to Company A's liability statement?
Would you be more likely to ask Company B about liability coverage and insurance and take this and cost into account when choosing a company?
Or would you simply rule out Company A or B?


 

MartinsK
Local time: 18:49
English to Latvian
+ ...
Full liability Nov 2, 2011

An agency has just offered me a contract placing full liability on me for the damages they might incur due to my fault on a job done by me. This might entail the scenario as described by crista_b regarding the labels?
This is something I should not sign if I do not have liability ihsurance myself, right?
Can I possibly ask to limit this to the amount payable to me for the individual job?
I do not feel safe about signing this 'as it is' - figuratively saying, signing this feels like I would be putting my neck in the noose.


 

Olly Pekelharing  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 17:49
Member (2009)
Dutch to English
No liability Nov 2, 2011

All the agencies I work with accept liability for my work themselves. This is quite logical, as they are responsible for the final editing and thus the final result.

 


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