Active and passive barriers from Delta Scientific provide protection from high-speed vehicle attacks. Because the protection they offer is so consistent, 16 of their total products, including bollards, barricades, and crash gates, have received SAFETY Act Certification from the Department of Homeland Security.
Essentially, this means that the products not only provide physical security but legal protection as well.
The Support Anti-terrorism by Fostering Effective Technology Act was passed as part of the Homeland Security Act in 2002. The SAFETY Act was created in response to the devastating terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.
The concern was that manufacturers and sellers of anti-terrorism products and services would be reluctant to deploy technologies in civilian contexts for fear of being held liable for damages resulting from a terrorist attack. In other words, sellers feared that civilians injured in an attack would file lawsuits against them alleging that the anti-terrorism products did not provide adequate protection.
The SAFETY Act established different levels of liability protection. If anti-terrorism products or services meet the Act’s qualifications, the entire supply chain, from the sellers on down, enjoys limited liability.
Levels of liability protections
There are three-tiered levels of liability protections for anti-terrorism products and services under the SAFETY Act, each signified by a different color seal. A green seal denotes the Developmental Testing and Evaluation level. This is for products that are still being tested for effectiveness and consistency. Liability protections for these products only endure for up to three years and only apply to test events.
A blue seal identifies Designated Technologies under the SAFETY Act. These are products that have been proven effective through testing. They have yet to demonstrate repeatability, but confidence in it is high. SAFETY Act Designation provides the following protections to the defendant in a lawsuit:
- No punitive damages
- No prejudgment interest
- No liability for non-economic damages (e.g., pain and suffering)
A red seal indicates SAFETY Act Certification, the highest level of liability protection
A red seal indicates SAFETY Act Certification, the highest level of liability protection. These products have proven effective so consistently that confidence is high that the protection will endure.
SAFETY Act certification
In addition to the benefits that Designation provides, SAFETY Act Certification means that anyone who deploys the technology can assert the Government Contractor Defense in case of a lawsuit.
This legal principle presumes that the interest of the federal government supersedes state law, thereby preventing a plaintiff from filing a product liability suit over Qualified Anti-Terrorism Technology under the SAFETY Act.
The liability protections that Delta Scientific receives for selling SAFETY Act products extend to their customers as well. This means that if a terrorist attack does occur when one has the company’s products deployed, one is protected from lawsuits filed by injured parties. In most cases, one cannot be held liable at all, and even if they could, there are caps on the number of damages one would have to pay.
Though not part of the SAFETY Act, it is possible that with less risk of lawsuits, one may be able to lower the insurance premiums after purchasing and deploying one of the certified products. However, one needs to discuss this directly with their insurer.