Product Liability Claims: Faulty Goods and Injury Compensation

A product liability claim results when someone has been hurt when using a product. It sounds simple enough, but when you look deeper into the Consumer Protection Act and the basis for making a claim, it is more complex than it first appears.

For example, a manufacture releases the latest must-have technical gadget. They promise it provides a myriad of functions to make life easier. However, there is a problem with it. The electrical cord used to recharge it has an unfortunate habit of smouldering after a few hours of use. Although the manufacturer warns people the plug can become warm during operation, it says nothing on the instructions about limiting the hours of charging with the cord.

There have been cases of damage to furniture and other items but when people were burnt, they had a product liability claim – and that is because they used the product as it should have been used and for its intended use but, they were injured.

What the Law Says

If a business supplies products to its consumers, it needs to ensure the products are safe. The heaviest responsibility falls on the producer of the product, that is the manufacturer.

But distributors – shops and wholesalers, for example – also have legal responsibilities.

Responsibilities of Producers, Distributors and Sellers

By law, products supplied must be safe and fit for use. Producers, manufacturers and importers must do this by;

  • warning customers of any potential risks
  • provide information to help consumers understand these risks
  • monitor the safety of products
  • take immediate action if products are found to be faulty

In many cases, it pays to be extra vigilant with high risk products such as toys, fireworks, food and medicines. Likewise, manufacturers, importers and distributors are expected to be aware of and comply with specific regulations that apply to some products.

Product liability claims can be complex because claims can involve manufacturers, importers and businesses that supply own brand products and business that change the safety of a product by customising or servicing it. It is often the case that several businesses are involved as producers and therefore are jointly liable if a product causes harm. For example, components may be supplied by several manufacturers who assemble the product.

Distributors, such as shops and wholesalers, are not normally liable for harm that may have been caused to a consumer when a product is deemed to be unsafe but they do need to identify who the producer is. It may be that a distributor must take some responsibility and can be subject to enforcement action.

Who Can Make a Product Liability Injury Claim?

Anyone who has been harmed or injured by a product that is deemed to be unsafe may be able to make a claim. Like other personal injury claims, you can begin your claim any time up to three years after the date of the injury.

The product will need to be independently tested and the defective problem highlighted. As part of the case, it will need to be shown that this defect caused the injury. For example, a chainsaw is a dangerous piece of equipment to operate. If your use of it was poor, you are untrained, for example, or used it for something other than its intended use and you were hurt as a result, it is unlikely a claim for personal injury would be successful. But, if the supplier of a component part of the chainsaw supplied faulty parts, and even with correct use it resulted in you being hurt, you could have a personal injury claim.

How We Can Help

Product liability claims can be complex but with our expert product liability lawyers and legal teams, this is not an issue. However, we only deal with personal injury claims and not claims relating to damage to property or other items.

Our legal teams are experts in the Consumer Protection Act, the 1987 piece of legislation that protects the consumer and gives you rights when buying goods and services.

The act covers a not only product liability, but fraud, unfair business practice and other consumer and business activities. As well as UK laws, there are European laws to consider too although with Brexit on the horizon, that looks set to change.

Many people worry about the cost of making a claim, which is understandable when you see the legal fees and costs involved. At Your Personal Injury Partner, we take on most cases on a no win, no fee basis. Call us today for more information on how we can help with your product liability claim.

Related Product Liability Cases

A faulty bed results in a back and head injury



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