Product liability

Burning cableWhere loss, injury or even death is caused by a defective product, there may be a claim for compensation against the manufacturer or importer, as well as the suppliers, under the Consumer Protection Act 1987.

This legislation imposes a relatively heavy burden on manufacturers and suppliers so, if you can prove that goods were defective and responsible for the damage or injury sustained, you can bring a claim.  We have experience of pursuing product liability claims, often in addition to claims for negligence and breach of contract but all aimed at securing compensation for injury and losses sustained.

Case Study 1

We acted for a businessman who owned his own boat and bought some compact, folding bicycles to stow away in one of the lockers.  Soon after purchase, his bicycle collapsed whilst he was using it and he fell off, badly injuring his shoulder.

Our client needed an operation to repair a rotator cuff tear and a long period of recovery during which he was unable to run his business properly, drive, play sport or generally get on with life.

In the course of the claim we worked with an expert cycle engineer who identified the cause of the damage, which was a rusted part, and was able to say that the rusting dated from the time of import, long before it was sold to the claimant.

We brought proceedings for breach of contract and breach of statutory duty under the CPA which were initially hard fought but eventually compromised by payment of compensation to our client along with his costs of the proceedings.

Case Study 2

ToxicIn another claim, we were instructed by a lady who had accidentally inhaled a spray used for water-proofing equestrian rugs and clothing. On her behalf we pursued not only the owners of the shop who had sold the spray but also the manufacturer, on the basis that the warnings on the can were inadequate.

As well as the medical evidence of condition, we also enlisted the support of an expert toxicologist to establish the link between ingredients within the spray and the symptoms that our client suffered.

At the same time as running and successfully settling the main claim, we also settled claims for other members of the family who had been affected.

Often a shop or other seller of goods will be liable for these sorts of problems because of the breach of contract but often it helps to have that extra dimension, particularly where a manufacturer or importer has greater financial resources or reputation to protect.  Contact us if you think you may have a claim of this nature by email or telephone our personal injury experts on 01460 200450.