If a person suffers injury caused by a defective product, they may be entitled to claim damages. This will usually be from the producer e.g. the manufacturer, although it is possible to bring a claim against a supplier e.g. a shop. A damages claim must normally be brought within three years.
Defective products are subject to ‘strict liability’, which means that it only needs to be proved that injury was caused by the product’s defect, it is not necessary to show that the producer was negligent. Liability cannot be excluded by contract. Producers usually take out Product Liability Insurance (PLI) to cover the cost of compensation claims. Where there is more than one producer of a product which causes injury. The liability is also joint and several - all producers will be separately liable.
There are however several defences available. If the defect:
was inevitable as a result of compliance with other laws;
could not have been discovered at the time with existing scientific and technical knowledge ;
only occurred after the product was supplied;
the product was supplied privately and not intended for sale; or
the producer did not supply the product (eg it was stolen or counterfeit);
then the producer will not be liable.
We can advise you regarding your rights if you have suffered injury due to a defective product and can help you negotiate a fair settlement.