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Defective products and the law

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There are regular reports in the media about defective products and the potentially dangerous consequences they can have.
There are many reasons a product may be defective, such as:
  • Defective design; an actual fault in the way something has been fabricated
  • Faulty manufacture; a lack of effective quality control during the production process
  • Negligent surveillance; failure to issue timely warnings when defects are discovered after sale
  • Inadequate warnings; insufficient usage instructions
While a defective product can come from just about any sector, the more common to cause major issues and lead to claims include children’s toys and electrical goods. Other common areas, and ones which are just as serious, are those covering hair and skin products, medicines and food and drink.
The Consumer Protection Act
For the consumer, there is sufficient protection within the law in the event of any major problems.
The Consumer Protection Act was established in 1987, and one of its main aims was to protect the public from defective products affecting their safety and security. The Act commands that products should give users the level of safety that is to be reasonably expected. Those consumers who have been injured or have fallen ill due to a defective product have the law on their side, and should pursue a claim for compensation.
Johnson & Johnson faces £350 million bill over defective hip replacements
The highly disturbing story of hip replacements made by medical giant Johnson & Johnson that leaked cancer-causing toxic metals is just one high profile example of a defective product case. Estimates suggest the cost of recalling the items and the subsequent compensation awards could reach up to £350 million.
Drinkers at risk from glass fragments in brewery case
Recently, brewers Wells & Young’s recalled 750,000 bottles of beer due to concerns about safety after glass fragments were found. The danger to consumers is obvious, and the consequences could have been very serious indeed if a drinker had swallowed one of the fragments.
Whilst certain injuries are more immediately identified and can be instantly attributed to a defective product, such as injuries caused by swallowing glass fragments for example, when it comes to illnesses that develop over time, such as in the Johnson & Johnson case, sometimes it is more difficult to prove liability and the process can be far more lengthy. Instructing a personal injury solicitor who is specifically experienced in handling such claims is vital, especially when multiple claimants are involved.
At Stephensons, we help consumers to pursue the highest possible compensation award in defective product clains. Our specific sector experience and thorough understanding of the law in this area ensures clients are represented at the highest level. To discuss the details of your particular case, call us on 01616 966 229.
By personal injury solicitor, Kate Sweeney