At every aspect, everyone is a consumer of many different products and services that we get around us. And we expect the product to be safe and well utilized since we pay for it, nevertheless there exists situations when a person is harmed by a defective product, hence every affected consumer is legally eligible to claim compensation under product liability law from the person who manufactures or sold the product.
Under the European Product Liability Directive (EPLD), a producer is liable for damage caused by defects, but may have a defense if it can be proved that the defect occurred after the product was placed on the market. And we consumers have all the rights to expect that the products we buy are safe to use, and are properly warned about any dangers they may present about the product.
Especially in the UK and Europe the insurers are facing increasing product liability claims in what is becoming a more litigious environment. There are instances when some products may be faulty or defected and as a result they cause serious personal injury to consumers. Therefore the producers, manufacturers, importers even retail shops should ensure that products are safe and have to take an active approach in preventing harm, otherwise they fall into risk of being sued, fined or imprisoned. With the recent scenario, when the yogurt manufacturer receive claim against the defect in the product, the manufacturer had traced the production batch and found no defects in other yogurts of the same age. But later the defect in yogurt was found in supermarket when it was stocked, while the store admitted that the yogurt had left the producer in perfect condition and the amount of mould was consistent. Consequently, the court held that the supermarket was liable to the claimant.
According to the Consumer Protection Act, all consumer goods such as pharmaceutical products, medical devices and engine parts. The Consumer Protection Act 1987 is the relevant UK act that introduced strict liability for damage arising from defective products in the UK. The Consumer Protection Act (CPA) provides a long stop period which requires that any claims brought under this act are brought within 10 years from the date that the specific product was put into market. In case of defective product, a claim must be issued within three years of the date of injury caused by a defective product. And it is necessary to prove a causal link between the defect and harm.
There has been a noticeable trend of claims inflation within the healthcare sector in recent years. According to the health regulators about 14,000 people were exposed to the steroids, which were used as pain medications. Although Product-liability claims against doctors or hospitals are not always allowed, nearly 23 people have died and 300 have been infected in the meningitis outbreak, the victims of a deadly U.S. meningitis outbreak have sued the physicians and clinics that administered tainted steroid shots.
Over the past years, in Scotland many of the people were suffered from injury or death due to the complications caused by the legal high Annihilation products sold online as herbal incense which is more dangerous and left nine people hospitalized within the space of three months.