When we make a purchase we are entitled to certain legal protections. We can expect to receive a product that has been properly tested and which is of reasonable quality and fit for the purpose for which we are buying it. In a legal context, a “faulty product” is likely to be one that is purchased new, rather than an old or second hand item. The term “product” covers an almost endless range of items. Some of the most frequent instances of faulty products include the following:
- Electrical equipment
We keep many different electrical appliances in our homes, including washing machines, televisions, irons, refrigerators and cookers. If one of these electrical appliances is defective one of the possible consequences is that it simply does not operate. However, in the case of certain types of product fault, the result may be the causation of personal injuries to the person using it. Such personal injuries might include burns and electric shocks. In those circumstances, it is likely that the victim will be able to make a faulty product compensation claim.
- Furnishings and other household equipment
Chairs and beds that collapse whilst they are in use can cause personal injuries and may also fall within the category of a faulty product. Many injuries to the spine have been caused in this way, giving rise, once again, to the possibility of a product liability claim.
If you buy food, regardless of the source, you are entitled to expect that it is fit for human consumption. If, for what may be a variety of reasons, you purchase food that is not – and it causes you to fall ill – you have purchased a faulty product and should be in a position to claim compensation from the person who sold it to you.
- Motor vehicles
Some of the more serious product liability claims arise as a result of the supply of a faulty vehicle that results in a motor accident or collision.
- Exercise equipment
An increased emphasis on the importance of physical fitness has seen a rise in the number of exercise cycles, cross trainers and multi-gyms that we purchase. This equipment can be dangerous if it is faulty and can cause serious injuries to the user if it breaks down.
Who is responsible if you are supplied with a faulty product?
The responsibility for the supply of a faulty product lies with the producer. There may be more than one person who has responsibility, as a producer, for the faulty product that you have been supplied with. These include the manufacturer of the faulty product, a person or organisation responsible for the product’s importation, suppliers of own brand products, such as supermarket chains, and anyone who alters the safety of a product, for example by updating it or carrying out custom alterations.
If you feel that you have been supplied with a faulty product and wish to pursue a claim for compensation, you will need to prove that you have received the product, that it was defective and that by reason of its faultiness, you sustained injuries. As this type of claim can be difficult to prove, it is sensible to place it in the hands of a lawyer who has proven experience and expertise in product liability compensation claims and to do so within three years to prevent your claim from being statute barred.