European legislation enables a consumer to claim damages without having to prove that the “producer” of the product is at fault.
A claim can be made against the person who makes the product, an importer of the product, a person who puts there name or trade mark on the product or a person supplying the product.
A person injured as a result of a defective product must prove the injury, the defect in the product and a causal relationship between the injury and the defect.
Factors that are taken into account in determining the defect include the presentation of the product, the use to which it could reasonably be put and the time when it was put into circulation. However the fact that a better product was subsequently put into circulation cannot be used in determining the defectiveness of the product in question.
Producers of a product will have a defence if they can prove:
- They did not put the product into circulation
- The defect came about after the product was put into circulation
- The product was not manufactured for profit making sale
- The product was not manufactured or distributed in the course of their business
- The defect is due to compliance with mandatory regulations
- The state of scientific and technical knowledge at the time the product was put into circulation was not such as to enable the defect to be discovered
- In the case of a manufacturer of a component of the final product, that the defect is attributable to the design of the product or to the instructions given by the product manufacturer.
A producer cannot be exempt from liability even when the injury is caused by both the defect and the act or omission of the person using the product. However in this situation damages would be reduced.
Contact us now if you have been injured by a defective product to see if you have a valid claim.