If you sustain an injury owing to the purchase of a defective product, you may be entitled to compensation. In such circumstances, you can make a product liability claim against the manufacturer or the supplier as well as individuals or companies in the supply chain, such as wholesalers, stores, retail outlets.
To make a defective product claim, speak to the personal injury lawyers at Owen Hodge, or keep reading to learn more.
What is a product liability claim?
In Australia, product liability claims come under the Australian Consumer Law (ACL) and the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (CCA). As per the Act, you can seek compensation or damages for personal injury or other loss caused by defective products supplied by a manufacturer.
What is product liability negligence?
Product liability negligence occurs when a retailer, supplier or manufacturer sells a product with a manufacturing flaw, a design defect or with wrong/inadequate labelling/warnings/instructions that causes harm to the individual.
How do you prove negligence in product liability?
Generally, to prove product liability you must prove that an inherent defect or misinformation within the product caused the damages claimed. In other words, the plaintiff must prove that the product was inherently defective and that the defect in the product has caused injury or damage.
How to make a products liability claim
If you suffer loss or damage because of defects in a manufacturer’s goods, you can either:
- Take the manufacturer to Court. The Court can award compensation to cover these losses; or
- Make a complaint to a consumer protection agency, which may take action on your behalf.
Loss or damages can include:
- Injuries to the person making the claim or to another individual; and
- Economic loss caused by damage to or destruction of another good, land, a building or a fixture.
Court’s role in assessment
While assessing the amount of loss caused to or suffered by you, the Court will consider the safety of the goods by taking into account the following:
- Marketing of the goods;
- Packaging of the goods;
- The warnings and instructions for use; and
- What may reasonably be expected to be done with the goods.
Defences available to a manufacturer or a supplier against product liability claims
A manufacturer or a supplier can take the following defences against your product liability claim if:
- The defect was caused due to compliance with a mandatory standard; or
- The defect did not exist at the time of the supply of the goods by the manufacturer; or
- The state of scientific or technical knowledge at the time the goods were supplied did not enable the safety defect to be discovered; or
- There has been contributory negligence at your end.
Role of manufacturers, suppliers & retailers in reducing risk of liability claims
Manufacturers, suppliers and retailers can adopt responsible business practices in order to minimise the risk of product liability claims. Such practices may include:
- Conducting regular review of product designs, production, quality assurance and marketing procedures.
- Testing and ascertaining the products as per the relevant standard.
- Providing clear and thorough user instructions.
- Conducting a quick voluntary recall of any defective or unsafe product, when necessary.
Do I need product liability insurance in Australia?
Product liability insurance isn’t required by law, but it is highly recommended that all businesses have a product liability policy.
Learn more: excluding liability for personal injury
Speak to a product liability injury lawyer
If you have sustained an injury from a faulty product, you may be entitled to claim for compensation. Schedule an initial consult by calling our product public liability lawyers on 1800 770 780. Our lawyers can also help you with any questions about public liability claims (NSW) and the claims process.