A myriad of injury causative factors can stem from the use of everyday products that a consumer uses. These products may include medical devices, dangerous toys, cars, and motor vehicles or any consumer and household products. Industrial or construction machinery or equipment, as well as farm implements or defective car parts, can cause injury to a consumer. Household appliances may become defective and dangerous leading to fires or poisoning, and a consumer has legal protections in this regard.
The liability for defective products in Ireland is categorized into four main laws; which are tort, contract, statute, and criminal law. This is a busy litigation area of Irish law that deals with the personal injury* sustained through the use of defective products. The failure of a product to provide the required consumer safety can arise from an inherent defect in the manufactured product.
A product is defective if it fails to provide the safety which a person is entitled to expect, taking all circumstances into account, which includes the use to which the product was intended to be put to.
The statute that implements the law which protects the consumers from substandard products is known as the Liability for Defective Products Acts of 1991. Products that do not provide a required level of safety to the user thus causing injury or damage fall under the scope of this act. This law simplifies the process of litigation such that a litigant doesn’t need to prove that a manufacturer was negligent under the act.
If you have been injured as a result of the actions of someone else, you will have suffered what is termed a Tort, which is a civil wrong, which basically means you will have a right to recover damages for this wrong. Tort law is there to protect people from harm and injury and attach legal responsibility to anyone who causes the harm. In Tort law, an injured party has to prove fault and negligence.
The effect of S.10 of the Sale of Goods Act, 1980, is that there is implied condition in consumers and manufacturers contracts, that the product or goods bought must be of ‘merchantible quality’.
This translates to mean that taking into account the products price, function purpose, and durability, a product must be fit for use as prescribed by the manufacturer. The Sale of Goods Act protects the consumer from being coaxed into buying a product due to the sales jargon depicted on its packaging, advertiser or any promotional media.
For placing dangerous or unsafe products in the consumer’s hands, a manufacturer or retailer faces criminal charged under the general product safety regulations of 2004. Another EC Directive 2001/95, these regulations are the main piece of legislation that imposes criminal liability to producers for harmful and dangerous products.
In the instance that a defective product has caused injury to an individual, they should preserve it and keep any receipts or other proof of purchase. If these are unavailable, a simple note detailing the time and where the product was bought should be taken.
Personal Injuries * In contentious business, a Solicitor may not calculate fees or other charges as a percentage or proportion of any award or settlement.
Please be advised that the above-mentioned material is intended as an overview and as a broad out-line of the topic discussed. It should not be considered as complete and comprehensive legal advice, nor act as an appropriate substitute.
Due care has been taken in the publication of this article and we do not accept legal liability as a result of reliance on any material covered in the above article.