When we buy a new item, we don’t expect it to cause us harm.
However, in many cases, that is precisely what happens. The product turns out to be faulty, doesn’t work properly and then causes an injury when we attempt to use it – or it malfunctions and causes a major problem even when not in use.
From electrical appliances to food and drink, a product that hasn’t been manufactured to the appropriate standard can result in injuries and illness that vary in severity.
Certain instances of faulty products have been highly publicised and resulted in UK-wide and international recalls.
- Samsung phone batteries
When the Note 7 started overheating and catching fire, Samsung had to recall the popular smartphone. It found that the batteries were to blame, with errors made in both the design and manufacturing phases.
- Vauxhall heating systems
One of many vehicle manufacturers that had to issue a recall, Vauxhall saw problems with its Zafira model. Owners of the car reported fires breaking out in the dashboard. These were put down to problems with the heating and ventilation system after an investigation.
- Whirlpool washing machines
Whirlpool recently had to issue a recall for a range of washing machines manufactured across the Indesit and Hotpoint brands. This was down to a component in the door lock system, which overheated and caused several fires.
Other instances may not be as widely known. However, in most supermarkets and retail stores, you can find evidence of manufacturing problems – from food items containing glass or plastic, to babies’ car seats that would not offer any protection if needed.
These are the sorts of everyday items that can be affected. It shows that you don’t necessarily have to make a large purchase to risk your health or the health of a loved one.
So when it comes to harm caused by a manufacturing defect or other problem, who can be held accountable?
Companies that manufacture products that hurt people can be held liable for the injury. They produced the item that caused the problem, therefore they are usually responsible.
In the USA, many of these instances are dealt with via class action lawsuits. However, in the UK, this is not part of the legal vocabulary – although there is the chance for collective legal action, such as group litigation orders.
These are not particularly common and are usually used in major cases involving high-profile brands.
But that doesn’t mean you are unable to pursue legal action if you have been harmed by a faulty or defective product. These instances fall under the umbrella of personal injury and the companies responsible can be challenged through these claims.
This means you are not restricted to taking action to occasions when others have been affected too. You can act for yourself.
Image copyright: Kira Yan