Legal Guide

How To Make A Products Liability Claim

A recent Sherlock Holmes episode got our team at thinking. In the episode the “bad guy” basically gets control of the victim’s pacemaker and threatens to change the speed at which the pacemaker is working thereby killing the victim. Now, though this pace maker was manipulated by a third party, had this pacemaker malfunctioned on it’s own, a lawsuit for products liability would be available to the victim’s family.

What is products liability?

It essentially is the liability a manufacturer faces for providing defective[1] products. An individual regardless of whether such individual actually purchased the product can make a claim for products liability so long as injury or death occurred to them as a result of the defective product. If the only damage that occurs is to the product itself, then in order to bring a claim, the total value of the property damage must be valued at £275 or more.

What If The Producer Did Not Sell Me The Product Directly?

It doesn’t matter. Anyone in the distribution chain can be held liable for a defective product. This includes producers, whole sellers, and retailers. With respect to retailers/whole sellers, they will be responsible if they fail to identify the producer of the product, when requested to do so.

What About A Casual Seller?

An interesting corollary to the “anyone” in the chain of distribution can be sued for products liability is the case of a casual seller. A casual seller is one who happens to sell a product to you at a local fair or as part of a one-time transaction. When products sold to you in this situation are defective and cause injury to you, your claim will most probably lie in breach of contract or negligence law and not necessarily as a matter of products liability law.

How Do I Go About Making A Claim?

  • Make sure the statute of limitations has not run out on your claim. That is, as soon as you suffer injury or property damage or as soon as you discover your injury or property damage, contact your local attorney.
  • Keep a copy of all receipts of medical expenses incurred by you as a result of your injury.
  • If you had any other financial loss as a result of your injury, keep a record of such loss.

[1] A product is considered defective when it does not meet the legitimate expectations of persons generally using it.

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