Each day, people across the world make trillions of purchases. With the help of strong laws and diligent consumers, the vast majority of those purchases do not lead to harm to buyers or their families. But when a product does cause harm, consumers have rights that permit them to seek legal remedies and hold companies accountable. Products can be defective in a variety of ways, negatively affecting consumers immediately or even years after they are used.
While a product can be defective without causing harm, the types of defective products that cause injury fall under distinct categories of laws established at the provincial and federal levels. Victims of defective products can file a personal injury suit based on a product seller, supplier, or manufacturer’s negligence or malice.
Types of Product Defects
- Design defect: Design defects typically happen prior to the manufacturing process, during the initial design of the product. The defects are then present in every product. If just one person is hurt by the product, it can be deemed dangerous and defective.
- Manufacturing defect: These defects occur during the manufacturing process and can be present in each item produced or be the result of a manufacturing error where only a few items are affected.
- Marketing defect: This means the product was inaccurately or improperly marketed or advertised in a way that led to it being used dangerously. The seller may have failed to warn buyers of the product’s potential hazards or promoted its improper use.
Defective Product Cases
Drugs are dangerous when improperly manufactured, improperly labeled, or simply toxic to the body, even when manufactured properly. Drug manufacturers may ignore or cover up the problem.
When vehicles are defective, they may not meet required safety standards or contain parts that are defectively manufactured. This could result in blown tires, poor performing brakes, or spontaneous fires.
Foodborne illnesses are a major threat to the public. Very often, they are the result of carelessness at multiple levels of the agricultural supply chain. Those who farm, transport, or sell food may play a role.
Children are our most precious resource. We work to provide them with safe and nurturing environments. But when companies are careless in designing or manufacturing toys and toy parts, tragedy can ensue.
When household products are defective they can poison or injure entire families. Common examples are when gas leaks or bad wiring causes fires or electrocution, or dryers or hot water heaters release carbon monoxide.
Liability for Defective Products
Canada Consumer Product Safety Act protects consumers from defective products and requires companies to test for and document defects and other hazardous materials. It can also compel companies to recall hazardous or potentially hazardous goods and requires reporting consumer incidents within 10 days. Whether a company voluntarily or involuntarily recalls products, it can still be held liable. Health Canada keeps a running list of recalls.
If you’re unsure whether your injury from a defective product qualifies for damages, the lawyers at Stephens & Holman are here to help. Please contact us today to schedule a free consultation. Call 866-506-3139 or send us a message here.