The legal team at Stephens & Holman has been handling defective product claims for more than 40 years. Please call 604-730-4120 to schedule a free case review at one of our 25 British Columbia locations today.
Defective Product Lawyers
What happens when a product you’ve purchased has the potential to cause serious harm? Did it fall through the cracks of certain safety testing measures? Did the product have inherent design flaws that were overlooked by the manufacturer on purpose?
These questions and more can be answered with the help of an experienced product liability lawyer who can investigate your claim, identify all instances of negligence, and build a case seeking compensation for all of your damages.
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It is important to note that even those products that meet packaging and labeling requirements may still suffer from:
- Poor design
- Inadequate testing
- Manufacturing mistakes
- Damage during delivery
- Dangerous materials
In some particularly egregious cases, safety standards are simply ignored for the sake of profits. Regardless of the underlying factors, manufacturers can be held accountable when a product, being used in its intended manner, causes injury or death.
If you or a loved one have suffered injuries after the use of a defective product, let us help you bring a strong claim against the negligent parties.
Enacted in 2011, the Canada Consumer Product Safety Act (CCPSA) is intended to, “…protect the public by addressing or preventing dangers to human health or safety that are posed by consumer products in Canada, including those that circulate within Canada and those that are imported.” All products put on the market in Canada must comply with these safety standards unless they are specifically excluded by the act.
Under the CCPSA, manufacturers are required to report any incidents or risks of a defective product causing injury or death. It also requires strict record-keeping to help track down the source of defective products, along with packaging and labeling requirements to help ensure consumers are not misled into buying potentially deadly items.
In an ideal world, defective products are recalled immediately – as soon as it’s determined they represent a danger to the consumer. Companies selling goods in Canada are supposed to issue a recall as soon as it becomes evident that a product:
- Has a defect that makes it unsafe
- Has caused an injury or death to a consumer, user, or bystander as a result of a defect
- Does not comply with legislative requirements
Health Canada maintains a running list of all defective product recalls. Organized by category, this site contains the most up-to-date information on recalls in Canada. But remember, defective products are sometimes sold even after they have been recalled.
Although the government views recalls as a way to protect you and other consumers from dangerous products, companies view a defective product recall as a potentially significant expense.
Companies lose money when products are pulled from the shelves and may further suffer from expenses to repair, replace, or destroy defective products. The loss of company reputation is worrisome as well, though the damage done through inaction is often worse from a PR standpoint.
To minimize the damage caused by a potential recall, companies may practice a number of different strategies including:
- Ignoring the problem
- Hoping no-one notices the defect
- Delaying the issuing of a recall
- Issuing a limited recall naming only a few products they know to be defective, leaving other closely related products on the market
- Downplaying the potential danger posed by the product
- Limiting advertising of the recall
- Deflecting or ignoring questions about the defective product
Unfortunately, all of these strategies can increase the chance that a defective product will stay on the market. This, in turn, increases the chance that you or someone you love will suffer a personal injury as a result.
When a company is deceitful, secretive, or otherwise unethical in their handling of a recall, it becomes even more important to hold them accountable for their actions. The defective product lawyers at Stephens & Holman welcome the opportunity to discuss this with you in greater detail during your free initial case review.
Understanding Your Rights
Although the legislature is working to change this, Health Canada does not have the authority to compel a company to recall a defective product, nor does it have the power to issue fines or penalties to manufacturers who do not meet safety requirements. Instead, the fines have to come from you, the consumer.
It is both your right and responsibility to file a personal injury claim that seeks to penalize manufacturers and sellers of defective products. By exacting a high price for dangerous products, not only can you recover damages such as medical expenses and personal pain and suffering, but you can also help protect everyone else from the serious or fatal injury a defective product may cause.
It is important to remember that a recall is not a shield against liability. Even if a product has been recalled, if it causes injury or death when used as intended, victims are eligible to seek compensation through a defective product lawsuit.
If you or someone you love has been injured by a defective product, whether or not it has been recalled, use the contact form on this page or give us a call to get in touch with our skilled defective product lawyers today. Be sure to contact us BEFORE you discuss your accident with a representative from the seller or manufacturer of the defective product. We offer a complimentary, no-obligation consultation, and do not collect until after you do.
How do I know if the product is actually defective?
Product defectiveness can be caused during its design phase or during its manufacture.
- If the product has a manufacturing defect, it will vary from other models purchased
- If it has an inherent design defect, all products will contain that defect and will look physically identical
At our B.C. law firm, we use highly skilled product engineers to examine and report on the function and safety of products in question. Make sure you save the product that caused you or a loved one harm and bring it to the lawyer during your complimentary consultation.
Should I contact the product manufacturer with a complaint?
We recommend that you let an experienced defective product lawyer deal with the manufacturer. As a consumer, you:
- May not be able to reach the right person on the chain of command;
- Will be offered a measly gesture such as product replacement only; or
- Will be ignored.
A lawyer will use the proper channels to bring the resulting injury to the attention of the corporate personnel and let them know they may be facing a lawsuit.
Why do I need to save the defective product?
The actual product that caused your injury is crucial evidence in your case. If the defect was a one-of-a-kind anomaly, simply purchasing another product will not be sufficient. Any abnormal or dangerous conditions apparent on the product will help your claim and provide proof that the manufacturer allowed an unsafe product to be sold. If you have proof of purchase, such as a receipt or warranty, that will be extremely helpful as well.
What types of damages can I recover?
This all depends on the extent of your injuries, the type of defect, and the nature of the product. You may be entitled to:
- Compensation for treatment expenses
- Property damage
- Lost income
- Pain and suffering
We will seek damages for all of the consequences of your defective product injury.
Do I have a defective product case?
If you have been injured or a loved one has been killed by a product you suspect is defective, it’s a good idea to speak with a lawyer who can review your claim and provide you with honest information about your options. We are here to review your case, free of cost and obligation, to help you determine the best course forward.