When Defective Products Cause Harm
Purchasing any kind of product brings about an inherent risk on the purchaser’s behalf: will the product work as intended? Will it last as long as it should? For the most part, customers can be fairly certain that the product they are purchasing will perform admirably and that they will be satisfied with their purchase. As with any half-certainties in life, not all products will. Defective products are a disappointment to the purchaser to say the least, and in some instances, the defect may cause bodily harm. It is in these instances that the injured customer is left wondering what their options are. Ottawa lawyers deal with a multitude of personal injury cases every year, including cases regarding product liability.
Product liability, broadly speaking, refers to a situation where a manufacturer is held responsible for placing a defective product into the hands of the customer. These defects can occur within any number of products, including, but not limited to: infectious food products, defective children’s toys, defective medical devices or implants, cosmetics, or consumer products. These products and types of materials can cause bodily harm and severe illness if used or administered. Customers affected by defective products may pursue legal action against any sellers of the product that follow along the distribution chain. Ottawa lawyers, and their clients, can pursue these claims individually or in a class action lawsuit.
Typically, an action against a manufacturer whose product has caused personal injury or property damage can be filed in tort law under negligence. Negligence is assessed against an objective standard, taking into effect the circumstances and to the standard of care which could reasonably be expected of a reasonable person in similar circumstances. While this may seem convoluted, there is a simple way of breaking down this claim: the customer can establish that there was a duty of care on part of the manufacturer, that there has been a breach of this duty, and that damages have resulted from this breach.
In Ottawa, lawyers can claim damages for personal injury and property damage caused by the defect. In cases that deal with personal injury, Ottawa lawyers can recover general damages (i.e. pain and suffering, loss of amenities of life, loss of life expectancy and psychiatric illness), and special damages (i.e. loss of income, loss of earnings capacity, business profits, and medical expenses) for their plaintiff. An upper limit for general damages has been set by the Supreme Court of Canada and is currently $324,000 (indexed for inflation).
If you, or someone you know, have been injured as a result of a defective product, please do not hesitate to contact an Ottawa lawyer today.