Personal Injury: Product Liability

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If you have been harmed by dangerous or defective products you may be eligible for financial compensation. Product liability cases are challenging, very complicated from the legal point of view and require special technical knowledge. Very often product liability cases require investigation and authoritative testimony from the experts. Product liability is the area of law in which manufacturers, distributors, suppliers, and retailers are liable for the injuries those products cause. To be successful, each product liability claim requires its own specific expertise.

Types of Defective Product

There are three major types of product liability claims:

  • manufacturing defect (that occur during the production process: usage of low quality materials, poor skills of workmen, etc.)
  • design defect (a failure to match safety requirements and it has nothing in common with the manufacturing defect)
  • marketing defects (a failure to warn that a product has non-obvious dangers)

The most common product defects are the following:

  • Defective auto parts, including seat back, air bags, seat belts, and gas pedals
  • Defective products for children, including cribs, strollers and car seats
  • Dangerous toys, that contain lead or other toxic substances or can cause choking, cutting, and pocking.
  • Defective devices, machinery or equipment
  • Dangerous drugs and medical devices

Strict Liability Claims

Strict liability claims focus on the product itself. It means that if the product is defective, the manufacturer is liable for it. However, by putting liability for the injuries caused by a product on its manufacturer, one has to be sure that a misuse did not take place. Also we have to remember that all warnings designed for the reasonable persons (for example, we should not expect “do not drink” inscription on a shampoo’s label). That is one of the reasons why defective product cases are so challenging.

The Canadian Motor Vehicle Arbitration Plan

The Canadian Motor Vehicle Arbitration Plan (CAMVAP) is the largest consumer product arbitration plan in Canada that can help you resolve disputes with an automobile manufacturer. CAMVAP covers new or used owned or leased vehicles that are from the current model year and up to an additional 4 model years old. CAMVAP is free to consumers and most of them can handle their own case without a lawyer. Hearings are held in the consumer’s home community. The process usually takes about 70 days from start to finish. An inspection of the vehicle normally is part of an arbitration hearing and the arbitrator can order a technical inspection of the vehicle at the program’s expense if doing so is required. CAMVAP arbitrators can order the manufacturer to buy the vehicle back; repair it at the manufacturer’s expense; pay for repairs already completed; pay out of pocket expenses for items such as towing, diagnostic testing, rental cars and accommodation related to the problem with the vehicle. The arbitrator can also order that the manufacturer has no liability.

You are free to choose: to go to court or to go to CAMVAP, but you are not allowed to do both. Think carefully, weigh the pros and cons of each option and choose what is best for your situation. It is always a good idea to talk to us before making decision.

Food Processor Liability Insurance

Food processors should be covered for product liability and completed operations liability. This will give them protection against claims by customers who have incurred damages or become ill through eating your food product. Much of the regulation aimed at protecting consumers is designed to reduce the risk that they will eat a spoiled or tainted product. But food-borne illness is a continuing concern. A single lawsuit in this area can bankrupt even the biggest company. Personal assets such as a house or car can also be seized.

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