When a product is sold to a buyer, and the product is defective such that the buyer sustains an injury, the buyer should first consider whether a claim is brought under the purchase agreement in contract law. The Sales of Goods Act 1979 lays down standards of satisfactory quality in respect of sales made in the cause of business. The safety of a product is one factor the court can take into account in deciding whether a product is of satisfactory quality.
What if the person who is injured did not buy the product himself? In that case, probably no contractual claim will be available. A claim can be brought under the general law of negligence against a repairer, installer, manufacturer, retailer, importer and distributor. It is necessary to prove that an injury is foreseeable, and the steps which a reasonable person would take to avoid the injury occurring.
The Consumer Protection Act 1987 states that where any damage, including injury, is caused by a defect in a product, the producer, the person who applies for his trademark and holds himself out as being the producer, and the importer into the EC are liable for the damage. A supplier is liable too if the injured requires the supplier to provide information as to the producer and/or importer and he fails to do so within a reasonable period.
A defect exists where the safety of a product is not such as persons generally are entitled to expect. The Act also provides certain statutory defences available to resist a claim.
If you have been injured from the use of a product which you believe is unsafe you should consult a solicitor who is a member of the Personal Injury Panel without delay.