Product Liability under the Legislation of Ontario

Product liability is without a doubt one of the most common types of cases that are usually going to be brought in front of the court. However, there are a lot of variables that are going to have to be thoroughly considered prior to going for a case of the kind and if everything goes as the law wants it to go there isn’t going to be a need of trial in the first place. This is due to the fact that both Commercial law and the Common Law of Canada are stipulating a lot of provisions which regulate the subject matter and they provide a lot of room for out of court unofficial settlements between both parties in Brantford.

Timeline for Product return

The first thing that you need to take into thorough consideration is the fact that even if the retailer doesn’t provide you with warranty, even though is obligated to; you are legally allowed to return the product within 2 weeks of purchasing it. If you find any hidden defect which wasn’t brought to light at the moment of the purchase, you can demand that your product be repaired or that you get a new one of the same standards and quality. What you need to understand is that you aren’t obligated and you most certainly don’t have to tolerate imperfection of what you have already paid for. These rules are intended to provide the customer with the protection he needs because, after all, he is the one who is spending the money for a damaged good. However, if the store owner protests and doesn’t wish to do this, you have rights of the Brantford manufacturer’s warranty.

Suing the manufacturer

This means that you can take the dispute straight to the manufacturer. He is also legally obligated to help you out and provide you with the necessary alterations and possible repairs. However, in the majority of cases, the manufacturer would have sold the warranty to the store owner and he would be the one who’s going to be able to claim the rights under said warranty.

Only if these two paths are properly exhausted it’s going to be advisable and recommended to take the case to trial, even though the opposite parties are likely to be inclined to a settlement the moment you bring up possible trial actions. This is because they know that the law is most likely going to be on your side and that they don’t have enough chances in a potential legal dispute. However, if they go for it and they lose, they are also going to have to pay the legal charges and the attorney fees and this could get quite expensive, provided that some Brantford lawyers are definitely expensive.

That is why sometimes it is best to get the compensation in an out of court settlement and wind up the case faster. This helps you financially with the loss or sustained injuries.

Who can be Sued in a Product Liability Case?

Every designer, distributor, manufacturer, retailer, and other individuals within the chain of distribution owes a specific standard of care to the consumers who purchase and use their products.  The intention is to ensure that dangerous and defective products do not wind up in the hands of the consumer.  These types of products do not meet the consumer’s expectations of safety and can lead to serious injuries and in some cases, fatalities.  There are a number of ways in which this can happen including flaws in the original design, manufacturer error, and wide range of other defects.

Examples of Defective Products

Some of the more common examples of defective products that have been documented in recent years include:

  • Appliances and electronic devices that combust after prolonged overheating
  • Dangerous children’s toys (specifically choking hazards and exposure to lead)
  • Unsafe foods
  • Vehicular mechanical failure

There has been an increased amount of concern throughout North America regarding children’s and toddler’s unsafe toys.  As a result, many of these toys have been recalled off of retailer’s shelves.  Furthermore, government regulatory agencies have become increasingly more active in food product safety standards.  Consequently, we have been seeing an increasing number of recalls due to bacterial contamination and the use of toxic chemicals, all of which are not permitted by Canadian legal standards. That is why you need to consult a legal professional so that you get justice and claim compensation.

The Need for experience Legal Representation

In many cases where defective products are responsible for the serious injury to or death of an individual, product liability claims and lawsuits arise.  So whenever any of the parties in the chain of distribution are deemed responsible for fatalities or injuries you typically see claims and lawsuits arise.  This warrants the legal representation of a personal injury lawyer in Hamilton or the greater Toronto area that specializes in defective product and product liability cases.

What You should know

If you or a loved one was recently injured or passed away when they used a defective product, a personal injury lawyer will ensure that you get the compensation you deserve and that your rights to do so are protected.  Keep in mind 2 things when filing a claim or lawsuit for a defective product that caused injuries.  First, you don’t have to be the person who purchased the product initially and second, you don’t have to be the person who used the product.

Unfortunately, defective product claims and product liability cases are oftentimes very complex matters.  Sometimes, it can be extremely difficult to identify everyone in the chain of distribution that can be held liable for your injuries or a loved one’s demise.  However, in Hamilton, having a personal injury lawyer and their support staff handling your claim and potential lawsuit is a step in the right direction to ensuring that you get the compensation you are deserving of.

Which Is Better -Product Liability Or Professional Indemnity Insurance?

The areas of Professional Indemnity and the one of Product Liability are definitely amongst the most interesting in the field of personal injury. The former provides monetary coverage for injuries deriving from accidents which occurred to an employee while conducting his professional obligations. Product liability on the other hand provides coverage for damages caused by faulty products. The claims in the first case are directed towards the employer or the insurance company while the claims in the second one are directed towards the manufacturer of the faulty product.

However, it becomes interesting and worthy of debate when an employee uses a faulty product while he is conducting his professional obligations. The question would be whether to take advantage of his professional indemnity insurance or the compensation provided by the product liability. To answer this, it’s important to break the areas down.

Product liability

Product liability entails the legal responsibility of every manufacturer towards a consumer who’s purchased and using its’ product. The liability is only going to arise when the product has been negligently manufactured and thus is incapable of serving its general purpose. This has to cause the user some sort of injuries in order for him to bring the case up in court. The damages can be either physical or emotional. The court won’t make a difference. For instance if a ladder breaks off and the worker falls on the ground but he doesn’t experience any severe injuries but his colleagues start making fun of him which leads to a harmed reputation – it could serve as grounds for a case.

Product liability cases are preferable because they are brought towards huge companies. This means that they are likely to offer fair settlements in order to keep the case on the low and not drag any unwanted public attention. This is something that should be taken to your advantage.

Professional Indemnity Insurance

There are different hypothesis in which this particular policy is going to take effect. However, the one that is of interest for the particular debate would include the events in which a worker has suffered an injury while conducting his professional obligation. Under the Labor legislation which is enforceable over the province of Ontario and therefore over the city of Brantford, the employer is obligated to compensate the workers for these injuries. Of course there are some underwater stones.

The work that was being conducted must have been authorized by the employer. If it wasn’t it would have to be something that is obviously going to contribute to his well-being. With this being said, it’s important to go over the particular circumstances in which the accident happened and base your decision on them.

Talking with an experienced personal injury lawyer will give the victim better clarity and information about how to progress with the case.

Defective Products and Product Liability in Personal Injury Law

Individuals who have been injured by a dangerous or defective product may be able to recover damages for their injuries. Product liability claims are very complex matters and differ considerably from other types personal injury cases. This is due to specific recovery rules and theories that have been developed for this particular field of personal injury law. It follows then that filing product claims and lawsuits involves the need for an injury lawyer that specializes in these types of cases.

Chain of Distribution and Supply

Injury victims or the survivors of defective product deaths in Hamilton can recover compensation from a number of individuals that are part of the chain of distribution including:

  • designers
  • distributors
  • manufacturers
  • retailers
  • suppliers
  • vendors
  • wholesalers

In most cases, the recovery of compensation from these companies and individuals is usually based in one or a combination of applicable Provincial laws. Additionally, there must be quality control systems in place to prevent dangerous and defective products landing on retailer’s shelves. Furthermore, quality control measures will ensure that all products are properly labeled with directions and warnings. However lax laws are sometimes taken advantage of and these results in injuries.

More Complexities to deal with

Personal injury cases based on defective products and product liability are oftentimes complicated and difficult for an injury lawyer in Hamilton and their legal team to litigate without the assistance of engineers, investigators, and other research experts. These professionals are involved in reviewing these types of cases and for the purposes of determining whether or not a product is dangerous or defective.

There is also a chance that some of the entities involved in the chain of distribution may not be located here in Ontario Province or Canada for that matter. Consequently, it is not always easy to ascertain who the responsible parties are and determine whether a personal injury case of this nature falls under Federal or Provincial law. Needless to say, the legal process involved can be incredibly time-consuming.

Compensatory and Punitive Damages

You typically see an award for compensatory damages in product liability cases and if your injury lawyer in Hamilton can prove negligence, there may be punitive damages as well. The purpose of compensatory damages is to make the injured person whole again financially and compensate them for the damages incurred. These damages are broken down into two categories – economic and non-economic losses – as follows:

  • Economic losses – cost of disabilities, lost profits and wages (current and future), medical expenses, property losses and repairs
  • Non-economic losses – loss of consortium or society, pain and suffering

If the judge or jury in your product liability case finds that the defendant’s behavior was blatantly careless, negligent, or reckless, you may be awarded punitive damages as well. In this case, the purpose of punitive damages is implied in the name – to punish the defendant for their behavior by awarding you monetarily.

Can Medical Products Be Tried Under Product Liability Laws?

Almost every single accident is going to cause some sort of an injury. Even though some of them are not going to have terrible consequences and you can get by without the use of any medication, the majority of cases would require you to treat yourself. The most convenient and still conventional treatment involves using medical products such as drugs. This means that the medical products can be subjected to a product liability case, if they were unfit for the particular purpose or there was something wrong with the drug itself. However, in order to claim such merit for a case, the patient must have suffered from some sort of injuries, caused by the drugs in question. This is why the Statute of Limitation is going to be enforceable and the time period during which you can file your claim is going to be limited.

Proving product liability

Now, it’s important to know that claiming product liability in the case of usage of medical products is one of the most difficult things you can go through. This is due to the fact that your injury lawyer in the city of Cambridge will have to prove that the injuries were caused by the particular product. This is easier said than done. In most of the cases the medical procedures carry a certain percentage of risk that you are going to be informed about. The doctor is going to require you to sign a document which allows them to carry out the medical treatment and the respective usage of drugs regardless of the risk. If you sign this document you are basically giving them a green light and they won’t be held accountable if something happens.

Another thing to note is that these medical products have specific side effects. You also can’t file a claim if you have experienced any of those side effects. This is due to the fact that medical products put a clear and concise disclaimer which alerts every user about the potential side effects.

Basically, you could claim damages if the suffering which was caused doesn’t really fall within the mentioned side effects and they were not predicted by the possible risks. These are events in which the patient has suffered from severe injuries which are not typical for the usage of this particular drug. The lawyer in Cambridge has to be able to prove that this drug does not usually cause the suffered injuries. This requires thorough examination of medical documentation and sound research on the effects of the drugs. The claims have to be filed towards the company which has produced the medical product as it is at fault for not predicting this kind of injury.