Product Liability Essay

The manufacturer can only be held liable where it has failed to take reasonable care, which the injured party must be able to prove. In some cases, particularly concerning manufacturing defects, the injured party may be able to rely on the principle of 'res ipsa loquitur' - meaning that no explanation other than negligence can be the case.If this applies, it is up to the manufacturer to prove that it did in fact take reasonable care.Liability for negligence A claim in negligence is based on the assumption that the manufacturer owes a duty of care to all those who can reasonably be expected to make use of its product.

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Regardless of any contractual limitations of liability, if a product or any of its component parts are defective its manufacturer may be liable for damage under the Consumer Protection Act (CPA) or the common law of negligence.

This guide considers claims for a defective product under the Consumer Protection Act.

The manufacturer's negligence may be: Liability is not limited to the manufacturer of the product – other parties who supplied components or distributed the product may be held liable if they can be shown to have been negligent.

Limitations on negligence liability Despite the significance of negligence liability, it is subject to a number of limitations which may restrict its effectiveness in product liability claims.

Where the complaint is a result of negligent design, the injured party's position will be much weaker.

Expert evidence will be necessary to establish negligence.

This guide considers claims for negligence against the manufacturer of a defective product.

See also our Out-Law Guide to Product Liability under the Consumer Protection Act.

In cases like this, it may be difficult for the manufacturer to avoid liability unless it can show how the defect occurred.

The manufacturer will have to show that it took reasonable care to establish a safe system of production and quality control to avoid defects, and that the employees who implemented that system took reasonable care when doing so.


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