If you have suffered an injury as a result of a defective product, you may have certain questions in mind regarding the responsibilities of the manufacturer and whether you are eligible to make a claim * against them. On this page you will find some general guidance relating product liability and the criteria for making a claim *.
Instigating a Product Liability Claim
Product liability is governed by a separate piece of European legislation implemented in Ireland under the Liability for Defective Products Act, 1991.
One of the big considerations in the context of defective product claims, as opposed to claims in negligence, is that there is a three year limitation period rather than two years in the case of most other claims.
Defect product claims are made in what is referred to as a strict liability regime, which means that if you can show that the injury was caused by the product, you don’t have to show negligence or provide proof of the nature of the defect, the liability follows automatically.
While there is a three year liability period, there is a ten year backstop, where if the product has been in circulation on the market for 10 years or more, then no liability attaches. In those circumstance, the question arises as to what “in circulation” actually means. You could have a situation where you have a medical device that was developed 20 years ago and if you were to rely on that date as the one that was first released on the market, then you’d be precluded from relying on the Liability for Defective Products Act. However, the better view appears to be that it’s the actual date when the individual product in question was first acquired on the market, i.e. sold to a consumer or put into use as part of a service or procedure.
Product liability is beneficial in so far as (a) it’s strict regulatory regime and (b), you’ve got a longer limitation period.
An area in which product liability has been very significant in the field of compensation claims is the area of medical devices. Medical devices in this context would include prosthetics, heart valves, pacemakers, implants, joint replacements, anything of that nature. While medical device claims are one of the largest areas of defective product claims, the liability regime can apply to any products causing injury, whether common household products such as a lawnmowers and electrical equipment etc., commercial equipment and power tools or even vehicles.
About McCarthy + Co
With more than 25 years of experience in dealing with personal injury claims *, McCarthy + Co. has expertise in a wide variety of fields including workplace and road traffic accidents. We are a family-run business, who pride ourselves on offering honest, impartial and helpful advice.
Our offices are based in Dublin and Cork but we have worked with clients throughout Ireland in locations ranging from Galway to Waterford. You can count on us for legal advice, guidance and assistance on any form of personal injury *.
Get in contact with our personal injury solicitors today to make a start on your claim * or gather more information. Call us on 1800 390 555 and an experienced member of staff will discuss your situation and potential next steps. You can also email on email@example.com and we will get back to you as soon as we can.
*In contentious business, a solicitor may not calculate fees or other charges as a percentage or proportion of any award or settlement.