Defences to a claim under the Consumer Protection Act 1987
Defences to a claim under the Consumer Protection Act 1987

The following PI & Clinical Negligence practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Defences to a claim under the Consumer Protection Act 1987
  • Statutory defences
  • Compliance with UK or retained EU law
  • Defective product not supplied by the defendant
  • Defective product not supplied in the course of business or not with a view to profit
  • The defect did not exist in the product at the time of its supply
  • The development risks defence
  • The defect was in the subsequent product not in a component part of it
  • Limitation
  • Contributory negligence and volenti non fit injuria

Brexit: The UK's departure from the EU has implications for practitioners considering product liability. This Practice Note is in the process of being updated in light of these changes. Before continuing your research, see Practice Note: What does IP completion day mean for PI & Clinical Negligence claims? including, in particular, main section: Other types of personal injury cases.

For guidance on whether judgments of the Court of Justice are binding on UK courts, see Q&A: Are UK courts and tribunals bound by decisions of the Court of Justice of the European Union post-Brexit?

NOTE: This Practice Note refers to the Archived Directive 85/374/EEC (Archived Product Liability Directive) as it had effect immediately before IP completion day. This Directive is not retained EU law but the domestic legislation which was made to implement it (the Consumer Protection Act 1987 (CPA 1987)) continues in force after the Brexit transition/implementation period with some amendments. The Archived Product Liability Directive may therefore continue to be used in the interpretation of CPA 1987.

Limitation or exclusion of liability for defective products in any contract term, notice or other provision is prohibited.

Defences to a claim under the Consumer Protection Act 1987 (CPA 1987) fall into four main categories:

  1. the injured person has been unable to discharge the burden of proof

  2. the defendant is able to establish one of the statutory defences in

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