Product liability—causes of action

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

  • Product liability—causes of action

Product liability—causes of action

Breach of a contract entered into before 1 October 2015Breach of a contract entered into on or after 1 October 2015NegligenceConsumer Protection Act 1987
Relevant legislationAll contracts entered into prior to 1 October 2015 (whether in a business or consumer context):

—Sale of Goods Act 1979 (SGA 1979)

—Supply of Goods and Services Act 1982 (SGSA 1982)
Consumer contracts entered into from 1 October 2015:

—Consumer Rights Act 2015 (CRA 2015)
Not applicableConsumer Protection Act 1987
Who can bring a claim—Parties to the contract (purchaser/consumer)

—Third parties specifically referred to in the contract (Contracts (Rights of Third Parties) Act 1999)
Parties to the contract (purchaser/consumer)

—Third parties specifically referred to in the contract (Contracts (Rights of Third Parties) Act 1999)
Users of a product or any person provided that the defendant owed them a duty of care eg bystanders struck by a defective productPerson who suffered damage
Potential defendants—Parties to the contract (retailer)—Parties to the contract (retailer)Includes but is not limited to:

—manufacturer

—repairer

—assemblers and erectors

—installer

—importers and distributors

—retailer

—hirer

—supplier

—potentially anyone else in supply chain
Producers of the product ie:

—the manufacturer of the product or parts of the product

—importers

—own branders

—suppliers (in certain circumstances)
What must the claimant proveStrict liability. Claimant does not need to prove fault, only breach of an express or implied term of the contract.

Common implied terms include:

—goods are of satisfactory quality (SGA 1979, s 14)

—goods

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