Product recalls are almost a daily occurrence, which the general public may never get to hear about until a major accident or several widespread injuries are reported in the press and on TV.
Every month, injury claims are made against retail and manufacturing brands who may have been negligent in their responsibilities to ensure the products they sell are to the required EU standards and regulations.
According to the Trading Standards Institute, just in the last week alone, there was a recall of felt tips pens sold at a discount chain because several base end-caps could be easily removed presenting a potential choking hazard to children under 3 years old, a production run of table and floor lamps with construction flaws and a number of defective hot water bottles.
As the busiest retail period of the year starts to gain momentum, seasonal gifts and toys will once again swell high street and shopping centre windows, and of course, online too. A countless number of items produced in thousands of anonymous factories around the world will be available, many at reduced prices.
Unfortunately, we are again likely to see highlighted, reports of below-standard or faulty products, which either caused injury or were discovered just in time before harm was suffered.
Despite warnings to check labelling carefully, accident compensation solicitors can receive a surge of personal injury claims before and after the seasonal period. Previous common cases have included incorrectly wired Xmas tree lights or unsafe electrical appliances, such as malfunctioning hair curling tongs, soft toys with hidden sharp wires/pins or easily removable sown-on features, dangerous pram buggy hinges, contaminated sweets, confectionary and cosmetics, etc
According to the Consumer Protection Act 1987, if a product causes personal injury, which was not due to misuse, the injured party has a legal right to seek accident compensation against the manufacturer or retailer responsible. There is a three year limit for an injury claim for a product defect to be entered and all receipts, bills of sale, relevant evidence and witness contact details must be retained and produced as key evidence.
The requirements of EU product safety law are that products are safe and compliant and do not pose a risk to health from using the product when it is first introduced to the market or put into service. Product safety law also covers how the product was supplied, including if there was a failure to provide user instructions, which are correct and in the customer’s language or the Declaration of Conformity.
As the seasonal rush to buy presents becomes later and more frantic each year, taking care to first check the box and goods should not be left to Santa’s Elves!