Yes you have probably heard hundreds of jokes like this over the last couple of weeks, some more funny than others; but from a legal perspective and more importantly from a personal injury law perspective, behind all the humour is a serious issue. Product liability is an area of personal injury law where a purchaser can claim against the vendor or manufacturer of a product for a serious injury caused by that faulty or harmful product.
Product liability, as an area of personal injury law, was arguably first precedented in the case of Donoghue v Stevenson (1932) when a lady drank ginger beer from a bottle whilst in a cafe in Paris. The bottle contained a snail and after drinking the contents she fell ill. Mrs. Donoghue successfully sued the manufacturers of the ginger beer for the personal injury it caused her; establishing the general principle that the manufacturer of a product owes the consumer of that product a duty of care under tortious law.
Personal injury claims can be brought in respect of all kinds of products, from a faulty piece of machinery that causes the person using it a personal injury, to harmful food produce that causes mild food poisoning or a much more serious injury like cancer or even death.
The recent news that Tesco burgers may have contained horse meat was followed by the Shadow Environment Secretary Mary Creagh’s announcement to the Commons that she had evidence that “several” horses slaughtered in the UK last year tested positive for the carcinogen phenylbutazone.
Such findings should give cause for concern as carcinogenic and other harmful veterinary medicines could have the potential to remain in your body for a number of years. The suggestion by Ms Creagh’s claims raise the fear that people could unknowingly be eating harmful substances during meals which could result in serious personal injuries.
But reverting back to the bigger picture of product liability under the umbrella term of personal injury law, consumers need to understand that they, as the purchaser of a product, are owed a duty of care by the person or company who made or sold them that product, whatever it may be.
If you or someone you know has suffered a personal injury, whether it be a cut inflicted by a faulty sander or glue gun from your local DIY store, or an adverse reaction to a food product which contained something it should not have done, or a brain injury caused because a vehicle was repaired to a below standard level by a mechanic, then call Hilary Meredith Solicitors. Following a few short questions by one of our friendly and legally trained Claims Vetters we can confirm whether we think you have a valid personal injury claim; and if we accept your claim you do not have to pay our fees, because with Hilary Meredith Solicitors it is ‘neigh win, neigh fee’!