Products liability describes the liability that exists from harm or damages resulting from the design, manufacture, or sale of a product. In Ontario, a manufacturer may be held liable for injuries incurred if there was negligence in any step of the manufacturing process, including design, production or assembly. Typically, claims against a manufacturer of a product are based on negligence related to a defect in the manufacturing process; a defect in the design of a product or some component part; a failure to provide adequate or any warnings with respect to the product and/or negligent statements in the advertising of the product, which induced the buyer to purchase a product from which the buyer suffered harm (negligent misrepresentation).
A trader, distributor, supplier or retailer may be liable for damages for breach of contract or breach of an implied warranty under Ontario’s Sales of Goods Act. A retailer’s potential liability is based on strict liability under the Sales of Goods Act and includes a breach of the implied warranty that the product is of merchantable quality or that it’s fit for the purpose for which it was intended. In these cases, the buyer must have relied on information or statements made by the seller, but there is no requirement to prove negligence (strict liability).
Like many personal injury claims, limitation periods for products liability claims can be highly complex and the expert evidence required from engineers and other experts is essential to prove a claim. Generally, you have only two years in which you can commence a court action, although there are some exceptions to the limitation period. Due to the inherent complexities of products liability claims, it is important for individuals who have incurred damages or loss to have an experienced products liability lawyer assist them with the legal process. A large manufacturer or large retailer has access to significant resources to fight products liability claims and they are always vigorously defended.
The team at Futerman Partners LLP has been helping clients with their products liability and other personal injury claims for more than 30 years. We provide the expertise and strong legal representation you need to get the compensation you deserve from your products liability claim. Contact us today for your free consultation.