Posted on Jun 17, 2019 in Personal Injury by Caroline Kelly
As a Government-ordered product recall of Whirlpool-made tumble dryers is being planned because of a heightened fire risk arising from their use, it is worthwhile considering what rights you have if a product causes you injury or harm.
You have every right to expect that the goods you buy are safe to use and in fact, most goods undergo various tests and checks to ensure they are safe. Responsibility for making sure products are safe falls not just on producers or manufacturers of products but also on distributors who have certain legal responsibilities. Producers, manufacturers, importers and businesses that sell own brand products bear the main responsibility. They must ensure that products are safe by taking steps including monitoring the safety of products and taking action if a safety problem is found.
In this case, Which? have established that Whirlpool-made machines have been linked to at least 750 fires over an eleven year period and have put pressure on the government to order a recall. There are 127 Whirlpool manufactured tumble dryers that have an increased fire risk although the list is not comprehensive. To check if your make and model is on the list, go to www.which.co.uk.
The Consumer Protection Act 1987 makes it clear that to pursue compensation for harm or injury caused by a faulty product, you do not require to have purchased the product, nor do you require to show that the manufacturer was negligent. You simply have to show that the product was faulty and that as a result of the fault, you suffered injury or harm.
A product is defective or faulty when it is not as safe as you are entitled to expect. So in the case of the Whirlpool tumble dryers, you would not expect a tumble dryer to cause a fire. The court will look at a variety of factors in deciding whether a product was defective, including how you used the product and any safety warnings given.
Once it is established that a product is defective, the manufacturer, producer or other party legally responsible has very few defences to a compensation claim under the Consumer Protection Act. If you have been injured as a result of a defective product and the manufacturer, supplier or other party is refusing to compensate you, you should seek legal advice to determine whether you are entitled to compensation.
To assist in any claim for compensation, it is helpful, if appropriate, to retain the product which has caused the harm, together with any proof of purchase. These items may be required as evidence. You should also report the dangerous product to the person responsible for it as soon as possible. In the case of Whirlpool tumble dryers, the recommendation is that you stop using the tumble dryer, unplug it and leave it unplugged and thereafter contact Whirlpool on 0800 151 0905 with a note of the make and model number. You can find more information about product safety recalls here.
If you have been injured as a result of a defective product, please contact Caroline Kelly on 01382 346282 or email@example.com to discuss your potential personal injury claim. Alternatively, contact the Personal Injury team on 0800 731 8434.
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