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Product Liability Notes

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Product Liability Notes. Liability at Common Law.


Donoghue (1932) - Court - manufacturer of products sold with ultimate aim of reaching a consumer in the form in which they left his possession and with knowledge that absence of reasonable care in preparation would likely result in injury owes a duty to take reasonable care in not sending products which you can reasonably foresee would be likely to cause injury. Also suggested a requirement of control of manufacturer over product existed.


Grant (1936) - Woollen garments were negligently exposed to sulphates during production. C contracted dermatitis as a result. Lord Wright - For product liability proximity is only needed in the sense that want of care and the injury are connected. The 'control' element specified in Donoghue isn't needed except in sense that nobody else has messed with the product. There must be a hidden, latent defect.

The Consumer Protection Act 198 7.


EU Directive on Liability for Defective Products - Art 1 - a producer will be liable for damage caused by a defect of their product. Art 2 - 'Product' means all movables even if incorporated into another moveable or on an immovable. Includes electricity.


Consumer Protection Act 1987 - Part 1: 1(1) - Part will have effect so as to give effect to Directive. 1(2) - 'Producer' means manufacturer, person who won or abstracted it, person who carried out industrial process/other process. 'Product' means any goods or electricity including products comprised in other products whether being raw material, component or otherwise. 1(3) - Person supplying any product in which products are comprised shall not be treated as having supplied those components just because he supplied the whole.

2(1) - where damage caused wholly/partly by defect in product everyone under (2) is liable.

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