Product Liability

  • Created by: Sahar
  • Created on: 02-02-15 12:16


Donoghue v Stevenson: a manufacturer of goods owes a duty of care to the consumer of those goods, when he intends those goods to reach the consumer in the form in which they left the factory, and without any further examinations or prep by any third party. 

Stennett v Hancock- lorry tyre, Claimant other than consumer can claim. Defendant was not manufacturer but repairer 

Fisher- cleaning bottle. Defendant other than manufacturer may be liable - retailer 

Anyone who is involved in supplying goods, and whose actions might reasonably foreseeably affect the consumer, owes a duty

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Defendant acted as a reasonable manufacturer?

Faulty manufacturing process- difficult to prove. courts prepared to find liability from clear facts

Grant v Australian knitting mills- under pants left factory with sulphites- negligence present somewhere 

intermediate examination- should check standed before it reaches claimant if know no third party will check Donoghue v Stevenson - snail

Griffiths- grinding machine, defendant had no reason to believe it would be checked

Instructions and warning labels:

Fisher v Harold- no label of dangers to eyes

Kubach v Hollands -manufacturer supplied with warning, retailer supplied without, claimant could claim against retailier not manufacturer 

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Causation- claimant shows on 'balance of probabilities'

Evans v triplex safety glass- time between purchase, strain in attachment of glass, and something else other than defect could have caused the break


Calimant can recover for personal injuries and damage to other property caused by defect cannot claim for value of defective goods or repairs- (pure economic loss)

Muirhead v ITS- claim for lobsters not tank

Aswan engineering- component items of defect as 'other property', or damage to goods caused by defective packaging 

Defences- consent, contributory negligence-Griffiths lost 20% on grounds injuries would be less if grabbed machine with two hands 

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