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UK Product Liability Claims

In the UK, product liability claims are claims which are made when goods you have purchased have proven to be faulty and have caused you an injury. The goods can be faulty due to a design or manufacturing issue or because they have been damaged in a retail outlet. Therefore, product liability claims in the UK could in theory be made against a manufacturer or a retailer. In some circumstances, the goods do not even have to be purchased in order to qualify for product liability claims in the UK – such as when a medical implant provided for you by the National Health Service fails to work properly.

Because of the complicated legal structure of UK product liability claims, it is always in your best interests to seek professional legal counsel when you have sustained an injury due to a faulty product. Therefore, you are invited to call our freephone injury claims advice service and speak directly with an experienced solicitor to determine the strength of any UK product liability claims you may be considering.

Our experienced solicitors will advise you whether you have UK product liability claims for compensation which are worth your while to pursue and advise you whether you qualify for “No win, No Fee” product liability claims representation. Please note that if your child has suffered an injury due to faulty goods you have purchased or received, you are able to make claims for product liability compensation in the UK on their behalf acting as a “litigation friend”.

Compensation for the Side Effects of Epilim and Depakote

April 24, 2017

French families are seeking compensation for the side effects of Epilim and Depakote after a link was established between the drugs and child birth defects.

The drugs Epilim and Depakote were first introduced in France in 1967 under the brand name Depakine. Due to a natural nerve-calming agent called GABA that could stabilize electrical activity in the brain, the drug was originally used to treat epilepsy. Later, the drug was also prescribed for the treatment of bipolar disorder and, more informally, given to treat migraine and other chronic pain conditions.

Over the years, claims have been made that the drug´s active ingredients – sodium valproate and valproic acid – can cause birth defects when taken by pregnant women. Studies conducted in the 1980s found that babies born to mothers who had taken the drug had a 10% risk of suffering from heart, kidney or spine defects, and a 30% – 40% risk of being affected by delayed development or autism.

Now an extensive study by the France’s National Agency for the Safety of Medicines (ANSM) has confirmed the claims after tracking the medical history of 14,000 women known to have taken Depakine during pregnancy between 2007 and 2014. The study found up to 4,100 children were suffering the side effects of Epilim and Depakote and hundreds more had died in the womb.

Parents of the affected children are claiming that the manufacturers – Sanofi – failed to warn expectant mothers about the potential consequences of taking the drug and have formed a class action to claim compensation for the side effects of Epilim and Depakote. The ANSM may also be facing legal action for failing to adequately advise the medical profession of the side effects of Epilim and Depakote.

In the UK, Epilim was first introduced in 1973. It was not until 2006 that warnings were first issued to doctors about prescribing Epilim and Depakote to expectant mothers. Those warnings have now been extended to include all women of childbearing age unless administration is initiated and supervised by a specialist after all other medications have found to ineffective.

If a member of your family has suffered an injury due to the consequences of taking sodium valproate during pregnancy, there are currently several avenues open to claim compensation for the side effects of Epilim and Depakote. It is in your best interests to speak with a solicitor and seek professional legal advice about claiming compensation for the side effects of Epilim and Depakote while these avenues remain open.

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Man Seeking Compensation for Burns from an E-cigarette Battery

April 1, 2016

A man from Manchester is seeking compensation for burns from an e-cigarette battery after the lithium battery of his e-cigarette exploded in his pocket.

Thirty-two year old Colin Crow from Levenshulme in Manchester was on an evening out with friends in Sheffield on January 30th this year when the lithium battery in his electronic cigarette exploded in his pocket. According to eye witnesses, the flames leaping from Colin´s pocket led them to believe he had set a firework alight.

Staff from the bar he was in gave Colin first aid before an ambulance arrived and took him to Sheffield´s Northern General Hospital. At the hospital, Colin was transferred to the burns unit, where he received treatment for burns to his left thigh, knee and calf, and also to his left hand – which had been burned as Colin tried to extinguish the fire in his pocket.

As a result of his injuries Colin has been unable to work in his job as an economic consultant. The burns to his hand have resulted in temporary loss of movement, while the burns to his leg have left Colin unable to walk without being in considerable pain. Now Colin has sought legal advice about claiming compensation for burns from an e-cigarette battery.

All lithium batteries can explode when they overheat, but the risk is greater when the batteries are manufactured using poor quality components. If the battery Colin was sold presented a risk of injury at the time it was sold to him, he may be entitled to compensation for burns from an e-cigarette battery under the Consumer Protection Act 1987 or Consumer Rights Act 2015.

The solicitor acting on Colin´s behalf told the Manchester Evening News: “This is the latest is a series of incidents in which e-cigarettes have caused extensive burns after exploding in people’s pockets and it is clear that an urgent investigation is needed to determine if more should be done to protect the users. We are now investigating exactly what caused his device to explode as we seek to help him overcome what happened”.

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Family Seeks Compensation for Burns from a Faulty Hoverboard

March 3, 2016

A family from West Yorkshire is seeking compensation for burns from a faulty hoverboard after the allegedly faulty product caused a fire while on charge.

Last November, Vinh Hung Chiem and Thu Tram bought their two children – Tony and Karen – a hoverboard as a gift for Christmas. On January 15 – while the hoverboard was plugged into a wall socket to charge its battery – the toy burst into flames, setting light to the family home in Wyke, near Bradford in West Yorkshire.

The fire quickly swept through the house and Thu, her two children and one of their friends – Jibril – were injured in the fire. All four were taken to hospital and treated for burns. According to Thu, Tony (9) and Karen (8) still suffer nightmares from the incident and, as their home is now inhabitable, the Chiem family is living in a single room in temporary accommodation.

An investigation into the fire determined that lithium batteries in the hoverboard had likely overheated and exploded or ignited. Now the family is seeking compensation for burns from a faulty hoverboard from the manufacturer of the product – Air Runner – and the store from which the product was purchased, Costco in Leeds.

Thu told a reporter from the BBC, She said: “The kids could have been killed. They all believed they were going to die in the fire. Everything was ruined in the fire… it’s turned our lives upside down. We thought we bought a reliable product from a trusted retailer and we want to know how something with so much potential to cause this type of devastation was sold to us.”

A spokeswoman for Costco UK said: “This is a terrible tragedy and we are looking into this matter but we have no comment at this time.” The family´s solicitor commented that the family have justifiable claims for compensation for burns from a faulty hoverboard under the Consumer Protection Act 1987 and Consumer Rights Act 2015 if it is proven that the hoverboard was faulty.

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John Deere Found Negligent in Combine Harvester Accident Claim

December 18, 2013

One of the largest manufacturers of agricultural machinery in the world – John Deere – has been found liable in a combine harvester accident claim in respect of injuries sustained by a Limerick farm worker.

Denis Scollard (30) had been working for agricultural contractors Thomas and William Wright for four years when, in June 1995, he was assisting in the collection of silage for various farmers in County Limerick and using a John Deere 6810 combine harvester to do so.

As often happened while using the combine harvester, a grass blockage occurred; and Denis jumped down from the cab to clear the obstacle. As he was opening the inspection hatch, the fingers of his left hand were crushed when the machine´s paddles came down inside the chute and Denis suffered a permanent injury.

In 1996, Denis made a combine harvester accident claim for compensation against his employers, which was resolved at the time for €430,000. However, Thomas and William Wright then made their own combine harvester accident claim against the companies from whom the machine was leased (AIB Finance & Leasing) and supplied (Geary’s Garage Ltd), who in turn sought indemnity from John Deere Ltd as manufacturers of the combine harvester.

John Deere denied their liability for Denis´ injuries; contesting that the paddles would not have crushed his fingers if he had followed the instructions published in the combine harvester´s manual and disengaged the engine. According to the defence against the combine harvester accident claim, there was no scientific basis to explain how the paddles could have moved unless the engine was engaged

In December 2007, after hearing evidence from two eye witnesses and a medical expert, Ms Justice Mary Irvine at the High Court in Dublin found against John Deere on the grounds that Denis´ injuries would have been much more severe had the paddles been in motion at the time. The judge acknowledged that there was a dispute about how the accident had happened, but ruled that the company had been negligent by “designing, manufacturing and selling a combine harvester with a design defect”.

John Deere Ltd appealed the decision, and the case went to the Irish Supreme Court last week, where Mr Justice Frank Clarke upheld Judge Irvine´s verdict that Denis´ injuries were a foreseeable consequence of negligence. Judge Clarke ordered that John Deere should reimburse the €430,000 paid in settlement of Denis´ combine harvester accident claim and pay €40,000 to Thomas and William Wright in respect of their legal costs.

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Claims of Bumbo Baby Seat Injuries Lead to Recall

August 16, 2012

The South African Manufacturer of Bumbo Baby Seats has announced a major recall of its product following claims of Bumbo Baby Seat injuries to scores of young children.

The recall of Bumbo Baby Seats – which are marketed in the UK as Bumbo Baby Sitters and cost around 40 pounds from baby stores and online retail outlets – follows a large number of complaints to the American Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) concerning the ease at which active babies can wriggle out of the seats and expose themselves to the risk of injury.

Previous safety warnings have been issued by the CPSC concerning the Bumbo Baby Seats which includes advice to parents not to use the Bumbo range of products on any elevated surface – advice which resulted in Bumbo recalling more than one million Bumbo Baby Sitters in 2007 in order to add labels warning parents of the risks associated with using the seat at table height.

Despite the warnings, the volume of claims of Bumbo Baby Seat injuries has continued – including some concerning children who had suffered skull fractures due to tumbling backwards out of the Bumbo Baby Seat while the seat was placed on the floor. These latest reports prompted the CPSC to issue a further warning to American consumers in November 2011 and the recently announced recall.

Bumbo Baby Seats are in future to be fitted with a safety harness to reduce the risk of injury, and concerned parents in the UK are advised to stop using the sitter immediately, contact the store from which they purchased their Bumbo Baby Sitter and obtain a “repair kit”.

Whereas the Bumbo Baby Seat recall is confined to the USA and Canada at present, it is likely to extend to the UK and Europe within a short period of time, and parents who have their own claims of Bumbo Baby Seat injuries in the UK should speak with a solicitor as soon as possible.

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Lords Hear of Risk of Injury due to PPD in Hair Dye

March 29, 2012

The House of Lords was addressed last week by Baroness Taylor of Bolton who brought to the Lord´s attention an increasing risk of injury due to PPD in hair dye.

An hour-long “debate” was scheduled in order that the Baroness could raise awareness of the dangers associated with the chemical para-Phenylensiamine (PPD) and ask the Government what steps were being taken to advise consumers in the UK of the risk of injury due to PPD in hair dye.

Baroness Taylor quoted a report that had been published in the British Medical Journal which claimed that 8 per cent of allergic skin reactions treated in hospital were attributable to PPD and that this percentage was increasing on an annual basis.

Lady Taylor – supported by Baroness Randerson, Viscount Montgomery of Alamein and Lord Collins of Highbury  called on the Government to improve the labelling on hair products containing para-Phenylensiamine to advise people of the risk of injury due to PPD in hair dye.

In response, Baroness Wilcox – Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State representing the Government – stated that the labelling of para-Phenylensiamine in hair dye was regulated by the European cosmetic products directive and was implemented into UK law as the Cosmetic Products (Safety) Regulations 2008.

However, Baroness Wilcox advised the House that the European Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety was currently investigating the risk of injury due to PPD in hair dye and a report on their findings was due to be released in June. She said that the Government would participate in any co-ordinated campaign that emerges to protect the British consumer.

PPD in hair dye was blamed for the death of 17 year old Tabatha McCourt last October and for the condition of Julia McCabe, who remains in a coma after collapsing last year due to an alleged severe allergic reaction to para-Phenylensiamine.

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Compensation for Tassimo Burns Likely Due to Recall

February 10, 2012

Claims for compensation for Tassimo burns are likely to follow the recall of the Tassimo coffee maker in the United States and Canada, after the manufacturers acknowledged that at least 160 cases of burn injuries and scalding were attributable to a design fault.

More than 1.7 million Tassimo coffee makers have been withdrawn in North America after the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) found that the machine´s T-disc – the plastic pot containing the coffee – could explode and shower bystanders with scalding water. Thirty-seven instances of second-degree burns have been reported to the CPSC, including the case of a two-year-old girl who was hospitalised after receiving burns to her face.

The Tassimo coffee making machines, which are still on sale in the UK, have been marketed worldwide since 2008, and the Tassimo coffee maker recall has been extended to include 4 million Gevalia, Maxwell House and Nabob espresso T-discs still believed to be in circulation in American grocery stores. The recalled discs are sold in packets of eight and sixteen and, like the Tassimo coffee making machines, are still available in stores in the UK.

Compensation claims for Tassimo burns are likely to be made against BSH Home Appliances Corporation – the manufacturers of the Tassimo coffee makers – who are based in Irvine, California. Burn injury compensation for a burn from a Tassimo coffee maker should also account for any permanent scarring resulting from a Tassimo coffee maker burn and – especially when a child has been scalded by a Tassimo coffee maker – consideration should be made for any ongoing psychological injury.

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IKEA High Chair Recall: Compensation Claims Likely

January 5, 2012

For the second time in a little over two years, an IKEA high chair recall has been announced following complaints about safety issues and after children have been injured due to the company´s negligence.

 In December 2009, an IKEA high chair recall was announced in respect of the “Leopard” brand of high chairs after it was discovered that a design fault in the safety lock could cause the locks to release suddenly and allow children seated in the high chair to fall between the high chair table and seat. One IKEA high chair injury claim is known to have been made after a little boy fell in this way and received severe bruising to his legs.

 Now, following reports of a further design fault, the belts on the “Antilop” IKEA high chairs have been recalled after reports of several children being injured when they fell from the chairs after the safety belts had unexpectedly opened. More than one million IKEA high chairs are estimated to be affected, with over 60,000 sold in the UK between 2007 and 2011. Already three children are reported to have sustained injuries from falls from an “Antilop” high chair, entitling their parents to make IKEA high chair injury compensation claims.

 Parents who are concerned that the belts on their “Antilop” high chair are subject to the IKEA high chair recall should look at the label on the underside of the chair. Only chairs with the supplier #17389 and a production date between 0607 and 0911 are considered to be hazardous and present a risk of a child falling. However, due to the popularity of this particular brand of IKEA high chair, parents should also be vigilant when placing their child in an “Antilop” high chair in a crèche, restaurant of other business establishment with a duty of care towards children.

 The possibility of further IKEA high chair injury compensation claims exists for the parents of children who have sustained an unreported injury due to faults in the recalled IKEA high chairs – claimed either against the Swedish furniture manufacturer, or from any business establishment who continues to provide these high chairs on their premises while known to present a dangerous hazard.

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Foot Injury Compensation Agreed for Faulty Shoes

December 3, 2011

A man whose feet erupted in blisters due to the high irritant content in a new pair of shoes has settled his foot injury compensation claim against the manufacturers in an out-of-court settlement.

Chris Heleine (51) from Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, had purchased the Sperry Top-Siders shoes from the Leeds branch of Hip Menswear in April 2009 prior to going on holiday to Spain. However, within hours of wearing the shoes, his feet had erupted into large blisters and he was rushed to hospital.

Staff at the hospital in Menorca popped the blisters and drained the fluid that had collected underneath but, following the initial treatment, Chris had to return to the hospital each day for a week to have his dressing changed as the high humidity in Menorca could have resulted in both feet becoming infected.

On his return to the UK, Chris sought legal advice, and his solicitors arranged to have the chemical content of the shoes analysed. The results of the analysis revealed unusually high level of 2-Mercaptobenzothiazole – a classified irritant and the cause of Chris´ blisters.

Chris made a foot injury compensation claim against the manufacturers of the shoes – American company Collective Brands – and, after they conducted their own independent chemical analysis, the company admitted liability for Chris´ injuries and paid a four-figure sum in settlement of the foot injury compensation claim.

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Woman Falls into Coma due to PPD Hair Dye Injury

November 4, 2011

A mother of two has fallen into a coma and suffered brain damage allegedly due to a PPD hair dye injury caused by the presence of para-Phenylenediamine (PPD) in the L’Oreal Preferences hair dye she was using at the time.

Julie McCabe (38) from Keighley in West Yorkshire collapsed shortly after rinsing out the hair dye at her home on 30th October and was rushed to Airedale General Hospital by her father. However, on the journey to the hospital Julie´s heart stopped beating and, although doctor´s were able to revive her on her arrival at the emergency room, Julie´s brain had been without oxygen for so long that she fell into a coma.

Doctors were told that Julie used the same hair dye every six weeks and conducted a patch test prior to use as recommended on the packet. They believe that Julie´s PPD hair dye injury may have been brought on by a build up of the chemical para-Phenylenediamine and are conducting further test with the assistance of the manufacturer of the product to confirm whether or not this is the case.

Julie´s PPD hair dye injury comes just several weeks after Tabatha McCourt suffered a fatal fit which was attributed to an allergic reaction to PPD in hair dye, and consumer groups have alerted the public to possible health risks of using hair dye containing PPD which include dermatitis, nerve damage, lung irritation and possibly bladder cancer.

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Allergic Reaction to PPD in Hair Dye Claims Life of Teenager

October 17, 2011

Early investigations into the death of a teenage girl have suggested that her fatal fit was caused by a severe allergic reaction to PPD in hair dye.

Tabatha McCourt (17) from Airdrie, North Lanarkshire, went into the fit just 20 minutes after applying hair dye containing the chemical p-Phenylendiamine at a nearby friend´s home. Her friend, Heather Goodhall, told investigators that Tabatha had visited the bathroom after applying the hair dye and emerged in a state of shock, screaming “No! No! No!” and pulling at the foils in her hair.

Heather then explained that Tabatha had started vomiting and before passing out on the sofa. An ambulance was summoned and Tabatha was rushed to Monklands General Hospital, Lanarkshire, where she died shortly after arrival. Although a post-mortem into Tabatha´s death is still to be completed, investigators believe that an allergic reaction to PPD in hair dye may have been responsible for triggering the fit.

Claims that p-Phenylendiamine chemicals in hair dye – or PPD as it is more commonly known – can be responsible for causing damage to the nervous system, lung irritation and potentially bladder cancer have been gaining strength over the past decade, however this is the first time that an allergic reaction to PPD in hair dye has ever been attributed to a fatality.

Emma Meredith, head of scientific research at the Cosmetic Toiletry and Perfumery Association, explained that PPD is used in many dyes that darken hair. She said that “to have such an immediate and violent reaction to this or any other cosmetic product is exceedingly rare” and issued advice to always perform a patch test to check for an allergic reaction to PPD in hair dye 48 hours before intending to use a hair dye product.

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Compensation Claims Soar for Poor Contraceptive Implants

March 22, 2011

The Medical Defence Union (MDU) has issued a warning to GPs in the United Kingdom to brush up on their contraceptive implant skills, following a dramatic increase in compensation claims against the National Health Service (NHS) for unwanted pregnancies.

Contraceptive implants, such as Implanon, have been a popular alternative to traditional methods of contraception since they were first introduced into the UK in 1999. They are inserted beneath the skin of the upper arm and work by drip feeding hormones into the bloodstream which inhibit the release of eggs from the ovaries. It is estimated that almost a quarter of women using contraception in the UK prefer this method of contraception, as one implant has a life of three years.

However, it has now been revealed that over fifteen hundred complaints have been received by the NHS and MDU. Many concern permanent scarring and injury from the incorrect insertion of the implant, but there are 584 known cases of women bringing claims against doctors insured by the MDU and employed by the NHS for unwanted pregnancies.

The MDU and NHS have already paid out more than 300,000 pounds in compensation and the MDU fear that this amount could rise significantly unless doctors receive thorough training to avoid mistakes when implanting the device.

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