Can Dangerous Products Lead to Personal Injury and Death Claims?

If there has been a death in the family due to the use of dangerous products, there is legal recourse to bring the supplier or manufacturer to book. The Canada Consumer product Safety Act governs the products that manufacturers make are safe for use and are not defective.  In case any product is considered dangerous, or causes death or leads to personal injury, it can lead to criminal liability for those that have supplied, manufactured or imported the products. It is extended to those that tested, labelled and even advertised these products.

A dangerous product is something that is potentially hazardous to your safety or can lead to health issues or even lead to a fatality. In case a product has been proven to be unsafe or dangerous then the authorities can ask the manufacturer to completely recall the product and if they don’t comply, the government can do it themselves. Additionally, the manufacturers and suppliers will be taken to court where they will be fined or imprisoned. When you have lost a loved one, you or deceased’s family which includes spouse, children, parents or even grandparents have the authority to file for wrongful death claim on the manufacturer, retailer or even the supplier. This is done on the grounds of:

  • Loss of companionship, guidance and care: This is done to compensate for the care and companionship the family is deprived of wherein the deceased would have provided.
  • Financial losses: The grounds for filing the claim on this basis is the loss of income due to the wrongful death. It includes the cost of hospital visits, funeral expenses, medical bills and providing for the family as there is loss of income.

Having a good lawyer by your side can help you get the necessary procedures and documentation completed and submitted in time. The lawyers will ensure that you do not cross the Statute of Limitations and in most cases it is 2 years.

When the wrongful death claim is filed under personal injury laws, it is covered under the product liability clauses. The difference is whether a contract was signed or was purchased off the shelf.

  • Negligence based liability: When there is no contract, and the product is harmful, then the negligence is considered on the part of the distributer, manufacture or even the retailer. The claim will need to show that the safety of the product was compromised and there was negligence on the part of the seller/manufacturer.
  • Contract-based liability: This is covered as breach of contract especially when there is a contract and the product is found dangerous or unsafe. As per Ontario law, having a contract means that the product for use is completely safe.

Irrespective of negligence or contract based claims, you are awarded compensation based on non- pecuniary and pecuniary damages. The non-pecuniary damages cover loss of care, suffering and pain. You cannot be paid more than $350,000 under this claim. While the pecuniary damages cover the loss of financial support, medical expenses and are capped at the actuals of the submitted bills and invoices.