When it comes to a product liability case in Ontario, there are five key components that have to be considered. They are as follows:
1. A duty of care owed by the manufacturer to the plaintiff. The manufacturer is obligated to make a safe product that will not cause injury when used properly.
2. A clear breach of the aforementioned duty of care. This is when the injured party shows that the product was not safe and that the injury happened through no fault of his or her own.
3. A link between the breach of duty and the actual injury. Basically, the injured person just needs to show that he or she was injured by the product when it malfunctioned. This is to prevent people from being injured in some other way, in a separate event, and then trying to seek compensation.
4. A link between the breach of duty and the injury, where the breach is a proximate cause. This means that the person would not have been injured if the product had worked as it was intended. The malfunction itself has to have caused the injury.
5. A connection between the manufacturer’s negligence, resulting in the event, that means the injured person suffered actual damages. It is possible for damages to go beyond the immediate injury; for example, someone who is disfigured or disabled may also be able to seek compensation based on the fact that he or she cannot work anymore.
Though these are the five main elements, these cases can be very complicated, which is why it’s so important to know what legal options you have.
Source: FindLaw, “Legal Basis for Liability in Product Cases,” accessed March 18, 2016