Canada’s product liability is overseen by Health Canada and the government by common law principles. For instance, it has been commonly established that a producer of food, medicine, medical devices, and other consumer products is expected to thoroughly design, test, manufacture, and market goods that are safe for use as intended. If there are any known risks, they must remedy the hazards or at the very least present the information in the product labelling materials. When a company fails to do so, they may be sued by the consumer. If you have any questions about filing a lawsuit, contact our Preszler team of Chilliwack product liability lawyers for a free consultation.
Product Liability Claims
Typical tort claims related to unsafe consumer products include:
The general statute of limitation period
In order to bring your claim, you must file within a two to six-year limitation period. This is tolled until age 18 for minors or in cases where a physical or mental incapacity renders a person unable to represent their interests in court. Limitation periods commence when the claim became “reasonably discoverable.”
For instance, if you are using an Instant Pot and it explodes while you’re using it, causing injury, the limitation period would reasonably start on the date of injury, as it is obvious that the product directly caused you harm. On the other hand, your limitation period may begin much later if you only recently saw a television commercial alerting you that Johnson & Johnson has been paying out settlements to long-term talcum powder users who subsequently came down with ovarian cancer.
Damages Awarded in Product Liability Cases
Valid claims for product liability are generally awarded both pecuniary and non-pecuniary damages. Pecuniary losses include past, present, and future medical care, as well as any loss of earnings sustained. Non-pecuniary losses include pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life. Property damage is often included in these cases. In rare cases, punitive damages are awarded if the manufacturer’s conduct is deemed reprehensible.
Maximum Limit on Damages
The maximum amount of “pain and suffering” damages is generally capped at roughly $375,000. This amount was set 40 years ago but gets adjusted for inflation and cost of living expenses. Many consumer advocates argue there should be no cap on pain and suffering damages, but the courts have ruled that placing a cap keeps judgements and insurance premiums “fair and reasonable.” Working with Chilliwack product liability lawyers is the best way to seek the maximum compensation allowed by law.
Get Help with our Preszler team of Chilliwack Product Liability Lawyers
We are a product liability law firm offering free consultations and contingency-based representation (with no upfront fees) to any British Columbian who feels he or she may have been harmed or lost a loved one due to a product defect. We routinely service the people of Chilliwack out of our nearest office in Abbotsford, less than 30 minutes southwest on the Trans-Canada Highway BC-1.