Compensation Law: What is Product Liability? | BPC Law Blog

You may have heard stories of people being injured because of a product, whether that’s because the product was faulty or its design was flawed. The next step is to find a lawyer and to seek compensation under product liability. But what is product liability defined as in Sydney and Australia?

Compensation law

From a consumer’s point of view, product liability is there to keep you safe, and, ultimately, help you if you are injured by a product. But how exactly can a product injure you? Well, when you go to a restaurant you expect that the food there will be edible and safe, otherwise it’s not a restaurant. However, if you end up with food poisoning, the ‘product’ that the restaurant sold was ‘faulty’, so you can claim for compensation under product liability. The other side of product liability is keeping you safe from poorly-designed products. You’re probably aware that as we approach Christmas each year, there is always a story in the media of how one of the hottest toys is actually dangerous and has to be recalled (e.g. you might remember in 2007 when Bindeez were recalled because it was found that when the small beads were swallowed, a chemical in them was turned into the party drug GHB by the human body).

Compensation law

Of course, product liability isn’t just something for consumers. Businesses that manufacture, supply, or design products need to know what they can do to ensure there will be no question of product liability. If you are involved in the manufacturing or designing of a product, these are a few things to do to keep everything and everybody safe:

  • Have regular reviews of the product designs and production
  • Have quality assurance procedures and review these regularly
  • Test products regularly to make sure they meet industry standards
  • Provide clear and useful instructions with your product
  • If need be, have voluntary recalls

Product liability is purely to look after you and your family. If businesses must meet a certain standard, and they can face punishment if they don’t, it encourages them to make quality products.


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