Ridout Barron


Harmful product allegations could lead to civil litigation

The Canada Consumer Product Safety Act protects consumers against harm caused by dangerous products. When a member of the public in Alberta or another province is injured or becomes ill as the result of a malfunctioning or dangerous product, grounds may exist to pursue a claim for damage recovery. This might lead to civil litigation, with the manufacturer of the product and/or others in the consumer supply chain named as defendants.

Health Canada administers the CCPSA, and the law authorizes Health Canada to issue fines for consumer products that pose a danger to human health or safety when used for regular and foreseeable purposes. This includes any product that causes an injury or death, or could harm the health of the person exposed to it. Furthermore, fines might also be issued if a chronic ailment is attributed to the use of a hazardous product, regardless of the lapse of time between the exposure and the adverse effect.

Under the CCPSA, certain products may not be sold, manufactured, imported or advertised. Health Canada is specifically authorized to test and evaluate all consumer products to verify compliance with CCPSA. If products are found not to comply with the Act, the federal government is empowered to recall products that are hazardous or might pose a danger to the safety or health of humans.

Most business owners in Alberta endeavour to comply with the standards mandated by the CCPSA. Nevertheless, unanticipated incidents can occur that cause harm to consumers. When this happens, the affected consumer may have grounds to file a products liability claim, which could be harmful to the business. The business owner has every right to secure the services of a lawyer with extensive civil litigation experience. The fact that a business entity is sued does not mean that liability automatically follows, and the right attorney will work with the client to defend its business reputation and pursue an optimal resolution of the dispute.

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Ridout Barron

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