This essay will consider the extent to which the Consumer Protection Act 1987 (CPA 1987) has improved the position for consumers in defective product cases. Comparing with case law, this study will summarise the overall effect of the Act before reaching a reasoned conclusion. The unrivalled benefit of CPA 1987 is the imposition of strict liability, eliminating concern for negligence. The claimant must show damage caused by a defect in a product, easing the burden of testament on them (Abouzaid v Mothercare). Likewise, it enables not only the purchaser of a product, but anyone who may be harmed by that item to become a claimant. Nevertheless, strict liability is not absolute. Defects are only accountable based on the safety of a product, rather than care taken during production. This is assessed against what persons are generally entitled to expect.  Where a product is particularly unsafe, yet this is a reasonable expectation for the product, the manufacturer will not be liable (Bogle v McDonalds). The Act provides for a range of potential defendants. Cases can be brought against the producer of a product, any ‘own-branders’ or anyone who has imported the goods into the European Union. This increases the position of the consumer with the power to sue any, or all, of the potential defendants.The range of harms defined within the Act include death, personal injury and damage to property exceeding £275. However, it expressly excludes damage to the product, business property and property below £275. These limitation appear unfair, but the product may be recovered under contract law and the CPA 1987 is utilised for the protection of consumers rather than businesses. The only true limitation of the Act is of damage to property below £275. Ultimately, the Act contains a number of defences. Most are uncontroversial, however, the ‘development risks’ defence provides that there is no liability where a defendant proves that there was limited scientific or technical knowledge at the time of supply. This defence may compromises the strict liability of the CPA 1987,but the defence is only available where the risk was not reasonably foreseeable at the time (A and others v National Blood Authority and another).In conclusion, the CPA 1987 has improved the position for consumers as it has removed the necessity for the claimant to prove negligence. However, the harm covered by the act is limited, leaving some victims at a loss.


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