Product liability claims can be based on the law of contract, delict or statutory provisions that set out liability for defective products. The Consumer Protection Act No 68 of 2006 (CPA) is the legislative instrument governing liability in respect of defective or unsafe goods and general consumer protection. Section 61 of the CPA deals with liability for damages caused by goods and can be described as the product liability section……
Waarvoor word wette geskep eintlik en hoeveel word toegepas? Hoe veilig is jou kind of jyself in die gebou waar jy werksaam is en dit geld selfs vir die onderwysers wat skoolhou – is hierdie dinge net oorgesien en waarom? Hoe lyk al ons skole in Suid-Afrika? Is daar nie veiligheidskomitees in skole of munisipale geboue nie? Kinders behoort deel hiervan te wees asook ouerkomitees. Wat van verantwoordelikheid binne ‘n publieke gebou? Indien onderhoud gedoen was sal konstruksies nie net ineenstort nie en wat van die konstruksies self wat geval het – let op na dinge om jou hoe geboue “goedgekeur” is en baie onderhoud word (was) nooit gedoen nie.
Wat van die res van SA se skole, munisipale geboue, letterlik die groot geboue in die stade of dorpe. Is daar krake in mure wat groter word en al ooit gewonder hoekom is daar krake wat al groter word dat mens ‘n hand daardeur kan druk. Swak bouwerk en swak onderhoud.
So iets is skokkend om te aanskou vir die normale persoon wat veilig wil skoolgaan of werk toe gaan, dis totaal onaanvaarbaar. Is daar fabrieke in die omgewing wat suurreen afgee, want ook dit het ‘n groot invloed op enige gebou, die verf, dakke wat verweer, hout en balke wat verweer, voertuie wat as gevolg van suurreen skade opkry – waar is die munisipale bywette en regeringswetgewing – niemand sal in die huidige opset enige verantwoordelikheid neem of wil neem nie.
ALLE MUNISIPALITEITE EN METRORADE HET BOUREGULASIES ASOOK VERSKILLENDE BYWETTE
waar gereeld inspeksies moet plaasvind, waar geboue opgerig word en wat aan standaarde moet voldoen.
Waar dit onooglike strukture aangaan, soos geroeste pale, kan dit ook normaalweg aangemeld word by munisipaliteite want skole val in munisipale gebiede en deel van munisipale verordeninge.
Indien daar probleme is tussen skool en onderwysdepartement, volg dit op met betrokke munisipale owerhede, wat skole kan help inspekteur, waar dit beveiliging van leerders, onderwysers en werkers raak. Heelwat werkers beweeg ook in die loopvlakke vir skoonmaak en skoonhou.
Sodoende kan daar meer gewig gedra word indien groot struktuurprobleme betyds uitgewys word.
Of andersinds, kan gebruik gemaak word van privaat ingenieurs, of dalk is daar ouers wie ingenieurs is wat kan help met sulke tipe van ondersoeke.
Neem maatskappye, munisipaliteite, besighede en skole nie ook polisse uit wat hierdie dinge dek – voorkom ongelukke deur betyds reg te maak ?
Depending on the groups of individuals that interact with a business, different types of liability insurance may be required.
Any business has the potential to harm people and/or property. In today’s litigious society, it is important for businesses to be covered by public liability insurance.
Since the enactment of the Consumer Protection Act (2011), consumers seeking compensation for damages caused by goods, are no longer required to prove that producer of the goods was negligent, only that the goods were purchased and that harm resulted from using them (in the manner prescribed by the user manual).
All businesses are bound by a ‘duty of care’ for the parties that they interact with, e.g. their clients, suppliers, distributors, neighbours and the environment. Businesses at particular risk are those involved in performing a service in another party’s premises (movers), servicing people’s assets (car service) and manufacturing products (furniture) that can inflict damage.
Types of public liability
You can claim for a variety of damages due to a multitude of causes if the company or property owner can be shown to be negligent and this includes everything from head injury claims to slip and fall claims.
General and tenant insurance covers cases in which damage to a member of the public or a tenant has been incurred.
e.g. If an air conditioner mounted outside of the building falls and crashes onto a car, or if the tenant or member of a gym, slips on the way to the pool.
Employers liability discharges the responsibility of the employer from the injury or damage done to an employee or their assets as a result of negligence on the part of the business. e.g If a pipe burst in the office and spills dirty water all over the desks of your employees, liability insurance will cover the employer for injuries suffered and damages to the employees’ phones, clothes, computers etc.
Another example is employers failing to supply safety goggles in smelting factories, causing the workers to lose their vision.
Product liability protects businesses from damages caused by goods to customers, and also from products arriving in a damaged state, and wrong delivery upon which product liability claims are made.
Defective workmanship liability protects businesses from damage or injury to the public resulting from manufacturing defects.
Contractors liability provides protection against damages and injuries to third parties resulting from construction and maintenance work.
Professional indemnity protects professionals from loss/injury/damage to third parties due to erroneous advice or treatment and includes medical negligence claims.
There are two types of claim
1. Small and frequent claims that usually involve smaller compensatory amounts. These are often due to simple negligence on behalf of the accused e.g. unkempt walkways, potholes, objects falling off of construction sites.
2. Large but rare claims involving exceptional sums and severe injuries. Generally, occur due to failure on the part of the business to protect the person from injury.
e.g. Gas explosion due to faulty piping, contamination of drinking water
Damages claimable for product liability
- Past and future medical expenses resulting as a direct consequence of negligence regarding the product or product defects
- Past and future loss of earning
- General damages, pain and suffering
- Support loss compensation, in the case of the death of the breadwinner
Do you need to claim for public liability?
If you have been involved in an accident at work or accident at the fault of a business or government, where you were not at fault, you may want to claim back for damages from the insured party.
In order to do this, you must attempt to prove the extent of loss you suffered, as a result of the incident. If the company or property owner does not own an insurance policy guarding against public liability claims, you may need to launch a civil suit, or ‘sue’ them.
In that case, you will take the liable party before a court of law and if your personal injury claim is successful, the Judge will order compensatory monies to be paid. In some cases, this may result in the business going bankrupt or the liable persons facing financial difficulties due to the required compensation. In some cases, defendants will need to sell their assets in order to meet the monetary value ruled adequate.
Some people may have no assets of value or accessible funds, in which case your claim, although relevant and substantiated, may be futile.
In order to claim from the responsible party:
- You, as the claimant, must first prove that the damages suffered by you is a direct result of the incident and further, directly due to the negligence or action of the accused party.
- You must prove beyond reasonable doubt that the negligence or failure of action on the part of the accused party, such as selling second-hand tyres as new or failing to repair a faulty elevator, could have been prevented or foreseen
- You must prove that the repairs and compensation will return the damaged goods to the state they would have been in if the accident had not occurred. Similarly, if you are claiming for loss of income due to the incident, the Judge will consider compensation as if the accident had not occurred.
- You may need to repair your car and then claim back from the insured afterwards. Alternatively, you may choose to wait on the repairs until you know that your claim has merit and that the insurance company will pay out. The former involves more risk to your personal finances, but an immediate solution, the latter may complicate your everyday life but is less risky in terms of your personal costs.
Preparing to see your lawyer
Before seeing your lawyer, it may help things run smoothly if you are prepared. Try to have as many of the following relevant documents at your appointment:
- Identity document
- Documentation of the accident and damage caused
- Registration number of the car that caused the accident
- Police case number
- Personal details of the driver or the owner of the car
- Personal details of any witnesses to the accident
- A hospital patient number (if you have one)
If making a loss of support claim, a death certificate and a copy of your loved one’s latest payslip will be required.
How much will it cost you?
Each case is different and has to be evaluated based on its own merits. In the case that your claim is unsuccessful, most law firms will not charge for their services. If your claim is successful the lawyer will recover the value of their fee and expenses by requiring you pay them a percentage of the compensation.
As a result, many lawyers will not take your case unless they are certain that they will be successful.
Ensure you consult with honourable and honest professionals.
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PUBLIC LIABILITY INSURANCE
Business insurance can help protect your company against a number of risks – such as if a third party holds you responsible for an incident that may have taken place at, or in connection with your business. Cover in these circumstances is known as public liability insurance – just one of the many policies available through multisure from Old Mutual Insure. Safeguard your business and your bottom line with multisure, and you’ll enjoy comprehensive business insurance designed to protect you against liability claims, business interruption, motor vehicle accidents, theft, fire, and a range of other business-related risks.
PUBLIC LIABILITY INSURANCE IN SOUTH AFRICA
Any business that connects with the public can open itself up to public liability claims – and it’s for this reason that public liability insurance for businesses in South Africa is so crucial. If someone slips and falls on your premises, or if you inadvertently damage a client’s property while on a job, you’ll be liable for the damages, and any relevant legal fees should the case be taken to court. Public liability insurance will help take care of all these costs, protecting you and your business and giving you all the financial support you need.
MULTISURE LIABILITY INSURANCE COVER
Protect yourself against third party claims with a range of liability insurance cover from multisure, including:
- Public Liability Cover – A policy covering any responsibility you may have towards third parties as a result of injury or damage caused at or by your business in the course of daily operations.
- Broadform Liability Cover – Similar to public liability but with wider cover, broadform liability insurance also includes Camargue M3 risk management services, such as free telephonic legal advice.
- Umbrella Liability Cover – Liability cover for your small or medium business should your premiums fall below certain limits, with indemnity for damages, costs, fees and expenses included.
The personal liability insurance in a homeowner’s policy will also cover your liability related to the structure of your home and its permanent fittings – for example, if a wall collapsed onto someone’s car.
But the cover is wider than what happens in and around your home. Zondani says that, although the insurer looks at the interests of the client at the risk address and his or her immediate family members who live there, cover is not restricted to events that occur on the premises – in fact, you are covered anywhere in South Africa and abroad.
He says a typical settlement may include compensation for:
* Medical costs, present and future;
* Restoring or replacing damaged property;
* Pain and suffering of the injured party;
* Loss of income; and/or
* Legal costs and expenses.
Product liability claims can be based on the law of contract, delict or statutory provisions that set out liability for defective products.
The Consumer Protection Act No 68 of 2006 (CPA) is the legislative instrument governing liability in respect of defective or unsafe goods and general consumer protection. Section 61 of the CPA deals with liability for damages caused by goods and can be described as the product liability section. In respect of any particular goods or services, a consumer includes:
• A person to whom those particular goods or services are marketed in the ordinary course of the supplier’s business.
• A person who has entered into a transaction with a supplier in the ordinary course of the supplier’s business, unless the transaction is exempt.
• If the context requires or permits, a user of particular goods or a recipient or beneficiary of particular services, irrespective of whether that user, recipient or beneficiary was a party to a transaction concerning the supply of those particular goods or services.
• A franchisee (in certain circumstances).
However, the CPA does not apply to all transactions for the supply of goods or services. More specifically, where goods or services are promoted or supplied to the state, or where the consumer is a juristic person whose asset value or annual turnover, at the time of the transaction, equals or exceeds the threshold value determined by the Minister, the CPA will not apply.