Consumer Protection

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Ruff (1995) stated that the criminal liability of producers, distributors and suppliers of unsafe products is covered under Part II of the Consumer Protection Act of 1987, which has mandated a general safety requirement. The producer, distributor or supplier of unsafe products incur criminal liability for failure to exercise due diligence. The law is strict but the criminal liability can be dispensed with after showing that they exercised due diligence and have reasonable grounds to believe that the products passed the general safety test (Ruff, 1995). Aside from this, the General Products Safety Regulations 1994, accordance to the European Directive of 1992, enforced the strict criminal liability against the product producers to prevent them from placing in the market any unsafe product that cause harm to consumers. However, based on these laws, the criminal liability imposed upon producers and suppliers does not effectively give the consumers the remedy to file for personal claims unlike in civil law. Under the provisions of the Consumer Protection Act of 1987, any person who shall be injured brought about by defective products shall have the right to sue for damages. Before the enactment of the Consumer Protection Act, injured consumers have the mandatory requirement to prove that the producer or the manufacturer is guilty of negligence before they are allowed to claim for damages (Consumer Affair Directorate, 2001). However, when the Consumer Protection Act became effective, the injured parties are no longer required to present proof of negligence on the part of the producers or manufacturers. The term product liability was given to the applicable laws which affected the rights of consumers for defective products. In connection with this law is the Sale of Goods Act of 1979 which gave the right for any injured individual to sue the manufacturer on the basis of a defective product. The basis of such right rests on the concept of breach on the part of the manufacturers or producers for failure to deliver products of satisfactory quality. Ford and Stewart (2003), the Consumer Act deals with consumer safety. The purpose of the law is to protect the consumers against defective products which do not meet the reasonable level of safety required under the law. It affords the consumers the right to sue for damages they have suffered after using the product. On the other hand, the General Product Safety Regulations of 1994 is another piece of legislation that involves consumer safety, and partly repealed the Consumer Act. Business owners are expected to manufacture products or goods that reach the reasonable level of safety that will not cause harm to its consumers. At the same time, the business owners have the obligation to provide the relevant information to the consumers regarding the risk involved in the use of their products (Ford and Stewart, 2003). In addition, in the contract of sale, the buyer and the seller have their respective obligations to complete the transfer of ownership of the goods. The law provides under Section 14 (2) of the SOGA, mandated that products or goods that are being sold in the ordinary course of business should be of satisfactory quality. Dabydeen (2004) stated that it is expected that the quality of goods and products must comply with a certain level of fitness, which starts from the appearance, until the finish of the goods and ensure that they are safe for use and durable and free from any minor defects. McCormick and Papadakis (2003) stated that the theory on Products Liability Doctrine resulted from the development of a strict products liability theory of recovery. The standards of care on the part of the manufacturer, producer and distributor of goods shall be liable for negligence, breach of warranty standard and a strict liability standard for failure to deliver products that are of satisfactory quality. The law does not require the consumers to prove negligence or breach of warranty...
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