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Product liability » The fake goods market

There is a huge demand for fake goods in the UK and if you go abroad to places like China you will find a veritable Aladdins cave of phoney Prada, faux Chanel and rip-off Dior.

It seems that we will buy counterfeit anything from designer handbags to vodka. But while having a wardrobe full of designer labels may make your friends envious, buying products that have not undergone the proper regulatory channels could lead to you sustaining a serious personal injury.

The dangers of fake goods

When shopping for bargain Christmas presents or perusing the market stalls for a cut-price treat it is unlikely that you will consider the dangers that electrical goods, toiletries, consumables and clothing, which are not necessarily the genuine article, may have.

However, in some instances retailers may replace authentic goods with fake goods, a deceptive money making ploy that could cause serious harm to an unsuspecting consumer. Fake goods which have the potential to cause you serious personal injury include:

Clothing and footwear: counterfeit designer shoes may not be constructed properly. This may present the risk of a heel breaking off and fake trainers without proper support, which could cause trips, falls and ankle injuries.

Toiletries: some fake perfumes and make-up products have been known to be mixed with skin irritants, such as urine, which could cause serious allergic reactions and facial burns.

Electrical goods: batteries, hair straightners and such like have been known to explode and short-circuit as a result of faulty electrical connections and cause burn injuries to consumers.

Cigarettes: some fake cigarettes contain considerably more tar, nicotine and carbon monoxide than would be found in the brand they were imitating. This could increase the risk of lung conditions, including cancer.

Alcohol: high amounts of methanol and other toxins, which can cause kidney failure or even poison consumers, have been discovered in fake spirits such as vodka.

Product liability claims associated with fake goods

Currently, there is no UK law against owning fake products but in France such an act can land you a fine. Until a similar law is passed in the UK people will continue to buy and sell counterfeit goods and consumers will continue to sustain personal injuries as a result.

While it might be difficult to track down the market trader that sold you a faulty toaster, making a product liability personal injury claim may not be as difficult as you first may think. For example, some high-street shops sell counterfeit equipment and could face a hefty fine from trading standards if caught out, paving the way for you to also make a product liability claim against them or the products manufacturer.

Also, if a premises is found to be selling food or drink that contains harmful substances, especially if they were selling it under the guise of something else, they could have successful compensation claims made against them and even have their business closed down.

Alternatively, the retailers and manufacturers of perfectly genuine products that are found to contain harmful substances could also face having costly product liability claims made against them.

Making a product liability claim today

If you would like to make a product liability claim then HappyClaim may be able to help. Our personal injury solicitors are experts with cases of this kind and have an outstanding success rate.

We can help you to claim compensation for pain, suffering, lost earnings and medical expenses and may even be able to arrange for you to receive top medical treatment from a specialist in your area.

To find out more about our UK-leading service or to simply receive some obligation-free and confidential legal advice, complete an online claim form or call us on 01582 437070.