Purchasing goods with cash is now less common than before and many of us now opt to pay for goods either in full or in part on our credit cards. How then can purchasing on a credit card for goods that are defective and that have caused injury help a consumer?
Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act 1974
It is common knowledge that consumers that have used a credit card have recovered refunds from their credit card providers when the supplier from whom they have purchased goods that turn out to be not of satisfactory quality has disappeared or gone into liquidation. But what are consumers’ rights when a product purchased is defective and has caused an injury?
Mrs Jones has decided to undergo breast augmentation surgery at a private clinic. She pays £200 on her credit card and the balance by cash.
Approximately one year later, it is discovered that her implants are defective and that she has been experiencing pain and needs them removing. Unfortunately, the clinic she had surgery at has now gone into administration but Mrs Jones needs to have her implants taken out as soon as possible.
Well, Mrs Jones paid £200 on her credit card which means she can utilise section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act 1974:
(1) If the debtor under a debtor-creditor-supplier agreement falling within section 12(b) or (c) has, in relation to a transaction financed by the agreement, any claim against the supplier in respect of a misrepresentation or breach of contract, he shall have a like claim against the creditor, who, with the supplier, shall accordingly be jointly and severally liable to the debtor.
In essence, Mrs Jones can pursue the same claim against her credit provider as she would have done against the supplier of the implants. In order to be able to utilise section 75, a consumer needs to have paid £100 – £30,000 on their own credit card or a joint credit card account.
Although not limited to these losses, Mrs Jones can now claim against her credit provider at least for the following:
• Compensation for personal injuries
• Removal and replacement surgery costs
• Loss of earnings
• Travelling expenses
• Medical costs
Pursuing credit providers for personal injuries caused by defective products is considered an unusual method but we have recovered over £2 million directly from credit providers for victims injured as a result of faulty medical implants that have caused injuries.
It is really important that consumers understand that there are a wide array of routes that they can recover personal injury compensation for defective products. Utilising section 75 has meant that many women who received defective PIP implants have been able to receive significant compensation and recover financial losses that were not their fault. It has proved particularly beneficial to injured women where their clinics or the manufacturer has gone into administration.
The above example is for illustration only and there are many more scenarios a consumer can claim personal injuries from their credit provider. If you have been injured by a defective product, please contact the team at Hugh James who can provide specialist advice.