The retired man, who bought the bottle of wine from an Asda supermarket, was attempting to uncork the wine with a bottle opener when the bottle smashed and badly cut his hand, necessitating a visit to the local hospital.
After being treated, the man returned to the supermarket to make a complaint, but staff did not deal with the matter to his satisfaction. He realised that they were not going to investigate the incident and was worried that it would happen to someone else.
He decided to bring a claim against Asda on the ground that the bottle of wine did not meet the safety standards required by the Consumer Protection Act 1987 (CPA). ASDA eventually agreed to pay him £2,500 in compensation.
This case comes just one year after a similar incident in which a woman was injured by bottle of wine that broke in her hand. Asda settled that case for £6,000.
Products sold to the public normally undergo rigorous checks to ensure their safety. Occasionally, however, standards slip and the bottle of wine in this instance clearly did not meet reasonable safety standards.
The CPA imposes strict liability on producers for harm caused by defective products. This means that if you are injured by a defective product, you can sue for compensation without having to prove the producer negligent, provided that you can prove that the product was defective and the defect in the product caused the injury. Where an injury is caused by an item bought from a supplier, the customer can sue the supplier, without proof of negligence, under the law applying to the sale of goods.