Property Damage caused by Product

I had refurbished my bathroom in Oct 2020 with majority of products purchased from Victorian Plumbing (£1000+). Since then I have had issues with many of the products purchased and replacements sent by VP, albeit with lots of hard work with to and fro emails. On May 2023 the glass bath screen (35 kgs heavy) on me while I was in the shower. It injured/cut me in a few places (no hospital bills or long term injuries) and damaged an expensive steel bath. The product had 2 years guarantee. Although it is outside guarantee, what are my rights under Consumer Protection Act 1987? What about the losses caused by buying and fixing a new bath screen and the expensive enamelling/repair of the steel bath?

P.S: My bathroom is very well kept and maintained always remains dry due to very good ventilation. Due to its nature the bath screen is rarely moved from its place, both during use and cleaning.
:beer:
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  • Okell
    Okell Posts: 618
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    Who fitted the screen?  I suspect VP will point the finger at the fitter for not fitting it properly...
  • user1977
    user1977 Posts: 13,377
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    What was the cause of the screen falling on you? It's not obvious from what you say that it would have been an inherent fault in the product (rather than, say, defective fitting of it). If it's over 6 months since the purchase (which it must be, given you seem to have delayed taking any action for 8 months so far?) then the onus is on you to prove that there was an inherent fault in the product.

  • ArbitraryRandom
    ArbitraryRandom Posts: 2,342
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    edited 20 January at 3:00PM
    Key general issues would be if you have since disposed of the item and refurbished the bathroom then you now may be unable to gather the required evidence to prove the fault was with the product, not that you purchased the wrong product for your needs or installed/used it incorrectly - and I'm assuming you didn't contact the seller at the time to give them the opportunity to assess and remedy the issue. 

    But more relevant to this thread, exactly who you purchased the item from and when could also be a problem - as there are a few companies with similar names and one went into administration in October 2023 - so if that was your company then I would expect the current owners would take the view they have no liability. 
    I'm not an early bird or a night owl; I’m some form of permanently exhausted pigeon.
  • eskbanker
    eskbanker Posts: 29,940
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    user1977 said:
    What was the cause of the screen falling on you? It's not obvious from what you say that it would have been an inherent fault in the product (rather than, say, defective fitting of it).
    It would probably help if OP clarified exactly what happened, as they don't say 'falling' and actually omitted any verb when describing the incident:
    On May 2023 the glass bath screen (35 kgs heavy) on me while I was in the shower.
  • Grumpy_chap
    Grumpy_chap Posts: 14,445
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    I had refurbished my bathroom in Oct 2020 with majority of products purchased from Victorian Plumbing (£1000+). Since then I have had issues with many of the products purchased and replacements sent by VP, albeit with lots of hard work with to and fro emails. On May 2023 the glass bath screen (35 kgs heavy) on me while I was in the shower. It injured/cut me in a few places (no hospital bills or long term injuries) and damaged an expensive steel bath. The product had 2 years guarantee. Although it is outside guarantee, what are my rights under Consumer Protection Act 1987? What about the losses caused by buying and fixing a new bath screen and the expensive enamelling/repair of the steel bath?

    P.S: My bathroom is very well kept and maintained always remains dry due to very good ventilation. Due to its nature the bath screen is rarely moved from its place, both during use and cleaning.
    Before consumer rights can be considered, it is important to understand exactly how / what fell?

    Did the entire bath screen, glass panel plus the anchor frame pull full out of the wall?
    In this case, the cause is almost certainly down to the installation.

    Did the glass panel fall out from the anchor frame?
    In this case, the cause may be down to the product or the installation.  How is (was) the glass screen secured into the anchor frame?
  • darkerknight
    darkerknight Posts: 16
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    Fitting is not an issue. If it was it would not take 2.5 years to fall off. I got to examine the inside of the pivots after the incident. Tiny poor quality plastics pivots on both ends which had sheared off. 
    I had reported the incident the next day. VP has agreed to reimburse the cost of the bath screen but not the pay for the damages caused. My research says that VP would need to cover the losses caused due to the defective product.
    As per Consumer Protection Act 1987 c.43, Part 1 (Product Liability), 2 (1), VP is liable for the damages caused. 


    :beer:
  • ArbitraryRandom
    ArbitraryRandom Posts: 2,342
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    Unless VP have explicitly said the product was faulty (refunding the cost isn't an admission of liability), then your research would hopefully have also said that the onus is on you to prove it was a faulty product... you examining the pivots isn't enough - did you or can you get a report (from VP or otherwise) to say the damage was directly caused by an inherent manufacturing fault? 
    I'm not an early bird or a night owl; I’m some form of permanently exhausted pigeon.
  • user1977
    user1977 Posts: 13,377
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    I got to examine the inside of the pivots after the incident. Tiny poor quality plastics pivots on both ends which had sheared off. 

    Did anyone else examine them? Do you still have them?

    I agree they'd be liable for the damage directly caused, but not clear how easily you can prove liability.

    On the company point mentioned above, it appears to be the same trading company now as in 2020 i.e.

    https://find-and-update.company-information.service.gov.uk/company/04079213
  • darkerknight
    darkerknight Posts: 16
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    The bath screen fell as one of the small plastic pins (2 cm tall) inside the pivot hinges sheared off. More details below:

    • The bath screen was held in place by pivot hinges (top and bottom)
    • Both the pivot hinges and slots are made of plastic and tiny
    • The plastic pivots support the 35 kgs weight of the glass panel
    • It is pivot type bath screen
    • The bath screen was rarely rotated, both during shower use and cleaning (so no chance of improper use)
    :beer:
  • ArbitraryRandom
    ArbitraryRandom Posts: 2,342
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    The bath screen fell as one of the small plastic pins (2 cm tall) inside the pivot hinges sheared off. More details below:
    • The bath screen was held in place by pivot hinges (top and bottom)
    • Both the pivot hinges and slots are made of plastic and tiny
    • The plastic pivots support the 35 kgs weight of the glass panel
    • It is pivot type bath screen
    • The bath screen was rarely rotated, both during shower use and cleaning (so no chance of improper use)
    That it helps us understand your first post better... but you still haven't confirmed if any of what you've put above is documented in any way - such as in a report which confirmed explicitly the above construction was the cause of the failure - either by VP or that you sourced independently. Otherwise, do you actually have any evidence to support your claim? 

    If not, it's your word against VP and, being cynical, I expect they will claim they refunded you the cost of the screen as an act of goodwill (without accepting liability) and the screen was manufactured to the required tolerances, meaning you must have installed or used it incorrectly. 
    I'm not an early bird or a night owl; I’m some form of permanently exhausted pigeon.
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