The glass bottle case

The glass bottle case

A recently purchased glass water bottle, with a detachable juicer, resulted in our client sustaining injuries to his upper left limb while attempting to remove the plastic lip from the glass rim of the bottle.

Redlich's Work Injury Lawyers was successful in running a trial for our client which saw him being awarded a significant amount for damages.

The case

The glass water bottle started to gather grime and mold around the rim between the glass and the plastic thread so our client wanted to clean it.

Upon inspection of the bottle, our client thought the plastic thread was detachable so he attempted to unscrew it. This method did not work so he tried to remove the plastic off the bottle by using a screwdriver, only to break the bottle when he adopted a twisting and lifting motion.

The broken bottle resulted in our client sustaining a severe laceration and nerve injury to his left hand and index finger which required surgical repairs and hand therapy.

We initially brought our client's claim against the Defendant under the Australian Consumer Law and negligence, however, we only proceeded with the consumer law claim.

The considerations

The trial judge had three considerations to determine in our client's case:

1: Whether the defendant was a manufacturer

The judge determined that the defendant/supplier was deemed a manufacturer.

2: Whether the glass bottle had a safety defect

Goods have a safety defect if their safety is not such as persons generally are entitled to expect. With respect to whether the glass bottle had a safety defect, the trial judge in his oral judgment said that:

Safety refers to a state of being safe. It is a broad term encompassing a freedom from the risk of injury, danger, loss, or harm. In my opinion, allowing foreign substances such as grime or mold to build up near the mouth or lip of a drinking bottle, and preventing these substances from being removed by manual cleaning, is a clear safety defect.

3: Whether our client suffered injury due to the safety defect

The trial judge was satisfied that our client suffered injury because of the safety defect.

The outcome

Having satisfied all three issues, the trial judge found in favour of our client. The judgement also ruled our client had contributed 35 per cent to negligence, based on his continual attempt to remove the plastic thread despite it not moving.

If you have been injured from a product due to a safety defect, contact our lawyers to see if you have an eligible claim on (03) 9321 9988.

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