Infinity cable problems could lead to product liability claims

Date: Mar 15, 2016

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has revealed that faulty Infinity electrical cabling could cause serious problems in thousands of households across the country.

According to the ACCC, the insulation on the cables may begin to crack over the coming months, which could lead to fires and electric shocks if occupiers or tradespeople come into contact with them.

People who suffer serious injuries due to faulty products that manufacturers release could be eligible for compensation. In fact, product liability claims can result in significant payouts for plaintiffs in order to cover personal injuries and damage to properties.

The Infinity cabling was installed in NSW in 2010 with the rest of Australia following in 2011. As such, any people injured due to these products are comfortably within the 10-year time limit in which claims must be brought against manufacturers after they've released goods.

ACCC announces recall

Currently, there is around 2,300 kilometres of dangerous Infinity cabling in the country, with the ACCC noting that retailers and suppliers are attempting to recall the products. However, companies are facing difficulties due to tradespeople not informing them where cables were fitted.

"Infinity cables were recalled because they deteriorate and become brittle more rapidly than normal compliant cables, especially in areas of high heat. The cable is expected to have deteriorated sufficiently by April that if disturbed it could lead to electric shock or fire in some premises," said Delia Rickard, deputy chair of the ACCC.

"If you are an electrician or builder who installed the recalled electrical cable, you should immediately notify property owners, suppliers and electrical safety authorities in order to have it remediated."

Next steps for consumers

Ms Rickard added that any property occupiers who believe they had electrical cables installed since 2010 or 2011 should get in touch with their supplier or the tradespeople involved on the job. She confirmed that the suppliers would bear the expenses incurred from inspecting and potentially withdrawing the faulty cables.

Meanwhile, the ACCC's Infinity cables taskforce is warning tradespeople that they could face costly damages if they ignore the risks. This may include public liability claims from anyone who suffers serious injuries or dies.

The Civil Liability Act 2002 (NSW) is typically called upon to award damages for people who come to harm due to accidents in public places. However, the legislation also includes protection for homeowners who are injured as a direct result of shoddy workmanship that contractors carry out in their properties.

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