The recent media on the dozens of complaints about the Thermomix kitchen appliance may have only touched the surface in respect of the compensation law issues at play.
Consumers have tabled their concerns with the product with the sector watchdog CHOICE that is expected to compile a full report detailing the problems that many have experienced and submit it to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).
Reports suggest that more than 90 people have reported a problem with the product, and in some cases have suffered personal injury, and the expectation is that there could be more.
Some of these will be simple matters that are quickly resolved inline with normal consumer complaint resolution processes, most of which won't involve a compensation lawyer.
A customer complaining about the performance of the product is likely to achieve some settlement direct from the company, such as a refund or a replacement machine.
If necessary the ACCC may play a role, enforcing orders against Thermomix on behalf of consumers.
However neither CHOICE nor the ACCC are best placed to assist those consumers reporting more serious consequences of the Thermomix that clearly fall under Personal Injury Law.
Some consumers have reported that they have suffered burns as result of scalding liquid escaping the device, with the resultant injury requiring significant treatment and resulting in scarring in some cases.
These are serious consequences that appear to be a direct result of using the product.
Where the use of a product results in injury requiring treatment or resulting in permanent disability, impairment or injury, then there are more significant implications for the consumer and importantly, more legal avenues to pursue.
In these circumstances, consumers do need to seek legal advice.
Any injury, which results from the use of a product or service, entitles the consumer to legal avenues to seek compensation for what has been incurred.
In NSW the remedies available are wide ranging and can include:
- Repayment of medical expenses;
- Reimbursement for any economic loss;
- Reimbursement for any care services obtained or provided by loved ones;
- Pain and suffering compensation.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.