In Uganda, product liability is a multidimensional practice encompassing elements of statute, English common law and criminal liability. Nonetheless, product liability in Uganda is not governed by any specialized statute. Furthermore, product liability claims in Uganda have been few and scattered over the years. That notwithstanding, a specialized product liability statute has been proposed and is in the offing.
S&L Advocates provide our clients with advice on the full legal spectrum of product design, manufacture, sale and post-sale matters such as product liability claims.
Regulation of product liability under Ugandan law falls under three distinct heads:
Under the statutory liability for defective products, the Sale of Goods and Supply of Services Act imposes liability on a seller who does not deliver goods that are fit for the purpose for which they were bought. That Act also provides for an implied undertaking as to quality and fitness for purpose of goods.
Common law claims for defective products in Uganda are based on a claim for negligence as against the manufacturer of the products. Such claims are founded on the breach of the manufacturer’s duty of care. However, the consumer must prove that the manufacturer failed to take reasonable care in manufacturing the product.
A manufacturer may also be criminally liable under the Penal Code Act. Such liability is for failure to exercise proper diligence by selling or manufacturing defective products that pose a risk to the consumer under the principle of corporate attribution.
In the above instances, the liability for defective products will be visited upon the company as an entity. The exception is criminal liability that may be imposed upon the directors of a company in specific instances.