Products Liability and Diving Equipment
Diving equipment is a “special purpose consumer product.” Unlike most recreational sports equipment, the consequences of defective diving equipment may have life or death consequences.
Keeping in mind that the law defines a defective product as a product with a “problem, weakness, or omission that is related or connected to safety” it is difficult to imagine any significant problem related to the functioning of a life-sustaining product such as a diver’s regulator which would not, per se, result in the legal definition of a defective product. Thus, the very nature and purpose of diving equipment necessitates that a legal forum closely scrutinize particular dive equipment when legal claims are based upon an assertion that a piece of equipment was the cause of an injury or death.
The law demands that all manufacturers and suppliers take special care to ensure that their products are free from defect, that the products be accompanied with adequate warnings and instructions and that, most importantly, they acted reasonably in the design, manufacture and assembly of the equipment. Likewise, consumers of dive equipment and their actions will also be under strict scrutiny in their use of the equipment.