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Exploding bottle of Prosecco - denial of liability for property damage


1manteam
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I wonder if you could provide some advice/assistance in the following?

I recently (June) had a bottle of Prosecco explode in my kitchen, detonating from the middle of the bottle and sending glass into the wall and across the kitchen, and fluid over various goods and electrical items. Thankfully no one from my family was in the kitchen at the time or we would have been hospitalised.

Having notified the retailer, including outlining the damage caused/repair costs, and accommodating a visit from both a loss adjuster and the supplier, the latter collecting fragments retained in order to establish the cause,

 

I have eventually, some 2 months later, been met with denial of liability by both retailer, supplier and their insurers, who all claim the other is responsible. They have asked for proof of purchase, which I do not have as I don't keep receipts for any length of time for groceries, and despite the item being confirmed as supplied to retailer, and my having consulted the Citizens Advice Service, I appear at an impasse.

 

To frustrate matters further both the insurers of the retailer and supplier have now repudiated the claims pending proof of purchase, and appear to be hoping that I become tired of the process and waive what appeared to be clear protections. 

It appears from the Sale of Goods Act and Consumer Protection Act that there is clear liability?

Are you able to assist or point me in the right direction?

 

Thankyou

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june is a long time to eventually come here for help.

 

where was the item purchased from and when?

 

dx

please don't hit Quote...just type we know what we said earlier..

DCA's view debtors as suckers, marks and mugs

NO DCA has ANY legal powers whatsoever on ANY debt no matter what it's Type

and they

are NOT and can NEVER  be BAILIFFS. even if a debt has been to court..

If everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's Tomorrow, their industry would collapse overnight... 

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I appreciate the length of time. Up until about 6 weeks ago it seemed that they were acting in good faith, rather than just shoring up their position of denial.

 

Purchased from Co-op some time between last October and January. 

 

Thanks

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why are you going this alone? do you not have home insurance.?

 

if you are saying one or the other or both have to all intent and purpose confirmed, yes it was our product, yes we know that batch went to the co-op stores, ie via a stamp or label collected a 'chain of supply' , i cant see having to prove you actually purchased it has anything to do with any claim.

 

it was there in your kitchen, it exploded, HOW it got there is IMHO immaterial.

 

 

please don't hit Quote...just type we know what we said earlier..

DCA's view debtors as suckers, marks and mugs

NO DCA has ANY legal powers whatsoever on ANY debt no matter what it's Type

and they

are NOT and can NEVER  be BAILIFFS. even if a debt has been to court..

If everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's Tomorrow, their industry would collapse overnight... 

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I do have home insurance and as a last resort of course would contact them. I did earlier in the process to ask for legal advice. 

 

My question would be, from pursuing the retailer, do I just need to issue a LBA and formalise the process of recovery this way. It seems to be what they are waiting for, albeit, this would take a significant amount of time.

 

Do I have other tactical options at this stage? I offered ADR and they just ignored the offer.

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I don't think your home insurance is going to be much good.

I have to say that you've been here since 2012 – so you know all about us – and yet you don't bother to come until four months later and in the intervening time you even took advice from citizens advice!

By allowing all this delay to pass and by allowing yourself to be led by the nose by the retailer, and you made things more difficult for yourself and also for us if we are going to help you.

I notice that you haven't given the name of the retailer – any reason for this?

Maybe you can tell us more about the damage that was caused. Set out a bullet pointed list and values and also let us know how this damage has been assessed and also how the value has been assessed.

How did you pay for the Prosecco?

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2 minutes ago, BankFodder said:

I notice that you haven't given the name of the retailer 

 

Info now given - Co-op [post #3]

 

@1manteamjust to flag that even if you did decide to claim on your home insurance you  might find they reject the claim for late notification. Usually they require claims to be notified immediately. I understand why you didn't but your insurers might not be so understanding.

 

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Whoops sorry. I wasn't paying attention

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Thanks all. I haven't used the site in a long time and so it just didn't spring to mind. Apologies. I did contact my insurer for advice at some point and only Citizens Advice at someone else's suggestion. 

 

The bottle exploded on the top shelf taking chunks out of the plaster, sending shards into the shelving, depositing all the fluid over the contents below, all of which were disposed of. All the fluid also went down through 2 electrical items directly below. These have been set aside since. I'd suggested getting them serviced and checked, but their Adjuster said they'd probably just replace them.

 

Damage was assessed by the LA, but I wasn't notified of their assessment. I gave them an itemised list very early on on their request. Quantum of claim in the region of £2k.

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Please can you list out the basis of the £2,000 estimate.

Have you kept any part of the bottle?

Have you kept the bottleneck with the cork in?

 

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Can I do this via DM rather than posting on site? Can you also say why the detail is significant in terms of recovery given that it is under the 10k threshold for small claims? I'd probably be happy to take the Loss Adjuster's valuation, but that information was never supplied to me.

 

Photos were taken showing cork still encased within bottle head with seal damage caused and glass fragmentation.

 

The entire contents were collected by the supplier for analysis by a third party in Italy. The results didn't arrive until mid-Sept.

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Yes to all.

All were reported to the Loss Adjuster at the time and electrical items shown.

 

And, looking through the email thread, I was even directly told by the Co-op that the Supplier's insurer would be providing full indemnity on the matter, later denied by said insurer and retracted!

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Yes we would like all the details here please not by DM.

Everything is done on the open forum.

We need this information so we can assess the strength of your case.

 

If you want to take control of this then you will have to follow advice and this includes giving us the information we ask for.

 

I see that you have allowed all the evidence to be taken away by The Very people who might be responsible for it.

A bit like asking the murderer to clean up the crime scene and move the body away.

Nice one.

 

 

 

 

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Thanks Guys.

 

The strength of the case isn't determined by the size of the claim. I have clear pictures of the fragmented bottle and the damage done. I have the report from the analysis undertaken but it's not relevant to the obligations under the legislation cited.

 

If a bottle explodes spontaneously then the liability is clear. It's a relatively small amount that they have probably now surpassed in legal fees between them. The logic for this is somewhat bizarre. The legal route is the only one left open to me so if you're not able to advise, I'll say thanks but no thanks @Bankfodder

 

And for the record, I thoroughly appreciate all the support provided on the platform, but take it easy on the tone :-)

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Sorry but the tone is well-deserved.

In terms of the legislation – you have referred to the sale of goods act. That piece of legislation is no longer applicable. It has been superseded by the consumer rights act 2015. That is the applicable law.
In terms of obligations, hasn't made a whole lot of difference but you will lose credibility if you start referring to the wrong law. If this is what you have been doing already then I'm afraid it's not surprising that you haven't made any headway.

Next, for some reason rather you have been chasing the insurer. There is obviously no reason for this. You should have been chasing the Co-op and we can help you do this but it will be up to you to help us if you want us to help you.

In order to bring an action for a claim for £2000 – especially when you have been dilatory about pursuing it and also you have apparently got rid of some of the evidence which might have been useful, you will have to be very careful to persuade a judge that you are not up for a money grab.

This means that you will have to have a fully itemised independent assessment of the damage caused, the proposals for remedying the damage and the cost.

I'm not sure if you have told us whether the area is still damaged door whether you have in fact repaired it.

 

You refer to the fact that they have probably spent a great deal of money  to defend against a relatively small amount of money. I'm afraid that's what they do.
This forum is full of stories of companies such as Currys PC world, Hermes, banks, debt collection companies, parking companies – you name it who are prepared to spend whatever it takes to crush the people who challenge them.
I expect that the economics of the decision are that if you can place obstacles in the path of one claimant, then that will deter hundred others which at the bottom line may represent a saving in compensation awards.

However, if you want free help then I'm afraid you will have to cooperate with us.
You may not like hearing it but the reason that this is been going on since June is because you have lost control – and I don't see that you're going to recover control even using the legal route unless you are meticulous in your preparation.

 

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within the written comms etc you have do you have clear evidence of the distribution chain via the detail from the bottle that proves your bottle was delivered to the co-op, for later distribution around its network of stores, or admittance to so in emails etc from whomever?

please don't hit Quote...just type we know what we said earlier..

DCA's view debtors as suckers, marks and mugs

NO DCA has ANY legal powers whatsoever on ANY debt no matter what it's Type

and they

are NOT and can NEVER  be BAILIFFS. even if a debt has been to court..

If everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's Tomorrow, their industry would collapse overnight... 

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Also, on the basis of assessing the strength of your case, you are making a basic mistake that the case is simply a question of settling the liability.

The issue of liability is relatively straightforward – although your delay hasn't helped – but the real argument will be over quantum – the amount of money to which you are entitled.

Let's face it, the only reason that you want to bring a claim is to get payment for the damage that was caused – or I assume that's the reason and that you haven't simply decided to litigate as a matter of principle.

If that's the case, then if you got a judgement against the Co-op and got very minimal damages then it would be a rather hollow victory. You might even find that you have paid the fees to bring a case for £2000 and yet only win £200 or £300 so that you would then be left only with an award of your county court fees based on a claim for that lesser value.

But I suppose you knew this anyway

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6 hours ago, 1manteam said:



Are you able to assist or point me in the right direction?

 

Thankyou

 

Forget about

 

I think in the end, all you're going to end up with is a huge legal bill for nothing if this ever reached the courts.

 

They will ask, did you store the bottle of Prosecco in the correct manner, was a hot day, left in the sun, in a hot kitchen, where was the bottle when it blew up !

Please use the quote system, So everyone will know what your referring too, thank you ...

 

 

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10 minutes ago, 45002 said:

They will ask, did you store the bottle of Prosecco in the correct manner, was a hot day, left in the sun, in a hot kitchen, where was the bottle when it blew up !

 

Hmm, possibly but I doubt it. News to me that there is a correct way to store Prosecco.

 

Did the bottle have any of those warnings on it? Don't know about Co-op Prosecco but just had a look at a Tesco bottle I've got and no warnings or safety instructions at all. So they'd find it next to impossible to argue in court there was a 'correct manner ' to store a bottle  and that it shouldn't be left in a hot kitchen if they don't put any warning on the bottle. Prosecco's from Italy where it's much warmer than here!

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Hmm.

 

Common-sense spring to mind, you don't need labels for that !

 

Don't store in hot rooms/direct sunlight and so.

 

 

Edited by 45002

Please use the quote system, So everyone will know what your referring too, thank you ...

 

 

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1 hour ago, 45002 said:

Common-sense spring to mind, you don't need labels for that !

 

You do in a court of law.

 

And I would dispute that it is common knowledge, or true, that if you leave a bottle of Prosecco in your kitchen on a hot summer day there's a significant risk  it will explode. 

 

I don't think the OP needs to be concerned on that score.

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Your clam is against the retailer.

you can’t claim directly against the insurer, although the retailer can (or can ask them to settle the claim, or the insurer can chose to take over litigating the claim for the retailer)

 

You have no claim against the supplier (though the retailer and/ or the insurer may).

 

In limited circumstances (and under limited ‘heads of damages’) you might have a claim against (not the supplier, but) the manufacturer. In practice this is rare, and only usually done where the retailer has ceased trading or is pot-less and any judgment would be unenforceable.

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I suspect bottles of fizz have exploded in many homes across the UK and elsewhere.

 

People would clean up the mess, ensuring any electrical items were cleaned and dried out before they used them.

 

I have found that with some Supermarket bottles that the glass is not as thick as it used to be. Had a bottle of red wine all over the kitchen floor, after a moderate tap against the glass.

 

Proving that the glass bottle of proseco was faulty in any way is going to be very difficult as the evidence has been shipped to Italy. Coop would not have gone to the effort unless it was a product they were aware was bought from one of their stores.

 

Issue a Court claim against Coop and see how you get on. They may settle for a small amount, but push for £2000 and they will defend with vigour. 

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