In this article, we present a summary of significant products liability cases from October 1, 2015, to September 30, 2016. Our article covers a range of developments concerning failure to warn claims, the exercise of personal jurisdiction, federal preemption, expert testimony as to causation, the learned intermediary doctrine, and class actions.
High Court provides guidance on the interpretation of “defect” under the Consumer Protection Act 1987
In a landmark judgment on the meaning of "defect" under the Consumer Protection Act 1987 ("the Act"), Mr Justice Hickinbottom in the High Court case of Wilkes v DePuy adopted an objective test for safety by reference to what the public at large are entitled to expect of the product and departed in a number of respects from the approach taken by Mr Justice Burton in A v National Blood Authority ("A v NBA"), over 15 years ago.
In January 2017 the UK Government published its response to the views received following its consultation on proposals to support Automated Vehicle Technology ("AVT") and Advanced Driver Assistance Systems ("ADAS"). The project is aimed at overcoming domestic regulatory issues that might be encountered by British citizens and businesses.
The Court of Appeal has upheld a decision of the Commercial Court that found an insurer could not rely on a notification condition precedent to avoid liability under a public and product liability policy. The judgment in Zurich Insurance PLC v Maccaferri Limited  EWCA Civ 1302 confirms the helpful guidance provided by the Commercial Court on the construction of phrases commonly seen in notification provisions in liability policies.
Read our full bulletin on this case here.
The Court of Appeal has confirmed that where an end user has knowledge of the defects in a product, it is not able to bring a claim for any subsequent loss resulting from that defect. It held that an end user company would be deemed to have knowledge even where its senior managers were not aware. It is sufficient that employees entrusted with the task of maintaining and operating the defective equipment in a safe manner had such knowledge: Howmet Limited v Economy Devices Limited & Ors  EWCA Civ 847.
In this article, published in Law Journal Newsletters, we consider who will be held liable if objects created through the use of 3D printing technology, and distributed to consumers and other users, turn out to be defective and unreasonably dangerous from the perspective of United States law as well as the regulatory environment in the United Kingdom.
In this guide, published as a chapter of the International Comparative Legal Guide to Product Liability 2016, we consider the types of liability to which producers and distributors of defective products may be exposed, and the scope of product liability and recall insurance policies. It also outlines practical considerations for insureds in product recall planning and compliance with the requirements of their insurance.
In this article published in PLC Magazine June 2016 we consider the effectiveness of the current law to deal with the competition that 3D printing presents for traditional manufacturing as well as the opportunities 3D printing provides for rights holders via alternative business models and the product liability challenges involved. Andrew Moir, Anthony Dempster, Rachel Montagnon, David Bennett and Richard Woods discuss the intellectual property and product liability issues involved.
The General Court of the European Union has supported the Commission's finding that health claims made in relation to glucose tablets encouraged the consumption of sugar, that such encouragement was contrary to generally accepted principles of nutrition and health and therefore such claims could not be made even though the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) had confirmed the accuracy of the claims. (Dextro Energy GmbH & Co KG v Commission – Case T-100/15).