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).
New sentencing guidelines for corporate manslaughter and health and safety offences come into force today
The Sentencing Council has published guidelines to be used by Judges when sentencing corporate manslaughter, health and safety offences and food safety and hygiene offences.
The guidelines will apply to all sentences passed on or after 1 February 2016 irrespective of when the relevant offence was committed. They are expected to result in significantly larger fines being paid, particularly by large corporate defendants.
With the coming into force last month of the Consumer Rights Act 2015, there has understandably been a significant focus on the civil remedies available to consumers who purchase defective products (see our recent blog post commenting on the new Act). However, consumer businesses should also give close attention to the potential for criminal prosecution where products they supply turn out to be not just defective but unsafe. In this blog post we discuss the various criminal offences which arise in the context of defective products.
Important changes to the US Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (FRCP), which govern the conduct of civil proceedings (including product liability cases) in US federal district court, will take effect on 1 December 2015 (absent US Congressional action, which appears unlikely). While various amendments are slated, the most significant amendments will limit the scope of civil discovery while simultaneously reducing the potential for sanctions for the unintentional loss or destruction of e-mails and other electronically stored information. Joseph G Falcone, a partner in our New York office, and Julia Qi, an associate in New York, review the key amendments on our blog.
The Consumer Rights Act 2015 represents a significant development in the regulation of consumer contracts under UK law. It consolidates and brings consistency to rules that were previously spread across a wide range of different Acts and Regulations. It also introduces new rules, particularly in relation to digital content, remedies available to consumers and unfair contract terms.
The Act comes into force on 1 October 2015 and will apply to contracts entered into after that date. In this article we consider the most important changes to existing consumer law of which consumer businesses need to be aware.