Criminal liability for defective products: a refresher

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 … Read more

Amended US Federal Rules of Civil Procedure narrow availability of civil discovery and sanctions

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 … Read more

Federal Court delivers a blow to agreed outcomes in civil penalty proceedings

The recent decision of the Full Court of the Federal Court of Australia in FWBC v CFMEU has significant implications for regulators and respondents seeking to agree on a penalty in civil penalty proceedings. The decision is likely to alter the long-standing practice for negotiated outcomes with regulators including the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission … Read more

FDA Empowers Plaintiffs’ Bar with Trans-Fat Ban

Following almost two years of deliberation, and notwithstanding a nearly 80 percent drop in the consumption of trans fats over the past decade (due in part to industry’s movement away from the use of partially hydrogenated oils), the FDA has made “a final determination that there is no longer a consensus among qualified experts that … Read more

Lawyers, Partially Hydrogenated Oils, and Money

Lawyers for class-action plaintiffs in the US often “piggyback” on the work of government regulators and prosecutors — swooping in to file class actions against the recipients of FDA warning letters or the targets of government enforcement proceedings. In some ways, they are to the administrative state what the pilot fish is to sharks. Not … Read more