Following on from Wilkes v DePuy International Ltd  EWHC 3096 (QB), the High Court has confirmed the approach to be taken when determining whether a product is defective under the Consumer Protection Act 1987 (“the Act”).
In Gee & Others v DePuy International Limited  EWHC 1208 (QB) (“the Pinnacle Metal Hip Litigation”), Mrs Justice Andrews OBE found that the Defendant’s product was not defective under the Act. The correct test to be applied was whether the product had an abnormal tendency to result in damage or harm, as compared with appropriate comparator products.
The judgment signals a continuing departure from the approach taken by Mr Justice Burton in A v National Blood Authority  3 All E.R. 289. Most significantly, it confirms that factors such as avoidability of the defect, cost of precautionary measures and the benefit of the product more generally are factors to be taken into account when assessing whether products meet an objective safety standard.
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 Boston Scientific Medizintechnik GmbH v AOK Sachsen-Anhalt and Another the European Court of Justice gave a purposive interpretation to the definition of “defect” for the purposes of the EC Product Liability Directive 85/374/EEC in the context of medical devices. Continue reading
Lawrence Allen & Others v Deputy International Limited  EWHC 753 (QB)
The English High Court handed down judgment in a case concerning the applicable law in relation to product liability claims and the territorial scope of the Consumer Protection Act 1987 (“CPA“) which transposes the Product Liability Directive (85/374/EEC and 1999/34/EC) into UK law. Continue reading