End-user of defective product prevented from bringing a claim when it has knowledge of the defects

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 [2016] EWCA Civ 847.

Continue reading

Emerging Legal Issues in 3D Printing and Product Liability: The View from the U.S. and the UK

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.

Continue reading

Our new guide to product liability and product recall insurance in the UK

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.

Continue reading

Focus on 3D printing – the legal implications of an emerging technology

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. 

Continue reading

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 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.

Continue reading

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 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.

Continue reading

The UK Consumer Rights Act 2015 – key changes that every consumer business should be aware of

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.

Continue reading

Court of Appeal considers meaning of a product under a contractors’ combined liability policy

In Aspen Insurance UK Limited v Adana Construction Limited [2015] EWCA Civ 176, the Court of Appeal considered the meaning of a “Product” under the terms of a Building Services Combined Liability Policy. The Court of Appeal adopted a purposive interpretation in the context of a policy which was intended by the parties to cover a wide range of circumstances in which liability would arise. Continue reading