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Product liability update

Published on 31 May 2018

A round-up of some of the recent stories making the news, from the EU Product Liability Directive to a case involving hip replacement litigation

In this month's update we discuss whether the EU Product Liability Directive is still relevant thanks to advances in modern technology; judgement on the Gee v Depuy International Limited and what  it means for the increasing number of metal on metal claims; the results of an undercover investigation by Which? Magazine on faulty white goods, which found that retailers fail to give adequate responses when contacted by concerned consumers and insurer liability when defending uninsured claims.

The EU Product Liability Directive – is it still relevant?

Directive 85/374/EEC – the "Product Liability Directive" came into force on 30 July 1985. It established the principle of liability without fault applicable to European producers. Wherea defective product causes damage to a consumer, the producer may be liable even without negligence on their part. An injured person carries the burden of proving damage, a defect in the product and a causal link between the damage and the defect. They do not, however, have to prove the negligence or fault of the producer.

Patients lose metal on metal hip replacement litigation

In Gee and others v Depuy International Limited [2018] EWHC 1208 (QB) Mrs Justice Andrews found that the Defendant manufacturers of metal on metal hip implants were not liable to the 312 patients who claimed to have been injured by them.

Which? investigation find companies giving "inadequate and incorrect advice" over faulty white goods

Consumer watchdog Which? has revealed that an undercover investigation found that Whirlpool and retailers, Argos, Co-Op Electricals, Currys PC World, John Lewis and Very/Littlewoods were giving "inadequate, inconsistent and potentially dangerous advice" when contacted in respect of faulty tumble dryer models.

Court of Appeal upholds decision that insurer liable for costs of defending uninsured claims

The Court of Appeal held in Travelers Insurance Company Ltd v XYZ [2018] EWCA 10 that the Defendant insurer was liable to meet a third party costs order for costs incurred during group litigation involving both insured and uninsured claims.