Category Archives: Products liability

Estelle Brosset, ‘Distinguishing between law and science in terms of causation and the hepatitis B vaccine: W v Sanofi Pasteur

Case C-621/15, NW and Others v Sanofi Pasteur MSD and Others, Judgment of the Court of Justice (Second Chamber) of 21 June 2017, EU:C:2017:484. In this preliminary ruling, the Court of Justice, answering the French Supreme Court, ruled that Article 4 of Directive 85/374 on the approximation of the laws, regulations and administrative provisions concerning […]

Howells, Twigg-Flesner and Willett, ‘Protecting the Values of Consumer Law in the Digital Economy: The Case of 3D-Printing’

Abstract The law on consumer goods is currently underpinned to a significant degree by the need ethic (prioritising protection of consumers as vulnerable parties, over business self-interest and consumer self-reliance). This is manifest in strict and quasi-strict liability standards. Notwithstanding 3D-printing innovations, there is a good case for adherence to the need ethic: The risks […]

Bryan Choi, ‘Crashworthy Code’

Abstract Code crashes. Yet for decades, software failures have escaped scrutiny for tort liability. Those halcyon days are numbered: self-driving cars, delivery drones, networked medical devices, and other cyber-physical systems have rekindled interest in understanding how tort law will apply when software errors lead to loss of life or limb. Even after all this time, […]

Yonathan Arbel, ‘Reputation Failure: Market Discipline and Its Limits’

Abstract  Free-market advocates seek to repeal broad swaths of tort, contract, and consumer law, trusting reputation to provide effective market-discipline. Their core belief is that reputation assures honest dealings because a seller reputed to sell inferior goods will lose business. Realizing that, the rational seller will behave honestly in order to maximize profits, thus obviating […]

Michelle Sellwood, ‘The Road to Autonomy’

Abstract This Comment discusses the background of AI and robotics, the technology behind the autonomous vehicle, and the evolution of products liability laws. Part III examines current regulations, the benefits of autonomous technology, and the need for a definitive liability framework. Part IV discusses why current tort liability laws will be ineffective in governing autonomous […]

Brian Haney, ‘The Optimal Agent: The Future of Autonomous Vehicles and Liability Theory’

Abstract Autonomous Vehicles (‘AVs’) are rapidly disrupting a $4 trillion industry. Indeed, the questions surrounding the regulation of AVs are some of the most important that will be answered in the Twenty-first Century. Legislators and scholars have yet to address or even identify some of the most important issues related AV regulation. Instead, legislators and […]

David Body, ‘The legacy of thalidomide’

Introduction This article examines the Thalidomide Litigation, the setting up and work of the Thalidomide Trust and the legacy of Thalidomide over nearly 50 years for personal injury lawyers. The experience of that Litigation, the eventual settlement of claims and the experience of Thalidomiders being supported over the intervening period offers a case study in […]

Matti Urho, ‘Compensation for Drug-Related Injuries’

Abstract The purpose of this article is to answer the following question: What are the qualifications required of a viable compensation scheme for drug-related injuries in the future? To answer this question the no-fault systems in four Nordic states are examined and compared to other systems fully or partially arranged on no-fault principles in Europe […]

Trish O’Sullivan and Kate Tokeley, ‘Consumer Product Failure Causing Personal Injury Under the No-Fault Accident Compensation Scheme in New Zealand – a Let-off for Manufacturers?’

Abstract This article examines how the no-fault accident compensation system in New Zealand operates to relieve manufacturers from liability to consumers for product failures which cause personal injury or death. The state-run accident compensation scheme pays compensation to persons who suffer ‘personal injury by accident’ and bars claims for compensation from the party at fault. […]

‘Robot Liability: How Does it Feel to be Hit by an ePerson?’

“The arrival of robots, autonomous software agents and so-called ‘Internet of Things’-devices challenges existing liability systems. While the operation of legacy products was mostly in the hands of users, autonomous cars and other algorithmic devices will be operated by algorithms that are identical across the whole fleet of products. The ‘behaviour’ of autonomously operated products […]