Category Archives: Products liability

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 […]

‘When Cars are the Drivers: Tort Law in the Fourth Industrial Revolution’

Kenneth S Abraham and Robert L Rabin, Automated Vehicles and Manufacturer Responsibility for Accidents: A New Legal Regime for a New Era, 105 Virginia Law Review (forthcoming 2019), available at SLS. Now that self-driving vehicles roam the roads and have already caused injury and death, many talented torts scholars are reviewing the role of tort […]

‘It’s the Punitive Damages, Stupid’

“There’s a compelling (yet terrifying) new ‘must-see’ documentary now streaming on Netflix called ‘The Bleeding Edge’. Here’s the Los Angeles Times’ lead paragraph about it: ‘If body-horror auteur David Cronenberg had dramatized any of the nightmarish stories in Kirby Dick and Amy Ziering’s medical documentary The Bleeding Edge, you wouldn’t hesitate to call it a […]

Galasso and Luo, ‘How Does Product Liability Risk Affect Innovation? Evidence from Medical Implants’

Abstract Liability laws designed to compensate for harms caused by defective products may also affect innovation incentives. This paper examines this issue, exploiting a major quasi-exogenous increase in liability risk faced by US suppliers of polymers used to manufacture medical devices implanted in human bodies. Difference-in-differences analyses suggest that the surge in liability risk had […]

Gerhard Wagner, ‘Robot Liability’

Abstract The arrival of robots, autonomous software agents and so-called ‘Internet-of-Things’-devices challenges existing liability systems. In fact, while the operation of legacy products was mostly in the hands of users, autonomous systems such as autonomous cars will be operated by an algorithm that is identical across a whole fleet of vehicles. Thus, products liability will […]

Herbert Zech, ‘Liability for Autonomous Systems: Tackling Specific Risks of Modern IT’

Abstract Recent developments in the area of Artificial Intelligence (AI) have been leading to increasingly autonomous systems, showing the capability of self-learning. In addition, self-learning made significant progress by the realization of multi-layered artificial neural networks with an ever-increasing complexity. These new technologies cause the emergence of new specific risks. Liability law may specifically address […]