Product Liability and Product Safety

The Practice

Our Product Liability and Product Safety Group has unrivalled experience in large-scale, multi-party product liability litigation across a wide range of areas including tobacco, telecommunications, blood products, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, food and drink. We have acted in the defence of the largest product liability actions to have thus far come before the Irish Courts.

The Group draws on unique expertise from throughout the firm and incorporates lawyers from its Life Sciences Group and lawyers specialising in litigation, intellectual property, environmental, regulatory and healthcare law. It offers clients in all sectors comprehensive assistance in fulfilling their business objectives.

We provide comprehensive and strategic product liability advice, both at the pre-litigation stage and in non-contentious cases, We advise clients in relation to risk management, product recall, crisis management strategies, specialist insurance advice and other related issues. Managing complex product liability litigation requires an overall strategy that is sensitive not only to the litigation environment and objectives but also to the commercial, regulatory and public relations concerns that inevitably accompany such situations.

Responding quickly and effectively to any potential product safety issue, including where necessary the implementation of recall procedures, is part of the unique service we offer our clients. Such situations can be potentially expensive, unpredictable, complex and often very press-sensitive. Protecting our clients’ reputation and financial interests is our first concern.

Expertise

We have considerable experience in advising clients involved in the development, production, importation, distribution and sale of their products. Our lawyers strategically manage contentious issues from the pre-litigation stage onwards and have unrivalled expertise in the specific sensitivities and issues which are faced when dealing with product liability litigation and product safety, withdrawal and recall.

We have an unmatched track record in advising our clients on a full spectrum of products, to include all the products set out below:

  • Food & drink products (including GMOs)
  • Chemicals
  • Tobacco
  • Medicinal Products
  • Medical Devices
  • Blood products
  • Mechanical devices
  • Building Products
  • Medical Devices
  • Household goods and furniture
  • Cosmetics
  • Mobile telephones
  • Domestic appliances
  • Pressure Vehicles
  • Personal Protective Equipment
  • Textiles
  • Glass
  • Footwear
  • Sports/training/gym equipment
  • Wood
  • Animal Foodstuffs
  • Gas & Electrical equipment
  • Toys
  • Information Technology
  • Motor Vehicles

Experience

Product Liability Litigation

We regularly act in the defence of large scale, complex litigation involving large cohorts of claimants in the areas of tobacco, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, blood products, asbestos and telecommunications, including:

  • Acting for TÜV Rheinland LGA Products GmbH and associated companies in the defence of breast implant claims alleging that they conducted assessments of product conformity of breast implants manufactured by the French company PIP with medical devices safety standards and did so inadequately.
  • Acting on behalf of Gallaher (Dublin) Limited and Benson and Hedges Limited in the defence of multiparty litigation brought by smokers and former smokers seeking damages for injuries alleged to have arisen from the consumption of tobacco products, ultimately securing a dismissal of all claims.
  • Acting for a leading pharmaceutical company in the defence of multiparty litigation concerning a number of its products.
  • Acting on behalf of a telecoms company in relation to hearing loss claims being pursued on behalf of current and former employees, alleged to have arisen as a result of equipment provided to them in the course of their employment.
  • Advising a large medical devices manufacturer in connection with a range of claims for alleged personal injuries arising in connection with its cardiovascular products.
  • Acting on behalf of a client in relation to multiple High Court proceedings arising from the alleged importation of equine plasma into Ireland.
  • Advising on insurance disputes specific to product liability policies and related coverage.
  • Acting in the defence of metal-on-metal hip implant litigation.

Product Safety Advice

We manage, on behalf of our clients, product withdrawals and consumer and non-consumer recalls (to include extensive experience in dealing with the regulatory authorities) across a wide range of sectors to include:

  • Advising a consumer goods manufacturer on a large scale voluntary repair action arising from fire safety concerns connected to their product.
  • Acting on behalf of a well known alcoholic drinks manufacturer in relation to the withdrawal from trade of one of its products, due to quality concerns.
  • Advising a food client on the withdrawal from the supply chain and from the retail sector of its component ingredients in products on the market.
  • Advising on the recent horse meat issue.
  • Advising in relation to the pork product dioxin issue and the withdrawal from trade of all pork products from the Irish Market.
  • Acting on behalf of a manufacturer of component parts for the automotive industry in relation to the large scale recall from trade of its products.

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