Product Liability / Product Safety

The Practice

The Practice draws on unique expertise from throughout the firm and incorporates lawyers from its Litigation and Dispute Resolution, Life Sciences and Food and Drink Groups and, as required, specialists in intellectual property, environmental, regulatory and healthcare law.

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, branding concerns, 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, effectively and sensitively to any potential product safety issue, including where necessary advising on and co-ordinating the implementation of recall or voluntary withdrawal procedures, is part of the full service we offer our clients. Such situations can be potentially expensive, unpredictable, complex and can often attract media attention. Assisting our clients to discharge their legal and regulatory obligations and to protect their reputation, brand image and financial interests are our primary concerns.

Experience

Regulatory Advice and Litigation

We have an unmatched track record in advising clients involved in the development, production,importation, distribution, marketing and sale of a wide range of products (including those set out below) on a full spectrum of general and sector specific EU and national requirements.

  • Food & drink products (including GMOs)
  • Chemicals
  • Tobacco
  • Medicinal Products
  • Medical Devices
  • Blood products
  • Veterinary products
  • Mechanical devices
  • Building Products
  • 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

 

We advise clients on dealing with the decisions of regulatory bodies including through judicial review if appropriate.

Product Liability Litigation

We regularly act in the defence of large scale, complex litigation involving large cohorts of claimants in areas such as 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 leading pharmaceutical companies in the defence of multiparty litigation concerning their 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 in the defence of multiparty metal-on-metal hip implant litigation.
  • 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.
  • Advising various manufacturuers of automated systems on potential liability issues arising under new technologies.

 

Product Safety Advice

We manage, on behalf of our clients, product withdrawals and consumer and non-consumer recalls (to include dealing with 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 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.
  • Advising an international retailer on a worldwide product recall of one of its own brand food products.

 

Relevant Partners: