After a flurry of activity in 2022, the march towards fully automated self-driving seems to have stalled somewhat in 2023....
Personal Injury and Property Damage
By their very nature, claims arising under product liability policies involve either personal injury or property damage (or both). As such, product liability claims can often be dealt with as either a personal injury or property damage claim but will almost always benefit from specialist input considering issues such as policy, limitation, the recovery options within the supply chain (and the commercial relationships between the parties) and any international element.
Motor and Household
We can assist in pursuing a recovery of any outlay where household damage has been caused, for instance by a household product (such as electrical equipment, white goods, etc.) or by an escape of water or fire
Where an RTA or other types of damage are caused by a vehicle defect, we can assist in seeking to recover any outlay from the manufacturer (or another party in the supply chain)
Food and Drink
We regularly deal with all aspects of food and drink claims ranging from modest food poisoning claims to largescale outbreaks to regulatory investigations and prosecutions to multimillion-pound commercial disputes. At one end of the scale, we offer cost effective handling of low volume food poisoning and allergen claims and, at the other end of the scale, we can provide specialist advice on, for example, recalls, international supply chains and policy issues (particularly those arising from the admixture of ingredients).
In many product liability disputes, policy coverage issues will arise, usually as a result of the complex interplay between the damage caused by the product (traditionally covered) and damage to the product itself (not traditionally covered).
We will always consider such issues at the outset, often assisting insurers in issuing early, transparent and precisely worded repudiations.
Product liability claims will also often include an international, multi-jurisdictional element – particularly as a result of expanding global supply chains. Our team has extensive experience in dealing with claims both arising from overseas (where a product has been exported from the UK) or involving an overseas recovery action (where a product has been imported into the UK).
Our team has extensive experience in assisting businesses in their dealings with local authorities in circumstances where a potentially unsafe product has been placed on the market. We can advise clients on notification requirements, voluntary and mandatory recalls, investigation of potential offences (including PACE interviews) and prosecutions – all while keeping a focus on minimising damage to reputation.
HF’s product liability team also acts in respect of commercial disputes involving, for instance, the failure of or recall of a product. We provide specialist advice on, for instance, contractual relationships, terms and conditions and indemnities, all whilst seeking to protect ongoing relationships and our clients’ reputations.
Emerging Technologies and Connected Devices
As the world becomes more reliant on technology and connected devices, like mobile phones, automated vehicles and drones, i.e., products that utilise and are often reliant on software, product liability law will need to adapt and HF’s product liability team will be at the forefront of those changes.
Autonomous and Electric Vehicles
The introduction of automated and electric vehicles (AEVs) ushers in an exciting future but one with fresh legal challenges. HF has a depth of knowledge and experience in both motor and product liability claims and is already advising key insurers including by running workshops and events.
HF is also keeping a close eye on the emerging micromobility industry, which includes e-bikes, e-scooters and electric skateboards. For example, the team advises clients on the regulatory requirements associated with micromobility products and we recently hosted a roundtable looking at issues surrounding e-scooters including product liability risks.
For expert legal advice from real people in our specialist teams, get in touch – we look forward to hearing from you.
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