In today’s global economy, product manufacturers and distributors face a dizzying array of overlapping and sometimes contradictory laws and regulations around the world. A basic familiarity with international product liability is essential to doing business in this environment. An understanding of the international framework will provide thoughtful manufacturers and distributors with a strategic advantage in this increasingly competitive area. This treatise sets out a general overview of product liability in key jurisdictions around the world, giving manufacturers a place to start in assessing their potential liability and exposure.
Readers of this publication will see that each country’s product liability laws reflect a delicate balance between protecting consumers and encouraging risk-taking and innovation. This balance is constantly shifting through new legislation, regulations, treaties, administrative oversight and court decisions. But the overall trajectory seems clear: as global wealth, technological innovation and consumer knowledge continue to increase, so will the cost of product liability actions.
This edition covers 19 countries and provides a high-level overview of each jurisdiction’s product liability framework, recent changes and developments, and a look forward at expected trends. Each chapter contains a brief introduction to the country’s product liability framework, followed by four main sections: regulatory oversight; causes of action; litigation; and the year in review.
Chilton Davis Varner
Chilton Varner joined King & Spalding in 1976. She became the first female partner in the firm’s litigation department, and the first female to serve on the firm’s management committee. She is the senior partner on King & Spalding’s product liability team, which The American Lawyer has twice recognised as one of the top three such practices in the country. She has been named on the shortlist of best female litigators by the National Law Journal, Chambers and Partners, Law360 and Benchmark. Recently, Best Lawyers named her ‘Litigator of the Year’ in her region.
Bradley W Pratt
Bradley Pratt is a partner with King & Spalding’s product liability team. He leads multidisciplinary and cross-border teams addressing issues of critical importance to product manufacturers in a variety of industries, including the pharmaceutical, biologics, medical device, food and beverage, agriculture, transportation, automotive, consumer products, industrial products, chemical, and energy industries. In 2012, he was awarded the ‘Rising Star Award’ in product liability litigation by Law360, honouring five attorneys under the age of 40 in this specialism nationwide whose ‘accomplishments in major litigation and transactions belie their age’.
The publisher acknowledges and thanks the following for their learned assistance throughout the preparation of this book: