As Merck fights the case for its controversial rheumatoid arthritis drug Vioxx on both sides of the Atlantic, and with consumers becoming increasingly conscious of risks posed by unsafe food and other goods, The Lawyer turns the spotlight on product liability.
This Product Liability Special Report examines the need for a unified framework for bringing group actions in respect of product liability and the need for companies to establish protocols for managing product safety. Coming against the background of cases such as Vioxx, it is clear that transatlantic class actions are very much a part of the current product liability climate.
It also looks at the way that insurers are addressing product liability. With the Foods Standard Agency investigating the use of benzene in soft drinks, demand for product recall cover has soared. Increased regulation will help companies and insurers structure future policies to meet new requirements.
New regulations are also causing headaches for food producers, which are faced with confusion over what information needs to appear on labels. European and UK legislation is not yet streamlined and companies have to address labelling obligations to avoid costly product recalls or, worse, litigation.