Product Liability Directive: European industry calls for a major rethink

Together with 11 European associations, MedTech Europe published today a statement on the progress of the revision of the Product Liability Directive (PLD).

European industry is extremely concerned about the proposed revision, which changes the existing civil law system’s balance that aims at protecting those who suffer harm from defective products and ensuring innovation.

As it stands, the revision would sweep away existing checks and balances and create a one-sided, litigation-friendly regime. The impact of the changes will significantly raise litigation risk, legal complexity and uncertainty for European businesses. Companies will have to decide whether to expend significant resources to defend against potentially unmeritorious claims or settle to limit litigation costs and reputational risk.

Ultimately, the primary beneficiaries of this far-reaching change to the PLD will likely be lawyers and litigation funders rather than European consumers.

Modernising the product liability framework to account for new technological advances should not come at the expense of innovation or the European civil justice system’s effective, fair and legally certain functioning. We therefore call for a reassessment of the far-reaching measures proposed in the revised PLD and the consequences European businesses and consumers could face from it.

You can read the full statement and our recommendations below.

Posted on 20.10.2023

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