Creating a proportionate Product Liability Directive
The revised Product Liability Directive (PLD) will play a key role in ensuring that Europeans continue to be protected in the digital age. Consumers must be fairly compensated when defective products cause harm, and legal certainty for businesses is vital to encourage investment and innovation. Together, these assurances foster trust, confidence in new technologies and growth.
To achieve this balance, the following adjustments should be taken into account for an effective modernisation of the liability regime:
Any expansion of scope to the definition of a product must be clear and proportionate;
The criteria used to assess the defectiveness of products should be made more objective, removing elements outside of the manufacturer’s control;
The definition of damage should not include immaterial losses such as the loss or corruption of data or damage to psychological health;
More robust safeguards, such as confidentiality presumptions and fines, are needed to protect trade secrets in the disclosure of evidence;
What a claimant must do and prove before alleviating the burden of proof should be clarified; and
The compensation thresholds should be maintained and updated rather than eliminated to prevent frivolous claims and provide legal certainty for businesses and their insurers.