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Newspaper containing inaccurate health advice is not a defective product under EU Product Liability Directive (VI v KRONE)

Published on: 17 June 2021
Published by: LexisPSL
  • Newspaper containing inaccurate health advice is not a defective product under EU Product Liability Directive (VI v KRONE)
  • What are the practical implications of this case?
  • What was the background?
  • What did the court decide?
  • Case details

Article summary

Commercial analysis: The Court of Justice has held that inaccurate health advice published in a hardcopy newspaper relating to the use of a plant, which, when followed, caused physical injury to a newspaper reader, does not constitute a defective product under the Product Liability Directive (Directive 85/374/EEC) (the Directive). The provision of inaccurate advice constitutes a service. This service is unrelated to the printed newspaper, which is its medium and the service does not concern either the presentation or the use of the newspaper. Accordingly, the service is not part of the inherent characteristics of the printed newspaper which alone permit an assessment as to whether the product is defective. This judgment underscores the two distinct regimes between liability of service providers and liability of manufacturers of finished products. It should be noted, however, that this does not exclude the possibility of other systems of contractual or non-contractual liability applying, based on other grounds. The judgment also indicates the approach the English courts may take when confronted with a similar issue, since the Directive has been implemented in the UK by the Consumer Protection Act 1987 (CPA 1987) and continues to apply post-Brexit. Written by Kate Corby, partner and Anjuli Patel, senior associate at Baker McKenzie. or take a trial to read the full analysis.

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