Products in a Pandemic: Liability for Medical Products and the Fight against Covid-19

European Journal of Risk Regulation (2020, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/err.2020.54)

38 Pages Posted: 24 Apr 2020

See all articles by Duncan Fairgrieve

Duncan Fairgrieve

British Institute of International and Comparative Law ; Université Paris Dauphine

Peter Feldschreiber

4 New Square

Geraint Howells

University of Manchester

Marcus Pilgerstorfer QC

11KBW

Date Written: May 15, 2020

Abstract

The global war against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2), and the disease it causes (Covid-19), is being fought by many countries on many fronts. Equipment is essential in any war , and it is no different where that equipment takes the form of medical supplies. Faced with the current pandemic, a vast global demand has arisen for an array of products, from test kits and chemicals, personal protective equipment (PPE), hand sanitisers and other biocidal products, ventilators and similar devices, as well as medicines, treatments and (of course) a vaccine. Producers are now scrambling to meet that demand by ramping up production, developing modified and new products at astonishing speeds, as well as manufacturing in novel ways.

So what of the legal considerations? In this piece we explore from a legal perspective some of the issues that might arise, and how existing legal concepts might respond. Our purpose is not to erect legal road blocks in the way of meeting demand for essential healthcare products; quite the contrary. It is to contribute to the consideration of the application of laws covering product liability and regulation an early stage, when ex ante measures (such as providing warnings, obtaining indemnities from government etc) are still available to producers and lawmakers.

Keywords: Product Liability, Covid-19, Defect, Development Risks, Immunity, Indemnity, Compensation Schemes

JEL Classification: K13, K22, K32

Suggested Citation

Fairgrieve, Duncan and Feldschreiber, Peter and Howells, Geraint and Pilgerstorfer QC, Marcus, Products in a Pandemic: Liability for Medical Products and the Fight against Covid-19 (May 15, 2020). European Journal of Risk Regulation (2020, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/err.2020.54). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3584265 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3584265

Duncan Fairgrieve

British Institute of International and Comparative Law ( email )

Charles Clore House
17 Russell Square
London WC1B 5JP
United Kingdom

Université Paris Dauphine ( email )

Place du Maréchal de Tassigny
Paris, Cedex 16 75775
France

Peter Feldschreiber

4 New Square ( email )

Lincoln's Inn
London, WC2A 3RJ
United Kingdom

Geraint Howells

University of Manchester ( email )

Oxford Road
Manchester, M13 9PL
United Kingdom

Marcus Pilgerstorfer QC (Contact Author)

11KBW ( email )

11 King's Bench Walk
Temple, EC4Y 7EQ
United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: http://https://www.11kbw.com/barristers/marcus-pilgerstorfer/

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