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Welcome to Product liability disputes

Product liability disputes can turn out to be extremely costly to companies in both financial and reputational terms.

Careful handling by true experts in the field is vital to ensure that situations can be addressed promptly and effectively.

At Ward Hadaway, we work hard to protect our clients’ best interests whilst taking into account sensitive commercial relationships.

Our experience in alternative dispute resolution can ensure, in appropriate cases, that swift and sensible conclusions to disputes can be achieved to allow for continuing amicable commercial relationships between parties.

Our Product Liability expertise includes:

  • Retail, manufacturing, construction, polymers, powders, fertilisers and engineering-related claims
  • Claims defence and recall advice
  • Claims relating to product supply, design, installation and labelling
  • Insurance disputes, policy coverage and recovery advice
  • Property damage and financial loss
  • Recoveries in the UK and globally against manufacturers, suppliers and distributors
  • Contract disputes
  • Cross-border disputes
  • Alternative dispute resolution

Thanks to our experience in the sector, we can call on a trusted network of forensic engineering experts, loss adjusters and forensic accountants in any investigations required.

In addition, the nature of today’s commercial world means that product liability disputes often cross borders and can spread across the globe.

We have close links to specialist foreign lawyers in other jurisdictions, allowing accessible global expertise, and are also members of GGI (Geneva Group International) the world’s leading multi-disciplinary alliance of professional services firms with more than 430 firms across over 100 different countries.

We are able to facilitate recoveries against suppliers and manufacturers based in the Far East (China and Hong Kong) and have detailed understanding of local business culture and etiquette.

Members of the team have collaborated for over three years with one of the largest Hong Kong law firms and have access to a reliable and reasonably priced panel of lawyers and barristers based in Hong and China to facilitate any litigation or mediation required.

The team’s experience includes:

  • Liaising with insurers in China and facilitating a full indemnity for a corporate client who was named on their Chinese supplier’s insurance policy following settlement of a personal injury claim in the UK. Damages were agreed at £15,000 plus costs which were paid directly by the Chinese insurers. Our client’s costs amounted to around £5,000;
  • Assisting a plumbing and heating supplier recover their losses from a Chinese manufacturer after settling property damage cases involving stop cock failures by facilitating commercial discussions between the clients, the supplier’s buying team and their insurers. The indemnity claim pursued was around £58,000 and our client’s costs amounted around £4,000. The manufacturer’s insurers provided an indemnity directly to our client.

In Europe, the team’s experience includes:

  • Acting for a market leading retailer in home and general merchandising in property damage-related product liability claims and recoveries following personal injury claims said to be caused by domestic appliances and other consumer products. On a complex fire claim, we successfully diverted the personal injury claim, negotiated a reduction in the property damage claim and secured a full indemnity for the client from the Italian manufacturers’ insurers, despite the manufacturer being in administration.
  • Advising a supplier of refrigeration equipment and its insurers following the failure of a heat exchanger it supplied to a contractor causing significant property damage and business interruption losses, and securing a recovery from the German manufacturers.
  • Successfully defending a quarry plant supplier and its insurers on a claim for damage to an impact crusher alleged to be caused by defective industrial hammers and advising on the potential recovery claim against the French manufacturer.
  • Acting for the Irish subsidiary of a well known UK industrial supplies company and successfully defending a product failure claim for over €1m property damage and loss of rent claim following an escape of water in commercial premises in Ireland.

In the USA, the team’s experience includes:

  • Successfully defending a laboratory equipment supplier in a contribution claim following the electrocution of a laboratory worker, and obtaining permission to serve outside of the jurisdiction against the US manufacturer.

To find out more about how we can help you, please get in touch.

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