Product Liability and Safety
Gleiss Lutz is a recognised leader when it comes to advising on product liability and safety, with decades of experience in these areas. Dealing with product liability and safety issues generally requires expertise in civil, public and criminal law. As one of the few full service law firms in Germany, we can draw on the specialist knowledge of top-rate lawyers from a wide range of legal fields, providing clients with highest quality advice on all aspects of product liability.
We have extensive experience in handling some of the industry’s most significant product liability proceedings, having, for example, secured a German Supreme Court ruling on defective nursing beds – its most important decision on product recalls to date.
Our services range from advising on prevention and developing risk avoidance and recall strategies, to providing product safety and certification advice, preparing and negotiating quality assurance agreements, handling insurance coverage disputes and litigating product liability cases. We manage and coordinate global recalls, and help companies successfully weather crises. We also help avoid miscommunication with authorities in Germany and abroad and mitigate the risk of criminal and administrative offences.
“… impressive international product liability practice ...”
Companies launching new products must often navigate a maze of both national and international requirements and guidelines. We oversee and ensure our clients’ compliance with product regulations at all stages of the product life cycle, including conducting risk assessment and conformity assessment procedures, meeting notification requirements and communicating with the relevant domestic and foreign authorities, as well as dealing with intervention by public authorities. more
Product liability litigation
We have decades of experience in defending domestic and foreign companies against product liability claims. We are often involved in cases that lead to ground-breaking court rulings. Our services range from negotiating out-of-court settlements, and representing clients in (class) actions, to providing increasingly important marketing and public relations support.
Dealing with insurance companies and handling disputes with other firms over the reimbursement of product recall costs are other significant parts of our practice. In litigation matters with a cross-border dimension, clients can take advantage of our global network of leading local law firms and excellent personal ties. more
Product warnings and recalls
Product warnings and recalls put considerable strain on companies, both financially and otherwise. This is especially true when the recall takes on an international dimension, as is generally the case. Manufacturers often face existential risks in these critical situations. As industry specialists, we have the expertise and experience needed to guide clients safely through these testing times.
Plus, we know how critical rapid response is and which authorities need to be notified in such cases, and can help devise and quickly implement a suitable recall strategy. We manage the worldwide recall, help avoid miscommunication with authorities in Germany and abroad, and mitigate the risk of criminal and administrative offences.
Another key aspect of our work is providing advising on product liability prevention. With the right preemptive strategy and execution, companies can minimise the risk of product liability claims. We help draft and negotiate agreements with contract manufacturers, suppliers and customers, set up quality assurance systems and increase employee awareness of potential risks by offering in-house training sessions and workshops.
And we make sure clients have an effective recall management programme in place to deal with worst-case scenarios. more
Quality assurance (QA) agreements
As companies face ever more stringent legal requirements, watertight quality assurance agreements and effective quality assurance systems play an increasingly vital role. We offer support in preparing, negotiating and concluding suitable quality assurance agreements with partners in Germany and abroad, aid in identifying the responsibilities of the respective parties, and protect our clients’ interests where they form part of a supply chain.
We also advise on the preparation of quality management manuals, liability guidelines, product descriptions and user manuals, as well as on product presentation for advertising purposes. more
Almost all product recalls and warnings we advise on span multiple jurisdictions. Aided by our global network of leading local law firms and close personal contacts, we manage and coordinate product recalls in all countries affected. Whenever required, we can quickly and efficiently put together and manage selected, multi-jurisdictional teams best suited to the task at hand.
This gives clients the best of both worlds: a contact they know and trust – and consistently high-quality, tailored advice and seamless service across borders.