Archive for the ‘european commission’ Tag

Jurisdiction in product liability cases in Europe

Kainz/Pantherwerke ECJ C-45/13 of 16 January 2014: interpretation of article 5 (3) of Brussel I in product liability cases 

According to article 2 and article 5 (3) of Regulation no. 44/2001 (Brussel 1) in product liability cases the defendant may be sued in the place where he is domiciled as well as in which the event giving rise to liability occurs. It is settled case law that in case the place where the event occurs and the place where that event results in damage are not identical article 5(3) must be understood as being intended to cover both the place where the damage occurred and the place of the event giving rise to it (see also ECJEU C-189 Zuid Chemie [2009]  and C-170/12 Pinckney [2013] ) This means that the defendant may be sued, at the option of the claimant in the court of those places.

Usually it is clear what the place is where the damage occurs. There can however be a discussion about the place of the event giving rise to the damage. Is that the place where the manufacturer is established, the place where the product is put into circulation or the place where the product was acquired.

In the case of Kainz vs Pantherwerke the European Court of Justice was asked to clarify the concept of place of the event giving rise to damage in relation to product liability.

Mr Kainz who lives in Salzburg (Austria ) had an accident in Germany while biking on a bike manufactured by Panterwerke AG in Germany but purchased by a retailer in Austria. Pantherwerke AG has a registered office in Austria. According to Kainz he fell from his bike because the fork end detached itself from the fork wheel. He claimed the Pantherwerke AG was liable as manufacturer in respect to a manufacturing defect. Kainz issued proceedings before the court in Austria,

Pantherwerke AG contested the international jurisdiction of the Austrian Courts. The place of the event giving rise to the damage, in their view was located in Germany. The bicycle was manufactured in Germany and was brought into circulation in that State when it was dispatched from that company’s place of business.

Both in first instance as well as on appeal the courts dismissed the action brought by Kainz on the grounds of lack of international jurisdiction. The Obester Gerichtshof (Supreme Court) considered it necessary to ask the European Court of Justice to clarify the concept of the event giving rise to damage in product liability cases.

The European Court ruled, in line with the Zuid Chemie case,  that this is the place where the event which damaged the product took place. This is in principle the place where the product is manufactured. The courts in that place will also be in best position to rule on the finding that a product is defective.

This means that in cases where a manufacturer faces a claim of liability the place of the event giving rise to damage is the place where the product in question was manufactured. A defendant in a product liability case may thus be sued in the court where the damage took place, the place where the product was manufactured and the place where he is domiciled.

The verdict can be found here

Rights of patients in Cross border health care rights of patients set out in EU directive 2011/24

The directive has to be implemented in the laws of EU states by 25 October 2013. This website contains information on this new directive.

Fundamental rights in Europe. Information on new website of EC justice

All information regarding fundamental rights in the EU can be found on this revamped website of EC Justice.

Connection between healthy ageing and neurodegenerative disorders

An international team of researchers partially funded by the EU has uncovered new information linking healthy ageing and neurodegenerative disorders including Alzheimer’s disease.

Council conclusions on innovation in medical device sector in Europe

Here is a link to the European Commission’s webpage which contains all relevant information on medical devices and the latest Council conclusion on innovation in the medical device sector.

New EU directive on falisified medicine published in Official Journal of European Union

The new EU legislation on falsified medicines was published on 1 July in the Official Journal of the European Union. It will be applicable on 2 January 2013. This legislation is the outcome of the legal proposal that the Commission put forward in December 2008.
The new legislation introduces tougher rules to improve the protection of public health with new harmonised, pan-European measures to ensure that medicines are safe and that the trade in medicines is rigorously controlled.
To this end, these new measures include:

– An obligatory authenticity feature on the outer packaging of the medicines : this feature will be decided at a later stage via a delegated act;
– A common, EU-wide logo to identify legal online pharmacies. This would make it easier to distinguish between legal and illegal online pharmacies throughout the European Union;
– Tougher rules on the controls and inspections of producers of active pharmaceutical ingredients; and
– Strengthened record-keeping requirements for wholesale distributors

New: European Law Institute

On 1 June 2011 a conference took place in Paris to launch the new European Law Institute.

The Institute is an independent non-profit organisation, which will help improve legal consistency in Europe by providing practical advice to policymakers and authorities.

According to the press release the Institute will:

evaluate and stimulate the development of EU law, legal policy, and practice;
make proposals for the further development of the body of EU law and for the enhancement of EU law implementation by the Member States;
identify and analyse legal developments in areas within the competence of Member States that are relevant at the EU level;
study EU approaches regarding international law and enhance the role EU law could play globally, for instance in drafting international instruments or model rules;
conduct and facilitate pan-European research, such as drafting, evaluating and improving principles and rules that are common to the European legal systems;
provide a forum for jurists – academics, judges, lawyers and other legal professionals – from different legal traditions to hold discussions

Its seat will be in Vienna, Austria.

Stakeholder consultation on health security in the European Union

The aim of this consultation is to seek the views of stakeholders on what action the European Commission should take to protect EU citizens more effectively against serious cross-border health threats. The Council of the European Union invited Member States in 2010 to further improve their coordination and collaboration in facing serious cross-border health threats, including a coherent approach to preparedness and response to pandemic influenza and to other public health emergencies of international concern. This implies reinforced preparedness, ensuring coherent risk assessment and risk management as well as improving the coordination of public communication on any matter related to health-related crisis involving or likely to threaten more than one Member State.

EC health indicators

Perfect website full of statistics on various subjects such as fatalities in road traffic accidents in Europe

Dutch International Private Law

This is a link to the European Commissions Judicial Network, which contains relevant information on Dutch International Private Law. You can find information on sources of law, the application of rules of conflict, and the rules of conflict.