Recent developments in European Consumer Law: No strict liability for injuries resulting from published wrong health advice
In our previous post (What’s the worst that could happen?…) we have commented on the opinion of AG Hogan in the case Krone (C-65/20). The case concerned an incorrect health advice having been published in a newspaper, which led to a consumer’s injury. The national court asked the CJEU whether Product Liability Directive was applicable in this case.
CJEU confirms on June 10 the assessment of AG Hogan that a printed copy of a newspaper providing consumers with an inaccurate health advice, which, if followed, could lead to a consumer’s injury, should not be perceived as a ‘defective product’. This means that the strict liability of Product Liability Directive does not apply in this case to the newspaper (their publishers, printers or even author of the health advice – para 39). Provision of a health advice is considered as a service by the CJEU, which is excluded from the scope of the PLD (para 32). Incorporation of the advice into a product – a physical copy of a newspaper – does not change this assessment, as ‘the defective nature of a product is determined on the basis of certain characteristics inherent to the product itself…‘ (para 35). Here, the newspaper is only a medium for the provision of the service – health advice – which means that the service does not impact the inherent characteristics of the printed newspaper (para 36).