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Key Product Liability Cases: Q1 2024 Update

The Product Liability and Mass Torts Group at McCarthy Tétrault LLP is pleased to bring you our analysis of recent decisions for businesses manufacturing or selling products in Canada.

The recent decision by the Ontario Court of Appeal in Palmer v. Teva has provided clarity on the standards for compensable psychological injury in product liability claims. This case, which involved allegations of increased cancer risk from exposure to nitrosamine impurities in blood pressure medications, reaffirmed the importance of solid scientific evidence and the necessity of proving actual damage for negligence claims.

In another recent decision, Price v. Lundbeck, the Ontario Divisional Court highlighted that plaintiffs cannot frame a product risk in general terms in an attempt to achieve certification if that issue is inherently individual; if resolving the general question will not meaningfully advance the claims of any class member, the case will not be certified.

In Oberski v. General Motors LLC, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice approved a C$12 million settlement of claims against General Motors for economic loss in respect of defective ignition switches, ignition keys, and power steering units in certain GM vehicles.

Lastly, in Martin v. Wright Medical Technology Canada Ltd., the Court of Appeal for Ontario clarified the application of recent amendments to Ontario’s Class Proceedings Act, 1992: if a class action subject to the pre-amendment Act is discontinued, it can only be restarted under the post-amendment Act. Causes of action cannot be tacked onto a related case that is still pending under the pre-amendment legislation.

For the full update, download our PDF below.

Key Product Liability Cases: Q1 2024 Update

Key Product Liability Cases: Q1 2024 Update

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