The Supreme Court recently upheld the appellate court's opinion that Section 17(1) of the Act on Medicinal Products requires the labelling of certain particulars in the case of eventual outer packaging, but does not require the outer packaging of medicinal products. This interpretation conforms with Article 54 of EU Directive 2001/83/EC, which provides that certain particulars must appear on the outer packaging of medicinal products or, where there is no outer packaging, on the immediate packaging.
The Supreme Court recently ruled on a case where the cost to repair a defective product far exceeded the value of the goods in question. In its decision, the court determined that existing Austrian law on warranty claims can (and must) be construed in line with European Court of Justice case law on the EU Consumer Sales Directive. While ending an academic debate, the decision is bound to spark disputes between sellers of defective products and their counterparts.
A cosmetics producer launched a product series entitled '24 K-rat Deluxe Formula', which claimed to give consumers a youthful glow. A competitor argued that both the name of the product series and the defendant's claims were misleading. On appeal by the claimant, the Supreme Court in part confirmed the claim and in part remitted the case to the court of first instance.
In a recent case the Supreme Court confirmed that questions of individual responsibility and contributory negligence must be decided on a case-by-case basis and therefore cannot constitute a material point of law. As a result, any product liability-related appeal to the Supreme Court which deals only with individual responsibility and contributory negligence should be dismissed as inadmissible.
Sometimes even small things can have a big impact. In a recent case a screw on a circuit breaker that was not tightened properly (costing approximately €550) led to a chain reaction of failures, resulting in damages of €27,116.50 (partly for damaged equipment and partly for loss of income) and a groundbreaking Supreme Court decision.
In a recent case the claimant damaged his tooth by biting down on a tiny stone in a French baguette. The Supreme Court confirmed the liability of an enterprise in the product supply chain which did not comply with its legal obligation timely to inform the injured party of the identity of the producer.
The Supreme Court has twice addressed the issue of warning instructions on products for sale, and has laid down guiding principles. In both cases, which resulted from accidents with a bicycle and a bottle of sparkling fruit drink respectively, the consumers' claims were rejected.
The Supreme Court recently heard two cases concerning product defects and lack of warning regarding injuries that were suffered through use of the products. No liability was found in the case of an exploding beverage bottle since the consumer's behaviour could not have been foreseen, but a seller of scuba diving suits was held liable.