The Product Liability legislation in Sweden is based on the EU Product Liability Directive and is thus somewhat similar to the legislation in other jurisdictions across the EU. The rules regulate the responsibility for a party when a product causes personal injury or damages other property than the product itself. According to Swedish legislation, the liability is strict and may even arise in cases where there is no contractual relationship between the injured person and whoever manufactured, imported or marketed the product. The damages awarded can exceed the value of the product many times over, but claimants often find that, even though the liability is strict, proving the extent of the injury can be very difficult. There is a rule in the Swedish Code of Judicial Procedure (rättegångsbalken, chapter 35 section 5) which grants a plaintiff some leniency if it is unproportionally expensive, difficult or even impossible to fully prove the extent of losses. This rule grants the court discretion in certain cases to estimate the damages to a "reasonable amount" if full proof cannot be presented.
Class actions are permitted in product liability cases in Sweden under the Group Proceedings Act of 2002, provided that certain requirements are fulfilled. The system is based on opt-in and cases can be brought by (i) an individual member of a group who is a natural person or a legal entity (private group action); (ii) by an association of consumers (organizational group action); or (iii) by a designated public authority the Consumer Ombudsman (public group action).
Our team at DLA Piper Sweden has extensive knowledge within this area and we are here to help.
We offer full-service legal support on product liability compliance and defense through our team of dispute resolution and regulatory lawyers. We give legal support to product manufacturers and retailers on regulatory compliance and help them identify preventive measures to avoid claims. Furthermore, we regularly advise on product liability claims and investigate the facts underlying claims. Should a dispute arise, we have one of the strongest teams of experienced litigation lawyers in Sweden. We can guide you through the litigation process and help you achieve the best possible solution from a business perspective.
We have assisted a global Swedish home furniture retailer in mapping issues in product liability law and product safety law in more than 100 jurisdictions, including issues related to food stuffs. We are assisting clients and product liability insurers in handling product liability claims and litigation regarding transport vehicles and advanced IT equipment.