Serjeants’ Inn has considerable product liability expertise in cases involving injury caused by medical or pharmaceutical products and devices.
Members of Chambers have been involved in a number of high profile and important product liability group actions which have led to it being recommended as a leading set for Product Liability by both Chambers & Partners and The Legal 500. Christopher Johnston QC, Heidi Knight and Eloise Power are also recommended individually for their work in this area.
Serjeants’ Inn has considerable product liability expertise in cases involving injury caused by medical or pharmaceutical products and devices. This is reflected by the significant involvement of members of Chambers in the complex ongoing metal on metal hip litigation and transvaginal mesh litigation: both are headline group actions.
In recent years, however, we have broadened the scope of our practice beyond our core medical and pharmaceutical work to encompass a much wider range of cases; from exploding balloons and white goods (including the Beko proceedings) to sewage litigation. We have also expanded to cover work for defendants as well as claimants, for example a case involving allegedly defective fireworks.
We have a team of 18 barristers working in this field, including five silks. All have an in-depth knowledge of the particular complexities of product liability law. The head of our team, Christopher Johnston QC, is one of the very few product liability silks who undertakes claimant work. He was one of the senior counsel instructed in the FAC Litigation, a group action concerning alleged injuries in the womb caused by anti-epileptic drugs taken by their mothers.
Notable experience of members of Chambers includes:
- two multi-million class actions (and several further individual and group actions) against various manufacturers arising out of difficulties patients have experienced with metal on metal hip implants and resurfacings, on behalf of over a hundred claimants (Christopher Johnston QC, Heidi Knight, Sarah Simcock, Eloise Power, Jemma Lee and Liam Duffy);
- acting for the claimant in the only known UK based fatal claim arising from the failure of a Riata implantable cardiac defibrillator (Heidi Knight);
- the trans-vaginal mesh litigation (Eloise Power);
- claims relating to the Essure contraceptive implant (Heidi Knight);
- proceedings involving Beko fridge freezers which allegedly led to fires causing fatalities (Sarah Simcock, Edward Pleeth and Jemma Lee);
- representing the defendant in Appleton v Garrett, a dental negligence class action (Christopher Johnston QC);
- acting in an advisory role in relation to the use of Phakic 6 intraocular lens (Heidi Knight);
- acting in a highly complex wasted costs application in the TCC deriving from a sewage litigation class action (Christopher Johnston QC);
- acting for an infant Claimant in a claim against Advanced Bionics arising from a malfunctioning cochlear implant which was subject to medical recall (Heidi Knight);
- successfully settling a claim against the Ford Motor Company arising from injuries sustained when a vehicle failed due to defective brakes (Heidi Knight);
- acting in the Pandemrix litigation concerning an alleged link between the vaccine and narcoplepsy (Eloise Power);
- a claim arising from participation in a clinical trial leading to the development of Guillain-Barre syndrome / Miller Fisher syndrome / Bickerstaff’s encephalitis (Heidi Knight); and
- acting in a case involving defective ear implants (Oliver Williamson).
Chambers is a member of the Product Liability Forum at the British Institute of International and Comparative Law, London.
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