In the difficult days of the current Covid-19 pandemic, the demand for more ventilators rises at a rapid rate. A recent article from the Financial Times discusses the implications and process (PAID LINK) of acquiring these machines. Additionally, it addresses how the Government will protect and support manufacturing ventilators.
Personal Injury for Ventilator Manufacturers
Estimates say the National Health Service (NHS) needs an additional 8,000 ventilators due to the potentially fatal nature of the virus. BAE Systems, Dyson and Rolls-Royce are all working on a solution. Their manufacturing actions range from building entirely new models to simple increases in production levels.
As a result, the demand should be comfortably met with the protective contingencies that are in place. There’s another troubling practice going on, however, that may complicate at-risk patients. Reports show the UK Government aims to protect these manufacturers from any financial burden due to:
- IP: Intellectual Property infringements, and/or;
- PI: Personal Injury caused by defective machinery.
This plan will cover the risk for any potential legal claims arising from any new machinery or IP infringement claims.
Michael Gove wrote to the Chairs of the Public Accounts and the Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committees on 3 April. It was an effort that proposed shielding manufacturers (particularly designers and contract manufacturers) on ‘two “contingent liabilities’’ mentioned – IP and PI.
IP Rights and Product Liability
The extent of protection is not currently clear due to the Cabinet Office not providing comment on compensation. But as Michael Gove wrote, there now two contingent liabilities. The first to cover IP rights and the second for product liability.
This plan intends to ensure that new manufacturers don’t fear the repercussions of legal claims. In short, it’s possible manufacturers fear these risks due to the nature of the rapid production of highly complex equipment. Legal experts think IP rights holders in the life sciences and medical devices sector will object.
Because of the sensitive nature of the treatment, there is cause for concern. Additionally, the new machinery must be subject to high regulatory standards. Therefore, there is a lot of scrutiny and careful judgement surrounding the proper manufacturing of these essential devices.
For individuals suffering from a personal injury at the hands of someone else, this is a very sensitive matter. There should be no exceptions when it comes to the health and safety of patients. In short, manufacturers don’t deserve protection if they err in manufacturing their products. This holds even though we are going through a pandemic as devastating as Covid-19.
Families are losing loved ones from the virus alone. To avoid compounding the frustration, families should expect nothing less than high standard ventilators. The general public is right to worry about the virus. They don’t want to also worry about essential devices meant to help treat the virus.
The Government says it wants to protect manufacturers from legal action if they are to produce faulty machinery. However, it gives the companies an unnecessary margin of error. Though manufacturers are fighting to create ventilators at a rapid pace, that margin shouldn’t exist in the first place.
Can you still claim?
Yes: you can still make compensation claims if you suffer from medical negligence or a personal injury for ventilator manufacturers negligence. The funds are there to protect the companies but most importantly you. Without these contingencies in place, the demand for ventilators may not be met.
Remember: you still have the right to claim compensation regardless of what the Government is doing to support the companies.
Here at The Compensation Experts, we offer you free and friendly expert advice on your potential claim. We’ll ask you some questions to determine if you have a strong case for compensation. Moreover, we’ll answer any questions or queries you may have.
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