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Poland

Litigation     

Poland has implemented the EU Product Liability Directive. A claimant may choose between a complaint based on product liability, in which there is no need to prove fault on the part of the producer, or one based on general contractual or tortious rules.

A complaint may be lodged not only against a producer of the dangerous product but also against a manufacturer of raw materials or components, unless the damage complained of was caused exclusively by the product’s construction or the producer’s guidelines. Moreover, any entity posing as a producer by placing its business name, trademark or other designation on the product can be also held liable. The same applies to importers of products of foreign origin. If the producer cannot be identified, then complaints may be lodged against the seller.

Consumers can be awarded damages for personal injury and damage to property. Liability cannot be excluded or limited by any means. 

Regulation    

Administrative proceedings can be initiated where dangerous products are marketed. Products which are not covered by specific regulations are covered under the Act on General Product Safety.

There are several regulatory bodies responsible for performing product control, including: the Trade Inspectorate (which controls products’ compliance with safety requirements); the National Sanitary Inspectorate (which monitors foodstuffs); the Pharmaceutical Inspectorate (which monitors the pharmaceuticals and medicines market); and the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection. These regulatory bodies may initiate proceedings after receiving information from consumers, other Polish authorities or surveillance authorities in other EU member states. Moreover, manufacturers are obliged to immediately notify the proper regulatory body of any risk posed by their product which makes it unsafe.

If a product is found to be dangerous to users’ life or health, specific obligations and penalties may be imposed on the producer or distributor. In particular, the authorities may prohibit the launch of the product on the market or may decide to recall the product or recover it from consumers.

Information concerning dangerous products is entered in the Register of Dangerous Products and is made available for review. When a business launches a listed dangerous product on the market, it may be punished with a fine.

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Note past results are not guarantees of future results. Each matter is individual and will be decided on its own facts.