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From Life-Saving to Lethal: Product Liability After a Cyberattack

June 21, 2016

By Chris McGrath, Thomas Counts, Beau Stockstill & Danielle Decker

A hacker breaking into your email and stealing your passwords is bad. A hacker delivering a fatal dose through your insulin pump or remotely disabling your carʼs braking system is far worse. The Internet of Things presents significant challenges for cybersecurity, and exposes innovative manufacturers to untested claims for product liability. Although case law is virtually nonexistent, manufacturersʼ legal vulnerabilities are not. The historic framework for strict liability and negligence claims will inevitably be grafted onto claims for physical harm resulting from cybercrime directed toward connected devices. Regardless of the legal nuances courts ultimately apply, manufacturers can limit their potential liability with five proactive steps.

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Contributors

Image: Thomas A Counts
Thomas A Counts
Partner, Litigation Department
Image: Beau Stockstill
Beau Stockstill
Associate, Litigation Department
Image: Christopher H McGrath
Christopher H McGrath
Partner, Litigation Department