Legal Issues for Drone and Robotics Industries

Shook, Hardy & Bacon Product Liability Partner Alison Newstead has authored an article titled “Drones and robots: liability for designers, manufacturers and insurers” appearing in the March 2014 issue of The In-House Lawyer. She considers the legal issues that might arise when, for example, drones mis-deliver or damage packages shipped to consumers or remote controlled household technology fails to function as designed and injury ensues. Among other matters, Newstead calls for legislators to avoid hindering innovation by “introducing measures which excessively load liability on manufacturers, when the users of the automated technology (or their insurers) may be better positioned to bear the risk.” She also addresses how the EU risk assessment guidelines can be used even in the automated technology arena to aid manufacturers in determining whether a safety issue exists and whether a recall is required.