The Court of Justice of the European Union has held that an article in a printed newspaper that provides inaccurate health advice relating to the use of a plant which, when followed, proved injurious to the health of a reader, does not constitute a ‘defective product’ within the meaning of the EU’s Directive on liability for defective products.
According to the Court, inaccurate health advice published in a printed newspaper, concerning the use of another physical item, falls outside the scope of the Directive and hence will not render the newspaper defective and the ‘producer’ (publisher, printer or author) strictly liable.
It observed that the inaccurate advice, in the case, was not related to the printed newspaper which constituted its medium and that the service did not concern either the presentation or the use of the newspaper.
It held that the service was not part of the inherent characteristics of the printed newspaper which alone permit an assessment as to whether the product is defective.
The published article had inaccurately mentioned the duration of the treatment by using ‘hours’ instead of ‘minutes’.
The CJEU in this case VI v. KRONE – Verlag Gesellschaft mbH & Co KG [Judgement dated 10 June 2021] also noted that services did not come within the scope of the EU’s Directive.