IUA Circular 029/19

The Rise of Software as a  Product – does the Product Liability framework apply
with Michaela Herron, Partner – Mason Hayes & Curran and Deirdre Munnelly, Partner – Mason Hayes and Curran



Event Date:  Wednesday 29 May 2019

Time:  12noon to 1pm

Venue:  ACORD Conference Room, 8th floor, 1 Minster Court, Mincing Lane, London EC3

Subject:  In this Market Briefing we consider how software can be considered a product, the subsequent applicability of the product liability framework, difficulties with claims arising from “software as a product” and issues the insurance industry need to consider when determining the potential risks and identifying the appropriate policy coverage.

Contact:  Deborah Finch, IUA Events Manager (020 7617 4451)


This is a free event, but names and email addresses of all attendees are required for registration.  Please click here to register.

The concept of software as a product is becoming an increasingly relevant issue to our daily lives. Connected or “smart” consumer products are quickly becoming the norm, software medical devices are in some scenarios substituting doctors and it will not be long before roads are overrun with driverless cars. Each of these products have one major theme in common – software is at the heart of their operation.

However, with innovation comes risk. Corrupted software in a “smart” toaster could cause a house fire, a malfunctioning algorithm in a software medical device could miscalculate a drug dosage and cause harm to a patient and we have already seen the fatal consequences of driverless cars failing to detect pedestrians. The question arises - does the traditional Product Liability framework apply to software in these scenarios?

In this Market Briefing we consider how software can be considered a product, the subsequent applicability of the product liability framework, difficulties with claims arising from “software as a product” and issues the insurance industry need to consider when determining the potential risks and identifying the appropriate policy coverage.

Our Speakers:

Michaela Herron
advises clients in the pharmaceutical, medical device (including software medical device), digital health, cosmetic and general consumer product sectors on various regulatory compliance matters, including regulatory approval, labeling, traceability, safety and liability issues. She has advised clients on enforcement action (including the defence of criminal prosecutions) and the implementation and coordination of product withdrawals and product recalls and rectification strategies in multiple jurisdictions. She has also acted on behalf of clients in significant commercial disputes, group product liability litigation, inquests, injunctive relief and judicial review proceedings. Michaela has worked in both Dublin and London since qualification.

Deirdre Munnelly acts for Irish insurers, UK underwriters and self-insured companies in the defence of PL, EL and other liability claims.  She also regularly advises on health and safety obligations and risk management and provides training to clients in this area. Deirdre represents a variety of professionals in the defence of professional negligence proceedings. Deirdre has also advised both insurer and insured clients on coverage disputes and policy interpretation. Deirdre  is an Irish qualified solicitor, a CEDR accredited mediator and has been recommended as a next generation lawyer in the insurance sphere by Legal 500 in 2018 and 2019.

As a member of the CPD (Continuing Personal or Professional Development) Certification Service the IUA is committed to providing high quality training activities. Our market briefing events are certified as being suitable for CPD purposes. To obtain a self assessment form for any particular event please email Deborah Finch. These forms will be issued after each individual event upon request.

For events held in the conference rooms at Balls Bros., Minster Pavement, America Square Conference Centre, Grange Hotel or Baltic Exchange you will not require an entrance pass but we will require a note of your attendance for room capacity and catering requirements.