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The Legal Intelligencer Queries Michael O’Brien on 3-D Printing and Products Liability Law

May 25, 2016

Michael O’Brien (Partner-White Plains) was quoted in the May 24, 2016, issue of The Legal Intelligencer regarding its article “3-D Printing Set to Disrupt Products Liability Law.” While few courts have dealt with the rise of 3-D printing, where a person may design and essentially manufacture a ­product in his or her garage, the traditional supply chain goes out the window, along with many basic notions about strict liability. Examples range from things as mundane as a cyclist printing a bicycle part to doctors using a 3-D printed model of a patient’s heart to practice a complex surgery. “If there’s some type of failure [with the surgery] does that become a medical malpractice problem, or is it a problem with some products liability implications?” said Michael. While it is difficult to determine exactly how the issues will play out in the courts, several attorneys said initial ­litigation over the technology will likely focus on the medical and auto parts industries.

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