CONSUMER AND PRODUCT LIABILITY

Souto Correa’s Consumer and Product Liability practice area handles strategic and complex lawsuits throughout the country, involving consumer law, product liability and civil liability. The team´s experience covers both individual lawsuits and nationwide class actions, including the representation of clients, most of which are multinational companies and associations. The Consumer and Product Liability team is also involved in administrative and judicial litigation regarding sanctions applied by consumer protection agencies. The team has experience before various State Courts and has a strong presence in the Superior Courts.

The team also has a strong experience in administrative litigation related to consumer law, including administrative proceedings and public civil investigation proceedings. Souto Correa´s Consumer and Product Liability practice has experience working with the major consumer protection agencies, such as the Brazilian Department of Consumer Protection (DPDC) and Public Attorney’s Offices, as well with the National Council for Self-Regulatory Advertising (CONAR).

The team has experience in advising national and international clients with matters related to product safety, and guidance of recall campaigns.

The area routinely advises clients with all their proceedings and policies involving consumer law, including post-sales services; electronic commerce and digital services; and abusive practices, among other matters arising from consumer relations. This work comprehends reviewing documents such as terms and conditions, user guides, guarantee and warranty terms and advertising.  The area also advises clients in adapting their policies according to the data protection law, as applicable to consumers.

Clients highlight the “team’s ‘solid technical knowledge and good reputation in the market”, adding: “They know how to position themselves from a theoretical and practical perspective.” “Co-head of practice Jorge Cesa is singled out by clients for his ‘experience and for his constant delivery of a reliable service. (…)”. He is particularly strong in representing players from the tobacco, technology and electronics industries. (Chambers and Partners)

Roberta Feiten, partner in charge of the practice area, is known by clients as “very intelligent, energic and studious” (Chambers and Partners).

“Partner Guilherme Rizzo Amaral focuses on strategic litigation matters, namely class actions involving consumer law matters. Clients highlight his ‘experience, technical knowledge and availability,’ adding that ‘he has a great understanding of the client’s business.’” (Chambers and Partners)

 

Recent cases

■ The team represents a global online marketplace for hospitality service in several lawsuits filed nationwide by consumers and public authorities, including subjects related to the Covid-19 pandemic, as well as general consultancy to the business;

■ The firm represents the Latin America’s largest commercial airline in more than 250 civil inquiries, class actions and strategic lawsuits, as well as consultancy regarding several matters involving consumer law;

■ The team represents a global cellphone manufacturer in strategic judicial and administrative cases related to consumer law throughout Brazil, including public civil investigations, class actions, individual claims arising from consumer accidents, tax foreclosure and lawsuits for the annulment of fines imposed by consumer defense agencies;

■ The team represents a Chinese multinational manufacturer of computers and technology products in an administrative proceeding filed by the DPDC – Departamento de Proteção e Defesa do Consumidor (Brazilian Department of Consumer Protection) which discuss consumer relations. It also provides frequent advisory in diverse questions related to consumer law;

■ The area represents cellphone manufacturers and a manufacturers’ association in a Class Action filed by the Federal and the State Public Attorney’s Office of the State of Minas Gerais, related to the Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) and the alleged risk to human health associated with the use of cellphones;

■ The firm represents a North American computer manufacturer in several administrative proceedings filed by Brazilian consumer protection authorities or by Public Attorney’s Offices (PAOs), as well as provides legal advice to different consumer law questions;

■ The team represents an electric power company in several individual indemnity actions arising from an environmental public civil action;

■ The area represents a global software company in strategic public civil actions, involving data privacy and other issues related to consumer rights;

■ The firm represents an electronics manufacturers’ association in Direct Actions for Unconstitutionality, including before the Supreme Court, regarding the enactment of local Consumer Defense Codes;

■ The firm represents a pharmaceutical company in several individual claims regarding the existence of defects in a medicine, which would have caused damages to consumer’s health;

■ The team represents an electric power company in Annulment Actions filed against the PROCON Foundation of São Paulo, for the annulment of administrative fines in the total amount of more than R$ 10,000,000.00;

■ The team represents a global manufacturer of power tools in a strategic individual action related to product liability.

■ The team represents a manufacturer of agrodefensives in a public civil action involving consumer and environmental law.