Product Liability

  • September 3, 2015

    Hyland's Faces Disappointed Mom In $350M False Ad Trial

    A woman suing alternative medicine maker Hyland's Inc. for false advertising in a $350 million class action trial told a California federal jury Thursday that contrary to packaging claims, the company’s sleep aids and other homeopathic remedies “did nothing” for her and her children.

  • September 3, 2015

    PVC Pipe Buyers Must Give J-M Project Details In FCA Suit

    Dozens of cities and states pursuing a False Claims Act suit alleging J-M Manufacturing Co. sold them substandard plastic pipe must lay out legal theories and supporting evidence for each of the thousands of individual projects at issue before the case can proceed, a California federal judge said Thursday.

  • September 3, 2015

    Motrin Plaintiffs Say Bartlett Doesn't Block All Defect Claims

    A couple suing Johnson & Johnson and a subsidiary over its Children's Motrin product argue that the U.S. Supreme Court's landmark Bartlett ruling doesn't block their design defect claims against the branded-drug makers in an upcoming trial over the painkiller's alleged risks of causing Stevens-Johnson syndrome.

  • September 3, 2015

    H5 Turns Over Share Of $9.5B Donziger Judgment To Chevron

    Chevron Corp. settled with legal consulting firm H5 on Wednesday, getting the firm to withdraw its support from litigation against Chevron in Ecuador and assign its entire 1.25 percent interest in a disputed $9.5 billion pollution-related judgment to the energy giant.

  • September 3, 2015

    GSK Fights To Block Expert For Reed Smith Atty's Widow

    GlaxoSmithKline PLC told an Illinois federal court Wednesday to exclude the expert introduced by the widow of a Reed Smith LLP partner who allegedly committed suicide after taking a generic version of its antidepressant Paxil, claiming he has no reliable scientific methodology to support his claims.  

  • September 3, 2015

    Honest Co. Labels Lie, Consumer Alleges In Calif. Lawsuit

    A consumer filed a putative class action in California federal court Thursday alleging The Honest Co. Inc., actress Jessica Alba's natural, nontoxic family products business, actually sells items that contain unnatural ingredients or are ineffective.

  • September 3, 2015

    Insurers Should Pay $72M In Rig Death, Texas Justices Told

    The family of a drilling rig worker killed on the job urged the Texas Supreme Court on Thursday to reinstate a nearly $72 million judgment against two insurance carriers, saying they should be on the hook for a default trial judgment against the drilling company.

  • September 3, 2015

    Odor Cos. Didn’t Cause Fatal Gas Blast, Miss. Court Says

    The Mississippi Supreme Court ruled against the survivors of a fatal gas explosion Thursday by finding that companies that manufacture, distribute and use an artificial odor mixed with natural gas were not negligent in failing to warn that the smell can fade during underground gas leaks.

  • September 3, 2015

    Genzyme Pays $32.5M Criminal Fine For Seprafilm Marketing

    Sanofi SA unit Genzyme Corp. agreed Thursday to a roughly $32.5 million fine to resolve criminal charges that it encouraged surgeons to use its Seprafilm surgical product in unapproved ways that contaminated it, and suggested without enough proof that it was safe for certain cancer surgeries.

  • September 3, 2015

    Blankenship Jury Pool Questioned On Coal Mine Ties

    Prospective jurors in the soon-to-open criminal trial of former Massey Energy Co. CEO Don Blankenship face granular questions about their feelings toward coal mining companies and their relationships to people who have been killed in coal mines, according to a questionnaire filed Thursday.

  • September 3, 2015

    Machine's Ex-Owner Not Liable For Injury, Texas Justices Told

    Occidental Chemical Corp. told the Texas Supreme Court in oral arguments Thursday that the company was not liable for the design of a faulty machine that sprayed acid in a worker’s face, partially blinding him, because the machine was affixed to property Occidental sold and was no longer responsible for.

  • September 3, 2015

    Ford Wins Back Some Confidential Docs Shared In Error

    Ford Motor Co. can claw back some privileged documents that it inadvertently shared in three sudden acceleration class actions, a West Virginia federal judge ruled Thursday, but said the automaker must share a large portion of the documents that aren't actually protected by attorney-client privilege.

  • September 3, 2015

    TIG Asks 6th Circ. To Nix $9M Stryker Knee Ruling

    TIG Insurance Co. told the Sixth Circuit on Wednesday that a Michigan federal judge erred by ordering it to pay $8.6 million to Stryker Corp. and Howmedica Osteonics Corp. to cover settlements those companies reached without TIG’s consent in lawsuits over defective knee implants.

  • September 3, 2015

    KBR Denied Appellate Costs After $81M Verdict Reversed

    KBR Inc. lost out on a bid to recoup more than $800,000 in court costs from a group of former U.S. National Guard members allegedly exposed to toxic chemical agents at a facility in Iraq after an Oregon federal judge ruled Thursday that the appellate decision tossing the veterans’ $81 million award did not mandate costs.

  • September 3, 2015

    Garlock Is Trying To Shirk Asbestos Liability, Claimants Say

    Personal injury asbestos claimants told a North Carolina bankruptcy judge Wednesday that Garlock Sealing Technologies LLC can’t hide behind the work product doctrine to avoid handing over documents about asbestos settlements reached before the company went into bankruptcy.

  • September 2, 2015

    Homeopathic Co. CEO Defends Testing At $350M False Ad Trial

    The CEO of Hyland's Inc., an alternative medicine maker accused by a certified class of cheating customers out of $350 million through false advertising, defended his company's product-testing in front of a California federal jury Wednesday, saying studies showing the products don’t work are incomplete or poorly designed.

  • September 2, 2015

    VW, Honeywell Must Pay $4.8M In Unintended Acceleration Suit

    A Georgia federal jury found Wednesday that Volkswagen Group of America Inc. and Honeywell International Inc. were liable for $4.8 million in damages for an accident in which a woman suffered serious injuries allegedly caused by unintended acceleration stemming from a “defective” supercharger in her Volkswagen Passat.

  • September 2, 2015

    Trinity Can't Keep Guardrail Docs Sealed, Whistleblower Says

    A whistleblower urged the Fifth Circuit on Tuesday to reject Trinity Industries Inc.'s bid to reverse a district court order unsealing hundreds of documents that the company contends contain trade secrets in a $663 million False Claims Act lawsuit over dangerous guardrails, saying the company's contention is false.

  • September 2, 2015

    Zurich Says Gemini On The Hook For Oil-Drilling Fire Damage

    Zurich American Insurance Co. on Wednesday leveled a suit against Pioneer Natural Resources USA Inc. in Texas federal court, seeking declaratory judgment that it owes no duty to defend or indemnify the company for damage allegedly caused by an oil drill that caught fire and destroyed 1,200 acres.

  • September 2, 2015

    Trial Wins Boost Eli Lilly In Cymbalta Cases As MDL Bid Looms

    Eli Lilly & Co.'s third straight trial win over the withdrawal risks of its antidepressant Cymbalta sealed the company's success in persuading a federal jury that warnings on the drug were adequate, a key finding that defense attorneys say gives the drugmaker an edge in an upcoming fight with plaintiffs trying to consolidate dozens of similar suits.

Expert Analysis

  • Piper Aircraft Confirms Channeling Injunction Limits

    Abigail L. Lerner

    Some bankruptcy cases can have long tails with issues developing years after the entities confirm their Chapter 11 plans, particularly when cases deal with mass torts. And just because a channeling injunction is in place does not necessarily mean that a defense to liability exists for a successor, as a recent Florida district court decision in the case of Piper Aircraft Corp. demonstrates, says Abigail Lerner of Weil Gotshal & Manges LLP.

  • Chemicals Management In Consumer Product Safety Planning

    Paul Laurenza

    In the chemicals arena — apart from the occasional outlier — product recalls are typically undertaken for failure to comply with a U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission ban or standard, but in today’s environment a well-informed chemicals management policy for consumer products requires a much broader focus than just the CPSC, says Paul Laurenza at Dykema Gossett PLLC.

  • 7th Circ. Answers Key Admiralty Law Questions

    Eric B. Wolff

    The Seventh Circuit's recent holding that Boeing Co. could remove Asiana Airlines Inc. crash suits to federal court provides a highly readable answer key to admiralty law issues worthy of a difficult law school exam, says Eric Wolff at Perkins Coie LLP.

  • How Concerned Is FDA Over Cybersecurity? Look To Hospira

    William R. O'Connor

    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration's recently issued warning over Hospira Inc.'s medical devices is the first time the FDA has recommended discontinuing use of a specific medical device based on cybersecurity concerns. The alert indicates the seriousness of both the vulnerabilities in Hospira devices and the FDA's concern over cybersecurity, says William O'Connor of Baker Donelson Bearman Caldwell & Berkowitz PC.

  • Don't Ignore Small And Midsize Health FCA Settlements

    Michael A. Filoromo III

    While the dollar figures involved in fraudulent schemes committed by small and midsize health providers pale in comparison to the record-setting $3 billion settlement with GlaxoSmithKline PLC, they are nonetheless substantial and can result in significant awards through the qui tam provisions of the federal False Claims Act, says Michael Filoromo III of Katz Marshall & Banks LLP.

  • Fluor Ruling Is Good News For Calif. Policyholders

    Richard DeNatale

    Last week, in its long-anticipated and unanimous decision in Fluor Corp. v. Superior Court, the California Supreme Court made it significantly easier to transfer insurance rights in corporate acquisitions and reorganizations, placing California squarely in the mainstream view, say Richard DeNatale and Celia Jackson at Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP.

  • 4 Successor Liability Pitfalls Manufacturers Should Avoid

    David J. Weiner

    The Seventh Circuit’s recent decision in Thornton v. M7 Aerospace LP shines a spotlight on two important bases for tort liability — successor liability and the voluntary undertaking doctrine — and provides a blueprint for how companies can better predict and limit their liabilities in situations when they might not think they are subject to a suit, says David Weiner at Arnold & Porter LLP.

  • Legal Hazards On The Golf Course

    Leon B. Silver

    Golf hazards — and not just sand or water — can lead to serious injuries and even death. Luckily for weekend duffers, an individual golfer is rarely held liable for a bad shot, but golf course owners could end up in the bunker for damages, say Leon Silver and Andrew Jacob at Gordon & Rees LLP.

  • Congress Must Come To The Defense Of Class Actions

    Lauren G. Barnes

    Without congressional action, ubiquitous binding arbitration clauses and class action bans — upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court — will continue to lead to the predictable result of both unfairness to injured consumers and a systemic failure to hold companies accountable for abusing the trust placed in them, says Lauren Barnes of Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP.

  • 3 Ethical Traps For 'Gladiator' Litigators

    Debra Squires-Lee

    Olivia Pope, the D.C. lawyer at the heart of the television drama "Scandal," calls herself and her team "gladiators in suits." By that, she means that she is willing to fight for her clients like a gladiator thrown into the arena. While it may be good for TV drama, thinking like a gladiator in reality can get litigators into trouble. Consider the top three ethical mistakes, say Sherin and Lodgen LLP partners Debra Squires-Lee and C... (continued)