Product Liability

  • October 29, 2014

    Class Slams Ford's Sanctions Bid In Acceleration Defect Row

    A putative class suing Ford Motor Co. over alleged unintended acceleration defects argued Tuesday in West Virginia federal court that the automaker can’t sanction the plaintiffs for not turning over some of their vehicles for inspection, while Ford urged the court to require them to comply with discovery requests that same day.

  • October 29, 2014

    Apotex Wants Sanctions In Generic-Lipitor Labeling Suit

    Drug manufacturer Apotex Corp. on Wednesday slammed a consumer’s suit that accused it of selling generic versions of Lipitor imported from India without proper labeling, saying the drugs were actually made in Canada and seeking sanctions in California federal court for the allegedly frivolous complaint.  

  • October 29, 2014

    Judge Orders Trinity To Mediate After $175M Guardrail Verdict

    A Texas federal judge on Tuesday ordered Trinity Highway Products LLC to mediate its dispute over its ET-Plus guardrail system after a jury found that it had defrauded the U.S. government out of $175 million by selling dangerous guardrails to the U.S. Federal Highway Administration.

  • October 29, 2014

    Sazerac Recalls Whiskey In Scandinavia Over Flavor Chemical

    Sazerac Co. is recalling batches of its Fireball Cinnamon Whiskey product from Sweden, Norway and Finland, saying Tuesday that it mistakenly shipped them batches that were meant for the U.S. and contained higher levels of the flavoring chemical propylene glycol than European limits allow.

  • October 29, 2014

    Lands' End The Latest Retailer To Face 'Made In USA' Suit

    Clothing retailer Lands' End Inc. on Wednesday became the latest merchant to be hit with a proposed class action accusing the company of labeling foreign-made apparel as produced in the U.S., a tactic that a California consumer alleges has allowed the business to sell items at a higher price.

  • October 29, 2014

    Exxon Can’t Keep Spill Docs Confidential, Landowners Say

    A class of landowners suing ExxonMobil Pipeline Co. over the 2013 Pegasus pipeline rupture in Mayflower, Arkansas, told a federal judge that the oil giant’s claim that evidence relating to the pipeline’s maintenance and repair should be confidential has no basis in law.

  • October 29, 2014

    5th Circ. Favors Homeowners In Defect Exclusion Fight

    The Fifth Circuit handed a win to two homeowners on Wednesday by revisiting an earlier ruling that Mid-Continent Casualty Co. correctly applied a contractual liability exclusion, after the homeowners argued that the earlier ruling conflicts with a Texas Supreme Court decision that narrowed the exclusion's scope.

  • October 29, 2014

    Orbital Sciences Assists NASA Probe Of Antares Rocket Blast

    Orbital Sciences Corp. said Wednesday afternoon that it is working with NASA and other government agencies to investigate the Antares rocket launch failure off the coast of Virginia on Tuesday night, but warned against blaming its 1970s first-stage propulsion system.

  • October 29, 2014

    Canada Beefs Up Oil Rail Transport Rules After Deadly Crash

    Canadian transportation regulators on Wednesday unveiled tighter restrictions on transporting crude oil by rail in response to recommendations stemming from an investigation into last year’s fiery and deadly derailment of a crude oil-toting train in Lac-Megantic, Quebec.

  • October 29, 2014

    Vinson & Elkins Nabs Litigators From Fenwick, Morgan Lewis

    Vinson & Elkins LLP brought in a former Fenwick & West LLP patent and technology litigator and a former Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP attorney with experience litigating products liability, environmental and class action cases, the firm said Tuesday.

  • October 29, 2014

    Tepco Can't Escape Sailors' $1B Fukushima Suit

    A California federal judge on Tuesday preserved a $1 billion class action against Tokyo Electric Power Co. brought by a group of U.S. Navy rescue personnel alleging exposure to nuclear radiation from the Fukushima power plant, ruling the court has subject-matter jurisdiction over the case.

  • October 29, 2014

    FDA's Drug Risk Promo Proposal Slammed By All Sides

    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has sparked intense criticism with new guidance describing circumstances in which drugmakers can tell doctors that medications are safer than once thought, with Big Pharma calling the parameters too restrictive and physicians warning that misinformation will inevitably result.

  • October 29, 2014

    Atty Bucks Sanctions Over Protected Doc In Derailment Suit

    An attorney for plaintiffs suing over a 2012 derailment and chemical spill in Paulsboro, New Jersey, whom Consolidated Rail Corp. accuses of violating a protective order urged a New Jersey federal judge on Tuesday not to sanction him, saying the accusation was “baseless and hypocritical.”

  • October 29, 2014

    Pa. Superior Court Urged To Nix $15M In Topamax Verdicts

    The Pennsylvania Superior Court was urged during oral arguments Wednesday to throw out a pair of verdicts awarding $15 million to two plaintiffs who filed suit against a Johnson & Johnson subsidiary alleging that the epilepsy drug Topamax caused birth defects in their children.

  • October 29, 2014

    Gov't Fires Back At Peanut Exec's Bid To Toss Conviction

    Federal prosecutors on Tuesday scoffed at former Peanut Corp. of America executive Michael Parnell’s bid to throw out his recent conviction stemming from the sale of contaminated peanuts that killed at least nine people, saying the evidence against him at trial was “overwhelming.”

  • October 29, 2014

    Chrysler Recalls 566K Dodge, Jeep Vehicles

    Chrysler Group LLC on Wednesday said it is recalling over 566,000 Dodge Rams and Durangos, as well as Jeep Grand Cherokees, to upgrade the electronic stability control software and wire-harness terminals, and to also potentially replace the fuel-heater housings in certain vehicles.

  • October 29, 2014

    LG Strikes Defective Fridge Deal That Could Cost Millions

    LG Electronics USA Inc. has agreed to settle a class action accusing it of knowingly selling defective refrigerators in a deal that could cost it tens of millions of dollars in repairs and damages, according to documents filed in California federal court Tuesday.

  • October 29, 2014

    Colgate Can't Sue Reinsurers In Asbestos Case, NY Court Says

    A New York state appellate court on Tuesday tossed Colgate-Palmolive Co.’s claims against reinsurers National Indemnity Co. and Resolute Management Inc. in a countersuit seeking OneBeacon America Insurance Co.'s coverage of legal fees in underlying asbestos lawsuits, finding that Colgate had no contractual relationship with the reinsurers.

  • October 28, 2014

    Whirlpool Can't Nix Class In Moldy Washer Suit

    Whirlpool Corp. failed again Tuesday to decertify a class of consumers in a suit over allegedly defective washers that gather mold, when an Ohio federal judge ruled that its arguments over the class had already been rejected by the court, the Sixth Circuit and the U.S. Supreme Court.

  • October 28, 2014

    Actos Ruling Sets Up Appellate Clash Over Punitives Ceiling

    A Louisiana federal judge's ruling slashing a $9 billion Actos bladder cancer award to $37 million highlights an ambiguity on upper limits for punitive damages that attorneys say will spur the Fifth Circuit — and maybe even the U.S. Supreme Court — to address the issue more directly.

Expert Analysis

  • Md. Steels Itself Under The Bare Metals Defense

    Angela Whittaker-Pion

    After May v. Air & Liquid Systems Inc. there can be no doubt that Maryland is among the growing collection of jurisdictions that have embraced the bare metals defense, which limits the liability of companies for replacement or component parts they did not place into the stream of commerce, say Angela Whittaker-Pion and Timothy Hurley of Miles & Stockbridge PC.

  • Automakers Should Not Be Held Strictly Liable For V2V Hacks

    Todd B. Bernoff

    Strict liability was initially used to spur the auto industry to develop safer vehicles. And it worked. But that incentive is not necessary in the case of hacking vehicle-to-vehicle communication systems, for a number of reasons, says Todd Bernoff of Alston & Bird LLP.

  • When Foreign Toys Are Toxic: How Importers Should Respond

    Allison M. Brown

    The size of the verdict as well as the evidentiary rulings sanctioned by the appellate court in Aleo v. SLB Toys USA Inc. reveal the difficulty of defending a case involving allegations of noncompliant foreign-made products, says Allison Brown of Weil Gotshal & Manges LLP.

  • The Evolution Of ADR: 30 Years Of Change

    Maria M. Sypek

    As our legal system evolves and we understand more about how an effective court system should function, the role of alternative dispute resolution should also shift. For example, the growth of e-discovery — and the ballooning associated costs — has further pushed the special-master trend, say former U.S. Magistrate Judge John Hughes and former New Jersey Superior Court Judge Maria Sypek of JAMS.

  • The Legal Professions’ Curious Under-Use Of 2nd Opinions

    Judge Wayne D. Brazil

    As conscientious professionals who are required to address problems with notoriously elusive dimensions, lawyers should consider securing second opinions in a much wider array of circumstances than has been the norm, says Judge Wayne Brazil, a neutrual with JAMS and former magistrate judge in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.

  • 7th Circ. Just Helped CERCLA Defendants Limit Liability

    Rick R. Rothman

    The Seventh Circuit in U.S. v. P.H. Glatfelter appears to have greatly expanded the applicability of the apportionment defense, which, if successful, can shield a potentially responsible party from joint and several liability under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act, say attorneys at Bingham McCutchen LLP.

  • Looking At Lanham Act Claims Against Drug Cos. Post-Pom

    Maia H. Harris

    A California district court's ruling in JHP Pharmaceuticals LLC v. Hospira Inc. may persuade other courts to either extend the U.S. Supreme Court's generally permissive view of Lanham Act claims to drugs and cosmetics or find some claims that previously required U.S. Food and Drug Administration expertise may now be precluded after Pom Wonderful LLC v. The Coca-Cola Company, say attorneys at Nixon Peabody LLP.

  • Regulatory Mismanagement May Cause CERCLA Exposure

    Lester Brown

    The takeaway from California Department of Toxic Substances Control v. Jim Dobbas Inc. is that government agencies that mismanage response actions may now be exposed to — at the very least — cost recovery or contribution litigation where there is evidence the agency made management decisions that led to contamination, or allowed it to continue to be released, say attorneys at Perkins Coie LLP.

  • Use Social Media For Legal Service Only As A Last Resort

    Steven Richard

    Courts remain largely skeptical about allowing litigants to serve and notify evasive parties of legal proceedings through their social media accounts. A recent split ruling by the Oklahoma Supreme Court shows the competing considerations, say Steven Richard and Britt Killian of Nixon Peabody LLP.

  • Oil Spill Deterrence Sticks In Australian Court

    Jacinta Studdert

    Newcastle Port Corporation v. MS Magdalene Schiffahrtsgesellschaft MBH shows the New South Wales Land and Environment Court's willingness to impose substantial fines for marine pollution offenses and is a useful illustration of the court's approach to sentencing in such matters, say attorneys at Norton Rose Fulbright Australia.