Product Liability

  • July 30, 2014

    Exxon Denied Court-Supervised Trust For $104M MTBE Verdict

    A New York federal judge denied Exxon Mobil Corp.'s motion to set up a court-supervised trust for the funds Exxon must pay to satisfy its $104 million verdict for polluting New York City's groundwater with methyl tertiary-butyl ether, ruling Wednesday that Exxon lacked standing. 

  • July 30, 2014

    Bankruptcy Judge Keeps GM Ignition Switch Case On Pause

    A New York bankruptcy judge on Wednesday denied a bid by plaintiffs to proceed with a proposed class action against General Motors Co. over an ignition switch defect, ruling that their suit — like nearly 90 other related cases — should be stayed while he considers whether GM can use its bankruptcy defense.

  • July 30, 2014

    NHTSA Floats Rules To Improve Bus Rollover Safety

    The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on Wednesday proposed new federal safety standards to improve the structural design of buses and motorcoaches in order to ensure passengers are better protected and emergency exits remain operable during deadly rollover crashes.

  • July 30, 2014

    Chobani Can't Say 'Greek' On US-Made Yogurt: UK High Court

    The U.K. Supreme Court on Tuesday nixed an appeal by Chobani Inc. of an injunction that bars it from labeling its product as “Greek Yoghurt,” letting stand a lower court's decision that the label is misleading to consumers because the product is actually made in the U.S.

  • July 30, 2014

    8th Circ. Says One-Recovery Rule Dooms Tobacco Death Suit

    The Eighth Circuit on Wednesday upheld the dismissal of a wrongful death action brought against R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. and Philip Morris USA Inc., holding that the dead man's relatives could not sue over his death because they had already brought a personal injury suit.

  • July 30, 2014

    Homeowners Target Chinese Gov't Over Defective Drywall

    Homeowners in multidistrict litigation over defective Chinese drywall pulled China’s government into the sprawling legal fight on Tuesday, launching a new lawsuit in Louisiana federal court after state-owned drywall manufacturers had deserted U.S. court proceedings in the case.

  • July 30, 2014

    Ex-Peanut Corp. Exec Can't Escape Salmonella Charges

    A Georgia federal judge on Wednesday refused to toss criminal charges against a former Peanut Corp. of America executive over her alleged role in a deadly salmonella outbreak, ruling she had sufficient time to review the federal government's discovery disclosures.

  • July 30, 2014

    House Bill Seeks Nationwide Tax On Soda

    U.S. Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., on Wednesday introduced a proposed tax on sodas and sugary beverages, a move poised to reignite a debate on the efficacy of these types of measures that have largely been nonstarters at the state and local level.

  • July 30, 2014

    LA Sushi Restaurant Sues Distributor Over Fishy Rice

    The owners of a Los Angeles sushi restaurant rolled Farmers Rice Cooperative Inc. into a proposed class action Tuesday, alleging the distributor provided the restaurant with "filthy, putrid, decomposed or substandard rice" that could not be legally sold for human consumption.

  • July 30, 2014

    Ford Says Some Claims Too Late In Diesel Engine Row

    Ford Motor Co. on Tuesday urged a California federal judge to pare claims in a suit alleging it knowingly sold F-Series trucks that contain defective diesel engines, saying that a claim filed under state consumer law is time-barred and that there are no grounds for tolling the statute of limitations.

  • July 30, 2014

    Quaker Will Remove Trans Fats As Part Of Class Deal

    A California federal judge on Tuesday approved The Quaker Oats Co.’s settlement agreement in class action litigation accusing the company of falsely marketing its products as healthy despite containing trans fats, a deal under which the company promises to remove partially hydrogenated oils, or PHOs, from some products.

  • July 30, 2014

    Ill. Court Lets Lloyd's Revive Additional-Insured Fight

    An Illinois appeals court has backed a trial court's decision to set aside Pekin Insurance Co.'s victory in litigation over additional insured coverage for a general contractor targeted in an injury suit, paving the way for Certain Underwriters at Lloyd's of London to jump into the fight.

  • July 30, 2014

    Class Arbitration A Question For Courts, 3rd Circ. Says

    In a precedential ruling, the Third Circuit determined Wednesday that whether an arbitration agreement permits classwide arbitration is a question for courts — not arbitrators — to decide, siding with Robert Half International Inc. in its challenge to an arbitrator's ruling that its agreements with former staffing managers allowed class proceedings. 

  • July 29, 2014

    Boston Scientific Wins First Pelvic Mesh Injury Trial

    A Massachusetts jury returned a verdict in favor of Boston Scientific Corp. on Tuesday in the first product liability lawsuit involving the company’s pelvic mesh products to go to trial, according to attorneys involved in the case.

  • July 29, 2014

    Chiquita To Pay Insurance Co. $13M Over War Crimes Claims

    An Ohio state judge has ordered Chiquita Brands International Inc. to pay $13 million to National Union Fire Insurance Co. of Pittsburgh, Pa., as reimbursement of defense costs for thousands of tort claims alleging it paid off Colombian terrorists who killed thousands of people.

  • July 29, 2014

    NJ High Court Cases Could Limit Whistleblower Protection

    New Jersey employees are protected under whistleblower laws that are among the broadest and most comprehensive in the country, but experts say that distinction could soon change depending on how the state Supreme Court decides two whistleblower cases.

  • July 29, 2014

    PG&E Faces $1B Indictment In Pipeline Blast Case

    A California federal grand jury hit Pacific Gas & Electric Co. with a superseding indictment Tuesday over its role in the fatal 2010 San Bruno natural gas explosion, tacking on 16 new criminal counts, including obstruction, and pegging potential penalties at up to $1.1 billion.

  • July 29, 2014

    5 Food Reporters Subpoenaed In $1.2B 'Pink Slime' Row

    A New York Times reporter and at least four other food reporters have been subpoenaed in the $1.2 billion suit accusing American Broadcasting Cos. Inc. and journalist Diane Sawyer of defaming a beef trimmings maker by referring to its product as “pink slime,” according to reports on Tuesday.

  • July 29, 2014

    NCAA's $75M Deal Shortchanges Players, Judge Told

    The NCAA’s freshly minted $75 million settlement of student-athlete concussion litigation prompted an immediate backlash Tuesday from some plaintiffs’ attorneys, with one telling an Illinois federal judge that the deal lets the NCAA dodge billions of dollars in liability while doing nothing for players who were actually injured.

  • July 29, 2014

    Meat Labeling Win Gives Regulators More Disclosure Authority

    A D.C. Circuit decision upholding a set of strengthened country-of-origin meat labeling requirements has given the U.S. government more ammunition to compel corporate speech by taking a broad reading of U.S. Supreme Court precedent granting First Amendment protection to companies, experts say.

Expert Analysis

  • Dukes May Have Doomed Toxic Tort Class Certification

    Peter E. Seley

    Heightened focus on commonality and the other Rule 23 prerequisites post-Dukes has been a tremendous hurdle for toxic tort class action plaintiffs as courts reject classes based on the individual nature of exposure, causation and damages and the insufficiency of expert testimony, say attorneys at Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP.

  • Death Rattle For Unfinished Business Claims?

    Angelo G. Savino

    In a departure from Jewel v. Boxer, the decisions in the cases of Thelen LLP and Heller Ehrman LLP reflect a shift in the manner by which courts treat trustees’ claims for post-dissolution fees, say Angelo Savino and Julie Moeller Albright of Cozen O'Connor.

  • And Now A Word From The Panel: Top 10 Venue Arguments

    Alan E. Rothman

    As the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation heads to the “Heart of America” for its July 31 hearing, this column will take a bit of a detour from its regular format and present a top 10 list of arguments — some strange, yet true — made in support of a particular MDL venue, says Alan Rothman of Kaye Scholer LLP.

  • Clearer Standard For Multiple Source Causation In Texas

    James E. Smith

    For defendants, perhaps the most important task will be to impress upon trial judges just how rigorous plaintiffs must be to meet the Supreme Court of Texas' standard in Bostic v. Georgia-Pacific Corp. — any failure to present an opinion based on generally acceptable methodologies as to any component will doom the plaintiff to summary judgment, directed verdict or reversal on appeal, says James Smith of Porter Hedges LLP.

  • EU Rule Sets Higher Standard For Medical Devices

    Lucas Bergkamp

    While the RoHS-1 Directive did not apply to medical devices, the RoHS-2 Directive does, implying that manufacturers intended for the EU market have to assess and document whether their products comply with the latest directive’s chemical restrictions, say Lucas Bergkamp and Nicholas Herbatschek of Hunton & Williams LLP.

  • Courts Line Up Behind 3rd Circ.'s Ascertainability Logic

    Tracey Ehlers

    Federal courts, particularly those following Third Circuit precedent, are paying more attention to the ascertainability of class members and companies in the food and beverage industries — where consumers do not typically retain receipts — should take note when challenging class certification, say attorneys at Nixon Peabody LLP.

  • 6 Years In, Why Haven't FRE 502(d) Orders Caught On?

    John A. Rosans

    In this e-discovery era, why aren't more litigants using Federal Rule of Evidence 502(d) orders and affording themselves basic protection of their most sensitive information? Or, if they are moving for such orders, why are they doing it wrong? asks John Rosans of Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP.

  • Prosecutions Loom Large In China's Food Regulatory Regime

    John Balzano

    Most ominous in China's draft Food Safety Law is the pledge to strengthen the "link" between food safety regulation and criminal penalties, indicating criminal prosecutions could likely continue increasing once the law is adopted, say attorneys at Covington & Burling LLP.

  • Think Before You Transfer Your Product Liability Case

    Cynthia H. Cwik

    Despite a decline over the past eight years, the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation continues to grant far more product liability transfer motions than it denies. Considering parties' geography and preferences, among other factors, will help when advising clients with centralization and the selection of a transferee court, say attorneys at Jones Day.

  • Trial-Ready In 180 Days: Prepare For SDNY's Rocket Docket

    Isaac S. Greaney

    A growing trend in the Southern District of New York akin to a sua sponte rocket docket can provide defendants with an opportunity to set the tone of discovery and shift the burden and risks of the schedule to their adversaries, say Isaac Greaney and Jackie Lu of Sidley Austin LLP.