Product Liability

  • January 23, 2015

    Product Liability Group Of The Year: Mayer Brown

    Mayer Brown LLP was behind some of the year's biggest pharmaceutical decisions, including the Sixth Circuit's rejection of multidistrict litigation over generic versions of the painkillers Darvocet and Darvon and an Iowa Supreme Court ruling shielding branded-drug makers from injuries caused by generics, landing the firm among Law360's Product Liability Groups of the Year.

  • January 23, 2015

    Visteon's Bid For $8M Pollution Coverage Axed By 7th Circ.

    The Seventh Circuit refused on Friday to order National Union Fire Insurance Co. of Pittsburgh to cover auto parts supplier Visteon Corp. for $8 million in cleanup and litigation costs over pollution from an Indiana plant, saying a key carveout from the pollution exclusion does not apply.

  • January 23, 2015

    Garlock Claims Of Dirty Tactics To Renew Transparency Push

    Garlock Sealing Technologies LLC's adversary suits unsealed this month target prominent asbestos plaintiffs attorneys with detailed allegations about their misconduct — including that they persuaded mesothelioma victims to lie about their asbestos exposure — a development attorneys say will fuel the defense bar's push for transparency that has lagged since last year's landmark ruling in the gasket maker's bankruptcy case.

  • January 23, 2015

    Insurer Off Hook For Suits Claiming Supplement Is Like Meth

    General Star Indemnity Co. doesn't have to defend or indemnify supplement maker Driven Sports Inc. in several suits alleging one of DS' products contains an illegal methamphetamine-like substance, a New York federal judge ruled Friday, saying all the claims in the underlying actions fall squarely within a policy exclusion.

  • January 23, 2015

    J&J's Risperdal Caused Boy's Breast Growth, Philly Jury Told

    A Philadelphia jury heard opening arguments Friday in a case accusing a Johnson & Johnson unit of failure to adequately warn an autistic Alabama boy’s mother and physicians about the risks of abnormal breast growth associated with the antipsychotic drug Risperdal.

  • January 23, 2015

    Feds Say BP, Anadarko Can Handle Max Deepwater Penalties

    The federal government on Friday wrapped up its case against BP Exploration and Production Inc. and Anadarko Petroleum Corp. in the penalty phase trial over the Deepwater Horizon disaster, closing with testimony that the companies won’t suffer long-term harm if they’re hit with the maximum penalties.

  • January 23, 2015

    Anchorage's Suit Over $302M Port Project Gets Green Light

    The Court of Federal Claims largely allowed to move forward a suit brought by the Municipality of Anchorage, Alaska, against the Department of Transportation's Maritime Administration for breach of a contract related to a $302 million port expansion project, according to an opinion published Thursday.

  • January 23, 2015

    High Court Takes Up FSIA Case Over Austrian Train Injury

    The U.S. Supreme Court agreed Friday to hear an appeal from Austria's national railway seeking protection from an American woman's personal injury suit under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act, a move that ignored advice from the U.S. solicitor general to deny certiorari.

  • January 23, 2015

    9th Circ. Flips Kimberly-Clark Unit's Pain Pump Win

    The Ninth Circuit on Friday revived a suit claiming a Kimberly-Clark Corp. unit's pain pump injured an Oregon woman, ordering a new trial and saying the district court improperly declined to give requested jury instructions it believed were preempted by federal law.

  • January 23, 2015

    McMillin's Construction Defect Coverage Suit Revived

    A California appeals court on Thursday revived McMillin Companies LLC's suit against American Safety Indemnity Co. over coverage for construction defect litigation by reversing a lower court ruling that left McMillin without evidence of damages, while finding that ASIC should be allowed to present evidence disputing its alleged duty to defend.

  • January 23, 2015

    J&J Fraud Claims Fall Flat In Mesh MDL, Plaintiffs Attys Say

    A Johnson & Johnson request for additional discovery to ferret out fraudulent lawsuits is nothing more than a delaying tactic, plaintiffs’ attorneys in transvaginal mesh multidistrict litigation said Thursday, arguing the company has offered no proof they were involved in illegal plaintiff solicitation.

  • January 23, 2015

    Ill. Court's Duty-To-Defend Ruling Boosts Policyholders

    An Illinois appeals court's recent ruling that three insurers must defend Illinois Tool Works Inc. in thousands of toxic tort suits even if the underlying claims are unfounded clarifies duty-to-defend standards under state law and gives policyholders an edge in seeking coverage for suits containing vague and ambiguous allegations, experts say.

  • January 23, 2015

    Medtronic Can Withhold Trade Secrets At $561M IRS Trial

    A U.S. Tax Court judge on Thursday greenlighted redactions Medtronic Inc. had made to witness reports to keep proprietary information off the books in its upcoming trial against the Internal Revenue Service over a $561 million tax dispute involving a Puerto Rican subsidiary.

  • January 23, 2015

    Philip Morris Cleared In $29M Engle Trial

    A Florida state court jury cleared Philip Morris USA Inc. on Friday of liability in one of the year's first Engle progeny trials, rejecting a former smoker's claims seeking upward of $29 million on allegations the cigarette maker's product and actions caused his laryngeal cancer.

  • January 23, 2015

    5-Hour Energy Makers Can't Dump False Ad MDL

    A California federal judge on Thursday again trimmed an amended class suit accusing the makers of 5-Hour Energy drinks of false advertising, finally tossing the plaintiffs' fraud-based claims about the products' television advertisements and state claims asserting breaches of warranty but allowing certain other warranty claims to proceed.

  • January 22, 2015

    Jury Hits Ryobi With $2.5M Death Verdict, Clears Home Depot

    A Virginia federal jury agreed Thursday that Ryobi Technologies Inc. should pay $2.5 million to the widow of a man killed when his lawnmower exploded, but let The Home Depot Inc. off the hook.

  • January 22, 2015

    Safety Group Fighting For GM's Pre-Bailout Treasury Emails

    Private watchdog group the Center for Auto Safety on Tuesday doubled down on its quest for email exchanges between the U.S. Treasury and automakers including General Motors Co. involving their 2009 bailout negotiations, arguing that a recent filing in the GM bankruptcy case shows the Treasury wanted automakers to jettison consumer liabilities. 

  • January 22, 2015

    Engle Plaintiff Seeks $29M As Philip Morris Case Goes To Jury

    Attorneys for Philip Morris USA Inc. and a smoker alleging the company’s concealment of health risks caused his laryngeal cancer wrapped up closing arguments Thursday in the first Engle progeny case to go to trial this year, with the plaintiff asking the Florida state jury for upwards of $29 million in damages.

  • January 22, 2015

    Feds Highlight Economic Harm To Gulf In BP Penalty Trial

    The federal government on Thursday hammered away at BP Exploration and Production Inc. for the economic harm caused by the Deepwater Horizon disaster, and tried to establish that parent company BP PLC should be on the hook for any penalty.

  • January 22, 2015

    Product Liability Group Of The Year: Lieff Cabraser

    Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein LLP spent 2014 racking up settlements and trial verdicts for plaintiffs in some of the year’s most highly publicized personal injury suits, including litigation over unintended acceleration in Toyota Motor Corp. vehicles and the risk of bladder cancer associated with diabetes drug Actos, earning the firm a spot among Law360’s Product Liability Groups of the Year.

Expert Analysis

  • Generic Drug Cos. Face Failure-To-Warn Claims In Calif.

    Erin M. Bosman

    The U.S. Supreme Court's recent denial to hear an appeal involving failure-to-warn claims against generic pharmaceutical manufacturers in Teva Pharms. USA Inc. v. Super. Ct. provides California plaintiffs claiming injury from generic drugs with a trifecta of liability theories, say Erin Bosman and Julie Park of Morrison & Foerster LLP.

  • A Data Security Checklist For Companies Hiring Law Firms

    Jenn Topper

    We trust our law firms with huge amounts of data, whether in or out of discovery, investigations or litigation. All too often, we have relied on privilege, confidentiality and attorney ethics as a proxy for data protection and information security. But in fact, law firms ought to be held to a much more stringent standard — and in-house counsel would be wise to begin with a number of specific inquiries, says legal industry consultan... (continued)

  • Wis. High Court Case Will Impact Farm Insurance Policies

    Cameron F. Field

    The Wisconsin Supreme Court's ruling in Wilson Mutual Insurance Co. v. Falk, which holds that manure contaminating a well is a “pollutant” and is not covered under a farm's general liability insurance policy, should prompt policyholders to understand how a policy defines pollutant. The case may be informative in states that have yet to hear a similar case, say attorneys at Michael Best & Friedrich LLP.

  • Whirlpool Case Is Instructive Of Rule 23(a) Requirements

    Ruben F. Reyna

    Day v. Whirlpool Corp. underscores the importance of Rule 23(a) criteria for class certification and the rigorous analysis district courts will undertake when certification is sought for settlement. Since movants made short shrift of numerosity and adequate representation, they failed to satisfy Rule 23(a) requirements, says Ruben Reyna of Sedgwick LLP.

  • Fukushima Case May Impact Global Nuclear Liability Law

    Lynn K. McKay

    Although laws addressing nuclear risk in both Japan and the U.S. provide for liability channeling and consolidation of claims in the court where a nuclear incident occurs, the ruling in Cooper v. Tokyo Electric Power Company leaves open the possibility that the lawsuit could be tried outside the country under state common law instead of nuclear liability law, say Lynn McKay and Scott Greer of King & Spalding LLP.

  • A Shift In Discoverability Of Litigation Hold Notices?

    Mathieu J. Shapiro

    There is no one-size-fits-all litigation hold notice and no magic language that will ensure the notice is covered by the attorney-client privilege or work product doctrine. But in light of the D.C. District Court’s new, relaxed approach to the discoverability of such notices, be sure your next one does not include confidential company information that you would regret sharing, say attorneys with Obermayer Rebmann Maxwell & Hippel LLP.

  • 5 Important Drug And Medical Device Developments In 2014

    Christine R. M. Kain

    Reflecting on some of the most important legal developments in the drug and medical device industries in 2014, litigation over free speech, differential diagnosis requirements, adverse event reporting, preemption and innovator liability will continue to be hotbeds of activity, say attorneys at Faegre Baker Daniels LLP.

  • Calif. Poised To Take Another Look At Secondary Exposure

    Brian M. Davies

    Since Campbell v. Ford Motor Co., parties have parsed the ruling's language to ferret out the true limits of secondary exposure liability, which the California Supreme Court has earnestly taken up with its pending review of Kesner v. Superior Court and Haver v. BNSF Railway Co., says Brian Davies of Sedgwick LLP.

  • FDA Sets A High Bar When Considering Food Additive Bans

    Julie K. Tibbets

    Given the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's recent rejection of requests to ban both aspartame and bisphenol A, it follows that future requests to ban or limit the amount of additives in a particular product will be met with a high level of scrutiny and contemplation from the agency, say Aliyya Haque and Julie Tibbets of Alston & Bird LLP.

  • MDL Strategies: Choosing A Transferee Court

    Kyle G.A. Wallace

    While the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation may transfer MDL proceedings to a district judge in any of the 94 federal judicial districts, in most cases there are a handful of districts that stand out as the most appropriate forums. Parties facing consolidated litigation should carefully consider both the administrative and substantive impact of each possible district and district court judge, say Kyle Wallace and Kristen B... (continued)