Product Liability

  • December 18, 2014

    Verdict Narrowed Against J-M In FCA Suit Over Shoddy Pipes

    A California federal judge Thursday limited the scope of a first-phase jury verdict finding pipe maker J-M Manufacturing Co. Inc. liable for damages in a whistleblower False Claims Act suit over substandard plastic pipe used in water and sewer systems, saying the verdict applies only to five exemplar plaintiffs.

  • December 18, 2014

    Hellmann's Maker Drops False Ad Claims Over 'Just Mayo'

    Unilever, the maker of Best Foods and Hellmann’s mayonnaise, dropped its false advertising suit on Thursday against startup Hampton Creek Inc. over its vegan spread “Just Mayo,” the same day the plant-based mayo substitute maker announced it raised $90 million in venture funding.

  • December 18, 2014

    20 States Climb Aboard Syngenta GMO Corn Class Actions

    Illinois, Colorado, Minnesota and 17 other states have joined class actions in Kansas and Missouri filed by corn farmers, grain exporters and others who accuse Syngenta Corp. of “tainting” the U.S. corn supply with genetically modified seed before China gave import approval.

  • December 18, 2014

    NFL Dodges Players' Painkiller Class Action

    A California federal judge on Wednesday tossed ex-National Football League players' class action claiming that the league encouraged them to abuse painkillers, ruling that a collective bargaining agreement preempted the claims.

  • December 18, 2014

    Texas Court Won't Nix Jurisdiction In Pepsi Asbestos Suit

    A Texas appeals court on Thursday affirmed a lower court's jurisdiction in a lawsuit brought by a PepsiCo Inc. subsidiary over an allegedly secret $308 million asbestos settlement with Cooper Industries LLC, finding the facts of the case were sufficiently connected to Texas despite the companies' nonresident status.

  • December 18, 2014

    Rohm & Haas Settles Ill. Cancer Cluster Toxic Tort In Pa.

    Dow Chemical Co. unit Rohm & Haas Co. has settled 33 cases in a Pennsylvania state court toxic tort in which plaintiffs claimed the company’s improper disposal of chemicals near an Illinois plant caused brain cancer.

  • December 18, 2014

    6th Circ. Affirms Toss Of $326M Grand Ole Opry Flood Suit

    The Sixth Circuit on Thursday ruled that the government isn’t responsible for $326 million in damages following a 2010 flood in Tennessee that wrecked the Grand Ole Opry, washing away claims by hotelier Gaylord Entertainment Co., several insurance companies and Nissan North America Inc.

  • December 18, 2014

    Ford Broadens Takata Air Bag Recall To Entire US

    Ford Motor Co. announced on Thursday that it is expanding its recall of certain car models with allegedly faulty driver-side air bags made by Takata Corp. to cover all of the United States, after a request was made by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

  • December 18, 2014

    Old GM Creditor Trust Says Defect Liability Lies With New GM

    The trust representing creditors of General Motors Co.’s bankruptcy estate says that the car company is unfairly trying to skirt lawsuits over drops in vehicle value stemming from flaws, including the deadly ignition switch defect, and that the plaintiffs have correctly directed their claims at New GM.

  • December 18, 2014

    DuPont Can't Test Individual Doses In Tainted Water MDL

    An Ohio federal judge overseeing multidistrict litigation over contaminated drinking water told E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Co. on Wednesday that, under a class action settlement agreement, it can’t contest whether dosage of a chemical was sufficient to cause certain diseases in individual plaintiffs.

  • December 18, 2014

    FDA Raps Sunovion Pharma For Bogus Benefit Claims

    A print advertisement for Sunovion Pharmaceuticals Inc.’s anti-seizure drug Aptiom improperly suggests that the medication can reduce feelings of isolation that patients experience, according to a disciplinary letter released Wednesday by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

  • December 18, 2014

    Judge Tells Graco To Buckle Up For Faulty Car Seat Suit

    A California federal judge on Wednesday refused to throw out a proposed class action over car-seat maker Graco Children's Products Inc.’s allegedly defective belt buckles, ruling that a refund offer and recall effort don’t prevent plaintiffs from pursuing their claims.

  • December 17, 2014

    Nissan Gets Defective Infiniti Class Action Tentatively Trimmed

    A California judge on Wednesday tentatively pared a putative class action alleging Nissan North America Inc. deceived California and Texas consumers by selling Infiniti models with defective plastic dashboards that “bubbled” in heat or humidity, saying the Texas class representatives’ claims are barred by that state’s statute of limitations.

  • December 17, 2014

    $75M NCAA Concussion Settlement Rejected By Judge

    An Illinois federal judge on Wednesday rejected a $75 million settlement to resolve lawsuits brought by ex-NCAA athletes claiming they have suffered long-term damage from concussions, telling parties to resume negotiations because he has concerns about the fairness of the deal.

  • December 17, 2014

    Lenovo Wins Cut Of 'Astronomical' Fee Bid In Defect Suit

    Lenovo (United States) Inc. won a drastic cut in plaintiffs’ request for $8.9 million in attorneys’ fees after the parties settled a California federal class action accusing the company of marketing defective laptops, with a judge saying they could only receive $1.2 million.

  • December 17, 2014

    3rd Circ. Greenlights Sanctions Bid In Veggie Contract Row

    A Third Circuit panel on Wednesday freed frozen vegetable company Unilink LLC officers from liability to supplier Food Team International Ltd. after Unilink canceled a broccoli contract, but the court said the company and its attorney could potentially be sanctioned for failing to disclose its insurance policy.

  • December 17, 2014

    AliphCom Unplugs False Ad Suit Over Jawbone UP Batteries

    A California federal judge said on Wednesday that he would toss a proposed nationwide class action accusing Jawbone UP maker AliphCom of misrepresenting battery-related defects in its fitness tracking devices, saying he didn't think the plaintiffs have alleged any actionable misrepresentation on AliphCom's part.

  • December 17, 2014

    Anheuser-Busch Suit Buoyed By Pom Ruling, 6th Circ. Told

    Plaintiffs accusing Anheuser-Busch Cos. LLC of deliberately overstating the alcohol content of its beers urged the Sixth Circuit on Tuesday to revive their proposed multidistrict litigation, arguing the U.S. Supreme Court’s Pom Wonderful decision invalidated the brewing giant’s defenses.

  • December 17, 2014

    Kline And Specter Take On Philly's Plaintiff-Friendly Rep

    The impact of a recent Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruling hailed by defense attorneys as a tool to help divert cases out of Philadelphia's feared trial court is getting overplayed, the heads of Kline & Specter PC said in an interview with Law360 challenging the city's reputation as plaintiff-friendly.

  • December 17, 2014

    Pa. High Court Won't Touch AIG Titeflex Coverage Ruling

    The Pennsylvania Supreme Court on Wednesday refused to review a lower court's ruling that an American International Group subsidiary had a duty to defend Titeflex Corp. in litigation over a connector device implicated in a 1998 gas leak.

Expert Analysis

  • 8th Circ. Clarifies Coverage Trigger For Food Recall

    Jennifer Senior

    The Eighth Circuit's recent decision on the level of public health risk required to trigger coverage for a voluntary food product recall under an accidental product contamination policy in Hot Stuff Foods LLC v. Houston Casualty Co. may encourage settlement in coverage disputes and is reason to re-evaluate and clarify policy language, says Jennifer Senior of Jenner & Block LLP.

  • What Happens When Legal Aid Cuts Stimulate Pro Bono?

    Kevin J. Curnin

    The bad news coming out of the European Pro Bono Summit in November was the rising toll of heavy cuts to public legal aid in England. From this crossroad, there is a lot to be learned about the relationship between public and private assistance, the direction of legal help for the poor in the EU, and whether the American legal aid/pro bono experience offers a road map for what’s next in Europe, says Kevin Curnin of the Association ... (continued)

  • Blankenship Case Shows Perils Of Post-Crisis Assurances

    Jeremy Peterson

    Attorneys and executives would do well to take note of the recent federal indictment of Massey Energy Co.'s former CEO, which shows that, in at least some circumstances, relatively general and open-ended corporate statements can be the basis for criminal charges, say attorneys at Arnold & Porter LLP.

  • Product Liability In The Age Of Global Pandemics

    Hildy Sastre

    Shahinian v. Kimberly-Clark Corp. illustrates some of the many challenges facing product liability litigation based on the fear of pandemics and shows that even the most insulated business can face claims related to injuries caused by diseases over which it had no control, say Hildy Sastre and Iain Kennedy of Shook Hardy & Bacon LLP.

  • 7th Circ. Explains Role Of Objectors In Class Settlement

    Rhonda Wasserman

    The Seventh Circuit's recent rejection of a class action settlement in Pearson v. NBTY Inc. highlights the important role objectors play in policing the adequacy of class action settlements and provides guidance to lawyers crafting such settlements as well as to district courts charged with reviewing them, says Rhonda Wasserman of the University of Pittsburgh School of Law.

  • Dart Cherokee Rejects CAFA Anti-Removal Presumption

    John Beisner

    The U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in Dart Cherokee Basin Operating Company v. Owens resolved a lopsided split in the lower federal courts over the proper removal procedure under the Class Action Fairness Act — however, the high court’s closing remark that there is no anti-removal presumption in CAFA cases will likely be of even greater significance going forward, say attorneys at Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom LLP.

  • Tracing Ohio's Evolution On The Component Parts Doctrine

    Elizabeth Moyo

    The evolution of the component parts doctrine in Ohio shows that it is a strong defense that can be applied as a matter of law even when the component part manufacturer collaborates with the manufacturer of the final product, says Elizabeth Moyo of Porter Wright Morris & Arthur LLP.

  • 3 Questions To Ask Yourself Before Hiring Appellate Counsel

    David Axelrad

    In the classic case, a client and his attorney seek appellate counsel after the trial court proceedings are concluded. But these days, “classic cases” are few and far between — more and more, appellate lawyers assist in the trial court with preservation of the appellate record and compliance with the many technical rules of appellate procedure, says David Axelrad of Horvitz & Levy LLP.

  • Where Is The Pro Rata V. All Sums Debate Today?

    Hugh Scott

    Three decades after Forty-Eight Insulations and Keene, the pro rata approach used in long-tail claims, such as environmental clean-up claims and asbestos bodily injury claims, appears to be winning — for indemnity costs, pro rata allocation has been adopted by the supreme courts of at least 12 states, say Hugh Scott and Lauren Riley of Choate Hall & Stewart LLP.

  • What Lawyer-Novelists Learned From Being Lawyers

    Michael H. Rubin

    The consensus that emerged from my discussions with several lawyers who have become best-selling novelists is that the traits it takes to be a great lawyer are invaluable in crafting first-rate mysteries and thrillers. Both thriller authors and lawyers possess a concentrated attention to detail that allows them to create a logical framework for their story, brief or courtroom presentation, says Michael Rubin of McGlinchey Stafford PLLC.