Product Liability

  • March 5, 2015

    NJ Appeals Court Clears Applebee’s In Fajita Prayer Suit

    A New Jersey appeals court on Wednesday shot down a personal injury suit lobbed at Applebee's International Inc. by a man claiming he was burned while praying over a sizzling fajita skillet, ruling that it was an “open and obvious” danger.

  • March 5, 2015

    5 Tricky Questions To Test Your Drug-Label Law Savvy

    Generic-drug labels have become hugely controversial since landmark Supreme Court rulings in Mensing and Bartlett that have shielded generic-drug makers from many forms of injury claims, but some plaintiffs attorneys have nonetheless managed to find some wiggle room for recourse. Here are five questions to test how much you know about the drug labeling landscape.

  • March 5, 2015

    4th Circ. Breaks Gag Order In Massey CEO's Criminal Case

    After a monthslong tussle with the local and national media, the Fourth Circuit has lifted a gag order restricting access to participants and documents in the criminal case against former Massey Coal Co. CEO Don Blankenship, who is accused of causing 29 miner deaths by directing the company to break safety laws.

  • March 5, 2015

    J&J, Ethicon Hit For $5.7M In Calif. Pelvic Mesh Trial

    A California jury on Thursday saddled Johnson & Johnson’s Ethicon Inc. unit with a $5.7 million verdict, siding with a woman who claimed her doctor had given her an older, heavier version of a pelvic mesh product that will cause her a lifetime of pain.

  • March 5, 2015

    Railroad Cos. Look To Trim Claims In Derailment Litigation

    Consolidated Rail Corp. and other railroad companies on Thursday pressed a federal judge to slash claims in numerous lawsuits over a 2012 derailment and chemical spill in Paulsboro, New Jersey, because they are allegedly preempted by federal law.

  • March 5, 2015

    Occidental Settles Peruvian Oil Pollution Case

    A group of indigenous plaintiffs from the Peruvian Amazon announced on Thursday that they have settled their claims that Occidental Petroleum Corp. allegedly contaminated their communities with lead and other toxic byproducts of oil drilling. 

  • March 5, 2015

    NY Court Says Exxon Must Pay Tax On Spill Enviro-Monitoring

    Exxon Mobil Corp. must pay a $500,000 New York sales tax assessment on environmental monitoring and testing at several past oil-spill locations, a state appeals court ruled Thursday, rejecting ExxonMobil's arguments that those activities weren't technically part of the cleanup efforts.

  • March 5, 2015

    Steel Co. Lied To Baker Hughes To Make Sales, Suit Says

    Steel manufacturing company Yangzhou Chengde Steel Pipe Co. Ltd. lied about defective parts that were eventually sold to Baker Hughes and caused its distributor Continental Alloys & Services Inc. to settle a $5.27 million arbitration claim with the oilfield services giant, according to a complaint filed in Harris County district court.

  • March 5, 2015

    Bharara Denies Tainting Silver Case Through Media Blitz

    Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara on Thursday urged a judge not to dismiss public corruption charges against former New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, denying claims that he unfairly smeared the Albany power broker in the press.

  • March 5, 2015

    Cincinnati Drops Coverage Suit Over Cookie Co. False Ad Suit

    Cincinnati Insurance Co. has dropped its suit disclaiming coverage for an underlying proposed class action accusing Bodacious Food Co. of falsely marketing its cookies as "all natural," after the plaintiff in that suit reached an accord with the cookie company, according to documents filed Thursday in Florida federal court.

  • March 5, 2015

    Steptoe Nabs Three Toxic Tort Partners From Locke Lord

    Steptoe & Johnson LLP said Thursday that it had snagged three new partners from Locke Lord LLP for its toxic tort litigation practice in Chicago, several weeks after the firm lured four of their former colleagues who had been conflicted out of the recently-merged BigLaw behemoth.

  • March 5, 2015

    Travelers Sues To Duck Coverage Of $15M Contract Claims

    Travelers Property Casualty Co. of America told a Pennsylvania federal judge Wednesday it doesn’t have to defend a construction consulting firm against a lawsuit accusing it of failing to recognize that residual steel slag in the soil beneath a warehouse and manufacturing facility would damage its foundation.

  • March 5, 2015

    No Quick Win For Contractor In $340M Harbor Project Suit

    An Alaska federal judge ruled Wednesday that engineering contractors can’t escape a suit accusing them of botching $340 million worth of work on an Alaskan port project by citing the state’s economic loss doctrine, which generally bars tort recovery for purely economic losses.

  • March 5, 2015

    Aussie Consumer Watchdog Probes OTC Pain Meds

    The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission said on Thursday that it’s bringing claims in the Federal Court of Australia against Reckitt Benckiser Pty Ltd., alleging that it falsely claimed that products in a line of pain medication are individually formulated to treat specific types of pain.

  • March 5, 2015

    McDonald’s Sued After Woman Allegedly Swallows Metal Wire

    A McDonald’s Corp. customer hit the company with a product liability suit in Texas state court on Thursday, seeking up to $1 million for a severe infection she allegedly sustained after swallowing a metal wire that was in one of its breakfast sandwiches.

  • March 5, 2015

    NJ Reveals $225M Deal With Exxon Over Refinery Pollution

    New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's administration on Thursday publicly revealed details of a controversial $225 million settlement with ExxonMobil Corp. over environmental pollution from refinery operations in Bayonne and Linden and defended the deal that critics have said severely undervalues nearly $9 billion in alleged damages.

  • March 4, 2015

    BP Earns Appeal Bid But Not Stay In ERISA Suit

    A Texas federal judge on Wednesday allowed BP PLC to pursue interlocutory appeal of an order allowing plaintiffs to amend their Employee Retirement Income Security Act class action over stock losses stemming from the Deepwater Horizon disaster, although he refused to stay the case.

  • March 4, 2015

    Volvo Allegedly Smearing Atty In Car-Defect Class Action

    Plaintiffs’ attorney in a $5 million class action accusing Volvo Cars of North America LLC of selling cars with an allegedly fatal side-impact protection defect urged a Pennsylvania federal judge Wednesday to stop its counsel’s “attacks” over a sanctions motion.

  • March 4, 2015

    Pepsi Escapes Cancer-Warning Class Action

    A California judge on Wednesday dismissed with prejudice a proposed class action that sought to compel PepsiCo Inc. to provide medical monitoring to consumers after failing to warn them that a chemical in its drinks is linked to a form of lung cancer, ruling that the plaintiffs’ causation and injury allegations aren’t factually supported.

  • March 4, 2015

    Honeywell Settles Chemical Cleanup Suit Over Ohio Site

    An Ohio federal court on Wednesday granted a consent decree between the state and Honeywell International Inc. to settle a suit seeking coverage for cleanup costs associated with groundwater contamination allegedly caused by a 1987 chemical spill at an Urbana site used for manufacturing civil and military aerospace components.

Expert Analysis

  • A Riegel Analysis From The Great Northwest

    James L. Nelson

    Herrnandez v. Stryker Corp. is one of the few opinions from the district courts of Washington to weigh in on medical device preemption under Riegel v. Medtronic. The opinion adds to a favorable line of defense cases holding that a plaintiff cannot merely allege violations of current good manufacturing practices in order to circumvent Riegel preemption, says James Nelson of Sedgwick LLP.

  • Law Firm Tensions Mount In Africa — What Does It Mean?

    Steve Blundell

    Tensions are perhaps inevitable in a fast-growing market such as Africa where international law firms are gearing up for a greater level of market entry, and where the independent firms remain highly reliant on referrals from these same firms. But the questions facing both types of firms go to the heart of short-term expedient versus long-term strategy, says Steve Blundell of Redstone Consultants.

  • GM Case Highlights Thorny Due Process, Bankruptcy Issues

    Benjamin D. Feder

    Judge Robert Gerber will be spending a substantial portion of his remaining time on the bench seeking to resolve the legal quandaries raised by the sale of the assets of bankrupt General Motors Corp. to a new entity, General Motors LLC, following revelations that ignition switch defects were known by employees of the old GM but were not properly reported, says Benjamin Feder of Kelley Drye & Warren LLP.

  • Emerging Threats In Recall-Based Auto Class Actions

    Todd B. Benoff

    While courts have rejected plaintiffs' arguments that sharing information with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration during an auto recall destroys attorney-client privilege, the increasing number of recalls and related class actions increases the odds that different courts will reach different conclusions, says Todd Benoff of Alston & Bird LLP.

  • The FDA's Vision For Medical Devices Is Coming To Life

    James S. Cohen

    While the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has historically struggled to articulate a clear regulatory policy for health information technology, the FDA's final guidance on medical device data systems, medical image storage devices and medical image communications devices is the latest in a line of recent publications seeking to outline the agency's enforcement priorities for health IT, say James Cohen and Michael Ryan of McDermot... (continued)

  • Rebutting The 'But This Is Asbestos' Line In Pa.

    Michael L. Haslup

    The Superior Court of Pennsylvania's recent decision in Krauss v. Trane U.S. Inc. is significant in that it reaffirms that traditional legal principles apply to asbestos cases, notwithstanding the application of a unique “frequency, regularity, proximity” standard to motions for summary judgment, say Michael Haslup and Kevin Penhallegon of Miles & Stockbridge PC.

  • How To Bolster Your Ascertainability Challenge

    Cyrus Abbassi

    In a court willing to consider affidavits to ascertain class membership, a defendant has a greater chance of arguing that a class is not ascertainable where consumer affidavits are vulnerable to confusion or lapses in a purchaser’s memory, says Cyrus Abbassi of Burr & Forman LLP.

  • Scanning The Post-Burlington Northern CERCLA Landscape

    John J. DiChello Jr.

    While there is no bright-line rule for determining the existence or absence of intent for purposes of arranger liability under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act, several factors identified by circuit courts should serve as useful guideposts for businesses seeking to reduce their exposure to arranger liability, says John DiChello Jr. of Blank Rome LLP.

  • Fla. Exculpatory Clauses Enjoy Their Moment In The Sun

    Robert L. Rogers III

    The Supreme Court of Florida's ruling in Sanislo v. Give Kids the World Inc. is an important victory for purveyors of amusements, not-for-profit organizations and other businesses that require customers to sign releases or waivers. Sanislo suggests that such businesses will not be punished for failing to itemize the potential causes of action that might be asserted against them, says Robert Rogers III of Holland & Knight LLP.

  • Additional-Insured Concerns Surface In Deepwater Horizon

    Micah E. Skidmore

    The Texas Supreme Court's recent ruling in the matter of Deepwater Horizon will inevitably prompt more questions regarding the importance of “certificates of insurance” as well as how explicit a reference within an insurance policy must be or what nexus that reference must have with a coverage limitation before additional-insured status is circumscribed, says Micah Skidmore of Haynes and Boone LLP.