Product Liability

  • October 1, 2014

    Exxon Details Fracking Risks, 'Widespread Benefits' In Report

    Exxon Mobil Corp. said Tuesday that hydraulic fracturing has air and water contamination risks, but also has "widespread benefits," including job creation, reduced carbon dioxide emissions and improved energy security, according to a company report issued in response to shareholder demands.

  • October 1, 2014

    Pittsburgh Corning Insurers Can't Nix Ch. 11 Asbestos Plan

    A Pennsylvania federal judge on Tuesday upheld a Chapter 11 plan ending Pittsburgh Corning Corp.’s 14-year bankruptcy, finding that the “insurance neutral” reorganization won’t hamstring two Everest Re Group Ltd. carriers in related asbestos coverage litigation.

  • October 1, 2014

    Takeda Shared Actos Cancer Data, Ex-FDA Official Testifies

    A former senior official with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration told a Philadelphia jury on Wednesday that Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. had included all relevant information about potential links between its diabetes drug Actos and bladder cancer on labels for the medication.

  • October 1, 2014

    Covidien Unit Escapes FCA Suit Over Off-Label Marketing

    A Massachusetts federal judge on Tuesday tossed a whistleblower’s suit accusing Covidien Ltd. subsidiary of, among other things, promoting off-label uses for its blood-blockage device, saying the suit was precluded by the public disclosure bar and a lack of evidence.

  • October 1, 2014

    Merger Doesn't Absolve FMC Of Asbestos Liability, Suit Says

    Crosby Valve LLC, a former subsidiary of FMC Corp., filed suit against its ex-parent company in Texas federal court Wednesday, arguing that FMC's agreement to defend asbestos litigation after the company was acquired by Tyco International Ltd. in 1998 should be transferred to a more recent merger by Pentair Valves & Controls Inc.

  • October 1, 2014

    Objectors To HP Inkjet Settlement Lose Bid To DQ Cotchett

    A California federal judge refused Tuesday to disqualify class counsel Cotchett Pitre & McCarthy LLP or decertify the class in a suit accusing Hewlett-Packard Co. of deceptively marketing printer ink, rejecting settlement objectors' claims that HP failed to disclose a conflict of interest with Cotchett.

  • September 30, 2014

    Endo Settles 'Substantially All' AMS Vaginal Mesh Claims

    Endo International plc said Tuesday that it has reached settlements with several of the remaining plaintiffs suing Endo’s American Medical Systems Inc. subsidiary over allegedly harmful vaginal mesh products, resolving “substantially all” of the claims in the case without admitting any liability or fault.

  • September 30, 2014

    FDA Warns Valeant Over Wrinkle Jab Manufacturing Practice

    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has warned Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc. over one of its wrinkle-treatment injection products, involving not its quality or safety but some of the practices of its contract manufacturers, the pharmaceutical firm said Tuesday. 

  • September 30, 2014

    House Dems Urge EPA To Address 'Pollinator' Pesticide Issue

    House Democrats on Tuesday urged the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to protect bees and other pollinating creatures by restricting the use of neonicotinoid pesticides, saying the recovery of their populations would be helped by such a measure.

  • September 30, 2014

    Calif. Gov. Signs Furniture Flame-Retardant Warning Bill

    California Gov. Jerry Brown on Tuesday signed a bill to allow consumers in the state to learn whether the furniture they intend to buy contain flame-retardant chemicals, which some studies have linked to health problems, including cancer.

  • September 30, 2014

    Excess Insurers Not Allowed To Relitigate NJ Asbestos Claims

    A New Jersey appeals court on Tuesday rejected a group of excess insurers’ claims that they should be relieved from covering IMO Industries Inc. under a $1.85 billion insurance program for underlying asbestos claims, finding the excess insurers should not be allowed to revisit individual, settled claims where the defense has already been paid by the primary insurers.

  • September 30, 2014

    Medical Device Makers See Decline In FDA Discipline

    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Monday reported a drop in warning letters related to quality-control violations during medical device production, a bright spot for manufacturers beset in recent years by aggressive enforcement.

  • September 30, 2014

    PG&E Sued Over Toxic Waste Contamination In San Francisco

    Pacific Gas and Electric Co. was hit with a lawsuit in California federal court on Tuesday by a group of commercial herring fishermen and buyers who say the utility contaminated a number of San Francisco neighborhoods through old “highly polluting, low-tech” manufactured gas plants.

  • September 30, 2014

    Big Tobacco Rails Against Ad Phrasing In Gov’t RICO Suit

    Three U.S. tobacco companies launched a blistering attack on Monday against a court order in a Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act case requiring them to publicly admit to a conspiracy to downplay cigarettes’ adverse health effects in order to boost sales, telling a D.C. Circuit panel that the phrasing in the proposed statements would “punish and humiliate” them.

  • September 30, 2014

    Hyundai Gets Contract Claims Pared In Sonata Brake Row

    A New York federal judge on Tuesday trimmed claims in a putative class action accusing Hyundai Motor America Inc. of equipping certain Sonata vehicles with defective brakes and refusing to cover repair costs, tossing claims for breach of contract and unjust enrichment but keeping the express warranty and state law claims in play.

  • September 30, 2014

    LA Dodgers Sued By Injured Giants Fan Over $3.4M Lien

    The San Francisco Giants fan who won $15 million from the Los Angeles Dodgers after he was severely injured and subsequently disabled in a fan beating at Dodger Stadium sued the team again on Monday, alleging the Dodgers are seeking to profit off him by buying his $3.4 million medical lien for half-price.

  • September 30, 2014

    Mitsubishi Sued Over Truck Engine Emissions Defect

    Mitsubishi Fuso Truck of America Inc. was hit with a putative class action in New Jersey federal court on Monday, accusing the truck giant of installing a defective emissions control system in its diesel-powered, medium-duty trucks that causes various parts to fail and the trucks to lose power.

  • September 30, 2014

    Wax Maker Stuck In Kellogg's Cereal Bag Recall Suit

    A Michigan federal judge refused Tuesday to grant a Canadian wax supplier an early exit from a suit over Kellogg Co.’s allegedly defective cereal liners, saying a jury must decide if the cereal maker can prove warranties were breached in the case.

  • September 30, 2014

    National Trust Off The Hook For Faulty Pool Repair Coverage

    A Georgia federal judge has let National Trust Insurance Co. off the hook from reimbursing Standard Contractors Inc. for more than $430,000 in losses stemming from a botched pool renovation project at Moody Air Force Base, finding the contracting company did not establish the insurer had a duty to provide defense or indemnification.

  • September 30, 2014

    Cargill Wins $9M Verdict Against Beef Supplier In E. Coli Row

    Cargill Inc. on Monday was awarded a $9 million verdict by a Nebraska federal jury in its dispute with a beef-packing company that it accused of selling it beef products tainted with E. Coli that put Cargill on the hook for $26 million in costs, including victim settlements.

Expert Analysis

  • Customer Complaints Are Not Evidence Of A Defect

    Kyle G.A. Wallace

    At first blush, hundreds or thousands of customer complaints may seem like an overwhelming number to a jury. But when viewed in context of hundreds of thousands or millions of vehicles on the road, and all of the various unrelated complaints made against them, the rarity of the complaints about the vehicle and issue in question may actually help convince the jury of the absence of a defect, say Kyle Wallace and Jason Rottner of Alston & Bird LLP.

  • And Now A Word From The Panel: ABCs Of JPML Practice

    Alan E. Rothman

    This week, as the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation embarks on a rare October hearing, we cannot resist mentioning an intriguing MDL petition that involves local rules governing attorney admission and several lawsuits naming members of the federal judiciary — including a JPML member who is also a D.C. district court judge, says Alan Rothman of Kaye Scholer LLP.

  • To Label Or Not To Label? Companies May Have No Choice

    Thomas C. Means

    The multiplicity of perspectives in the D.C. Circuit's en banc ruling in American Meat Institute v. U.S. Department of Agriculture leaves open the possibility that the case may reach the U.S. Supreme Court and, in the meantime, stand for a broad proposition that government may compel virtually any commercial speech, say attorneys at Crowell & Moring LLP.

  • Drug-Device Applecart Upset Again

    Suzanne M. O'Shea

    In Prevor v. Food and Drug Administration, the D.C. District Court held against the FDA's interpretation of the definition of a medical device included in the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act. Going on now for five years, the case raises the question — is it time for Congress to act? says Suzanne O'Shea of Faegre Baker Daniels LLP.

  • DOT Oil Rail Safety Transport Rules Will Be Costly

    Mave A. Gasaway

    The impact of the U.S. Department of Transportation's proposed rules on crude oil and ethanol rail shipment safety standards will cost industry stakeholders billions of dollars and operational requirements are likely to result in transportation delays and concomitant increased costs for carriers and shippers, say attorneys at Davis Graham & Stubbs LLP.

  • Timing Is Everything In 'Take-Home' Asbestos Cases

    Douglas B. Pfeiffer

    Foreseeability continues to be the most important consideration in "take-home" asbestos exposure cases and Bootenhoff v. Hormel Foods Corp. demonstrates the importance of the time frame of the employee’s alleged exposure in cases based on negligence, say attorneys at Miles & Stockbridge PC.

  • Texas Pro-Policyholder Case Will Impact Excess Insurers

    Kay M. Brady

    Had the court in Plantation Pipe Line Co. v. Highlands Insurance Co. sided with Highlands it would be difficult for policyholders to settle with underlying insurers for less than applicable limits without risking forfeiture of higher level coverage, say Kay Brady and Denise Yasinow of K&L Gates LLP.

  • FOIA Is Not Freedom For Plaintiffs To Drug Trade Secrets

    James M. Beck

    Given the prevalence of corporate integrity agreements in the drug and medical device space, Public Citizen v. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is a victory for industry — companies subject to such agreements will rely on this case when faced with plaintiffs seeking sensitive information with the Freedom of Information Act, says James Beck of Reed Smith LLP.

  • Ill. Developers' Indemnity Rights Are Now Stronger

    Shelley Smith

    15th Place Condominium Association v. South Campus Development Team LLC has far-reaching, industrywide implications because it improves a developer’s indemnity rights against contractors in construction defect cases, says Shelley Smith of Udell Pomerantz & Delrahim Ltd.

  • Opportunities And Pitfalls In The Legal Cloud

    David Houlihan

    Like "big data" and other effective software marketing buzzwords, “cloud” makes something that is very complex sound simple — and even friendly. Most attorneys are not prepared to dig into the distinctions between public, private and hybrid cloud models, or the niceties of how or where their data is transmitted and stored, says David Houlihan of Blue Hill Research Inc.