Product Liability

  • October 23, 2014

    Chicago's Flavored Tobacco Law Challenge Faces Steep Odds

    A lawsuit challenging Chicago's new restrictions on the sale of flavored tobacco products will likely be snuffed out in court because it relies on a federal preemption argument that failed to convince the Second Circuit to strike a similar statute in New York City, experts say.

  • October 23, 2014

    Chrysler Challenges Cert. Ruling In Jeep Window Defect Case

    Chrysler Group LLC on Wednesday urged the Ninth Circuit to allow the automaker to appeal an order granting class certification in a suit alleging certain Jeep Liberty vehicles have defective windows that freeze in position, arguing the suit encompasses eight different window parts, even though the lead plaintiff only purchased one of them.

  • October 23, 2014

    Takata Faces Federal Probe Over Exploding Air Bags

    Takata Corp. is reportedly being investigated by federal prosecutors in New York for supplying defective air bags that recently prompted the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to issue a warning to owners of more than 7 million vehicles in the U.S.

  • October 22, 2014

    Union Carbide Stuck With $18M Punitive Asbestos Suit Award

    A California appellate court on Wednesday rejected Union Carbide Corp.'s bid to reverse a jury's $18 million punitive damages award to the family of a man who contracted mesothelioma after exposure to the company's asbestos, ruling that Union Carbide's "highly reprehensible" conduct warranted the award.

  • October 22, 2014

    RJR, Philip Morris Hit With $41M Engle Verdict By Fla. Jury

    A Florida federal jury on Wednesday hit Philip Morris USA Inc. and R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. with a $41.1 million verdict for a smoker suffering from severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

  • October 22, 2014

    Grunenthal Dodges Thalidomide Suit In Spain

    German drugmaker Grunenthal GmbH dodged a Spanish court's damages award in a thalidomide injury dispute in which it stood to payout as much as an estimated $44 million to a group of plaintiffs, according to Wednesday news reports.

  • October 22, 2014

    EPA Requiring BMW To Lower Mini Fuel Economy Claims

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Wednesday ordered BMW AG to lower fuel economy estimates for four 2014 BMW Mini Cooper vehicle models to ensure consumers are given accurate fuel economy values.

  • October 22, 2014

    Bard Says Expert Can't Switch Sides In Pelvic Mesh MDL

    C.R. Bard Inc. argued Tuesday that the plaintiffs in pelvic mesh multidistrict litigation consolidated in West Virginia federal court should not be allowed to name as an expert one of Bard's own retained experts, saying that he is familiar with Bard's litigation strategy from his role in prior cases.

  • October 22, 2014

    Pa. Appeals Court Tosses Asbestos Claims Against CBS, GE

    A Pennsylvania appeals court on Wednesday handed a win to CBS Corp., General Electric Co., Georgia Pacific Corp. and numerous other defendants in an asbestos wrongful death suit, finding a widow hadn’t proved her husband was exposed to asbestos with the frequency required under state law to show it had caused harm.

  • October 22, 2014

    NY Calls On ND Gov. To Regulate Crude Oil Shipments

    New York state environmental and transportation officials urged North Dakota Gov. Jack Dalrymple on Tuesday to adopt regulations requiring oil producers to remove volatile gases from crude oil before shipping it cross-country by rail in an effort to protect residents near rail lines.

  • October 22, 2014

    Whirlpool Says Plaintiff's Moldy Washer Claims Are Too Old

    Whirlpool Corp. argued on Tuesday that claims of one of the named plaintiffs over an alleged mold-related washer defect are time-barred by the two-year statute of limitations for Ohio common law product liability claims, arguing that she had shown no reason why she could not have brought her suit earlier. 

  • October 22, 2014

    Ex-WR Grace Workers Seek OK To Sue Insurer Over Asbestos

    Two former W.R. Grace & Co. employees asked a Delaware bankruptcy judge on Tuesday for reassurance that their planned lawsuit against Maryland Casualty Co. won’t run afoul of the company’s confirmed bankruptcy plan, saying the injunction barring asbestos-related suits against Grace and others doesn’t apply to their claims against the insurer.

  • October 22, 2014

    Mazda Slapped With $10M Jury Verdict Over Fatal Car Fire

    An Alabama jury has slammed Mazda Motor Corp. with a $10 million verdict, ending a lawsuit that claimed the automaker’s negligent design of its 2008 Mazda3 sedan contributed to a post-crash fire that left one victim dead and another permanently disfigured.

  • October 22, 2014

    DOT Ups Defective Air Bag Recall To 7.8M Vehicles

    The Department of Transportation on Wednesday added more than 3 million vehicles to its urgent message imploring consumers to take “immediate action” on recall notices for cars containing defective Takata Corp.-manufactured air bags, increasing the number from 4.7 million to 7.8 million.

  • October 22, 2014

    FTC Warns Biodegradable Bag Claims Could Be Deceptive

    The Federal Trade Commission sent letters to 15 marketers of plastic bags, warning that their claims the bags are “oxodegradable” could be deceptive because in low-oxygen landfills, they are no more biodegradable than normal plastic bags, the agency announced on Tuesday.

  • October 21, 2014

    BP Asks 5th Circ. To Hurry $9.2B Settlement Appeal

    BP PLC asked the Fifth Circuit on Monday to expedite its bid to claw back payouts it made under a since-overturned claims calculation in its $9.2 billion settlement in the Deepwater Horizon multidistrict litigation, saying that there won’t be any money left to recover if the appeal goes too long.

  • October 21, 2014

    Abraham Watkins Defeats BP Workers' Malpractice Suit

    A Texas appeals court on Tuesday affirmed a lower court's judgment for Abraham Watkins Nichols Sorrels Agosto & Friend LLP in a malpractice suit alleging the firm forced its clients to settle a $10 million suit stemming from a BP PLC refinery explosion for pennies on the dollar.

  • October 21, 2014

    Toyota Hit With $12.5M Verdict In Defective Seat Belt Case

    A California jury has walloped Toyota Motor Corp. with a $12.5 million verdict, finding a defectively designed lap seat belt caused a passenger riding in a sport utility vehicle that crashed into a tree in a drunk driving accident to become a paraplegic.

  • October 21, 2014

    DePuy Hip Implant Bellwether Trial Heads To Jurors In Texas

    Bringing an eight-week bellwether trial to a close in Dallas federal court, a hip implant patient on Tuesday accused Johnson & Johnson's DePuy Orthopaedics Inc. unit of putting marketing and sales before safety in its allegedly defective Pinnacle line of metal-on-metal implants.

  • October 21, 2014

    Pfizer Fights 'Do-Over' Of Plaintiff Experts In Zoloft MDL

    Pfizer Inc. on Tuesday fought what it called the plaintiffs' bid for a "do-over" on a Pennsylvania federal court's Daubert rulings in multidistrict litigation over its antidepressant Zoloft's alleged risk of birth defects, arguing that the plaintiffs should not be allowed to name a new expert after the deadline has passed.

Expert Analysis

  • The Scarlet Letter Of Self-Stigmatized Property

    James M. Sabovich

    To the extent that homeowners or their lawyers attempt to further drive down real estate prices of contaminated property — and drive up recoverable damages — it is a double-edged sword. If successful, they will increase recovery and attendant contingency fees, however should they fail a plaintiff could be left with self-stigmatized property, say James Sabovich and Joseph Edmonds of Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP.

  • Testing Texas CGL Coverage For 3rd-Party Products

    Kristin C. Cummings

    In U.S. Metals Incorporated v. Liberty Mutual Group Inc., perhaps the most significant issue to be decided by the Texas Supreme Court is whether the incorporation of a defective product into other property constitutes “physical injury” to other component parts of the property, says Kristin Cummings of Zelle Hofmann Voelbel & Mason LLP.

  • New Jurisdictional Issues When Moving To Quash A Subpoena

    Steven Luxton

    The Nevada federal court's recent ruling in Agincourt Gaming LLC v. Zynga Inc. is an important reminder that a nonparty wanting to challenge a civil subpoena should consider carefully the appropriate jurisdiction in which to file a motion to quash under recently enacted Rule 45, say Steven Luxton and Brad Nes of Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP.

  • Random Selection Is Best For MDL Bellwether Trials

    Matthew A. Holian

    The inadequacies of party selection are particularly troubling when compared to random selection, which yields representative plaintiffs, is fair to both sides, and also produces valuable information for courts and litigants, say Loren Brown and Matthew Holian at DLA Piper LLP and Dov Rothman at Analysis Group Inc.

  • Putting Calif.'s $1.4B Fine Against PG&E In Perspective

    Michael C. Dotten

    What constitutes an excessive fine has been articulated by the U.S. Supreme Court as a proportionality test, and, as Pacific Gas & Electric Co. argued in its brief before the California Public Utilities Commission, courts sometimes measure excessiveness in penalties by reference to fines levied in other, like circumstances, says Michael Dotten of Marten Law PLLC.

  • FDA Warning Isn't Enough Proof For Takings Claim

    Ann P. Havelka

    The Court of Federal Claims' recent decision in DiMare Fresh Inc. v. U.S. should prevent a flood of takings claims in the wake of garden-variety governmental warnings. Any other holding would have stifled the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's ability to issue timely and potentially life-saving health warnings to the public, say Ann Havelka and Jara Settles of Shook Hardy & Bacon LLP.

  • What Litigators Can Learn From Novelists

    Michael H. Rubin

    Many legal briefs are written in impenetrable jargon and begin with an introduction telling the court what it already knows, using words that stem from the 18th century, such as “hereinafter.” Instead, we should approach briefs the way novelists approach their writing, says Michael Rubin of McGlinchey Stafford PLLC.

  • The Learned Intermediary Doctrine: A Historical Review

    Keri L. Arnold

    In the last 15 years, a few courts have expressed greater resistance to the protection the learned intermediary doctrine provides pharmaceutical companies given the way medications are prescribed and advertised since the rule was originally developed, say Keri Arnold and Sarah Duncan of Arnold & Porter LLP.

  • Work Plan Signals Expanded Calif. Green Chemistry Program

    Joshua A. Bloom

    California's Safer Consumer Products Regulation will be closely watched given the potential for its broad application — indeed, following its enactment, Congress attempted to develop nationwide green chemistry initiatives, say Joshua Bloom and Christopher Jensen of Barg Coffin Lewis & Trapp LLP.

  • Assessing FDA Powers After A Failed 510(k) Rescinding

    Lynn C. Tyler

    It may well be a good thing that the D.C. Circuit's Ivy Sports Medicine LLC v. Burwell decision does not apply to medical devices currently under review — if the U.S. Food and Drug Administration knew it could only rescind a 510(k) clearance through the cumbersome rulemaking process it might become even more conservative about granting clearances, says Lynn Tyler of Barnes & Thornburg LLP.