Product Liability

  • August 29, 2014

    $3B Lilly Case Spotlights Drug Promoters' Labeling Quandary

    A Louisiana federal judge's decision to uphold a jury verdict awarding $3 billion in punitive damages against Eli Lilly & Co. in an Actos personal injury trial sends a stark warning that companies that co-promote a drug can be held liable for failing to warn of its potential risks, even if they're not responsible for changing the product's labeling.

  • August 29, 2014

    Calif. Bill On Uber, Lyft Insurance Offers Road Map For Pa.

    A bill moving through the California Legislature that puts commercial insurers for ridesharing companies on the hook as soon as the app is activated will be a useful guide as Pennsylvania seeks to establish standards for companies like Uber and Lyft, representatives for trial lawyers and insurers say in a rare point of agreement.

  • August 29, 2014

    Feds Press For Honeywell Docs, Inspection In Armor FCA Suit

    The federal government on Friday pressed a Washington, D.C., federal judge to force Honeywell International Inc. to comply with additional discovery requests and to open its manufacturing facility up for inspection in a long-running False Claims Act case stemming from sales of defective body armor.

  • August 29, 2014

    Boeing Asbestos Liability Doesn't Extend To Worker's Spouse

    A Pennsylvania federal judge has ruled in a case against The Boeing Co. that employers owe no duty to warn or protect the spouses of workers who purportedly carried asbestos fibers home from their workplaces, deciding an issue he said hadn't been addressed by Pennsylvania appeals courts.

  • August 29, 2014

    Feds Rip PhRMA's Free Speech Claims In FCA Off-Label Suit

    The U.S. Department of Justice is urging a California federal judge to reject free speech arguments advanced in a False Claims Act case by Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, adding more fuel to a fiery debate surrounding punishment of off-label promotion.

  • August 29, 2014

    Reps. Push Budget Authority, Not User Fees, To Fund FSMA

    Lawmakers have asked the Office of Management and Budget to seek a higher budget authority in 2016 to fund the Food Safety Modernization Act, adding that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration should drop its request for user-fee funding that has failed several times to win congressional approval. 

  • August 29, 2014

    GM Recall Not Enough To Block Air Bag Suit, Judge Told

    A Florida federal judge was urged Friday to nix General Motors LLC’s bid to dodge a putative class action over alleged defects in some Chevy Traverse air bag warning lights, with the lead plaintiff saying that the vehicle recall issued after the suit was filed doesn’t cover the damages entitled to the class.

  • August 29, 2014

    Oil Cleanup Is Covered Despite Settlement, Texas Court Says

    A Texas appeals court ruled Friday that Plantation Pipe Line Co. didn’t forfeit excess coverage purchased from Highlands Insurance Co. by settling coverage claims stemming from a 1975 oil leak against its lower-level insurers for less than the full limits of those policies, reversing a lower court decision.

  • August 29, 2014

    Jury Says Pneumo Abex Must Pay $37M To Asbestos Victim

    A jury in Tampa, Florida, has found Pneumo Abex LLC on the hook for almost $37 million in a trial alleging a former auto mechanic developed terminal mesothelioma from his exposure to asbestos in brake linings manufactured by the company.

  • August 29, 2014

    Pa. DEP Details Water Contamination From Gas Drilling

    The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection released data on Thursday showing that nearly 250 private water supplies across the state have been contaminated as a result of natural gas drilling since 2007.

  • August 29, 2014

    Tetley Plucks Competition Claim From Tea Label Class Action

    A California federal judge on Thursday trimmed an unfair competition claim from a putative class action alleging Tetley USA Inc. made unlawful and deceptive claims about antioxidants and health benefits bestowed by its teas, but left intact claims that the labels were fraudulent and misleading.

  • August 29, 2014

    Boston Scientific Wins 2nd Pelvic Mesh Bellwether Trial

    A Massachusetts jury sided with Boston Scientific Corp. on Friday in the second bellwether trial involving the company’s pelvic mesh devices, finding that a transvaginal sling was not defectively designed and the company adequately warned of risks associated with the device.

  • August 29, 2014

    E-Cigarette Group Calls CDC Study On Teen Use Deceptive

    A trade group representing the electronic cigarette industry on Thursday said the Center for Disease Control and Prevention should revise its recent “deceptive” report detailing the popularity of e-cigarettes among young people who have never smoked traditional cigarettes.

  • August 29, 2014

    Harley-Davidson Bikes Leak Engine Coolant, Suit Says

    Harley-Davidson Inc. was hit Thursday with a putative class action in Illinois federal court, accusing the company of breaching a 24-month, unlimited-mileage written warranty by not repairing an engine defect in certain motorcycle models a buyer says causes the coolant to leak constantly.

  • August 28, 2014

    Ford, IBM Win Dismissal Of Apartheid Abuse Suits

    Ford Motor Co. and IBM Corp. won dismissal Thursday of long-running suits alleging they aided and abetted apartheid-era South Africa by selling its government military vehicles and computers, with a New York federal judge ruling that they can't be sued in the U.S. over actions by their subsidiaries abroad.

  • August 28, 2014

    Takeda, Eli Lilly Stuck With $9B Actos Verdict

    A Louisiana federal judge on Thursday denied a Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. and Eli Lilly & Co. bid to overturn the $9 billion verdict in a bellwether trial over allegations the companies hid the cancer risks of diabetes drug Actos, upholding the jury's punitive damages award.

  • August 28, 2014

    Grocery Group To Boost 'GRAS' Transparency Amid Criticism

    The Grocery Manufacturers Association said Thursday it would implement a program to make food manufacturers submit more information about how they decide which food additives are safe enough to include on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's "generally recognized as safe" list of ingredients. 

  • August 28, 2014

    TRW Hit With $3.3M Verdict In Faulty Air Bag Device Suit

    Air bag control maker TRW Automotive US LLC will have to shell out $3.3 million in damages to a woman who suffered a massive stroke following an accident in which her air bags didn’t deploy, a Nevada jury found on Thursday.

  • August 28, 2014

    Firms Jockey To Lead Pella Class After Settlement Blows Up

    Seeger Weiss LLP and another firm urged an Illinois federal judge on Thursday to allow them to continue to lead a defective window class action against Pella Corp. after the Seventh Circuit scuttled a settlement in the case, as other plaintiffs' lawyers pushed the court to let them take the reins.

  • August 28, 2014

    9th Circ. Just Latest Court To Read Pollution Laws Narrowly

    The Ninth Circuit recently rejected environmental groups’ novel argument that diesel emissions at California rail yards should be regulated as solid waste under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, the latest indication that courts are more strictly interpreting pollution laws, even where there are enforcement gaps.

Expert Analysis

  • Energy Drink Cos. May Find State AG Suits Hard To Swallow

    Michael L. Gruver

    What's novel about the recent action against 5-Hour Energy from state attorneys general is that it appears to be an end-run around primary jurisdiction and preemption because it doesn't address the energy drink's labeling or nutritional disclosures as a primary focus, say Michael Gruver and Glenn Pogust of Kaye Scholer LLP.

  • 5 Reasons Large Companies Are Turning To Boutique Firms

    David M. Levine

    The departure of attorneys from large firms is a trend that has increased as a result of the Great Recession and its aftermath, and boutique firm partners who previously worked at large firms understand the potential large-firm pitfalls, say attorneys with Levine Kellogg Lehman Schneider & Grossman LLP.

  • Mixed Feelings In Texas About ALI's Negligence Approach

    Kelly J. Kirkland

    Just when we thought the Supreme Court of Texas wants nothing to do with the American Law Institute’s latest efforts to restate the law of negligence, two recent decisions indicate it actually has mixed feelings, in part because of its profound distrust of juries, says Kelly Kirkland of Fulkerson & Lotz LLP.

  • Perils Of Communicating With Customers By Phone Or Text

    Given the large number of calls that can be made electronically, damages for Telephone Consumer Protection Act violations can run into the millions. In this short video, Sutherland partner Lewis Wiener discusses the TCPA and how businesses that communicate with customers by phone or text may be impacted.

  • EPA's Concern Over TCE Vapor Intrusion Is Misguided

    Richard C. Coffin

    A recently issued memo from a director of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on short-term trichloroethylene exposure levels in Region 9 should be reconsidered — if there is a legitimate weight of scientific evidence supporting them, then they should be applied to all Superfund sites, say attorneys of Barg Coffin Lewis and Trapp LLP.

  • Airbnb Hosts May Need To Comply With Pool Safety Laws

    Matthew R. Howsare

    Under the most recent definition of a public accommodations facility proposed by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, the requirements of the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act likely would apply to homeowners who rent out their homes through services like Airbnb and to proprietors of small bed-and-breakfast properties, says Matthew Howsare of Mintz Levin Cohn Ferris Glovsky and Popeo PC.

  • When Experts Contradict Clients Over Product Liability

    Jesse L. Morris

    A takeaway from the Sixth Circuit's decision in Lee v. Smith & Wesson Corp. is that experts are not legally bound by the testimony of parties who proffer them and that attorneys should not be afraid to fight for the admissibility of their opinions, even if they deviate from a client's account, says Jesse Morris of Weil Gotshal & Manges LLP.

  • Tips For Restaurants (And Counsel) In A Gluten-Free World

    Kristen E. Polovoy

    Many food industry players want a piece of the $10.5 billion pie of the gluten-free food sector. Counsel who advise food sellers and restaurants that are considering use of “gluten-free” labels should educate themselves and their clients on several key issues, says Kristen Polovoy of Montgomery McCracken Walker & Rhoads LLP.

  • How To Control Risk And Cost Of E-Discovery

    "If you follow the philosophy of saving everything you're just multiplying exponentially the costs and risks of litigation and investigations," says Robert Owen, partner in charge of Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP's New York office and president of the Electronic Discovery Institute.

  • Conn. High Court Ensures Insurers Can Sue Each Other

    Dennis O. Brown

    The Connecticut Supreme Court's ruling in Travelers Casualty & Surety Company of America v. The Netherlands Insurance Company is significant because it broadens an insurer’s ability to bring a declaratory judgment action against a mutual insurer to determine the existence or allocation of a duty to defend a common insured, say Dennis Brown and Thomas Blatchley of Gordon Rees Scully Mansukhani LLP.